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Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised

GUEST,Tunesmith 23 Nov 03 - 11:40 AM
Ebbie 23 Nov 03 - 12:44 PM
Dreadnought 23 Nov 03 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,pdq 23 Nov 03 - 01:38 PM
Midchuck 23 Nov 03 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 23 Nov 03 - 01:52 PM
Mooh 23 Nov 03 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 23 Nov 03 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,pdq 23 Nov 03 - 03:29 PM
GUEST,Echo 23 Nov 03 - 03:30 PM
Willie-O 23 Nov 03 - 04:32 PM
Spartacus 23 Nov 03 - 06:18 PM
Spartacus 23 Nov 03 - 06:22 PM
GUEST,Ballyholme 23 Nov 03 - 06:49 PM
Kudzuman 23 Nov 03 - 07:06 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 23 Nov 03 - 08:11 PM
Mooh 23 Nov 03 - 11:49 PM
Ebbie 24 Nov 03 - 01:04 AM
Seamus Kennedy 24 Nov 03 - 02:12 AM
mooman 24 Nov 03 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 24 Nov 03 - 06:05 PM
Songster Bob 24 Nov 03 - 10:13 PM
Ebbie 25 Nov 03 - 01:45 AM
GUEST,Strollin' Johnny 25 Nov 03 - 07:39 AM
dwditty 25 Nov 03 - 08:04 AM
Willie-O 25 Nov 03 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,Wendy M. Grossman 25 Nov 03 - 08:46 AM
GUEST,Strollin' Johnny 25 Nov 03 - 09:05 AM
Midchuck 25 Nov 03 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,Arnie 25 Nov 03 - 10:11 AM
dwditty 25 Nov 03 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Strollin' Johnny 25 Nov 03 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 25 Nov 03 - 10:58 AM
GUEST 09 Nov 04 - 10:52 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Nov 04 - 04:26 AM
chris nightbird childs 10 Nov 04 - 04:33 AM
Pete_Standing 10 Nov 04 - 01:20 PM
Cluin 10 Nov 04 - 02:37 PM
Cluin 10 Nov 04 - 02:40 PM
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Subject: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 11:40 AM

It seems to me many guiatist are living a lie. On one hand, they spend a fortune seeking out their perfect acoustic guitar; the guitar that feels right, looks right, and , most of all, sounds right. And then what do they do? Attached some sort of amplification device which results in a horrble hybrid sound emerging from speakers. I was put in mind of this by Bert Jansch's recent BBC TV performance. Now Bert, at his best is magnificent, but the sound I heard from his guitar on Friday was awlful. And he's not the only one. I once heard a Doc Watson album, and I could believe the poor sound quality of his "plugged in" guitar. I realise that, with Doc's blindness, plugging in makes certain aspects of playing easier i.e. he probably can't use a guitar microphone as effectively as a sighted person, BUT....


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: Ebbie
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 12:44 PM

I know a woman who plays her nice Martin with metal fingerpicks. Frankly, I think I'd have saved myself the money and bought a plywood jobbie.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: Dreadnought
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 01:20 PM

For the gigging guitarist the loss of the more subtle nuances of tone is probably a price worth paying in order to have a simple but effective setup that works well in most venues, especially the more acoustically challenging ones.

However I do agree that if you're going to have your very own TV special you might think of going for a slightly better sound than the "elastic bands on a shoebox" approach that Bert took. I mean it's not as if he's jumping round the stage or having to compete with the juke box in the main bar, is it?


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: GUEST,pdq
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 01:38 PM

Tunesmith...Are you talking about live performance only or is home reproduction included in the discussion? It has taken years to customise my home system for acoustic music, especially guitar. Most transistor receivers and modern speakers turn the fat, brassy sound of a metal string into a tinny shadow of its former self. If the fidelity is not lost in the pickup or recording process, it is usually compromised at home in playback.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: Midchuck
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 01:50 PM

Keep in mind that, as I understand it, Doc Watson was an electric guitarist full-time, as a young adult. He developed all that great fiddle tune flatpicking on electric. When Ralph Rinzler "discovered" him, he convinced him to borrow an acoustic - he didn't own one at that time - to avoid causing folkie purists of the time to flee in panic and revulsion. This was before Dylan emerged at Newport with a Strat, and folkies all decided that electrics were cool.

The Gallagher "Doc Watson" model was developed in response to Doc's request for them to build an acoustic with a neck that had as close as possible to the feel of his old Gibson acoustic.

I suspect Doc prefers the more metallic pickup sound 'cause it's more like what he heard in the old days. Matter of taste.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 01:52 PM

Now, I'm no expert in the amplification of acoustic guitars, and I realise that to hear a guitar on a recording or via a concert sound system must always involve some sort of compromise. But as stated previously, Doc Watson's sound, on the album mentioned, and Bert Janzch's concert setting sound ( a realise, again, of course, that the sound heard at home may have been "tweaked" - for better or worse - by the TV sound people) are very diappointing. Thankfully, it does seem that most bluegrass guitarists and gypsy-jazz players go for the high quality microphone option.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: Mooh
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 02:23 PM

I quite agree. I've heard many a fine player's sound degraded by lousy pickup and/or amplification choices. We've discussed this topic here before, but it continues to be a concern, particularly when there are some better pickups available than what are still commonly used. Even lousy pickups can often be improved by skilled installation. In short, and imho, many solidbody electrics can be made to sound as acoustic as many poorly amplified acoustics. (Reminds me of the story, which might be apocryphal, that Buddy Holly's Strat sound was partly due to being acoustically mic'ed.)

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 02:36 PM

I saw Doc Watson back in 1965 in Manchester, Uk ( Phil Ochs was on the same show)and I was mightyly impressed with his sound. As I was when I first heard him on an album ( Fontana release over here - Vanguard in the States?). The album had Deep River Blues, Sitting on Top of the World, etc. NO, there was nothing wrong with his sound back then.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: GUEST,pdq
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 03:29 PM

Please let us know the exact recording by Doc that seems to be in question. Vinyl or CD version?


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: GUEST,Echo
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 03:30 PM

How good are the speakers in your tv. It would be hard to judge the sound heard by those at the concert on the average crap fitted to a telly.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: Willie-O
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 04:32 PM

Oh, here we go again...you can get excellent sound out of an acoustic guitar with a pickup, it just needs to be a good quality pickup, set up correctly, run through a pre-amp of some kind...in other words, there are more nodes along the signal chain that have to be managed.

And many "pickup" systems either are or include microphones, installed inside the soundbox.

Thanks for your kind way of putting it, Tunesmith, I don't feel I'm living a lie. I have two good guitars. One is the Japanese Lowden I got from Rick Fielding, and it has a humble Fishman piezo pickup in it. I run that through a Fishman Pro-EQ, which was designed to match the pickups they were making then (this is previous-generation stuff), and IT SOUNDS GREAT. Great dynamic range, the highs can shatter glass and the lows are seismic events. I used to do the combination mike-and-pickup thing, which also works well, but I just don't bother anymore with this guitar. (It mikes well, just not necessary now.)

My other guitar, the Martin O-18, sounds like crap with its first-generation Thinline pickup, which was OK in the 80's but has been way superseded now. The solution is not to repent, but to get a better pickup, installed by a sound fanatic. Oskar Graf, master luthier, who set up the Lowden for me, is going to put a B-Band in it--and i expect to be happy.

I have a Peavey E-coustic amplifier, which I would recommend to anyone looking for such a diabolic device. Sounds way better than the popular Fender Acoustasonic.

And yes, I have heard some pretty bad sound coming from good guitarists--but not that often. Being a master includes mastery of the whole signal chain, or knowing whom to entrust with it.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: Spartacus
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 06:18 PM

let me get this straight...you saw bert jansch on bbc, then you heard a doc watson record. this convinced you that having a pickup on an acoustic guitar "compromises" the sound and that anyone who buys an acoustic guitar for the sound is "living a lie" if they use a pickup?
have you ever even played a gig? there are soooo many factors that contribute to the sound you hear as an audience member at a concert, and even more in the studio. i've played the same pickup through the same board with the same speakers in different rooms with entirely different results. in one room i, i sound like elvis. in the next i sound like an old bootleg recorded in a basement. i've used microphones and 3 or four different types of pickups with direct boxes, tube pre-amps, etc.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: Spartacus
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 06:22 PM

oops..wrong button...
anyway...i doubt that bert and doc do thier own sound at a show or in a studio. they probably show up, plug in, and do what they do best.
i'd be surprised to find out that the bad sounds you heard were the result of putting a pickup in an acoustic. i've heard an awful lot of acoustics with pickups, and as long as you spend a little money and learn how to use them, they can sound amazing.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: GUEST,Ballyholme
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 06:49 PM

How right you are, Tunesmith. That horrible "synthetic" sound has been accepted by many guitarists as a satisfactory compromise between a true acoustic sound and an amplified version. However, Martin Carthy is the one notable guitarist who manages to produce a great sound while using a pick-up. I'm not sure of the technical specifications of his set-up but I saw him in two very different venues on his recent tour of the U.S. and the sound was consistently good.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: Kudzuman
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 07:06 PM

Carthy does get a great sound and it can be done. Often I find (and yes I've been gigging for twenty years so I've been there done that) that I encounter sound guys that have run rock and roll or Country Western and think the nasty twangy sound is what everyone wants. I also think buying a top dollar guitar and running it through a pick-up is a kind of useless thing. I had a $200 buck Acoustic/Electric Rogue guitar that had great electronics and sounded quite good if tweaked just right....so why bring out the Goodall or Froggy Bottom and stick a pick-up in it? I have noticed that Tony Rice will not plug in. Neumann mics and leave the sound system EQ at unity and he'll get the tone himself thank you. I also just won't play rowdy bars or stadiums where the sound sucks to begin with. It's just not worth the sacrifice to me. I now always mic with my own condensers and get the sound of the guitars I own and not the sound of electronics that have been tweaked all down the line to get back to the original sound to begin with. Why bother?


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 08:11 PM

Ebbie said:


"I know a woman who plays her nice Martin with metal fingerpicks. Frankly, I think I'd have saved myself the money and bought a plywood jobbie."

Ebbie, if you have a problem with metal fingerpicks, don't use them. No one will hear you, and your fingerpicking won't necessarily be too clean, in my opinion. I have a problem with people who have a problem with metal fingerpicks.

They are OK on a Gibson, Martin, or any other fine guitar.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: Mooh
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 11:49 PM

Yeah well, I haven't plugged in for likely a hundred gigs, other than electric bass. Condenser mics seem to do the job for me, but what the hell, I sit on my ass and don't move much. Nonetheless, I've heard some pleasing pickups, though I'd not characterize them as convincingly acoustic, just pleasing. I can tell the difference and I prefer mics, though I'm not exactly playing Maple Leaf Gardens, just small to medium sized rooms.

I gig with the same guitars I play at home and they were all bought for their unamplified sound, the same sound I want to hear when gigging, and the only way for me to get that is with mics.

I like to watch some of these morning news and public affairs TV programs once in a while and I often hear (sorry, stereo TV) crappy plugged in sound when good sound is only a mic away. By the way, anyone Ontarioans catch Das Macht Show on CityTV last week? They sounded good.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: Ebbie
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 01:04 AM

Martin Gibson, I suppose you play fiddle with metal hairs on your bow? Just asking.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 02:12 AM

If it's good enough for Doc and Bert, it's good enough for me.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: mooman
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 04:16 AM

I think I agree entirely with Willie-O.

I've spend a lot of money recently fitting the best pickup systems I can find to several instruments and, properly amplified through a good PA or dedicated acoustic amplifier, the sound is very close to my acoustic sound only louder and with freedom from being rooted to a microphone. A year or two ago I was a great supporter here of good microphones for acoustic instruments but eventually got tired of sitting or standing immobile! The choice of microphone and placement is also crucial and one is also at the mercy of soundpersons of sometimes questionable ability.

Like Willie-O, I think correct setup and placement is essential and pickup systems have improved vastly in quality over the past couple of years.

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 06:05 PM

Ebbie

Kind of a ridiculous question on your part.

I don't play fiddle, but my son does. There are no metal haired bows, but there are metal fingerpicks for guitar for people who like to be heard and like a crisp sound to their notes. I play guitar and banjo with metal fingerpicks. I play upright and electric bass with my fingers. I sing with my mouth and vocal chords.

Just tellin' ya.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: Songster Bob
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 10:13 PM

Finger picks, whether metal or plastic, take getting used to, so if your only experience has been someone just getting started on using 'em, you'll have a different experience from the guy who's used 'em for years. And if you still don't like the tone, go with plain fingers,

AND PLUG IN! For most situations where volume is needed, you will have to do something more than using bare fingers on nylon or steel strings, and you can do it from the fingers (picks) or the guitar (mics or pickups).

I suspect that many, many of the guitar recordings you know and love involve finger and/or thumb picks, and some of them, particularly the "live" recordings, involved pickups. And ANY recording requires the use of microphones, to be sure.

Bob

PS -- my main guitar has a three-point system, one piezo pickup and two internal mics, and it's still hard to get a good balance out of it, though when you do, it's like a 12' guitar that you're playing inside of!


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: Ebbie
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 01:45 AM

Martin Gibson, that was meant to be a ridiculous question.

Incidentally I don't feel strongly against metal picks on steel strings- but I wonder if the people who use them notice a difference between a cheapo versus a good 'un?


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: GUEST,Strollin' Johnny
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 07:39 AM

Ebbie - 'sound' is a personal thing. What 'sounds' good to one guy may well 'sound' crap to another. Like the others have said, people use finger and/or thumbpicks for various reasons - volume, clarity, a particular tone, or whatever. In my case I used to use them because my nails are very thin and tear easily, and without the 'nail' element on a steel-strung guitar it's difficult to get that nice 'ping' and there's no volume without amplification.

I've used steel and plastic picks on a variety of guitars, from a £100 Yamaha to a £2K Martin and one thing's for sure - a quality guitar played with picks still sounds better than a cheapo.

My current guitars are a Lowden O25 and a Martin J-40 and they sound damn fine with or without picks. However you'll be pleased to know that nowadays I have fibreglass extensions on three nails on my right hand so I don't need the picks any more. The main advantage of falsies is that (a) no more picks dropping off during a song and (b) less pratting about getting them on securely when I stand up to play.

Incidentally, I know a young female blues singer, Emily Druce, who uses metal picks with an old Martin (I think it's an 000-28) and it sounds wonderful. It's a personal thang :-)

Pax,
Johnny


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: dwditty
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 08:04 AM

If I had to describe what goes on in a folk musicians' forum, this thread would be it! : )


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: Willie-O
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 08:22 AM

Hey Midchuck, what kind of electric did Doc play in the 50's? And did you mean to say he asked Gallagher to design a neck like a Gibson electric? A Les Paul comes to mind for some reason...

Reminds me of great deals I stupidly passed up...there was a luthier at Winnipeg Folk Fest a few years ago who was in the midst of a divorce settlement--needed quick cash to split with his ex. He had a very nice new dreadnought with a thin electric-feeling neck, and was selling it for 50% off--a mere $600 Cdn. I felt a bout of GAS coming on strong, but tragically we were too broke for even that much.

I will allow there is one brand of electric-acoustic that a lot of acoustic players tried and liked, but I never warmed up to--the Godin Acousticaster. Seems like the electronics in it go funky after awhile--one Canadian performer in particular, a good player but with a very strong attack, I've heard getting a particularly horrible sound out of it, like a bad garage band doing Black Sabbath.

So Tunesmith if you're still reading, what is this Doc Watson album that bothered you so, was it live? I've only ever been totally thrilled with the times I've seen him perform in concert. Once with Merle (classic), once with Sam Bush (satori) and once with Bill Monroe (nirvana).

And I also disagree with your suggestion that he couldn't use a microphone effectively because he can't see it. As anyone who ever met him knows, Doc is both a musical genius and a supremely sensitive--as in, he sees with his ears, and leads with his heart--human being. I met him in a crowded dressing room and he was aware of everyone there, and making a point of graciously acknowledging each of us earnest young folkies. If he wanted to mike his guitar he would listen to the monitors to position it effectively.

Regards,
Willie-O


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: GUEST,Wendy M. Grossman
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 08:46 AM

I've used metal fingerpicks all my playing life, first on the Tama I had until 1984 (yes. I know. But it sounded great), and then on the Taylor jumbo I've had ever since (ditto). The only difference I can tell is whether I'm playing cleanly or not. If I am, you shouldn't notice the picks. However, cheaper ones tend to be made of thinner metal, and that is an issue if only because they are more vulnerable to shape changes -- I want the picks to stay exactly the same size and shape I've tortured them into.

That said, as part of this revival I've switched to a nylon pick on the banjo, because it *does* seem to me to have a warmer sound, and unfortunately I'm not playing cleanly enough (yet) to avoid metal clashing. Also makes it easier to identify the banjo fingerpick, of course. :)

wg


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: GUEST,Strollin' Johnny
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 09:05 AM

dwditty - and your point is.......?? :-)


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: Midchuck
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 09:46 AM

Hey Midchuck, what kind of electric did Doc play in the 50's? And did you mean to say he asked Gallagher to design a neck like a Gibson electric? A Les Paul comes to mind for some reason...

I believe it was a Les Paul - I'm trying to remember from what he told me in the back room of the Club 47 in 1965 or so - but I have since read in other sources that, yes, he asked Gallagher to come as close as they could to the "feel" of his old electric.

P.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: GUEST,Arnie
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 10:11 AM

When I saw Martin Carthy play a few years back he has some sort of condenser mike hanging from the soundhole in his Martin guitar. Great sound!! so I asked him what it was. He said a $50.00 Radio Shack tie clip condenser mike -uses it's own little battery and was not plugged into any pre-amp. I was surprised to say the least and I went out and bought one. I play banjo and I can slip this mike easily on the tailpiece, plug it into a switchbox tuner, and right into the D.I. or sound board. After e.q./sound check -it sounds really quite good and quite natural on its own, or in combination with a regular mike, and the tuner works great with this mike too, which is so important for us hard done banjo players. Rick Fielding once told me that the technology is the same in this mike as the more expensive condenser mikes on the market. Anybody know about this?


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: dwditty
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 10:11 AM

My point is that all of this seems to me to be a matter of opinion. I don't use picks (I tried, but half the time I could never find them.), but I am certainly not bothered by those that do. I use a pickup when I play out (Fishman Rare Earth Blend) and it sounds ok to me - not much different than a mic as it has a condensor mic built in. Mic'd or amplified, it doesn't sound the same as it does moving the air all by itself. I have a nice guitar that sounds good in my living room, and sounds better with a pick up than my cheapy does. But all this is just me. Libba Cotten played upside down fer krissake. Fahey used picks. Kelly Jose Phelps plays the dern thing layin down flat. But they all manage(d) to put a song across. Compromise, indeed.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: GUEST,Strollin' Johnny
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 10:41 AM

Agree absolutely - you've expressed my view a different way. Nothing wrong with interested parties exchanging views and/or experiences - I thought that's what this Forum is for? :-)


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 10:58 AM

Ebbie

It sure sounded like you were against using metal finger picks from your first post. I can't pick up on any other point you were trying to make.

As far as cheap vs. good guitars, a good guitar can make a weaker player sound somewhat better, a good player sound a lot better.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 10:52 PM

I use Sunrise Pickups - as well as Kelly Joe Phelps. He has a Herringbone D-28 (HD-28) with a straight plug in and no mic backup. Sounds fantastic. Saw him at Hugh's Room in Toronto. Sunrise pickups are vastly underrated. They are soundhole mountable and you can individually set each pole piece and get your own personal balance. Mics are just a feedback nightmare unless you play festivals or nice theatres with good soundpeople. You need one hell of a good condenser to effectively mic a bluegrass band, for instance. The best thing about the sunrise is I bought three seperate install kits and switch the sunrise from guitar to guitar - depending on what guitar I want or need to use live.

Doc Watson still owns a Les Paul - a Google search will uncover that. On Doc and Merle live he used mics - you can see it in the picture on the cover. This was my favorite Doc Watson/Merle Watson record.

As far as fingerpicks goes - my fingertips are as hard as metal so I don't use them!
Cheers,
Grababanjo


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Nov 04 - 04:26 AM

Its one of these things. I think most non guitarists would never believe how much of a human life can be spent obsessing on this subject.

Strangely enough I would say Martin Carthy is the one guitarist very few of his fans and audience know and appreciate about his technique. I 'd seen him half a dozen times in folk clubs, and it was only when he borrowed my nail scissors that I realised that he kept one finger free and the nail long on his fretting hand to do pull offs. A divergent thinker or what...?

And his recordings do not dramatise and illustrate the strange technique - not in the way that many Flamenco guitarists do. I'm thinking here of manuel de Cano. He uses some sort of reverb to enhance the dynamics of the guitar.

I feel pretty sure in my own mind that Django moved over to the electric guitar because he was stuck with audiences that wouldn't shut up. And to my mind he was perhaps the greatest acoustic guitarist in history.

In a way Carthy can be so casual about his choice of guitar and pickup because of the reverence he is accorded. He has honed his technique in English folk clubs where the audiences are very quiet and attentive to him, but even they have still missed out on the sublety of what he does. For example I have seen a dozen articles about him without ever seeing this fact about his fretting hand alluded to.

For the rest of us, its a never ending puzzle. My latest acquisition - the variax acoustic is the latest chapter in my personal odyssey in this never ending struggle. I also still use a Yamaha CPX8 which has an internal microphone which you can mix with a piezo system.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 10 Nov 04 - 04:33 AM

Martin Carthy I'm not, but I usually use the nail on my index finger. I started out of necessity, because I would be constantly dropping my pick. So I just stopped picking it up, and grew my nail out.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 10 Nov 04 - 01:20 PM

I've heard Martin Carthy and Martin Simpson many times plugged in through a PA and both sounded fine and natural. Pick up systems have developed lots over the years and so have PA systems. When I listened to the recent June Tabor concert on BBC4, I was not impressed by the sound or balance of the instruments through the TV, but listening again later hooked up to a hi-fi, it was quite different. Simpson's accompaniment to June's singing on Strange Affair was really beautiful.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: Cluin
Date: 10 Nov 04 - 02:37 PM

Best "plugged-in" sound (and I've heard many excellent ones) of an acoustic guitar I ever heard was from Ian Tamblyn. I asked him about it and he told me it was a hyper-cardiod mic attached to the inside back of thje guitar. He said he got the method from Neil Young. It sounded crisp and clear as well as deep and full. But I don't know how he beat the feedback problem.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Sound Compromised
From: Cluin
Date: 10 Nov 04 - 02:40 PM

Forgot to mention the above was IMO. We all have our own idea of the sound we'd like to hear an amplified acoustic guitar to have. A miked guitar usually fits the bill, soundwise, but it doesn't always work, nor is the application always an option.


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Mudcat time: 10 August 10:32 PM EDT

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