Should i amplify an acoustic?

Guitar Tricks Forum > Gear Discussion > Should i amplify an acoustic?

cclark1065

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Joined: 05/01/19

Posts: 6

I am confused and hope somebody can help me. I am looking at buying my first Taylor acoustic. I see that many acoustics are actually "acoustic electric" guitars. So, my question is, do these guitars sound better when they are plugged into an acoustic amplifier, or is the amplifier only meant to make the sound louder (like when playing in a larger room)?

Thanks for any guidance

#1

I am confused and hope somebody can help me. I am looking at buying my first Taylor acoustic. I see that many acoustics are actually "acoustic electric" guitars. So, my question is, do these guitars sound better when they are plugged into an acoustic amplifier, or is the amplifier only meant to make the sound louder (like when playing in a larger room)?

Thanks for any guidance

William MG

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Joined: 03/08/19

Posts: 677

Hi

Last March I purchased a nice little acoustic. It was available in standard or built in electrics. I decided I didn't want to spend the extra money on the electric as it would just be used in house.

It now has a pickup in the sound hole. What I didn't consider was that playing with others can be difficult when there is a drummer and bass player in the room.

So for me, it's not about sound. It's about being heard in certain conditions.

In terms of quality of sound I would suggest that is totally subjective. But if I were doing it again, I would have spent the extra money.

"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

Works for me!

#2

Hi

Last March I purchased a nice little acoustic. It was available in standard or built in electrics. I decided I didn't want to spend the extra money on the electric as it would just be used in house.

It now has a pickup in the sound hole. What I didn't consider was that playing with others can be difficult when there is a drummer and bass player in the room.

So for me, it's not about sound. It's about being heard in certain conditions.

In terms of quality of sound I would suggest that is totally subjective. But if I were doing it again, I would have spent the extra money.

"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

Works for me!

andrew.colomb

Full Access

Joined: 10/06/15

Posts: 116

I agree

Originally Posted by: William

Hi

Last March I purchased a nice little acoustic. It was available in standard or built in electrics. I decided I didn't want to spend the extra money on the electric as it would just be used in house.

It now has a pickup in the sound hole. What I didn't consider was that playing with others can be difficult when there is a drummer and bass player in the room.

So for me, it's not about sound. It's about being heard in certain conditions.

In terms of quality of sound I would suggest that is totally subjective. But if I were doing it again, I would have spent the extra money.

#3

I agree

Originally Posted by: William

Hi

Last March I purchased a nice little acoustic. It was available in standard or built in electrics. I decided I didn't want to spend the extra money on the electric as it would just be used in house.

It now has a pickup in the sound hole. What I didn't consider was that playing with others can be difficult when there is a drummer and bass player in the room.

So for me, it's not about sound. It's about being heard in certain conditions.

In terms of quality of sound I would suggest that is totally subjective. But if I were doing it again, I would have spent the extra money.

davem_or

Full Access

Joined: 10/30/17

Posts: 47

Taylors are nice. I've owned several. It will sound great unamplified when you're playing alone of with other guitar playing friends. Amplification, beside making it louder and add effects like reverb and the ability to adjust the tone. You can order them without the electronics but I think the electronics do not detract from the tone and you never know you'll want in the future so even if you don't plan on amplification now it doesn't hurt to have the hardware.

#4

Taylors are nice. I've owned several. It will sound great unamplified when you're playing alone of with other guitar playing friends. Amplification, beside making it louder and add effects like reverb and the ability to adjust the tone. You can order them without the electronics but I think the electronics do not detract from the tone and you never know you'll want in the future so even if you don't plan on amplification now it doesn't hurt to have the hardware.

manXcat

♪It's getting better all the time♫

Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 982

Originally Posted by: cclark1065

So, my question is, do these guitars sound better when they are plugged into an acoustic amplifier, or is the amplifier only meant to make the sound louder (like when playing in a larger room)?

Depends upon the acoustic, where you intend to play it, and purpose.


Amplification is predominantly for just that purpose, but does offer the added advantage of altering tone as well as projection/volume, and ease of AI line in recording via the instrument cable output jack without requiring a mic/stand or mic-ing up.

Even in integral onboard amplification there are considerations ranging from the type of pickup/s, placement etc.

I own and play all generally popular acoustic/e-acoustic options, and have a dedicated acoustic amp and portable PA to choose between for their amplification when/if required.

First is a cutaway slimline with integrated active pre-amp. This is likely similar to what you'd be buying integrated into a Taylor

Even with the smaller body, mine has gobs of volume for playing acoustically only at home. If in a duo or solo commerical venue, I'd almost certainly use it amplified either via PA mixer or acoustic amp. If in a multi-guitar garage band backed by a drummer and playing an acoustic in the mix for tone, e.g. Eagles, "Lyin' Eyes", obviously amplified.


Advantage. Most versatile choice. Disadvantage. Costs more. That said, If you're paying for a Taylor, then cost won't be a consideration. Just buy with. You don't have to use it.


Second is another smaller but full Concert bodied acoustic guitar. I use this acoustically. Gobs of volume and adequate projection for home or small venue, e.g. Coffee shop, busking.

Third and fourth options are a Dreadnought acoustic and a Classical nylon acoustic. Again, they don't need amplification for home use, nor for tone.

However, I do use passive and active sound hole pickups (I have three of both types) with the nylon and other two acoustics for recording into a looper or to PC via my AI for mixing and/or rhythm backing. When I use them with my AI, acoustic amp or PA mixer, their tonal variation adjustment is totally via those devices rather than on-board pre-amp. This type of sound hole pickup offers inexpensive amplification with all the benefits already outlined, is removable, and can be swapped fairly quickly between multiple acoustic guitars as/if required.

♪A little better all the time♫

#5

Originally Posted by: cclark1065

So, my question is, do these guitars sound better when they are plugged into an acoustic amplifier, or is the amplifier only meant to make the sound louder (like when playing in a larger room)?

Depends upon the acoustic, where you intend to play it, and purpose.


Amplification is predominantly for just that purpose, but does offer the added advantage of altering tone as well as projection/volume, and ease of AI line in recording via the instrument cable output jack without requiring a mic/stand or mic-ing up.

Even in integral onboard amplification there are considerations ranging from the type of pickup/s, placement etc.

I own and play all generally popular acoustic/e-acoustic options, and have a dedicated acoustic amp and portable PA to choose between for their amplification when/if required.

First is a cutaway slimline with integrated active pre-amp. This is likely similar to what you'd be buying integrated into a Taylor

Even with the smaller body, mine has gobs of volume for playing acoustically only at home. If in a duo or solo commerical venue, I'd almost certainly use it amplified either via PA mixer or acoustic amp. If in a multi-guitar garage band backed by a drummer and playing an acoustic in the mix for tone, e.g. Eagles, "Lyin' Eyes", obviously amplified.


Advantage. Most versatile choice. Disadvantage. Costs more. That said, If you're paying for a Taylor, then cost won't be a consideration. Just buy with. You don't have to use it.


Second is another smaller but full Concert bodied acoustic guitar. I use this acoustically. Gobs of volume and adequate projection for home or small venue, e.g. Coffee shop, busking.

Third and fourth options are a Dreadnought acoustic and a Classical nylon acoustic. Again, they don't need amplification for home use, nor for tone.

However, I do use passive and active sound hole pickups (I have three of both types) with the nylon and other two acoustics for recording into a looper or to PC via my AI for mixing and/or rhythm backing. When I use them with my AI, acoustic amp or PA mixer, their tonal variation adjustment is totally via those devices rather than on-board pre-amp. This type of sound hole pickup offers inexpensive amplification with all the benefits already outlined, is removable, and can be swapped fairly quickly between multiple acoustic guitars as/if required.

♪A little better all the time♫