For those on a tight budget, the Schaller Oyster is our value choice. And for those that need the best, the LR Baggs Anthem offers a fantastic solution that tames feedback and gives you natural sound. It’s our premium option as it comes with a heftier price tag than the other options on this list but gets amazing results.
Here are our candidates for the best pickups for classical guitar.
Seymour Duncan Wavelength Duo Nylon (Best Overall)
Schaller Oyster (Best Value)
LR Baggs Anthem (Best Premium)
L.R. Baggs Lyric-Classical Mikrofon Set
1. Seymour Duncan Wavelength Duo Nylon (Best Overall)
The ultimate pickup company offers a fantastic solution for nylon string guitar amplification. The Seymour Duncan Wavelength Duo features an under-saddle transducer and omnidirectional condenser mic that captures the natural sound of your acoustic at its most resonant point: under the saddle and bridge.
This pickup system was specifically designed for your nylon-stringed acoustic guitars and is our best overall choice for this list.
Specifically designed for your nylon-stringed acoustic, the Wavelength Duo features an under-saddle transducer and omnidirectional condenser mic that captures the natural sound of your acoustic at its most resonant point: under the saddle and bridge.
The two AA batteries that run the system are bumped from 9 volts to 18 with a multiplier circuit, offering you more headroom to push volume whenever necessary. All of this while doing away with the undesired piezo “quack.”
The Wavelength Duo features an omnidirectional electret condenser mic that is housed in a special absorptive visco-elastic polymer shock mount.
This ensures that the mic is kept isolated, protected, and focused on capturing your classical or flamenco guitar’s natural resonance inside the body.
The Wavelength Duo also features two low-profile knobs mounted in the soundhole for controlling the master volume and mic volume.
You can choose to bring the mic up for more air or take it down to restrain feedback. Additionally, the mic channel has two stages of low-frequency roll-off to dampen any feedback that might appear.
To top it off, a full-coverage copper shielding on the pickup ensures that external noise is kept at bay.
Simply put, the Wavelength Duo Nylon is a great choice for a classical and flamenco guitar pickup, made specifically for nylon string guitars.
2. Schaller Oyster (Best Value)
The Shaller brand has developed a stellar reputation as a manufacturer of several tools for a variety of stringed instruments.
The Oyster pickup system is a great choice for amplifying your nylon string guitar offering a warm and realistic sound to your instrument. Additionally, this pickup system is easy to install and remove.
2 Oyster Piezo pickups with a socket for interior mounting
3-head, bridge plate transducer
High-quality 1/4″ jack socket including cable strain relief, screw nozzle, and strap button
Variable color sound depending on placement
The Schaller Oyster pickups give your instrument a natural, warm, full sound, without the need of having active switching or preamps.
The resulting sound is achieved through the interplay of the membrane and the piezo. The Schaller Oyster system is fixed to the instrument with the use of double-sided adhesive tape that does not damage the surface of the instrument.
The package includes a 35 cm cable, high-quality 1/4″ jack socket including cable strain relief, screw nozzle, and strap button. The Schaller Oyster also offers secure mounting and great shielding and has a capacity of 74 pF.
The LR Baggs Anthem Tru-Mic Acoustic Pickup will change the way you look at mic pickups! The Anthem is strictly a well-designed microphone that picks up your guitar - clean, clear, and full of dynamics.
Noise-canceling technology to avoid “honky” or “boxy” sound
Tru-Mic system for eliminating placement issues
Volume, Mix, and Phase controls inside soundhole
The LR Baggs Anthem is a Piezo, Tru Mic system with proprietary noise-canceling technology that avoids that undesirable honky/boxy sound and keeps your acoustic tone sounding as pure and natural as your instrument will allow.
LR Baggs also gave special attention to the uniquely designed placement system that picks up the sound of the vibrations of your entire soundboard. This makes the Anthem surprisingly free of placement issues.
Additionally, the control unit of the Anthem is quite lightweight and features just the essentials: Volume, Mix, and Phase. These controls fit nicely inside the soundhole for easy fingertip access.
With the Mix control, you can blend between the augmented mic and the full-range pickup. The Anthem also features a multi-segment battery check to maximize battery life.
Fishman has developed a stellar reputation as one of the best at producing guitar pickups and related equipment. They are especially known for their high-quality solutions for capturing the sound of acoustic instruments.
The Fishman SBT-C can be used in a variety of instruments, from classical guitars, dulcimers, and steel string guitars.
It features great build quality and can capture the warm and natural sound of many different acoustic instruments.
The Fishman SBT-C pickup is capable of reproducing a full, natural, transparent tone. It can be installed on any type of acoustic stringed instrument equipped with a flat soundboard.
Although the SBT-C pickup offers relatively easy installation on nylon string guitars and similar stringed instruments, Fishman recommends that a professional is sought for installing it.
This pickup can be mounted onto a classical guitar, a steel-string guitar, a dulcimer, and similar stringed instruments, including a piano.
The installation may be performed either on the outside of the instrument or inside the soundhole in order to keep the transducer safe.
In instruments with small soundholes (dulcimers, for example), internal installation may not be feasible.
As a general rule, the transducer should be mounted over a freely vibrating location and not over a “dead” structural brace. The exact location for best results should be determined by experimentation, hence Fishman’s recommendation of employing professional help when installing.
Fishman also recommends an impedance-matching preamp but states that is not required either. The point of using such a preamp is to help realize the full frequency response potential of the pickup and ensure that cable runs longer than 10 feet can be done without a loss of quality.
For best results, use high quality, low capacitance ¼” shielded instrument cable (models SBT-HP and SBT-E) or the provided cable (SBT-C).
This will ensure minimal tone coloration and hum. Overall, the Fishman SBT-C pickup is a great option to capture the sound of your nylon string with great quality and accuracy.
It is placed on the tie block behind the saddle ensuring that the piezo pickup does not interfere with the sound of your guitar. This positioning also ensures that the performer can play freely and without being concerned about accidentally hitting the pickup.
Usually, classical guitar pickups like the KNA-NG1 present feedback problems. However, the folks at Kremona were able to tame this problem significantly.
The KNA-NG1 can be used conveniently for casual gigs where you need your guitar to sound good but don’t want to deal with an elaborate set of mics or other solutions.
This classical guitar pickup/microphone system includes a microphone, an endpin jacket, a preamp, and cabling. It provides an elegant solution to the eternal problem of feedback when miking nylon string guitars onstage.
This unit is small and unobtrusive, with an internally mounted microphone that is less than two inches wide, a remote volume/presence control unit that mounts along the edge of the soundhole, an output jack that mounts to the guitar’s tail block, and a battery bag.
The Lyric system features minimal and simple wiring, running from the mic to the preamp to the output jack. Clips are provided to hold the wiring in place.
To attach it, all you have to do is peel off the mount’s protective cover and press it in place, with no additional glue necessary.
The control unit uses the same peel-and-stick mounting with a thumbwheel volume control and a set-and-forget presence control that is adjusted with a tool provided for this purpose.
The L.R. Baggs Lyric Set is mounted to the bridge plate rather than suspended in the air like many other internal mics, and so it captures the full range of the soundboard’s projection in addition to resonance.
Great bass mid-range response and soft acoustic tone
For guitars with 3 11/16″ and 4 1/8″ (94-105mm) diameter soundholes
Easy installation and removal.
Strap endpin jack
Inside edges of both mounting brackets lined with shock-absorbing foam
The Kmise SH85 comes with the pickup, cable, 1/4″ jack for plugging the cable, and even a screwdriver that lets you install it on the go.
It features a screw at both ends of the pickup. But don’t worry, these screws are there only to apply some pressure on the wedges so the pickup is stable. In other words, you won’t have to drill any holes on your precious guitar.
To install it, simply place the inside edges of both mounting brackets on opposite sides of the soundhole and then tighten them up a bit with the screws provided.