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How Much Does It Cost to Put a Pickup in an Acoustic Guitar

It costs around $50 to $200 to install a pickup in an acoustic guitar. Adding a pickup to an acoustic guitar can greatly enhance its versatility and allow you to play it through an amplifier or PA system.

Whether you’re a professional musician or an enthusiast, having a pickup installed in your acoustic guitar can open up new possibilities for live performances, recording, or simply practicing at home. The cost of installing a pickup can vary depending on factors such as the type and quality of the pickup, the complexity of the installation process, and whether you choose to have it professionally installed or do it yourself.

We’ll explore the average cost range for installing a pickup in an acoustic guitar and discuss some factors to consider before making your decision. Read on to find out more.

Table of Contents

Understanding Acoustic Guitar Pickups

Acoustic guitars are beloved for their natural, warm sound. However, there may be times when you want to amplify your guitar’s sound, whether you’re performing on stage, recording in a studio, or simply jamming with friends. That’s where acoustic guitar pickups come in. By installing a pickup in your acoustic guitar, you can easily connect your instrument to an amplifier or sound system, allowing your beautiful acoustic tones to reach a wider audience.

Types of pickups commonly used in acoustic guitars

When it comes to acoustic guitar pickups, there are several types to choose from. Each type has its own unique characteristics and advantages, catering to different playing styles and preferences.

  1. Under-Saddle Pickups: These pickups are placed underneath the bridge saddle of an acoustic guitar. They rely on piezo crystals to convert the vibrations of the strings into electrical signals. Under-saddle pickups are known for their clarity and accurate reproduction of the guitar’s natural acoustic sound.
  2. Soundboard Transducers: These pickups are typically attached to the soundboard, either on the inside or outside of the guitar. They capture the vibrations of the soundboard and translate them into electrical signals. Soundboard transducers provide a warmer, more resonant tone compared to under-saddle pickups.
  3. Soundhole Pickups: As the name suggests, these pickups are mounted in the soundhole of the guitar. They capture the sound waves through the soundhole and convert them into electrical signals. Soundhole pickups are easy to install and offer a balanced tone.
  4. Magnetic Pickups: Unlike the previous types, magnetic pickups work similarly to electric guitar pickups. They use magnets and coils to detect the vibrations of the strings. Magnetic pickups provide a bright, electric-like tone, making them popular among guitarists who want to achieve a more versatile sound from their acoustic guitar.

Benefits of installing a pickup in an acoustic guitar

Installing a pickup in your acoustic guitar opens up a world of possibilities and benefits:

  • Amplification: With a pickup, you can easily amplify your acoustic guitar’s sound, making it suitable for larger venues, performances, and recordings.
  • Versatility: By connecting your acoustic guitar to an amplifier or sound system, you can experiment with different sounds and effects, expanding your creative options as a guitarist.
  • Convenience: A pickup allows you to eliminate the need for additional microphones or other equipment when it comes to amplification.
  • Consistency: Unlike relying solely on microphones, pickups provide a more consistent sound, reducing the chances of unwanted feedback or ambient noise interference.
  • Portability: Having a pickup installed in your acoustic guitar means you can easily plug in and play, without the need for extra gear and setup time.

Whether you’re a professional musician or an avid hobbyist, installing a pickup in your acoustic guitar can greatly enhance your playing experience. With the various types of pickups available, you can find the perfect match for your playing style and desired sound. Don’t limit your acoustic guitar’s potential—bring it to life with a pickup.

How Much Does It Cost to Put a Pickup in an Acoustic Guitar


Comparing Different Pickup Options

Magnetic Pickups vs. Piezo Pickups for Acoustic Guitars

When it comes to amplifying the sound of an acoustic guitar, there are two main pickup options to consider: magnetic pickups and piezo pickups. Both types have their own distinct characteristics and features, making them suitable for different playing styles and preferences.

Pros and Cons of Different Pickup Types

Magnetic Pickups: Magnetic pickups, also known as magnetic soundhole pickups, are commonly used in electric guitars, but they can also be installed in acoustic guitars. These pickups work by sensing the vibrations of the guitar’s strings through magnets and converting them into an electrical signal. Here are some pros and cons of using magnetic pickups:
  • Pros:
    • Magnetic pickups produce a warm and rich tone with plenty of sustain.
    • They are great for players who want to add some electric guitar-like qualities to their acoustic sound.
    • These pickups are relatively easy to install and remove, making them a versatile option for gigging musicians.
    • They are compatible with most guitar amplifiers and effects pedals.
  • Cons:
    • Magnetic pickups can sometimes produce a slightly artificial sound compared to the natural tone of an acoustic guitar.
    • They may pick up unwanted string and body noises, especially when playing at higher volumes.
    • Magnetic pickups require a preamp to boost the signal and adjust the tone, adding an extra cost.
Piezo Pickups: Piezo pickups, also known as under-saddle pickups, are popular among acoustic guitarists for their ability to capture the natural tone of the instrument. These pickups work by sensing the vibrations of the guitar’s saddle, allowing for a more accurate representation of the acoustic sound. Here are some pros and cons of using piezo pickups:
  • Pros:
    • Piezo pickups deliver a clear and natural acoustic tone, preserving the nuances and dynamics of your playing.
    • They can handle high volume levels without feedback issues, making them suitable for live performances.
    • These pickups are less likely to pick up unwanted string and body noises.
    • Piezo pickups are generally more affordable compared to magnetic pickups.
  • Cons:
    • Some players may find that piezo pickups lack the warmth and character of magnetic pickups.
    • They require a precise installation process, often involving professional help.
    • Piezo pickups may require a separate preamp or equalizer to achieve the desired sound.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pickup for Your Acoustic Guitar

When deciding on the right pickup for your acoustic guitar, it’s important to take several factors into consideration. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
  • Playing Style and Genre: Think about the style of music you play and whether you need a pickup that can handle aggressive strumming, delicate fingerpicking, or both.
  • Tone Preference: Consider the type of tone you’re looking to achieve. Do you prefer a more electric guitar-like sound or a natural, acoustic sound?
  • Budget: Determine how much you’re willing to spend on a pickup. Magnetic pickups tend to be more expensive, especially when additional equipment like preamps are necessary.
  • Installation: Take into account your comfort level with installing a pickup. Piezo pickups often require professional installation, while magnetic pickups can be easily installed and removed.
  • Compatibility: Ensure that the pickup you choose is compatible with your guitar’s size, shape, and electronics.
By considering these factors and understanding the pros and cons of different pickup types, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and find the perfect pickup to enhance the sound of your acoustic guitar. Remember, each pickup type offers its own unique advantages and limitations, so it’s all about finding the right fit for your playing style and sonic preferences.

A Breakdown Of Cost Factors

Adding a pickup to an acoustic guitar can greatly expand its versatility, allowing you to amplify your sound for performances or recordings. However, it’s essential to consider the various cost factors involved in this process. In this section, we will discuss the cost of the pickup itself, the additional materials required for installation, the labor costs associated with installing a pickup, and any optional upgrades or modifications that may impact the overall cost.

Cost of the pickup itself

The first cost factor to consider is the price of the pickup itself. The cost can vary depending on the brand, quality, and type of pickup you choose. Generally, pickups can range from around $50 to $300 or more. Higher-quality pickups often come with advanced features and technology that can enhance your sound, but they may also come with a higher price tag. It’s important to balance your budget with your desired sound quality when selecting a pickup.

Additional materials needed for installation

Aside from the pickup, there are additional materials required for the installation process. These materials may include wires, soldering equipment, screws, and other small components. The cost of these materials is typically quite affordable, ranging from $10 to $50 depending on the complexity of the installation. It’s worth noting that if you choose to install the pickup yourself, you may need to purchase additional tools or equipment if you don’t already have them. These costs should be taken into account when considering the overall investment.

Labor costs involved in installing a pickup in an acoustic guitar

If you are not familiar with guitar electronics or lack the necessary skills and tools, you may choose to hire a professional for the installation. Labor costs can vary depending on the expertise and location of the technician. On average, you can expect to pay around $50 to $150 for installation services. It’s important to research and compare costs from different technicians to ensure you are getting a fair price for the job.

Optional upgrades or modifications that may affect the overall cost

Finally, the overall cost of putting a pickup in an acoustic guitar can be influenced by any optional upgrades or modifications you choose to make. For example, if you decide to install a preamp or onboard EQ system along with the pickup, it can increase the cost. Other modifications such as replacing the guitar’s nut or saddle, upgrading the tuning machines, or installing a new output jack can also impact the price. These upgrades can enhance the functionality and playability of your instrument, but they will add to the total cost.

Diy Vs. Professional Installation

When it comes to installing a pickup in an acoustic guitar, you have two main options: doing it yourself or hiring a professional. Each option has its own set of pros and cons that can influence your decision. In this section, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of both DIY installation and hiring a professional for pickup installation.

Pros and cons of installing a pickup yourself

If you have some basic knowledge of guitar electronics and are comfortable working with tools, installing a pickup yourself can be a viable option. Here are the pros and cons worth considering:

  • Pros:
    • Cost-saving: DIY installation eliminates the need to pay for professional labor, potentially saving you a significant amount of money.
    • Flexibility: By installing the pickup yourself, you have total control over the specific type of pickup you want to use and where it is placed in the guitar.
    • Learning experience: Engaging in DIY installation can provide you with valuable knowledge about your guitar’s internal workings, allowing you to make future adjustments or repairs with confidence.
  • Cons:
    • Technical skill required: Installing a pickup requires some technical knowledge, including soldering and understanding guitar wiring diagrams. If you are inexperienced or uncomfortable with these tasks, DIY installation can be challenging.
    • Risk of damage: Without the expertise of a professional, there is a greater risk of unintentional damage to your guitar, such as scratches, dents, or improper wiring.
    • Time-consuming: DIY installation can be time-consuming, especially if you are new to the process. It may involve research, trial and error, and additional time spent on troubleshooting any issues that arise.

Safety considerations for DIY installation

Before embarking on a DIY pickup installation, it is essential to consider safety precautions to protect yourself and your guitar. These safety considerations include:

  • Proper workspace: Choose a clean, well-lit area where you can comfortably work on your guitar. Ensure you have enough space to lay out tools and components without the risk of accidents.
  • Protective gear: Wear safety goggles and gloves to shield your eyes and hands from any potential harm, such as flying debris or accidental burns from soldering equipment.
  • Disconnect power: If your guitar has an onboard preamp or active electronics, make sure to remove the battery or disconnect any power source before starting the installation to prevent electric shock or damage to components.
  • Follow instructions: Carefully read and understand the installation instructions provided by the pickup manufacturer. Following the recommended steps can help minimize the risk of errors or accidental damage.

Benefits of hiring a professional for pickup installation

If you are not confident in your DIY skills or simply prefer to leave the installation to the experts, hiring a professional can offer several benefits:

  • Expertise and experience: Professionals have the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to install pickups efficiently and effectively. They are familiar with different guitar models and can handle any complications that may arise during the installation process.
  • Quality assurance: Hiring a professional ensures that the pickup will be installed correctly and securely, minimizing the chances of damage or technical issues.
  • Time-saving: With professional installation, you can save time and effort by entrusting the job to someone who knows exactly what they are doing. This allows you to focus on playing your guitar without worrying about the technical aspects.
  • Warranty protection: Some pickup manufacturers offer warranties that may require professional installation for the warranty to remain valid. Hiring a professional ensures that you adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines, protecting your investment.

Ultimately, the decision between DIY installation and hiring a professional depends on your comfort level, available resources, and desired outcome. Consider your skills, budget, and the importance of a flawless installation when making your choice. Whether you opt for DIY or professional installation, adding a pickup to your acoustic guitar can open up a world of amplified possibilities.

Cost Analysis: Diy Installation

Are you looking to add a pickup to your acoustic guitar? The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank to do it. While professional installation can cost you a pretty penny, opting for a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach can be much more budget-friendly. In this section, we will break down the estimated costs of purchasing a pickup and necessary materials, provide a step-by-step guide to DIY pickup installation, and highlight common challenges and potential additional costs. So, let’s dive in and explore the cost analysis of DIY installation.

Estimated costs of purchasing a pickup and necessary materials

Before embarking on your DIY pickup installation journey, it’s essential to understand the estimated costs of purchasing a pickup and the necessary materials. Below, we have compiled a list of the typical expenses associated with this process:

Item Estimated Cost
Acoustic guitar pickup $50 – $300
Wire cutters/strippers $10 – $30
Soldering iron $20 – $50
Solder $5 – $15
Electrical tape $3 – $10

Keep in mind that these prices can vary depending on the brand and quality of the pickup and materials you choose. It’s advisable to allocate a budget within this estimated range to ensure you’re getting reliable components that will enhance your guitar’s sound.

Step-by-step guide to DIY pickup installation

Now that you have a clear idea of the costs involved, let’s dive into a step-by-step guide to help you with your DIY pickup installation:

  1. Gather all the necessary materials mentioned above.
  2. Start by loosening the strings of your acoustic guitar.
  3. Select a suitable location for the pickup, typically under the saddle.
  4. Carefully remove the saddle and place the pickup in the designated spot.
  5. Secure the pickup by re-inserting the saddle.
  6. Use wire cutters/strippers to strip the necessary amount of insulation from the pickup’s wires.
  7. Solder the pickup wires to the desired output jack or preamp.
  8. After soldering, ensure all connections are secure and free from any short circuits.
  9. Wrap the soldered connections with electrical tape for added protection.
  10. Tune your guitar and test the pickup’s functionality.

Following these steps will enable you to successfully install a pickup in your acoustic guitar without enlisting professional help. Just take your time, be patient, and double-check your work to ensure everything is in order.

Common challenges and potential additional costs associated with DIY installation

While DIY installation can be a cost-effective solution, it’s crucial to be aware of common challenges and potential additional costs you may come across:

  • Mistakes during soldering, which may require rework or purchasing new components.
  • Difficulty in finding suitable pickup positions, affecting the overall sound quality.
  • Potential damage to the guitar’s structure if not handled with care.
  • The need for additional tools or accessories specific to your guitar model.

By considering these challenges and potential costs, you can adequately prepare yourself and minimize any unexpected surprises along the way. Remember, with a bit of patience and practice, you’ll be able to overcome these obstacles and achieve a successful DIY pickup installation.

Cost Analysis: Professional Installation

When considering the cost of putting a pickup in an acoustic guitar, professional installation is an option that many guitarists choose. While some musicians may have the skills to install the pickup themselves, professional installation ensures that the job is done correctly and can save time and frustration. In this section, we will analyze the average cost of professional pickup installation, explore the factors that may affect the cost, and provide tips on finding a reputable guitar technician for pickup installation.

Average cost of professional pickup installation

The cost of professional pickup installation for acoustic guitars can vary depending on various factors such as the type of pickup, the complexity of the installation, and the technician’s experience and expertise. On average, you can expect to pay between $50 and $150 for professional pickup installation.

To give you a clearer idea of the cost breakdown, here is a simple table comparing the average cost range for different types of pickups:

Type of Pickup Average Cost Range
Soundhole pickup $50 – $100
Under-saddle pickup $80 – $130
Internal microphone pickup $100 – $150

Factors that may affect the cost of professional installation

Several factors can impact the cost of professional pickup installation for acoustic guitars. These factors include:

  1. Type of pickup: Different types of pickups require different installation techniques, which can affect the overall cost.
  2. Additional modifications: If your guitar requires additional modifications, such as routing the body for a particular pickup, the cost may increase.
  3. Technician’s experience: Highly experienced guitar technicians may charge higher fees for their expertise.
  4. Location: The cost of professional pickup installation may vary depending on your geographical location.
  5. Additional services: If you require additional guitar setup or adjustments along with the pickup installation, the cost may be higher.

How to find a reputable guitar technician for pickup installation

Finding a reputable guitar technician to handle your pickup installation is essential to ensure a quality job. Here are some tips to help you in your search:

  • Seek recommendations: Ask fellow musicians or local music shops for recommendations on trusted guitar technicians in your area.
  • Check reviews and testimonials: Read online reviews and testimonials from previous clients to gauge the technician’s reputation and skills.
  • Ask for a portfolio: Request to see samples of the technician’s previous work to assess their level of expertise.
  • Communicate with the technician: Contact the technician and discuss your requirements to ensure they have the necessary knowledge and experience.
  • Get quotes: Obtain quotes from multiple technicians to compare prices and ensure you are getting a fair deal.

By following these steps, you can find a reputable guitar technician who can provide professional pickup installation for your acoustic guitar.

Tips For Saving Money On Pickup Installation

When it comes to putting a pickup in an acoustic guitar, the cost can vary depending on various factors. However, there are ways to save money on pickup installation without compromising on quality. In this section, we will explore some tips and strategies to help you get the best deal.

Researching and comparing prices for pickups and installation services

One of the first steps in saving money on pickup installation is to research and compare prices for both the pickup itself and the installation services. Start by looking for reputable guitar shops or online retailers that offer a wide range of pickups at competitive prices. Consider factors such as the brand reputation, customer reviews, and warranty offered with the pickup.

Next, research different guitar technicians or luthiers who provide pickup installation services. Check their experience, qualifications, and customer testimonials. Look for technicians who offer affordable rates without compromising on the quality of their work.

Ways to negotiate pricing with guitar technicians

When you find a guitar technician or luthier for the pickup installation, there are several strategies you can use to negotiate pricing. Firstly, ask if they offer any discounts or bundle deals if you purchase the pickup from them as well. Sometimes, technicians may be willing to reduce the installation fee if they make a sale on the pickup.

Additionally, you could inquire if they provide discounts for multiple pickups installations or if they offer any seasonal promotions. Establishing a good rapport with the technician during the initial consultation may also increase your chances of securing a better price.

Considerations when purchasing used pickups or DIY installation kits

If you’re looking to further save money, consider purchasing used pickups or DIY installation kits. Used pickups can often be found at a fraction of the price of a new one, but make sure to inspect them carefully for any damage or defects before purchasing. Websites such as eBay or online guitar forums can be great platforms for finding used pickups.

DIY installation kits are another cost-effective option. These kits typically come with the necessary tools and instructions for installing the pickups yourself. However, keep in mind that installing a pickup requires some technical skills and knowledge, so if you’re not confident in your abilities, it’s best to seek professional help to avoid any mistakes that could lead to costly repairs later on.

Alternative options for amplifying acoustic guitars without installing a pickup

If you’re on a tight budget or simply prefer not to install a pickup in your acoustic guitar, there are alternative options available to amplify your sound. Consider investing in a quality external microphone that can be positioned near the soundhole or the fretboard of your guitar. These microphones can provide excellent sound quality and are often relatively affordable compared to pickups and installation services.

Another option is to use an external guitar microphone system that clips onto your guitar’s soundhole or attaches to the headstock. These systems can capture the natural acoustic sound of your guitar without the need for extensive modifications.

Frequently Asked Questions For How Much Does It Cost To Put A Pickup In An Acoustic Guitar

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Pickup On A Guitar?

The cost to install a pickup on a guitar varies depending on the type of pickup and the labor involved. Generally, it can range from $50 to $200. It’s best to consult a professional guitar technician to get an accurate estimate for your specific needs.

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Pickup On An Acoustic Guitar?

The cost to install a pickup on an acoustic guitar varies depending on the type and quality of the pickup. Prices typically range from $50 to $300, excluding any additional setup fees or installation costs from a professional guitar technician.

Can I Add A Pickup To My Acoustic Guitar?

Yes, you can easily add a pickup to your acoustic guitar. This allows you to plug it into an amplifier or sound system for live performances. Adding a pickup can enhance the volume and tone of your guitar.

Should I Get A Pickup For My Acoustic Guitar?

Yes, getting a pickup for your acoustic guitar can enhance its sound and allow you to play through an amplifier. Pickups capture the vibrations of the strings and transmit them as an electrical signal. This gives you more volume, tone control, and the ability to perform live or record.


To summarize the discussion, the cost of installing a pickup in an acoustic guitar depends on various factors. The type of pickup, the quality, and the expertise of the technician can influence the final price. It is crucial to consider the desired sound and budget before making a decision.

Whether you are a professional musician or an enthusiast, investing in a high-quality pickup can enhance your acoustic guitar playing experience.

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