I recently bought the Duncan Performer Maverick acoustic guitar soundhole pickup from Musician’s Friend to use at open mics and gigging.  I used it for the first time yesterday, and it worked like a charm.

Anyone who has read some of my earlier posts will remember the difficulties I’ve had with moving microphones.  I mean moving (submitting to the pull of gravity) while I’m playing and having friendly tech people attempting multiple fixes DURING a song.  So, I decided that a $30 investment in a soundhole pickup might be a good idea.  Seems it was.

I put the pickup on my basic (inexpensive) guitar.  I’ll admit that it isn’t that great of a guitar.  Don’t get me wrong, it has all the necessary parts.  I didn’t return it.   But there are issues here and there that I’m not going to get into right now.   Yesterday when I heard the guitar via the pickup and guitar amp at the open mic at Old Fire Station No. 3 in Fairfax, it sounded like a new guitar – a different new guitar.  A better new guitar. 

Some of the better sound could be attributable to the guitar amp that Robb of the Stray Dogz let me plug into.  I won’t know for certain until I hook into another amp.  I currently don’t have one of my own, so I can’t test the pickup at home.  But maybe that’s better.  Hearing how it performs in uncontrolled environments might well be a tougher and more revealing test.  In the meantime, I’m very pleased with the Duncan Performer pickup.  VERY pleased.

5/6/2010 Update

At the open mic last night at Iota the pickup was producing a pretty healthy buzz.  The guys were able to work around that to dampen it a bit, but overall it didn’t seem to be giving the same level of performance that it did on Sunday.  Interesting, no?  But I still didn’t have to worry about a second microphone.

5/11/2010 Update

And tonight at the Front Page Arlington open mic I had no buzz whatsoever with the pickup.  Worked like a charm once again.  This time it was plugged directly into the amp (like at the Old Fire Station) instead of through a pedal.  Maybe that was the culprit last time.  We’ll see!

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