5 Best Acoustic Guitar Pickups
Music has been around for generations, connecting families and retelling old and new stories constantly.
Guitar particularly has always been a huge part of the music culture, and each year more and more technology comes out to improve the wonderful experience of playing one.
Among these technologies is acoustic guitar pickups. This is an accessory that allows the beautiful sound of the guitar to be heard and transmitted without all the other outside noise.
Quick Look at Our Top Picks:
- Best of the Best: Fishman Neo-D Magnetic Soundhole Pickup
- Runner Up: Luvay Acoustic Guitar Pickup
- Best Affordable: K&K Pure Mini Acoustic Guitar Pickup
- Best Electric Pickup: Seymour Duncan Woody HC Hum-Canceling Soundhole Pickup
- Best Acoustic Bass Pickup: SUNYIN Transducer Acoustic Guitar Pickup
Fishman Neo-D Magnetic Soundhole Pickup Single Coil
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Luvay Acoustic Guitar Pickup
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K&K Pure Mini Acoustic Guitar Pickup
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Seymour Duncan Woody HC Hum-Canceling Soundhole Pickup
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SUNYIN Transducer Acoustic Guitar Pickup
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5 Best Acoustic Guitar Pickups Reviewed
While it’s true that finding the perfect acoustic guitar, pickup is basically the process of elimination, you do have to start somewhere.
With a huge internet shopping world, we figured we could make your selection slightly less wide. Below we have brought you a list of our top recommended products, to ensure an easy shopping experience.
This Fishman Neo-D Magnetic Soundhole Pickup Single Coil features a magnetic structure that ensures acoustic clarity as well as balanced strings. In addition, this pickup doesn’t require any batteries, and as such can be used at any time. Moreover, this pickup is ready to use right out of the box with no set up required. Finally, this compact pickup can fit into soundholes as small as 98.5 millimeters.
This Luvay Acoustic Guitar Pickup features a volume adjustable knob and a ten-foot amplifier cable. Moreover, the pickup is easy to install, with reusable adhesive that could stick the speaker near the sound hole. Additionally, this pickup doesn’t require batteries, making it easy to play at any time. This pickup also has a clear and crisp sound with no squeal feedback.
This K&K Pure Mini Acoustic Guitar Pickup features a battery-free, electronic free pickup, keeping pressure off the accessory and keeping the sound clear. Moreover, the pickups placement on the instruments keeps up from picking up unwanted feedback. However, the thin build of the pickup allows the subtle vibrations and signals of the acoustic guitar, Finally, this pickup was built for steel string guitars specifically.
This Seymour Duncan Woody HC Hum-Canceling Sound Hole Pickup uses Stack technology to provide a full tone without any disruptive noise or annoying hum. Moreover, this magnetic pickup is easily installable by slipping right into the sound hole without any other installation needed. In addition, the pickup comes with a 14-foot quality cable for plugging into your amp. Finally, this pickup works with steel strings.
This SUNYIN Transducer Acoustic Guitar Pickup features adjustable volume control with clear sound and pickup. Moreover, the guitar pickup is easily installed near the sound hole for the best sound. Additionally, this pickup manages to remain small and barely noticeable without affecting the quality of the sound. Finally, this pickup doesn’t require batteries to run and provides two ways of connecting.
Key Considerations When Buying an Acoustic Guitar Pickup
Buying an acoustic guitar pickup may seem like an easy and straightforward task, but in order to get the most out of your buy, it’s important to take certain things into consideration.
- Guitar – The relationship between your pickup and your guitar is a surprisingly delicate one. Buying the right pickup for your guitar model is what will ensure that you will get that smooth and clear tone you’re so desperately looking for.
- Wood – Because the wood in the guitar is responsible for the transference and creation of sound and tone, it should come as no surprise that when buying a guitar pick up the wood is something to take into consideration. Moreover, the vibration of the wood is a vital part of the sound and tone. The pickup needs to be able to receive good feedback to ensure you play well.
- What’s Different – What is it about the sound your guitar puts out now, that puts you off? Knowing what you want to change will help you narrow down your search. Different pickups play different roles and knowing this can help fix the problem you so desperately don’t want to hear.
- Fit – Pickups come in all shapes and sizes, just like guitars. So before you go out and purchase what you think is the perfect solution, make sure it actually has the ability to connect to your guitar and fit in it well.
- Amp – Another relationship to consider the one between your pickup and your amp. Since the amp is going to magnify all the sounds your making, you want to make sure that it’s working well with your pickup. This keeps those sounds clear and smooth.
- Genre/s – Knowing whether you use your guitar for more than one genre or style is also a vital part of pickup picking. Different pickups have different effects, so knowing what type of music your making will let you decide what type of pickup to be using.
How to Choose the Right Acoustic Guitar Pickup
Choosing the right guitar pickup is more than just liking the way it looks. Different pickups serve different needs, so just because one works great, doesn’t mean it’ll be great for you.
- Know What to Ask For – The most important part of this is knowing what to ask for. In this case, language is your strongest tool. If you don’ have the right language to express what you’re looking for correctly, then you’re never going to be able to find it.
- Recognizing the Problem – There is no use in buying something you do not need. So before you march in and demand a brand new pickup, first figure out what problem you are trying to even solve. Having all this information in advance is what will allow you to find the pickup that makes your music sound the way you have always wanted it to.
- Do Your Homework – The same way you wouldn’t walk into a guitar lesson blind, don’t buy your pickup blind. Know what it is you need, how it’s called, how to find it, and most importantly how to avoid mistakes. At the end of the day, it’s you who has to live with whatever decision is made. So, don’t let anyone talk you into buying anything before you know what it means. After all, your pickup, your problem.
- Practice Makes Perfect – Simply, the best way to know if you like something is to test it out. Pickups aren’t obscenely expensive, and installing them really does minimal to no damage to the guitar anyways. So, while it might be tempting to just live with whatever decision you initially made, if you’re looking for the best results, don’t be scared to try try again.
Also Read: 5 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $1500
Types of Acoustic Guitar Pickups
There are four main types of acoustic guitar pickups you should become aware of.
- Transducer Pickup – These pickups most resemble the natural tone of the guitar. It works by responding to the natural vibration of your guitar and strings.
- Piezo Pickups – These pickups sound more synthetic than other pickups. This is because they respond primarily to the strings and not really to the guitar. However, these are great for feedback resistance, making them ideal for big venues.
- Sound Hole Pickups – This pickup is the medium between the two previously mentioned ones. Because it’s placed directly in the sound hole it can have a fairly accurate tone, while still maintaining an electric sound and fighting against unwanted feedback.
- In Body Microphones – These aren’t technically pickups; however many combine them or find that they work just the same. This has an advantage in the sense that it transmits the most accurate acoustic tone. It also runs the risk of picking up the most feedback.
Also Read: Best Acoustic Guitar Cases
Guitar Pickup Lifespan
Generally, the tone of your guitar pickup will not simply change or deteriorate over time. However, there are two things that can change the effect of this accessory.
- Magnet – Magnets don’t necessarily weaken over time, but it can happen. And when it does happen to the one inside your pickup it results in less output and frequency response. This deterioration can come from two things. One is the standard old age clause: when things grow old they don’t work as well anymore. But the second is the result of less than strategic placing. Putting your guitar pickup anywhere near a larger magnet (for example, a speaker) can result in the loss of power in the said magnet.
- Coils – The second thing that can ruin the output of a guitar pickup is the coils. And the coil is generally damaged in two ways. Either the material supporting the coil rusted, disintegrated or broke, which allows for the shift of the coil and results in a loss of quality output. Or, the coil can be bumped and bruised from the dropping of the pickup. When the pickup is dropped, if the coil is not protected by a layer of wax or synthetic – as many aren’t – the coil is likely to shift or become damaged.
Also Read: Best Acoustic Guitar for Beginners
In the end, the guitar is a beautiful instrument, but even top-notch high-end instruments need a little help sometimes. Guitar pickups are an easy way to solve a multitude of guitar playing problems and finding one that best works for you doesn’t have to be a headache. Knowing what you’re looking for and what sound you love is only half the battle, but the results you get are well worth the war.