For performers, the struggle to amplify acoustic guitars properly never goes away. But as Schertler shows, things are getting better.
It’s generally accepted that a combination of pickups can yield better results, especially that special blend of a magnetic pickup and mini-condenser microphone. With their M-AG6 model, Schertler offers a solution.
The Magnetico pickup is both active and offers good electronics, with flat frequency response (i.e., an uncolored, truer acoustic tone) and fast transients, meaning it delivers each note with impressive speed. The AG6 also has a full, warm tone, unlike the thin, tinny sounds of some piezo systems. You just have to keep in mind that it runs on a 3-volt lithium battery that periodically needs replacement (though it can last up to 120 hours).
The AG6 is mounted into the soundhole, and the female end of its output cable can be set up in two ways. To mount it permanently, the output jack replaces the strap’s end-pin and is screw-mounted onto the body. If you plan to use it on multiple instruments, you can buy the CA-M cable that plugs into the pickup housing and dangles from the soundhole.
Schertler also provides another cool feature; thanks to a mini input jack (Ext-In), you can plug in your own pickup or one of Schertler’s condenser or contact mics. There’s another Volume thumbwheel for an additional pickup, allowing the user to blend the AG6 with the second unit to your own preference – again, that magic combination of different pickup tech.
Fitted into a Yamaha dreadnought and acoustic amp, the AG6 gave strong results – a commendable tone that sounded like a natural acoustic guitar without any piezo harshness. If you’re looking to upgrade your flattop’s pickup, the AG6 is a solid contender.
This article originally appeared in VG October 2017 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.