Questions and Answers
I know you physically CAN play any type of guitar in an amp, for example gibson guitar/fender amp…but my question is, will if affect the sound? Does it even matter?
1. Some guitars are set up for amps. Some aren't. Some guitars have a pre-amp built in, as well as equalization. Some just have a pickup. There are many different types of pickups:
Coil – the type of pickup you see on electric guitars.
Transducer – usually placed underneath the bridge of an acoustic electric guitar
Condenser type mike – Not a pickup at all, but a microphone that usually includes some feedback canceling protection
Where you place the pickup affects the sound as well. Some guitars use a combination of pickups, multiple pickups, or even a combination of a pickup and an internal microphone to mix the sound.
The type of signal you feed into the amp matters. You want the most signal with the least amount of noise you can get. You have to decide whether you want the sound of the string, or the sound of the guitar. You also have to decide whether you want to feed the raw or processed sound into the amplifier.
The amplifier is the next stage in the equation. You have so many options that I can't begin to get into them here, but here are a few. Warm analog tube sound, precise controlled transistor sound, digital effects, springs capacitors and old fashioned analog effects. Straight signal, processed signal, pre-amped signal, so many choices that you just have to try a few and make your own call. The last step is the speaker. Sometimes that choice is included with the amp, and sometimes you are running through a public address system, or are running through a "head," which is an amplifier that does not contain a speaker. In that case, you can get a cabinet, seperate woofer, tweeter and midrange (even on stage) or a "Bose type system that has baffles inside the cabinet to process the sound and make it sound fuller and more three dimensional.
If the guitar has no pickup in it, you can have one installed, put in a detachable pickup, or just mike the guitar. If you mike the guitar, you have to be prepared for feedback issues. Sometimes it can be solved by plugging up the sound hole,
and sometimes you can solve the problem by using special mikes and filters. It is an issue that you definitely want to think about in advance however.
I hope that this addresses most of your questions and gives you a direction to go in to find the solution to the rest of them. I use an Ovation Adamas with special holes cut into the upper bout of the guitar instead of under the strings. It has a three band EQ and preamp that is powered by a 9 volt battery.
I also use an old Yamaha FG-75 that has a transducer placed under the bridge, with the plug built into the endpin. It has no preamp, so I have to process the signal when I amplify it. It's an old friend, and spent many years on my back, so it deserves a place at my side as long as I'm around. My kids are already fighting over it. I round it all out with an East German Classical nylon string, a Gibson ES335 (jet black) and several house guitars for my various experiments (five string guitar tuned in fifths, etc.)
I use a Yamaha CG 40 and CG101 at school, along with a Yamaha strat copy and a Les Paul copy that Best Buy was selling for $99 bucks during a back to Christmas sale. It's an inexpensive guitar and I wish I could replace the bridge, but I haven't gotten around to it. My students like it though, and it gives us something to demonstrate with.
(Theres a long explanation below, if you don't have the patience to read it all, skip to the bottom)
I'm 16, and last year for Christmas I got a Kenwood KDC HD545U radio, and I installed it in my car and couldn't be happier. But with college coming up and feeling a little sad that the only speaker I have is a mini-amp (http://images.insound.com/303/INS52265.jpg) in my bedroom, I want a sound system/speakers for christmas. Yes, its far away, but I'm thinking ahead. I'd like a sound system that hits bass hard, but also manages to keep the mids and highs equal too. I'd like a sound system that, when inside my dorm room in the future, hits so hard I get yelled at by the dorm manager.
But here's the catch: this is for Christmas. Last year I skipped my birthday present and my parents were still a little sketchy about buying me the radio. But I asked for more last year, so I'm thinking I could convince my parents to get me a system ranging from $300-$400. The MAX (and I mean MAX, because I guarantee my parents won't go any higher, unless I did some major ass-kissing, and even then…) is $500. I have no amp, no speakers, and no reciever. Nothing. Just an IPod nano, a playlist, and a shitty ass speaker (seen above).
Here's some questions you may have, so I'll answer them now.
A. What % of your usage will be music vs. HT (home theater)?
[100% of the usage will be for music]
b. What types of music do you listen to the most? (classical/jazz, rap, rock, etc.)
[I listen to a lot of rap, but I also love hardcore techno, rave, and dubstep. However, I probably listen to rock music just as much, so I'd like a speaker thats versatile. Right now my car speakers (OEM) do fine with rap and have great bass (Kenwood stereo makes it fine), but with rock the treble is so high that I can only have the music at half the volume i'd like it without the drums and cymbals blowing out my eardrums (adjusting the treble does nothing), so I'd like some speakers that not only hit the lows and mids, but also manage the highs so the guitar hits hard and sounds crisp.]
c. How big is your listening/viewing room?
[I'm not positive on the use of these speakers for sure, but anywhere ranging from a small dorm room to a medium-sized bedroom is my best guess. Not going to be trying to fill the gym with sound here.]
e. What kind of receiver/amp will you have?
[This was another one of my concerns. I'd like a reciever that can connect to an IPod via USB because my stereo in my car (at least) has better quality with the USB rather than the AUX cord. A CD changer isn't necessary, just IPod connectivity.
F. Do you have a subwoofer or plan to get one?
[If it's necessary I will. I have no speakers or recievers or amps right now period. I'm starting fresh.]
*Reciever, Speakers, Wiring, etc.
*Dorm Room/Medium Sized Bedroom
*Rap, Rock, Techno, Dubstep
*Hits hard without distorting, puts out crisp and high quality guitar sound without popping my eardrums with cymbal noise
*Can be any type of speaker, floor, bookshelf, etc.
*If necessary, I could possibly get a friend to build a box, but we'll see.
If you have any other questions, please ask and I will answer.
Carl I was looking for a different system, I've heard some bad reviews about Bose when it comes to louder music (with hard-hitting bass), so I was looking for reccomendations on speakers and recievers. Thanks.
Okay, so I paid a bit more for mine, I have a Bose Acoustiic Wave, but we also have the clock radio. I hate the fact that the new onse don't have buttons on them, but if you get a chance to listen to one, it might be something to own. They're really close to that $500 tag.
EDIT: My Acoustic Wave doesn't have that problem and we've used it to fill up a small hall. True, there's no bass or treble controls (IFM how it works) but the audio is true, even at high volume. I think in the order of things, the radio was about $500, the 321 system with sub-woofer was about $800 and the AW was $1200. The last time I checked, our living room is larger than any dorm room, and there's only so much power you can ever use. Find a reasonable amp with equalizer and a pair of kick azz speakers and you'd be good to go.
I'm hosting a little graduation party concert for my best friends and there'll be about 12 people. I need to rent small speakers(it's going to be outside) and a little set up. What equipment do I need(I have the instruments) to make this happen? Any price range estimates? And is there such thing and a very light autotuner to hook up through a mic. While I'm up singing? (my voice is not terrible, but not great.). I'm not a musician and am learning the songs and all that for this event, so all of these things are foreign to me. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
If you just need a small set-up with a guitar and mic, I'd go with one of the Acoustic amps. They put out 50-75 watts, have 2 combination XLR/Line inputs, full EQ on both channels and around 2 dozen effects. They have an Aux In 1/8" jack for using a laptop, notepad, cell phone, or MP3 player for playing backing tracks. They weigh around 40 pounds. They are actually made by Marshall, and are very reliable. I have one that I use for very small coffee-house gigs, and they are plenty loud for that. You can get a used one for around $100.00 at Guitar Center. It would cost you close to that to rent any kind of PA from a local Music Shop, and most rental systems are junk.
My next choice would be the Fender Passport 150 PA system. I used to have the Passport 250 system (until I upgraded to the outstanding Bose L-1 system) and it worked flawlessly for over a decade of hard professional use. One of my friends is still gigging cruise ships with it as we speak.
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