Take the 2-minute tour ×
Music: Practice & Theory Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for musicians, students, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What the circled wooden piece on the guitar called (pic below)?
What does it do?
Is it built into guitars or is an add-on? enter image description here

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 13 down vote accepted

This appears to me to be an add-on pickup. It converts the vibrations of the strings into electrical signals that are then amplified by a guitar amp. Most acoustic guitars now come with a built-in pickup that is hidden.

Since I do not see a wire or cable coming from it, it may also have been built into the guitar and wired to a plug some where else on the guitar. To decide whether this is an add-on, or custom, or built by the guitar builder it would be very helpful to know who makes the guitar, when it was built, and the model number.

share|improve this answer
2  
It's specifically a pick-up for a fully acoustic guitar and is a detachable add-on. The wiring is usually routed out through the strap plug. Example here: lrbaggs.com/pickups/m1-acoustic-guitar-pickup –  melkisadek Sep 28 '13 at 0:52
    
Well thank you for the info. –  filzilla Sep 30 '13 at 18:18

More details on what kind of pickup this is: This is a design for a pickup for an acoustic guitar that is uncommon. Your photo shows a magnetic pickup. It works by sensing the magnetic field generated by vibrating steel strings. It consists of a large magnet wrapped in many windings of extremely thin copper wire. The vibration of the guitar's strings produces a proportional electrical current in the pickup's magnet and copper windings. This electrical current is amplified by an amplifier and sent to loudspeakers or to a recording device.

Based on the photo you have provided, this magnetic soundhole pickup appears to be an L. R. Baggs brand M-1 model. Click on the link for more information about this magnetic soundhole pickup.

enter image description here

Most acoustic guitars that have a pickup use a different kind: an undersaddle piezoelectric pickup, a thin piece of synthetic material which is mounted on the underside of the bridge saddle of the guitar and is not visible on the outside of the guitar. A piezoelectric pickup, on the other hand, senses the changes in vibrational pressure that the vibrating strings make on the bridge saddle. In addition to being invisible to the audience, the undersaddle piezoelectric pickup can work not only with steel strings, but also with nylon strings (as used in a classical guitar) or any other type or formulation of strings.


Diagram of the installation of a typical undersaddle piezoelectric pickup

Diagram of the installation of a typical undersaddle piezoelectric pickup, placed between the bridge saddle and the bridge on the top of the guitar


Many acoustic guitars can be purchased with an undersaddle piezoelectric pickup, together the associated electrical wiring and battery-powered preamplifier, already installed inside the guitar. We refer to such an instrument as an acoustic-electric guitar.

On the other hand, as in your photo, most acoustic guitar magnetic soundhole pickups are not available as standard equipment on an acoustic guitar; they are designed to be purchased separately and fitted onto an existing acoustic guitar.

Furthermore, there are some guitarists who use both an undersaddle piezoelectric pickup and preamplifier together with a magnetic soundhole pickup at the same time. Each of the two types of pickup produces a slightly different kind of amplified sound, and some performers prefer to blend the two sounds together when amplifying their guitars.

share|improve this answer

It's called a Sound Hole Pickup.

A pickup device is a transducer that captures mechanical vibrations, usually from suitably equipped stringed instruments such as the electric guitar / or classical with pickup and converts them to an electrical signal that is amplified.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.