Acoustic guitar pickups come in several different forms.
A type of acoustic pickup that has remained very popular is the kind that is mounted directly into the guitars soundhole. The cable is hidden inside the body and a hole drilled through the end block of the guitar to accept the jack-socket. This type of pickup relies purely on the string vibration being picked up over the pickup magnets to create a sound.
Another style of pickup is the type that is mounted internally under the soundboard. Again the cable is hidden inside the body of the guitar and holes for components drilled accordingly. This type of pickup can be prone to feedback problems. It relies on vibrations from the soundboard exciting elements within the pickup. This in turn creates an electrical current which is then amplified.
By far the more superior of the former types is the under saddle transducer, now very popular and fitted as standard to most new Acoustic guitars. This type of transducer is fitted inside the bridge under the bridge saddle. The pickup is a long, flat narrow bar that is sensitive to the down bearing of the strings tension to create an electrical current.
A small hole is drilled through the soundboard in the saddle slot for the cable to pass through. Once the saddle is replaced the pickup is hidden from view. The end block strap button is removed, a 10mm hole is drilled to accept a barrel style jack socket connection, or on certain systems, the complete pre amp. This is housed in an elongated shielding cap. Other styles of pre-amps are housed on the side of the guitar at the upper bout or waist, and facilitate onboard EQ and volume controls, as well as the battery housing.
View a case study of a L R Baggs pickup fitted to an Olson acoustic here
View a case study of a L R Baggs pickup fitted to a Collings acoustic here
Acoustic pickups recommended by this workshop: