Even the most hipster coffeehouse crooner can see value in acoustic amplification. I mean, there’s a limit to how much background conversation one troubadour can take. The DiMarzio Black Angel is a passive soundhole pickup that’s aimed at helping non-electrified acoustics be heard above the dim roar of happy hour. The main hesitation with after-market acoustic pickups is usually wrapped around the installation process. The Black Angel offers two methods: You can simply run a 1/8” cable (which is provided) out of the pickup or you can have a more permanent option via the endpin jack kit, which is also included.
With no tone or volume controls, the Black Angel might be viewed as slightly one-dimensional by those who enjoy tweaking frequencies, but once I installed the pickup in my Córdoba and plugged into a Fishman SoloAmp, my appreciation for simplicity won out. The pickup gave off a beautifully flat response with plenty of midrange and treble, just like my Córdoba. As I moved from a singer/songwriter strum to fingerpicking, the Black Angel responded admirably to shifts in right- or left-hand dynamics. If you need a less invasive way to get your vintage dread ready for the stage, the Black Angel might be the right choice.
Test gear: Córdoba D9-CE, Fishman SoloAmp