How to amplify a classical guitar

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How to amplify a classical guitar

Postby t hollifield » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:22 pm

Hello, I need some suggestions on my classical guitar.I have a takamine ec132c. It sounds good unplugged but when it's plugged in the top 3 bass strings don't sound clear,they're fuzzy sounding.I've tried it thru my deluxe reissue,a princeton,a champ and a musicman 112-rd50, none of them sound good with the classical.Do I need another type of guitar maybe with a prismatone setup,if so where can I find one.I hope this post makes sense,this is my first one on the new Chetboard ,I posted it in the wrong place the first time.I 've played electric for years, but in my old age I,m trying to play more on nylon string guitars.I've got the Chet Atkins in three dimensions by John McClellan,His tones on all the guitars he's playing is really great, also he is a great teacher and muscian,I recomend his dvd's.So this is the type music I'm trying to learn,all suggestions appreciated. Thanks' Terry Hollifield
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Re: How to amplify a classical guitar

Postby bill park » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:45 am

Terry -
Have you tried a fresh, new 9-volt battery in the preamp?
Bill
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Re: How to amplify a classical guitar

Postby BillB » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:49 am

Terry,
I have the same Takamine that you have, and I have been real fond of the pickup that it has. It's basically a strip under the bridge similar to the old Martin Thinline pickup. I had trouble with low output on the high E, and it was because the strip had shifted towards the bass side when I did a string change. In fact, it happened again the last time I changed strings and forgot to check it. It's pretty loud and can be overly sensitive on the trebles, and I find that it can be somewhat difficult to properly EQ. I have had some success with my Music Man RD-112 Fifty and an old Carvin tube amp, but it's never been the sound that I'd like to have. Having said that, I have not tried it with a good acoustic amplifier. So, that may be the key. When I bought mine, it was the same guitar that Charlie Byrd was using for his plug-in guitar. Mark Casstevens also plays one and seems to like it just fine. For me, it may just be a combination of bad technique and properly EQing the guitar and amp. I do wish it had a Prismatone, but I don't want to modify this guitar. I'm more likely to buy a cheap Yamaha or other nylon string guitar to do that with.

I also agree with what Bill Park is saying. That problem with the bass strings could certainly be related to a weak battery.

Bill B.
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ec132c Takamine tone

Postby t hollifield » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:02 am

Hello Bill and Bill,Yes,I put a new battery in,I haven't tried an acoustic amp yet but I think an acoustic amp would make the tone I've got more distinct. I think I need a different type of guitar. I'm willing to find something else but music stores around here don't have many choices.I live close to Spartanburg S.C. I had a Yamaha with the blender system,(a mike plus an under the saddle pickup) and it worked good plugged up but was a little thin sounding unplugged.I would like to know if it's possible to buy one with a prismatone setup without having to buy all the parts to build one.Thanks for taking your time to help.Terry Hollifield
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Re: ec132c Takamine tone

Postby bill park » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:58 pm

t hollifield wrote:I would like to know if it's possible to buy one with a prismatone setup without having to buy all the parts to build one.

Terry -
Keith Adams (Bonnie, Illinois) has made a couple outstanding 'Gibson Studio-type' guitars using Sam Kennedy's new Prismatone. Kirk Sand's 'Paul Yandell model' and Mel McCullough's 'Clawmaster' use the Prismatone also. Those are the only builders I know of that are using it on new instruments (most others have retrofitted to existing guitars).
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Re: How to amplify a classical guitar

Postby t hollfield » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:10 pm

Hello/Bill Park,Thanks for the infomation,
i will check into this.also I might putting a blender system in the Takamine.I think the noise is coming from the saddle pickup,so hopefully the other type system will be better.Thanks,Terry Hollifield
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Re: How to amplify a classical guitar

Postby Vidar Lund » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:07 pm

Terry, does the fuzzyness of the bass strings sound like the sound (output) is too strong or overdriven? You may want to try a compressor unit to check it.
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Re: How to amplify a classical guitar

Postby t hollifield » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:06 am

Hello Vidar,I tried the compressor and it didn't make any difference but I think maybe I've found somthing.I like to experiment on making guitars play better,most of my experience has been on electric guitars,but now I'm interested in acoustic guitars and its different.I had lowered the action at the bridge and also at the nut,I have raised the clearence at the nut the thickness card and it's better now.I'm also thinking about dressing the frets a little bit so hopefully it will stop the little bit of noise that I still hear.I understand the bass strings on a classical won't be as clear as an electric but I want it as clear as possible.Thanks for the suggestions,also to Bill Park and Bill P.Terry Hollifield
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Re: How to amplify a classical guitar

Postby t hollifield » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:10 am

Vidar,I meant to say raised the nut the thickness of a business card. Thanks Terry H.
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