Classic pickup question

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Classic pickup question

Postby amdyck » Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:08 pm

There are 2 recordings on this clip. The second is from the record "Me and My Guitar"
You will note the difference in the sound depth etc. Although I don't need anything approaching this sound, which is obviously a sound engineering feat, I would like to know if anyone has knowledge of a classical guitar pickup that can produce some of that deeper "resonance" that was not perceivable on the "PoP Goes Country" stage portion of the clip.

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Re: Classic pickup question

Postby craigdobbins » Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:31 pm


I wasn't there, so this is just an educated guess. My ear "tells me" that this is a combination of mic and pickup. I can hear both the extra depth of a pickup and the "air" of a mic.

Now, for some facts: At this time, Chet recorded quite a bit with an an Estruch classic fitted with a Baldwin Prismatone pickup. (He used this on Struttin', from the same LP.) Chet used many mics during his career, but he is on record as saying that he liked the Neumann KM84 for recording classicals. This mic was readily available during this time (mid/late 1970's), so I would vote for a combination of Estruch with Prismatone, and one or more KM84 mic(s). Of course, there is some very nice EQ and reverb, possibly EMT plate reverb- the real deal.


P.S. Chet used John Knowles' guitar on the show. I didn't notice what the mic was, but ElectroVoice RE-15 mics were common in broadcasting at that time. They were ported on the side to minimize the proximity effect or boominess.
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Re: Classic pickup question

Postby John Knowles » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:01 pm


I hadn't seen that Pop Goes The Country clip in a long time. Thanks.

I was visiting Chet and he borrowed my Kohno Model 20 for performances of Vincent and the Entertainer. My guitar didn't have a pickup and I'm with Craig on that mic being an ElectroVoice, probably RE-15. The mic seems to be positioned out from the sound hole but it's hard to tell for sure in that clip.

By the time Chet recorded Vincent, I had seen him mic my classical with a single KM-84. He positioned it about arms length out from the 12th fret. At that distance, there was not too much proximity effect. I didn't see Chet record Vincent but I would guess he used the pickup and a KM-84 as Craig is hearing. Chet told me he liked to use a single mic and two plate reverbs that he had in his basement studio. He said that way the guitar is mono and the room is stereo. I'd never heard anyone say that. Of course, one mic also avoids phase effects that you can get with two or more mics.

John Knowles
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Re: Classic pickup question

Postby BillB » Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:31 am

That may be one of the all-time great recordings done on a classical guitar. It's just wonderful!

Bill B.
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Re: Classic pickup question

Postby amdyck » Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:47 pm

Thanks guys,

I guess I will go for trying a pickup first (I'll check out the Baldwin) and see how my little Kustom tube 12 amp reacts to it. Another recording comes to mind where that deep resonance is evident and that is: "Streets of Laredo" on his '61 LP "The Other Chet Atkins". To possibly achieve something approaching this sound with either a pickup or a contact mic intrigues me.

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