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Is Martin A Piece Of Crap?


aframe9999

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I doubt it. But here's my question:

 

I'm looking for a recommendation for an acoustic/electric for gigging. it will be run through the PA with a full band almost exclusively. I'd like to get something that has a thin profile with a cutaway. all this for around $800.

 

I played a Martin that is made out of some kind of composite/laminate stuff. It looks almost like formica???????? has anyone every seen this thing? Strangely enough, it plays and sound pretty decent. Fishman active. It was only $560 at guitar center.

 

What kind of guitar would you recommend?

 

What are the best kind of electronics to have?

 

your opinions are greatly apprecitated........ http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif

 

 

AF

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Haven't heard of Martins made of composite or laminate...Martin's a top flight name, lately they've been selling some more-inexpensive models, but haven't heard of composites being used. A company called "Rainsong" uses some sort of graphite or something, supposedly "earth-friendly wood alternatives".

 

Thinline cutaway...I don't know, there are quite a few. Try a couple out at your local store and see whatcha think...I've seen quite a few pickers in country circles playing Yamahas. I myself play a Guild. Fender's got a "Stratacoustic"...really thinline. But there are a ton of brands.

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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Takimine makes some good thin line guits with cutaways that you should be able to get in that price range, I have one and have been very pleased with it. It is a great guitar, really sharp looking, and it plays GREAT. Martin is a top notch guitar though, I wouldn't shy from getting one if I liked the tone and it had good action.

 

IMO Piezo pickups SUCK, unforunately that's what most acoustic/electrics come with. I think about the only other option, other than micing your guitar, is a Magnetic soundhole pickup. I haven't played a guitar with one but I've been told they sound much better than a Piezo. If I ever do more acoustic work live I'll have to check this option out for myself.

 

One thing I would also suggest is to consider getting a good acoustic amp. A good acoustic amp can make a good guitar sound great, and a great guitar sound brilliant, and you can get one for a fairly reasonable price these days. A lot of them also come with a notch filter to help control feedback, the arch enemy of electric/acoustic guitars in a live situation. They also sell plugs that you can put into the soundhole to help prevent feedback.

 

This message has been edited by Stratman on 03-22-2001 at 09:01 PM

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Originally posted by Stratman:

IMO Piezo pickups SUCK, unforunately that's what most acoustic/electrics come with. I think about the only other option, other than micing your guitar, is a Magnetic soundhole pickup. I haven't played a guitar with one but I've been told they sound much better than a Piezo. If I ever do more acoustic work live I'll have to check this option out for myself.

 

Are you serious? Every guitarist I can think of that plays live (I'm thinking pros) use a piezo pickup, with the exception of James Taylor and others like him who mic the guitar, or Willie Nelson, who uses a soundhole pickup, but then, look at his guitar! Soundhole pickups rarely sound natural! Perhaps you haven't tried anything of halfway decent quality, but the entire music industry seems to prefer the piezo route... maybe we're all wrong?

Bill Murphy

www.murphonics.com

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I've got an acoustic that i use a magnetic soundhole pickup with. Dean Markley Pro Mag. I HATE that thing!!! (only my opinion of course) The tone is horrible and the strings aren't picked up evenly. plus no way to control volume, EQ from the guitar. That's the whole reason I'm trying to find something else.

 

Anyhoo, Thanks for the advice gang! excellent as usual...

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There's a TON of new equipment out there for you live

acoustic players. I was in same search 4 years ago.

For straight piezo (passive), the Peavey Ecoustic 112

stage amp is excellent. Run direct out to house PA.

Taylor, Takamine, Alvarez, Yamaha and others make

entry-level models with various on-board active pre-

amps with some eq/contour controls at your fingertips.

Nice if you use open tunings or change styles quite

a bit during your set. Also nice if one song is

fingerstyle ballad, next is heavy flat-picking strum.

Fishman and L.R. Baggs have some nice active D.I.

boxes for the piezo. Fishman also has the "Rare

Earth" active (battery) soundhole pickup which I

have used and is excellent, but you'll need the

humbucker version if you play big stages with

rheostat controlled lighting. I run two setups:

Taylor 710-CE on-board active Fishman Blender

with mic and piezo, or Martin 00028-EC into

a Boss AD-3 acoustic pre-amp. Some BIG names

like Patty Larkin use the Pendulum active preamp

which installs in the endpin. Regards, Bob Wood.

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>>IMO Piezo pickups SUCK, unforunately that's what most acoustic/electrics come with. I think about the only other option, other than micing your guitar, is a Magnetic soundhole pickup. I haven't played a guitar with one but I've been told they sound much better than a Piezo. If I ever do more acoustic work live I'll have to check this option out for myself.

 

 

Well, piezos suck for recording, but, magnetic soundhole pickups suck for everything IMO. I'll take a piezo for live apps thanky kindly. And when I saw James Taylor in concert a couple of years ago, didn't see any obvious mic on his guitar. Must've been a (DRAMATIC MUSIC)....piezo...

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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Originally posted by Stratman:

IMO Piezo pickups SUCK, unforunately that's what most acoustic/electrics come with. I think about the only other option, other than micing your guitar, is a Magnetic soundhole pickup. I haven't played a guitar with one but I've been told they sound much better than a Piezo. If I ever do more acoustic work live I'll have to check this option out for myself.

 

Tedster, you've done it again, haven't you?!?

You're taking words out of my mouth. It's true that when you're recording you use mic... Everything else ta-ta-ta-ta-ta...PIEZO!!!

Think about poor soundman sweating to cut that feedback from mic positioned at your sound hole. Playing big gigs with mic in front of your guitar is BIG NO!!! Try it for your self and you'll see that your guitar will pick all other frequencies and amplify them and you'll get lot of feedback.

If it sounds god, just play the darn thing
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Based on your post, I suggest you look at Carvin's AE-185.

 

It's a hybrid electric/acoustic with an acoustic bridge with an under the saddle piezo plus two conventional humbuckers. You can blend any level of piezo and humbuckers to suit your taste and situation. I find mixing a little piezo with the neck humbucker gives me a great clean tone for live playing. It doesn't sound as good as the best acoustics might, but it's close enough for most live band settings.

 

It's shaped like a tele, and is semi-hollow with a single f-hole. They have an "electric" type neck through body construction that is very fast and nice with an ebony fretboard. It has a spruce top that moves nicely in loud settings.

 

It's not a standard acoustic, certainly not a replacement for an acoustic in a non-amplified setting, but for amplified use in a band it works well. It's also a great electric guitar so you don't have to switch if you need both sounds. After having this guitar for about a year I decided to swap the Carvin humbuckers for a Duncan '59 in the neck and a Duncan JB in the bridge. I didn't hate the Carvin pickups, but wanted the sounds of the Duncans.

 

It comes setup with electric 10's strings, which play fast, but if you're mainly interested in mainly an acoustic sound you want to specify acoustic strings for the setup to be sure you get the nut cut correctly. You order directly from the factory... so if you stay away from maple and koa tops you can get one for around $800.

 

I also have a Taylor 710BCE with the Fishman electronics that include both a piezo and an internal mic. This is an interesting combination, but I find the internal mic can cause feedback problems at high volumes. The nice thing about this setup however, is that you can adjust how much signal comes from which source... meaning you can go piezo only when needed, and add in the mic when the situation allows it. This pickup configuration is only available on Taylors in the 500 series and above although you could add it to a guitar as an aftermarket add-on.

 

guitplayer

I'm still "guitplayer"!

Check out my music if you like...

 

http://www.michaelsaulnier.com

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WOW, did I ever get flamed!!! http://cwmonkey.virtualave.net/s/cwm/eek2.gif

 

Note- I did say IMO (means In My Opinion, maybe some of you didn't get that http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/biggrin.gif )

 

I NEVER suggested micing an acoustic was a good live option, just a viable one. I'd never mic an acoustic live, which is why I have an electric acoustic with a [gasp] Piezo pickup. Not only because of the feedback, but it would just SUCK having to stay in one place all night!!! I don't like them much but they work in that situation. I never considered the string imbalance thing with magnetic soundhole pickups, bet that is a pain in the butt.

 

I did notice in my new AMS catolog that their is a new pickup that has a magnetic soundhole pickup on the top, with height adjusting screws (2) for each string, plus underneath it's got a mic that actually sits inside the soundhole. Wonder how that would work??

 

Oh well, Flame away, I still think they sound like crap!!! Although I must admit, Guitar Player Mag did a review of a whole slew of acoustics a while back and my axe scored VERY high marks in all areas except one. You guessed it, the piezo pickup on it scored pretty low, so maybe my experience with them has been less than stellar and I don't even know it.

 

 

This message has been edited by Stratman on 03-24-2001 at 03:04 PM

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Originally posted by Tedster:

And when I saw James Taylor in concert a couple of years ago, didn't see any obvious mic on his guitar. Must've been a (DRAMATIC MUSIC)....piezo...

 

Could've been, or could've been a mounted-in-the-guitar-mic. James had used them years ago, for smaller venues. Check out the Taylors with the Fishman Blender system that can combine inside mic and piezo pickup for the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, with a lot of gain and a monitor pointed stright at it, you still get the scourge of guitarists known as feedback.

Bill Murphy

www.murphonics.com

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A couple years ago, my brother crafted me a "Les Paul" out of a couple hunks(or was that chunks?) of Mahogany. We put a bridge on it that features a dreaded Piezo transducer in each saddle. This thing sounds FREAKIN' AWSOME!!!. Not only that, but being in a solid body guitar you can crank it in the monitors and it NEVER feeds back.

Stratman, this is not a flame towards you. I respect your opinion, and I'll always try to mic a nice acoustic in a recording situation, but for live applications, this thing ROCKS!!!

As an added plus, I can go from SHRED, to DREAD(naut) with a flick of a switch.

So Many Drummers. So Little Time...
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  • 2 weeks later...
I am a live/studio sound engineer and an acoustic guitar player. The best advice for a good acoustic sound will always depend on the type of music/volume/monitor level that is needed. My favourite is a blend of the pick-up (with EQ ) and a mic inside the guitar (with EQ ) to give you the volume in the midrange from the pick-up and the top end from the mic to give you the air and pluck from the strings.I use more mic in the FOH mix and mostly the pick-up in the monitor unless we are using in-ear monitors. Players who strum very hard actually create an acoustic distortion that is very unforgiving and having the mic option can be a quick fix. Nothing can beat a mic outside the guitar with a touch of pick-up to re-inforce the midrange.
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Chet Atkins guitars have great sound, and Godin makes really nice thinlines in a similar style, but both of these are probably out of your price range...Doesn`t Epiphone make a Chet Atkins copy?

I tried a Yamaha acoustic recently that had some kind of mini-mike mounted inside the sound chamber. The sound was big and warm, and the price was really low.

Strictly in terms of sound quality, with the exception of the ones I mentioned up top, I have been less than knocked out by most thinline style acoustics. Maybe it`s the ambient sound picked up by the vocal mike or something, but I like the resonance of a full bodied acoustic much better.

I have a Seagull, which I`ve been using mostly for solo acoustic stuff, but I love the sound either plugged in or not. I guess the tradeoff is not being able to jump around as much on stage.

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My Daughter plays the Alverez Pro cut-out, I play the Yairi 12, both into the aforementioned Peavey, with good results. They share pickups, excepting the bridge mic on the Yairi. Both are quiet when plugged straight into my DAW, but do require moderate use of EQ to get the best out of them in a recorded mix. The peavey Ecoustic will also open the option of solo gigs for you with the one balanced mic input for vocals...

The Alverez is a good choice for a chunkier acoustic/rock slant.

Good luck! Rosespappy

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