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The Pickup System
I have a Westerly Guild D55 I bought new from forum member Russ in the mid/late 90's. I love that guitar. It's been with me through some rough patches.
I once put it head-to-head with a new Martin D45 and I couldn't tell them apart so I kept it.
While living in Honolulu, I played a PRS acoustic. It sounded good. REAL good. Uh oh...
As good as the PRS acoustics sound, what REALLY impresses me is the pickup system. I was knocked over when Skaggs toggled the output (to his PA) between the internal pickup system and an external mic at X.PRS.MMXI. Then, I heard the SE acoustic "plugged in" at Winter NAMM 2012. Double uh oh...
I'm afraid if I get one, my treasured D55 will sit in its case. If I ever start playing out again, it's a done deal.
So it isn't just me.
I have a few acoustics with electronics in them, but I've rarely used them. I buy them because I like the guitar acoustically and it doesn't seem right to discriminate because it happens to have place to plug it in.
But for grins I plugged in my tonare one day and it sounded amazing. Every note rings. Singing harmonics. Beauty. And the really brilliant bit is the subtle little volume control tucked inside the sound hole - no ugly dials and switches on the side of the guitar. Excellent. Since then I've given away 3 acoustics.
I was impressed with the PRS electronics as well, when one of the guys on BAM and I exchanged recordings, his guitar with the electronics, and mine recorded by a good condenser mic. It was interesting to compare them. I'd say the PRS electronics package reminded me of how the recording would sound with a good dynamic mic. That's very high praise in view of the fact that most onboard electronics packages sound pretty bad.
The great thing about the PRS acoustics is that they sound phenomenal regardless of what you're doing with them.
Whether they're miked, used with internal electronics, or simply played in the room, they sound magnificent. They're very inspiring to play. Spend some time with one, whether it's got the electronics or not, and I guarantee you'll have a hard time going back to a Martin or Guild. The complexity of tone and dynamic range really put them into a different category.
And I say this as a big-time Martin fan, also played several D-55s I really liked. The PRS design is simply great.
Last edited by LSchefman; 07-04-2012 at 11:43 AM.