Best Classical Guitar Pickups of 2020 – Ultimate Review

A pickup is quite a handy device that amplifies the sound of your acoustic guitar to a much higher output level.

It is excellent for the classical guitar player that needs to up the sound when performing in front of a large audience.

We are going to look at these types of pickups in this review.

Comparison Chart of the Best Classical Guitar Pickups

PRODUCTDETAILS
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KNA NG-1 Passive Piezo Pickup for Nylon String Guitar

  • It is very easy to use
  • Best classical guitar pickup Overall
  • There are no modifications on the pickup needed, which makes it easy to use
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Kmise SH-85 Soundhole Pickup

  • It is a great pickup for all acoustic guitars
  • Smooth and full-bodied sound quality is provided
  • The natural sound of your classical guitar is faithfully reproduced
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Luvay Guitar Pickup Acoustic Electric Transducer for Acoustic Guitar

  • Best for the Money
  • This low-priced acoustic guitar pickup will turn your guitar into an electric guitar
  • The single-coil transducer pickup removes the microphonic sound from the signal
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Fishman Rare Earth Pro-Rep-102

  • Best Fishman Classical Guitar Pickup
  • The onboard volume control on the pickup helps with easy adjustments
  • The preamp is designed in such a manner to allow a long time between charges
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K&K Pure Mini Acoustic Guitar Pickup

  • Best K&K Classical Guitar Pickup
  • With this pickup, you capture the sound of the guitar body
  • This passive transducer pickup requires no batteries to put out a great sound
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What is a Classical Guitar Pickup?

A classical guitar pickup is used to send sound in the form of an electrical signal to the amplifier. These pickups use electric signals that are created by the vibrating strings in a magnetic field, the pickup, to transfer the sound.

These signals are then carried to the amplifier via a copper wire where it is amplified. The signal is then amplified using electronics, and it is put out through a speaker in the form of an audible sound.

Nylon strings can not produce these magnetic fields, so a piezo pickup that works like a microphone is used.

When Would a Guitar Pickup Come in Handy?

A pickup will be needed for your classical acoustic guitar for a couple of reasons. Let's take a look at these reasons.

If You Need More Sound

The sound of an acoustic classical guitar without amplification is unique, but sometimes you need more sound to carry the music. If you are performing in front of a live audience, it may become necessary to install a pickup in your acoustic guitar. 

If You Are Playing in a Band

Playing in a band requires you to put out more sound to be able to play along with other players.

Plug Into a PA system

With some gigs, it may happen that the facility where you are performing already has their own PA systems installed. This may require you to plug your acoustic guitar into their sound system along with the other players. 

For that, you and everyone else either needs an electric guitar, or your acoustic guitar needs a pickup system. It is especially necessary if you need to have the natural acoustic sound of your guitar for an authentic performance.

If You Are Recording Acoustic Guitar Music

This is especially needed for the classical player or a Flamenco guitar player.

How to Choose a Pickup For a Classical Guitar

There are a few things that you may need to consider when you need to choose a pickup for your classical guitar.

Quality

This is the first thing to look for in a pickup for a classical acoustic guitar. It is important that your pickup reliably transfers the natural acoustic sound of your guitar. The pickup must also be made with quality materials, and the design must be strong, durable, and high-quality.

Ease of Use

The pickup you choose for your classical acoustic guitar must not be difficult to install. It must also be easy to use after installation, and the pickup should not be in the way while playing.

Quality Sound Output

More than anything, it is very important that your pickup gives a good and solid sound output. That also means that the pickup must provide a clear, natural, acoustic sound.

Price

There is also the price of the pickup, which is not that important unless you are on a tight budget. You also do not want to pay too much for a low-quality pickup.

Review of the Best Guitar Pickups

Read this review for valuable information on the best classical guitar pickups and how to choose the right one for your guitar.

PROS

  • You get overall good quality with this pickup
  • Everything you need is supplied in one package
  • It is a lightweight pickup that stays out of the way
  • It is very easy to install or remove when not in use
  • The natural sound of the classical guitar is improved
  • The NG-1 is a lightweight, non-invasive, easy-to-use pickup

CONS

  • The pickup is a little bit fragile
  • There is no volume control included
  • A low-strength signal is transferred to the amplifier

What Recent Buyers Report 

This is a very good pickup for both the classical and flamenco guitar. This pickup is very easy to install, and you just need to plug it in to use it. It produces the natural sound of the classical guitar through the pickup to the amplifier.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The ease of use of this pickup, as well as the easy installation, makes it a nice pickup to have. It puts out the natural sound of your classical guitar and gives a nice, clear, amplified sound through the amplifier. The minimalist design of the pickup makes it very easy to use.

Who Will Use This Most

All classical guitar players who need a quick and easy solution for their gigs will benefit from this pickup. It is also great for beginners who do not want that obtrusive type of pickup in their way. This is also good for private recordings of your music.

Bottom Line

At a great price, you get an easy-to-use, unobtrusive pickup that does not get in your way. It can be left in the guitar when not in use, or you can easily remove it from the guitar. You also get great quality and natural sounds.

1pc Belcat SH-85 Soundhole Pickup with Active Power Jack for Acoustic Guitar

PROS

  • A low price tag is attached to the SH-85 pickup
  • This pickup is very easy to use after initial setup
  • You get crystal clear sound quality from this pickup
  • It reproduces the sound truthfully through the amplifier
  • The Belcat pickup is a well-designed and very sturdy device

CONS

  • It is a bit difficult to install this pickup
  • Low-Volume sound output is produced
  • No adjustments are available with the pickup

What Recent Buyers Report

This pickup gives you crystal clear, quality sound, and the pickup is very responsive. It is an easy-to-use and functional guitar pickup that does what it says it will do. At the low price you get this pickup for, you can buy one for every acoustic guitar you own.

Why it Stands Out to Us

After some effort to get the pickup installed on your acoustic guitar, you will find it quite easy to use. This pickup is well-designed and sturdily built to give you many hours of use. The sound volume may be a bit low, but it reproduces the natural sound.

Who Will Use This Most

This is the perfect pickup for gigs, as well as for home practice, and will be appreciated by professional players. The easy-to-use features make it an acceptable choice for the entry-level classical guitar player. It is a great sound reproducing pickup for most musical applications.

Bottom Line

You get this Belcat SH-85 soundhole pickup at a very good price, but it is worth far more than the price suggests. It will also offer many hours of service and great sound quality in your music career. The pickup and the attached jack are made from good quality materials.

Luvay Guitar Pickup Acoustic Electric Transducer for Acoustic Guitar, Cable Length 10' (Gold)

PROS

  • It is a strong and sturdy pickup
  • A low price tag is attached to this guitar
  • This pickup is very easy to use with the guitar
  • It is a sturdy and quite strong acoustic guitar pickup
  • The humming sound is canceled out with this pickup
  • It has a long 10-foot cable with the standard jack input

CONS

  • No volume adjustment added
  • It is difficult to install on the guitar
  • This pickup only works with steel-string guitars

What Recent Buyers Report

This is a simple amplification for the acoustic guitar that will not cost a lot of money. The Luvay pickup gives you a nicely balanced and clear sound and is very easy to use. This is a great pickup for the price you pay for it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The price tag attached to this good quality pickup is very low and makes for quite an economic investment. Considering the quality of the materials and the good design, you get great value for your money. The very quiet and clear sound output makes it a very high-quality acoustic guitar pickup.

Who Will Use This Most

This is not very suitable for the classical nylon-string guitar, but it is great for the steel-string guitar. For every beginner who wants to show off a newly learned skill, this is the right pickup to use with an amplifier. It is also a great backup pickup on a gig.

Bottom Line

This acoustic guitar pickup from Luvay offers great value for your money. The tone and sounds produced with this acoustic guitar pickup are quite surprisingly good, considering the low price tag. This is a straightforward and very valuable investment in your musical career.

Best Fishman Classical Guitar Pickup:
Pro-Rep-102 Rare Earth Humbucker Pickup

PROS

  • It is a strongly built pickup
  • Very easy to install in the soundhole of the guitar
  • The pickup is of good quality and is very sturdily built
  • An onboard volume control is installed with this pickup
  • Neodymium magnets are used for a natural acoustic sound
  • It has active electronics for a much cleaner and purer output sound

CONS

  • This pickup is difficult to install
  • It is not for nylon-string guitars
  • A high price tag is attached to this pickup

What Recent Buyers Report

This humbucker acoustic guitar delivers a great sound with very little feedback and has a fast response time. This gives great sound, and the Fishman pickup makes the acoustic guitar sound quite natural through the amplifier. The pickup produces a nice, full sound, and the tone comes through very true.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This humbucker pickup helps to eliminate the background sounds to give you a clear and strong output sound. The preamp of this active pickup is designed to work with low current power to preserve battery life. The natural acoustic sound that is produced with this humbucker pickup comes out clean.

Who Will Use This Most

This pickup is designed for those musicians that want the full, warm, humbucker acoustic sounds and tones. The much smoother treble response of this acoustic pickup from Fishman will help every musician produce a much livelier performance. It can be used by every performer of acoustic music.

Bottom Line

The good quality line of products that are produced by Fishman has stolen the hearts of many musicians. With this humbucker Rare Earth Pro-Rep-102 acoustic guitar pickup, they are continuing to do just that. This pickup may come with a high price tag, but the included pre-amp will make up for it.

Best K&K Classical Guitar Pickup:
Pure Mini Acoustic Guitar Pickup From K&K Music

K&K Pure Mini Acoustic Guitar Pickup

PROS

  • The Pure Mini has no electronics
  • This transducer pickup system is very easy to use
  • It can be used with nylon and steel-string guitars
  • With the transducer pickup system, you need no batteries
  • You get a very well-balanced sound output with this pickup
  • Very little feedback is experienced with the Mini acoustic guitar pickups

CONS

  • You have no adjustment controls
  • This pickup is quite difficult to install
  • A high price tag is attached to the pickup

What Recent Buyers Report

This Mini pickup has a very well-balanced sound output that will reliably reproduce the natural sound of your acoustic guitar. The pickup provides for quite a natural and brilliant version of the sound of your guitar through the amplifier. This little transducer pickup is worth every penny you will spend on it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a very simple and easy-to-use acoustic guitar pickup that uses only transducers to send signals to the amplifier. It can be easily used for any nylon-string and steel-string guitar for a great, natural sound output. You will also get very little background sounds or any other feedback.

Who Will Use This Most

This Pure Mini acoustic guitar pickup system can be successfully used by the classical guitarist, as well as the flamenco guitar player. It is also suitable to use on any steel-string acoustic guitar for high-quality sound output. It is a perfect acoustic pickup for anyone who needs to amplify their sound.

Bottom Line

With this K&K acoustic guitar pickup, you may pay for the name of this pickup, but it is worth it. You get good value for your money by using this pickup with your guitar for a natural acoustic sound output. Overall, it is a great acoustic guitar pickup.

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Classical Guitar Pickup

There are many upsides to buying high-quality pickups for your classical guitar. Here we will take a look at a few of the main pros.

Easy to Use

Most of the time, it is better to have a simple device that is easy to use and does not get in the way. You will find that the KNA NG-1 from Kremona falls nicely in this category.

After you have installed it onto your guitar, you can forget about it and go on to what is more important. When you need to use it, you just need to plug it in and keep on doing your job of making music.

Good Quality

A high-quality pickup is always the best type of device to go for when you are choosing a pickup. It must be a good investment for you when you buy a pickup for your acoustic guitar.

Not all things are made equal, and that is also true for the pickups available for your acoustic classical guitar. With the NG-1, you will find that the quality of sound from your guitar is improved when you are using it.

Better Sound

When you use a pickup on a classical acoustic guitar, it must help improve the sound of your guitar. It must also transfer the natural sound reliably through the amplifier.

How to Install a Pickup on a Classical Guitar

Installing a pickup on your guitar can be very easy or quite difficult depending on the type of pickup.

  1. To install the KNA Kremona NG-1, you only need to loosen the strings and push the pickup in. This means that you will need to push the pickup from below, underneath the strings. The exact place is behind the saddle and under the knots where your strings are tied.  

  2. After you have pushed it under all the strings, you may tighten the strings again. Just like that, it is very simple to install this pickup. This YouTube Video will confirm that.

Here is how to install other types of pickups:

  1. With the soundhole type of pickup, you need to also loosen the strings. Then, you will have to push the pickup under the strings into the soundhole while still holding onto it.  

  2. The soundboard of your guitar must then fit inside the slots on both sides of the pickup. Put the pickup in the center of the hole. When both slots are wedged over the wood, push it in the direction of the bridge. This YouTube Video will make it easier for you.

Conclusion

With this information, you are better equipped to find the right pickup for your guitar. Remember to look for the most important features that will help you make the right choice. Armed with this information, you can successfully get what you need.