Classical Guitar Amps

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.

Classical Guitar Amps

Postby Jakesplanet » Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:48 pm

Does anybody know anything about amplifiers for the classical guitar, if they exist and if any players use them?

I know certainly that players use mics and a PA, but I am thinking in terms of a pick-up and amp, a bit like an electric guitar..... Only Classical.
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Re: Classical Guitar Amps

Postby dogonjon » Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:57 pm

I use a Crate Limo http://www.musiciansfriend.com/navigation?q=crate+limo It has 1/4" guitar imput and a second channel with an xlr for mic, built in effects and battery powered. I use it with a Kremona Piezo electric pickup. http://www.kremonausa.com/?model=22&serie=23&main=12
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Re: Classical Guitar Amps

Postby Jakesplanet » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:29 am

Is that as part of an ensemble, or purely to sound louder as soloist?
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Re: Classical Guitar Amps

Postby khayes » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:55 am

dogonjon wrote:I use a Crate Limo http://www.musiciansfriend.com/navigation?q=crate+limo It has 1/4" guitar imput and a second channel with an xlr for mic, built in effects and battery powered. I use it with a Kremona Piezo electric pickup. http://www.kremonausa.com/?model=22&serie=23&main=12

Hi dogonjon - I seem to remember you plugging the Kremona in a previous thread. Do you use it with a preamp? Are you happy with the quality?
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Re: Classical Guitar Amps

Postby dogonjon » Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:19 pm

khayes wrote:
dogonjon wrote:I use a Crate Limo http://www.musiciansfriend.com/navigation?q=crate+limo It has 1/4" guitar imput and a second channel with an xlr for mic, built in effects and battery powered. I use it with a Kremona Piezo electric pickup. http://www.kremonausa.com/?model=22&serie=23&main=12

Hi dogonjon - I seem to remember you plugging the Kremona in a previous thread. Do you use it with a preamp? Are you happy with the quality?

I use it with a DOD Graphic Equalizer, sometimes I use a Line 6 wireless system for my wandering minstral act. I tried the Fishman Aura and the only setting I liked sounded just like the pickup with no pre amp so I returned it. As with every one else I am always experimenting with my sound. Classical Guitar is by far the most difficult instrument to amplify and I work as a sound man. I feel my results so far are very good but I'm still not fully satisified. I am considering purchasing a factory installed electric Classical for gigging (restaurants, wine tastings, weddings, brunches, fundraisers) and save my Hernandis for Concerts and recording.
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Re: Classical Guitar Amps

Postby Jakesplanet » Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:52 am

Thanks Dogonjon.

I have had my original question answered by John Williams, on his tour with John Etheridge. Not by Mr. Williams directly, but seeing him on stage.

If anybody knows the type of pick-up that he used, that would be useful. For those that haven't seen him, it was a jack-plug into the bottom of the guitar, into only what I can assume was the 'House P.A'.
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Re: Classical Guitar Amps

Postby James Lister » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:05 am

I have an AER Compact 40 - a very nice amp for classical and acoustic. I haven't really used it much - mostly to test pickup systems when I fit them.

As for pickups - you have quite a choice. I've used Fishman systems (with both internal mic and under saddle pickup), and the much simpler B-Band AST, and been pleased with results form both. I'm also looking at the LR Baggs I-mix system for a customer at the moment, and I've heard good reports of Headway under saddle pickups.

James

P.S. Don't know what system JW uses.
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Re: Classical Guitar Amps

Postby Jakesplanet » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:07 am

I would also like to know what the forum members opinions are about the use of amplifiers?

This will be an interesting debate! I know some people say 'keep it pure', while others are definitely on the side of having a louder sound.

Any point of view is welcome!
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Re: Classical Guitar Amps

Postby Nigel Ewen » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:53 pm

Hi
If I was listening to classical guitar I would prefer to hear it unamplified and with no background noise however there are occasions when amplification is necessary. I'm thinking when there is noise from the audience and also when other instruments on stage are amplified. Modern pickups and amplification can produce a very realistic guitar sound and so take classical guitar to new audiences that are used to louder music.
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Re: Classical Guitar Amps

Postby need2Practice » Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:29 pm

Jakesplanet wrote:Thanks Dogonjon.

I have had my original question answered by John Williams, on his tour with John Etheridge. Not by Mr. Williams directly, but seeing him on stage.

If anybody knows the type of pick-up that he used, that would be useful. For those that haven't seen him, it was a jack-plug into the bottom of the guitar, into only what I can assume was the 'House P.A'.


I heard Mr. Williams in Los Angeles the other day and he was using a single large diaphragm condenser mic output through two small monitors a few feet behind and to either side of him. Some of the signal may also have been routed to the large house speakers on either side of the stage, but it was difficult to tell how much sound was coming from each source. It seemed like it was all coming from his guitar and the sound was very clean and pure. Certainly the best amplification of a classical guitar I've ever heard.
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Re: Classical Guitar Amps

Postby SamC » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:29 pm

I know many use Braggs pickups but I think they sound phony. Best natural sound I have ever achieved is with a Heil dynamic mic and my homemade tube amplifier using 1614's triode connected. Speaker is a vintage 10 inch Utah instrument type. Nice clean natural sound.
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Re: Classical Guitar Amps

Postby Halexx » Sun Oct 31, 2010 3:22 pm

Iuse the Roland Ac-33, it runs on battery, has really good reverb suitable for nylon guitar and a subtle chorus that can 'ravigotate' the sound degrate by the piezo pickuk-up. Also, it stay clean up to 10. I am really satisfied, as far as i understand that the nylon guitar can never be amplificated truly, because it is all the instrument that make the sound, not only the string, top or neck.

Also, it has line out, so it could be use as a pre-amp before the PA, but i never tried it.
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Re: Classical Guitar Amps

Postby Theo S » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:59 pm

I would recommend Schertler Unico. It's neutral. It's a guitar amplifier but also a small PA. It has phantom power 48V and 10V. It has 4 channels: condensor, dynamic, static and line. It's made for acoustic guitar, violin, cello, double bass, etc.
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Re: Classical Guitar Amps

Postby Rocket88 » Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:09 pm

I've used acoustic instrument amps from SWR, Ultrasound and Genz-Benz. The Genz-Benz is my favorite.
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Re: Classical Guitar Amps

Postby Eli the Iceman » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:28 pm

Check out the Acoustic Image line of amplifiers.
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