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  1. #1

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    Hey everyone,

    I posted earlier about how much more I like my Ibanez AF71F with its wood bridge. I really like the acoustic sound. I would like to be able to get an acoustic sound through an amp. I have this guitar strung with electric strings so it does get that nice warm classic jazz sound going through a guitar amp or acoustic amp. Has anyone tried using an archtop or hollow body guitar with an acoustic guitar simulator pedal going into an acoustic amp? I talked to my mentor Bruce Forman about transducers and he said that in his experience, they pick up all the wrong frequencies acoustically.

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  3. #2

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    There are different sorts of acoustic transducers for an archtop. There is the piezo bridge made by Fishman, a couple of different styles from K&K (Definity, Archtop/acoustic bass pickup), and others I'm not familiar with like Schertler and Schatten. They can sound anywhere from awful to pretty good depending on installation, quality of amplification, and EQ. Not to mention the guitar itself. They are limited in getting a broad, flat response like a microphone and need a lot of EQ. And complex, automated EQ is what acoustic processors do taking the narrow window the transducer sees and boosting/cutting to sound like what a mic picks up.

    That being said, not all hollowbody archtop guitars are designed to be acoustic instruments. The Ibanez AF71F will likely always be better at the electric jazz sounds.

  4. #3

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    My thoughts: you are far better off getting a Bartlett Audio Guitar Mike (condenser) and a Grace Audio Alix/Felix preamp or something that looks very interesting called an NV Tone.

    Bartlett Mandolin Mic - Bartlett Audio (The Mandolin Mic is recommended for archtop guitars.)


    NV Tone | Internal microphone system for your guitar

    Acoustic Simulator pedals or effects boxes are a waste of money. Novel in its day but way past its sellby date.

  5. #4

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    The only (half) decent acoustic guitar sound I've achieved with an electric guitar through a pedal is via the Roland GR-55.... but that's an overkill approach for a (half) acceptable solution.
    In free-standing classic pedals the Mooer MAC1 Akoustikar produces less background noise than most (a common fault with acoustic simulator pedals) and may be worth looking at. Plenty of Youtube videos out there of the various pedals currently available......

  6. #5

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    [QUOTE=Acoustic Simulator pedals or effects boxes are a waste of money. Novel in its day but way past its sellby date.[/QUOTE]

    Ah. I was thinking something like an Audio Sprockets ToneDexter. Never gave a simulator much thought.

    The Bartlett is interesting. Main complaint seems to be a mount that transfers too much body noise. Don't think I generate all that much body noise so should be OK. Thing is.. DPA4099 buy once / cry once or try the Bartlett. Calculating..

  7. #6

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    My transducer recipe for archtops, whether laminate or solid is still the same - K&K Big Twins on the inside of the top under each bridge foot area mounted with superglue gel. For high volume a notch filter can be handy but you can live without a pre amp. That said every guitar is different so something like a stethoscope or a transducer connected to head phones through amp etc.... can let you hear the the different transducer locations before you glue things down. Finding the sweet spots can be fun. If you are lazy refer to the beginning of the paragraph.

    I'm not going to say your teacher is wrong because there are many different types of transducers and some may seem like they are amplifying the wrong things. A graphic eq comes in handy there for subtracting the frequencies you don't want. This was especially true in the days when a transducer was expected to work on anything, now applications have gotten more refined.

    High output is good, many talk about transducer quack but it is often the glassy tone added by a preamp that creates a frequency spike. Early on active electronics often had that effect, a Gibson RD with humbuckers had the ice pick effect. On the flip side if you are in a thick mix the definition can focus your sound. Ensemble and solo take different sounds, a good installation can cover the bases.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjang1993
    Hey everyone,

    I posted earlier about how much more I like my Ibanez AF71F with its wood bridge. I really like the acoustic sound. I would like to be able to get an acoustic sound through an amp. I have this guitar strung with electric strings so it does get that nice warm classic jazz sound going through a guitar amp or acoustic amp. Has anyone tried using an archtop or hollow body guitar with an acoustic guitar simulator pedal going into an acoustic amp? I talked to my mentor Bruce Forman about transducers and he said that in his experience, they pick up all the wrong frequencies acoustically.
    I have done exactly this. Sounds good for rhythm.

    The best piezo I’ve used for archtop is the K&K definity which does a decent job, but not better than a nice acoustically voiced magnetic pickup like the Krivo Micro Manouche (which is brilliant for a non pickup archtop like a Loar or a Godin 5th ave.)

    Also experimenting with piezos through the Tonedexter acoustic IR pedal which isn’t bad. I feel it benefits from certain pickup types and the Definity isn’t quite right for it.

  9. #8

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    I’d actually suggest looking into hybrid electric/acoustic stage guitars that have a piezo built in, such as the Godin A6 or the Taylor T5. None of these are archtops, but they deliver great hybrid jazz tones.

  10. #9

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    Don’t forget the Yamaha AEX1500. Piezo and magnetic pickup in a nice package. I really like mine. Unfortunately not sold anymore, but plenty around.


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  11. #10

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    For a cheap experiment, try to get a hold on a Boss acoustic simulation pedal or something similar, they are pretty cheap used. I found it very usable and easy to get good tones from. I actually prefer it from systems like the graph tech ghost etc, definitely prefer it rather then modifying guitars etc.

    These sounds are great when you have a gig that needs switching from electric to acoustic a lot, and you don't focus on the guitar, so looks and 100% of the sound aren't needed.

    You can get such a sound from an archtop either with installing a piezo, or using a pedal. But there's no guarantee that it will be noteworthy.

  12. #11

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    What actually is an acoustic sim - does anyone know? Is it mostly EQ or is there more to it?

  13. #12

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    The TC Body Rez is an excellent pedal to improve a piezo sound (and cheap) - it deals mostly with EQ and compression. And despite all the criticism, piezo pickups have improved a lot since they appeared.

  14. #13

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    Piezo pickups have improved but.... There are a couple different approaches. Under the top mounts amplify the top plate sound under the bridge influenced by the body, like a microphone a good sounding guitar is important, it may not be loud but how does it sound? If the answer isn't "Good !" a bridge transducer with preamp might be a better choice. Here the strings and electronics do more of the work. One advantage is being uncoupled from the resonating chamber a bit results in less feedback. The trade off is less of the guitars natural sound comes through .... now if the guitar in question plinks like a Les Paul you may be ahead and various bridges have been made for them and Strats etc...

  15. #14

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    Generally I find there is a trade off between feedback resistance and sonic fidelity... A DPA mic sounds beautiful but is obviously more susceptible to feedback than a magnetic pickup. A piezo is somewhere in between; underbidge is more feedback resistant than soundboard, but also lacks 'body' and 'depth' to the sound.

    The IR's and acoustic sim type pedals are perhaps a way past this impasse.

  16. #15
    Hey guys, I have some news to report back. So where I am in Nice, France all the music shops are closed so I can't go in and try any pedals. However, I have an iRig HD2 that I predominantly use for recording. Of course it does effects modelling and things like that. There is an acoustic simulator pedal feature and I was able to get some cool sounds out of that. I'm really curious to see how things would sound if I got my hands on a Boss acoustic simulator.

    For these transducers, if you can find a sweet spot, I assume it would be a good deal of soldering to get it connected to the pick guard mounted volume knob. My guitar has a volume and tone but I always keep the tone knob all the way up so I wonder if there lies a way, if I installed a transducer, to have it go through the tone knob potentiometer.

    It's more I'm a bind, I've grown a little too comfortable and for lack of better terms complacent with the dark Wes Montgomery L5 into a Fender sound and want to go for something in a different direction tone wise as I also compose more of my own originals too. I know for the fact that the more electric sounds à la Kurt Rosenwinkel and Mike Moreno is not up my alley.

  17. #16

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    I think it’s good to experiment.

  18. #17

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    The Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator pedal uses digital modeling. Its target market is the rock player who occasionally needs to switch to an acoustic type sound. The official demo isn’t especially convincing as an acoustic guitar, and it’s unlikely to reproduce anything like the true acoustic voice of your instrument, which I think is what the OP was looking for.

  19. #18

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    I honestly think if you want a hybrid acoustic sound something like a Taylor T5 or a Godin steel string hybrid (like the A6 and I think even some of the more electric models) might be a better bet.

    I even played a PRS with a very good bridge piezo. They are out there....

  20. #19

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    I bought meself a Godin Multiac Encore Nylon 7-string on Monday last. I had read about Fep and jazzgtrs14's Godins, got intrigued, found a B-Stock for $815 shipped, and voila. Found out about the Godin Duet Ambiance; that one comes with 4 Fishman microphone IRs and I thought the samples sounded great. This led me to (re)discover an eleven-year old pedal, the Fishman Aura Spectrum DI.

    I think the Fishman Aura Spectrum DI could work well in your application set to Mix 100% i.e. no dry signal mix. The microphone-guitar IRs sound pretty convincing to me ears. The Fishman Aura Spectrum DI library may not-have not examined it-have any archtop-microphone IRs but with a good parametric eq pedal inline you could come up with a pleasing acoustic steel or nylon string impulse response. There is a huge library of guitar makes and body styles with IRs captured with 16 expensive condenser microphones.

    Digging around in my box of tricks I found the iRig Acoustic Stage that I bought in February. I had forgotten about it. That works a treat amplifying the strings of your archtop for an acoustic steel-string tone. The MEM microphone is pleasing to the ears with no nasties. I jerryrig it to a suction cup with an M4 thread and stick it on the pickguard with the help of a Grafix vinyl square.

    PS I thought about the Tonedexter. The Tonedexter has Yamaha Silent Guitar Wave Maps but there are only two so it is limiting in that sense. The Godin Encore has little acoustic output. Thus, it is useless for capturing my own Wave Maps/IRs for the Godin Encore with my microphones. The Wave Maps will sound exactly like what the microphones hear: a chambered solidbody nylon plinky sound.
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 11-05-2020 at 08:18 PM.

  21. #20

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    The OP confuses me.
    Do you want to amplify the acoustic voice of the specific guitar you say you like, or are you just looking for a generic acoustic guitar sound?
    Do you want an acoustic sound from a magnetic pickup, or are you looking for another type of transducer (i.e., piezo or microphone)?
    Do you want to consider other guitars?

  22. #21

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    This has all made me realize that the market just needs 1 pedal, a sampler! Yes you record however many samples of your (acoustic, hollow body, instrument run over by the cab, anything!) and play it as loud as you want without feedback. This is doable, call your pedal reps now people!

    It isn't a bad idea, getting the properties you want etc.... I get what I like from the actual guitar from transducers and enjoy the added dynamic response, what your hands actually do is readily apparent. A transducer tends to be more sensitive than an actual acoustic which will make you focus on the sound production. A humbucker or single coil tends to temper things a bit on the magnetic end. There really aren't magic wands but different approaches will make you focus on sound production, having the sound you want can make it easier. Getting the sound that you want out of what is handy is the knack of a master.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    I bought meself a Godin Multiac Encore Nylon 7-string on Monday last. I had read about Fep and jazzgtrs14's Godins, got intrigued, found a B-Stock for $815 shipped, and voila. Found out about the Godin Duet Ambiance; that one comes with 4 Fishman microphone IRs and I thought the samples sounded great. This led me to (re)discover an eleven-year old pedal, the Fishman Aura Spectrum DI.

    I think the Fishman Aura Spectrum DI could work well in your application set to Mix 100% i.e. no dry signal mix. The microphone-guitar IRs sound pretty convincing to me ears. The Fishman Aura Spectrum DI library may not-have not examined it-have any archtop-microphone IRs but with a good parametric eq pedal inline you could come up with a pleasing acoustic steel or nylon string impulse response. There is a huge library of guitar makes and body styles with IRs captured with 16 expensive condenser microphones.

    Digging around in my box of tricks I found the iRig Acoustic Stage that I bought in February. I had forgotten about it. That works a treat amplifying the strings of your archtop for an acoustic steel-string tone. The MEM microphone is pleasing to the ears with no nasties. I jerryrig it to a suction cup with an M4 thread and stick it on the pickguard with the help of a Grafix vinyl square.

    PS I thought about the Tonedexter. The Tonedexter has Yamaha Silent Guitar Wave Maps but there are only two so it is limiting in that sense. The Godin Encore has little acoustic output. Thus, it is useless for capturing my own Wave Maps/IRs for the Godin Encore with my microphones. The Wave Maps will sound exactly like what the microphones hear: a chambered solidbody nylon plinky sound.
    The Tonedexter sounds really good if you have the right pickup type. Undersaddle piezo is best in my experience so far. More sound board oriented pickup types (like K&K's) don't work quite so well... but they still sound good.

    I've used it a couple of times and just been blown away by how good it is live.

    Get this - you can have a cheap acoustic with a cheap pickup, or a silent guitar or multiac type instrument and model it on a Martin with a Neumann or whatever. I think Audiosprockets have IR's for Yamaha silent violin and cello you can download and they sound stunning. Maybe for guitar too? Don't know tbh. They are missing a trick if not.

    BTW setting up the IRs is not like recording a guitar. The guitar's own tone does enter into it and it's kind of a different thing. In practice I forget which patches are which and just run through them until I find one I like the most. Which might vary from room to room, mix to mix.

    Not tried the Fishman unit. Was more limited for me because of its lack of archtop or macaferri patches.

  24. #23

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  25. #24

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    OP - There is a broad spectrum of what 'acoustic' sounds like when it comes to archtops even before you get to the discussion on how to amplify. Everything from the thin dry punch of early Epiphones to the lush (and un-affordable) sounds of a modern Monteleone. One of the hardest things is figuring out requirements/needs/wants. Lots of times we don't know what we want until it hits us in the face and turns out to be not even what we thought we wanted.

    Last edited by Spook410; 11-06-2020 at 03:05 PM.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    The Tonedexter sounds really good if you have the right pickup type. Undersaddle piezo is best in my experience ,,
    Which piezo are you using? The Fishman piezo bridge? The Tonedexter doesn't work very well with the Sunrise magnetic I'm using on an oval hole archtop as you would expect. Since the Tonedexter takes the pickup input then adds/subtracts based on the acoustic instrument don't think alternative Tonedexter wave maps would be applicable.
    Last edited by Spook410; 11-06-2020 at 03:21 PM.

  27. #26

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    No I don't think they recommend a magnetic with the TD. I'm using a very basic bridge piezo on my flattops (Fishman IIRC) and that works GREAT.

    K&K Definity, still good, but not quite so awesome, perhaps because the Definity is already a pretty decent sounding pickup IMO, so you notice less of an improvement. Here's a demo of the latter on a gypsy jazz guitar:



    I'm not so happy with it on an archtop TBH. But the Krivo is great for that so meh. I reckon the TD work really well with something like a Fishman or Schertler bridge archtop pickup.

    Ultimately it depends what you want.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    Which piezo are you using? The Fishman piezo bridge? The Tonedexter doesn't work very well with the Sunrise magnetic I'm using on an oval hole archtop as you would expect. Since the Tonedexter takes the pickup input then adds/subtracts based on the acoustic instrument don't think alternative Tonedexter wave maps would be applicable.
    BTW, you can use what ever Wavemaps sound good. Sometimes I forget which one is which and just go with what seems best in the room etc.

    You won't get a gypsy guitar to sound like a flat top or vice versa... it's more like resonance and EQ info. It's good to play around with it.