One of the challenges to playing classical guitar in a live situation is volume. Usually, some sort of “electronic control” is used to allow you to hear it better. So, today, I’d like to review the NG-1 Guitar Pickup from Kremona.
The Kremona NG-1
The Kremona NG-1 is a great passive piezo pickup with the piezo crystals sandwiched in between two pieces of maple. It’s the most natural-sounding pickup I’ve heard for classical guitar.
One of the things that I absolutely love about this pickup is that you don’t have to drill any holes or damage your guitar in any way. You use the strings to tie it onto the bridge of the guitar and when you play the strings, the energy produced by plucking the string is transferred into the pickup as it goes through the bridge and out to your amp creating a very natural sound.
Using the Pickup
You’ll want to balance the pick-up on the bridge while tying in your strings.
The NG-1 comes with an 8-foot cable with a ⅛-inch jack on the one end and your standard ¼-inch jack on the other end to plug into your amp. The one downside to this pickup is having the cord hanging down off your bridge, but that’s minor. Now, you don’t have to use a preamp if you’re plugging straight into your amp, but if you’re going through a house system, you might need one.
When you finish playing, there’s no need to remove it. It doesn’t affect the natural guitar sound one bit.
To my understanding, the first incarnation of this pickup was a bit brittle and tended to break easily, but now that they’ve upgraded to maple, it’s fairly sturdy. I would still treat it with respect.
Most piezo pickups that I’ve heard sound…. terrible. More like plastic than the beautiful natural acoustic sounds that God created it to sound like. And while you have a little of that with this pickup, it’s minimal. If anything, it forces you to play better.
I’ve had mine since August of 2016 and it still plays great with no problems.
Kremona has pickups for violin, viola, cello, and basses, and they sell a universal pickup as well. You can check them out at http://www.kremonausa.com
Overall, I like this pickup and it works well for my needs.
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