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How to choose an electric guitar microphone?

How to choose an electric guitar microphone?
October 7, 2020 Cecca Guitars

This is a question that every guitarist asks himself one day or another in his musical life. “Which microphone should I choose for my guitar”. The reasons for this desire for change are very numerous and varied: change of sound, transition to double coils, putting good microphones on a kit guitar, need to upgrade an entry-level guitar...

The choice of this microphone or these microphones, if we change the entire set, will depend mainly on two criteria:

  • the guitar model and what the violin making allows
  • the type of music and the type of sound

Choose your microphone based on the guitar model

Indeed, you will not be able to install the same microphones if you have a strat equipped with 3 singles or a Les Paul with two double-coils. You also need to see what the violin maker allows: will it be possible to install a humbucker in the bridge position of my Strat? Is the cavity big enough? If not, am I willing to enlarge the cavity myself or with the help of a luthier?

An example: I want to put double coils on a Jazzmaster, is this possible? A priori, the cavities designed to accommodate the very specific single-coil pickups of the Jazzmaster allow this. However, the pickguard only allows you to put these microphones, so you will have to change it to install doubles. The operation is entirely possible.

When you have answered these questions you will already have a better vision of the microphone format that you can put on your guitar.

A microphone yes, but to play what?

You then need to determine for which application you want to change the microphone: to have a more open sound, to have more power, a microphone to play Blues, microphones to mount on a half-hollow to do indie... Here again, The question is vast and of great importance.

Today it is possible to do almost anything you want in terms of combination. You can find a P90 or a single Strat type pickup in Humbucker format. You can find a humbucker pickup in Stratocaster or Telecaster format. In the same vein, you can change the microphone contours of your Epiphone Dot to put FilterTrons. Everything is possible.

The choice depending on the easel

An important technical fact regarding the choice of bridge pickup is precisely the type of bridge that equips the guitar. If you have a Tune-O-Matic or TOM type bridge like on most Gibson or Epiphone guitars you can choose a bridge pickup with screw spacing from E to E of 49.2mm or 50mm. If, on the other hand, the bridge is of the hardtail, telecaster, Stratocaster or Floyd Rose vibrato type, you must opt ​​for a spacing of 52mm. The spacing for the neck pickup is more generally 49.2 or 50mm for humbuckers and P90 pickups.

Which magnet for which microphone and which sound?

Once you have defined the microphone format and the type of sound you are looking for, there are still some points to clarify. It is interesting to understand what type of magnet will correspond to the desired sound.

Although the most commonly used magnets are AlNiCo 2 and 5 and ceramic 8, there are many other magnets for a very diverse palette of sounds. In the AlNiCO family, 2, 3 and 4 are generally used for vintage sounds. On the other hand, 6, 8 and 9 (yes!) are for modern sounds. AlNiCo 5 can be used for both vintage and modern. Ceramic 8 will be used for more modern sounds. Those who need a high level of output can also turn to Neodymium or Neodynium. If you want to know more about magnets, read our full article dedicated to them .

Go to the boutique and use the filters to find THE microphone suited to your instrument and your style.

If you don't find what you're looking for, simply request a custom microphone. Indeed, custom-made is quite financially accessible and will make your guitar a unique instrument!