I’m often asked for recommendations for acoustic guitar pickups. There are two main types: the under-saddle piezo element, and a microphonic pickup. A microphonic pickup is as it sounds; a small, calibrated microphone mounted inside the body of the acoustic intending to amplify the resonating sound and presence within the guitar. The piezo transducer, uses crystals to amplify the vibrations resonating through the saddle and wood of the guitar.
I prefer the piezo element. It’s precise, feeds back a little less and gives an articulate attack when the strings are played. I’ve found one pick up to stand above the rest, from our good technicians from Fishman. Their Matrix Infinity pickup has proven to be a great bang for your buck and one of the least invasive installations that can be made to your guitar.
Unlike other acoustic pickups with graphic band equalizers that require a dedicated space of wood removed from the instrument, the Matrix Infinity has a simple rotary volume/tone that mounts discreetly to the underside of the sound hole. Aside from that, only two holes need to be drilled (if they haven’t been already). One hole underneath the saddle for the pickup wire to feed through, and another at the rear strap button for the jack.
The battery box mounts to the inside of the guitar wherever you choose (I mount it at the neck block for easy access) and there are flexible hooks with double stick tape to bunch the wires together and mount out of visibility inside the body.
I usually search on bay for the best pricing on these. I generally find them for about $120. They have two spacing available. Narrow and wide. Which one wold best accommodate your guitar? Generally, wide spacing will work for any modern acoustic bridge. The narrow model is more for vintage style acoustics. Up until around the 50’s-60’s, saddles tended to run on the narrow side.
It’s a quick and easy install and of the 20+ people I’ve installed these pickups, not a single one has come back with a complaint. I’m not being paid by Fishman to report this, I’m simply advocating a solution to a question frequently asked.