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Tools for the Task: Under-Saddle Pickup Systems

Check out 10 acoustic setups built to capture your guitar’s organic sound.

So, you and your acoustic are in need of an amplification makeover and you’ve determined an undersaddle system is the way to go. The good news is that there are plenty of excellent options to choose from, and we’ve put together a list to get you started on your search for ideal acoustic tone.

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A1.2-22R UST

The pickup in this system is ultra-thin, to not interfere with the string vibrations passing through the saddle and bridge. The design also makes for easy mod-free installation.

B-BAND
$109

iP-1

This system’s pickup is sensitive to pressure changes from all directions and captures the tonal qualities of the wood and the structure of the instrument, not just direct string sound through the saddle.

HIGHLANDER
$189

Soloist

This engineered saddle contains micro-electro-acoustic structures within itself, which allow for sound reproduction that does not amplify microphonic noise from the instrument’s surface.

BARBERA TRANSDUCER SYSTEMS
$300

Matrix Infinity

This system features switchable voicing to accommodate all guitar body sizes, soundhole-mount rotary dials for volume and tone, and an LED low-battery indicator.

FISHMAN
$159

FanTaStick Western

The six piezo crystals in this pickup are surrounded in a flexible, ultra-thin material that ensures the guitar’s vibrations reach the crystals with virtually no interference, so the string signal is not overemphasized.

K&K
$89

AK 15 Plus

This two-source system aims to capture the true sound of an instrument by utilizing both an undersaddle piezo pickup and a condenser mic that is integrated into the endpin preamp.

AER
$229

Motif

Battery changes aren’t required for this undersaddle pickup/class-A preamp combo that requires just a 60-second charge via the output jack for six hours of acoustic amplification.

MI-SI ELECTRONICS DESIGN
$161

AS93U

This system’s AT93 pickup uses piezo film in a layered (bimorph) format that allows for lower-output impedance. Because the film runs the length of the pickup, any number of strings or any string spacing can be used.

EMG
$125

Lydia EQ ST

Designed with natural sound and dynamics in mind, this system’s class-A internal preamp allows for on-the-fly tweaking via the volume, treble, and bass pots that attach in the soundhole.

SCHERTLER
$239

Element Active System VTC

This system features a proprietary circuit that incorporates a low-frequency suppressor and a streamlined pickup design that substantially improves the sensitivity of the transducer.

L.R. BAGGS
$129

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