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Guitarists, I need your help

   Discussion: Guitarists, I need your help
Matt P · 17 years, 1 month ago
I'm looking into buying a new guitar. I want an acoustic electric, but I only care about the electric bit because I want to record (and I don't want to spend money on a good mic). My price range is anything <$400. Right now, I'm leaning towards an Ibanez (AEL10E, to be exact). Does anyone have knowledge of guitars, any favorite brands, any advice or feedback at all?
Josh Woodward Back · 17 years, 1 month ago
Takamine makes some nice guitars in that range, if memory serves. But there are a ton of options in that space, and they all have strengths and weaknesses. Try out everything and go with something that feels and sounds right to you. As long as it has a truss rod for neck adjustments, anything over $300 or so should last you a long time.

However - you'll get a much better recorded sound with a $200 guitar through a $100 mic than you would a $2000 guitar with a built-in, top-of-the-line pickup. Pickups are great for live gigging, but they're absolutely terrible for recording. If you have phantom power available, a large-diaphragm condenser mic will work great for both guitar and vocals. MXL has some excellent entry-level options. If you don't have phantom power, a Shure SM-57 does the job fairly well. Anything but a pickup. :D
Matt P Back · 17 years, 1 month ago
Thanks. My friend has a dealie that lets you hook up the guitar right into the computer, and record from there. That's still through a pickup, though. The thing is, it's a birthday present. I'll have to spring for the microphone myself, which I'm willing to do if it sounds that much better. For that reason, should I consider just buying an acoustic acoustic, since there's no chance I'll be using it for an actual performance?
Josh Woodward Back · 17 years, 1 month ago
It depends what your goal is, I suppose. If you're just looking for a quick-and-dirty way to get your guitar on tape and don't need any level of audio quality, a pickup would do the job. Stay away from magnetic pickups, which are kinda-sorta ok on stage, but sound the worst overall. Piezo pickups give the most "natural" sound.

You'll a little more bang for your buck with an acoustic-acoustic, as well. Though most pickups are pretty much invisible and don't harm the sound quality of the guitar.

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