An amplified acoustic guitar should sound the same as it does unplugged …… just louder.
We are dedicated to producing a natural and dynamic live sound for professional players. Because of this focus, our pickup is not an afterthought installed at the end of the production line. We build our system into the guitar as it goes through production.
Plainly speaking, we designed a pickup and built a guitar around it.
Cole Clark PG3 pickup system.
Released in 2022, the PG3’s improved microphone for extreme highs, altered frequency filter between the mic and face sensor and new configuration between the face sensor and bridge pickup delivers our most advanced, dynamic and natural sounding plugged in experience yet.
The concept behind our pickup technology is best explained by comparing it to an audio system. A P.A usually consists of sub woofers, speakers and horns. Each component is designed to hear a range of frequencies they are best equipped to handle, with crossover points for frequencies best heard by the next component. Cole Clark uses the same philosophy, combining a piezo system for the bottom end, a patented face sensor for the mid range and a microphone for the top end.
Under Saddle Piezo
The piezo system utilizes 6 individual piezo elements suspended under the bridge saddle which we believe is the best and most dynamic type of piezo system available.
We know that the face/top is the most important component to the sound of an acoustic guitar, so it makes sense that we utilize that tone when amplifying the guitar. We do this with our unique face sensor which is specifically designed for the mid range. We use a patented blend control which blends in the amount of face sensor required to go with the piezo sound or to completely replace the piezo in the mid range. This goes a long way in removing the ‘piezo quack’, delivering a more natural tone. With a maximum crossover point of 350hz, the face sensor cannot hear any frequency in it’s feedback zone, instead leaving those frequencies to the under saddle piezo.
The third element is a condenser microphone for the top end. This microphone is set well above any frequency zone that could cause it to feed and is purely there to take the ‘ping’ out of the piezo if there is some piezo blended through at full range.
On your preamp you’ll find 3 knobs. Top centre is for volume, top left is a blend knob used to add or remove frequencies that the face sensor is hearing and top right is a separate volume specific to the microphone.
The FC (filter contour) button allows for effortless switching between the PG3 configuration and an improved version of it’s predecessor, the 3-Way. There is also a battery light and a highly effective EQ with sliders for treble, mid range and bass response.
Customers with a battery light on their 3-Way preamp controls can get a free upgrade to the PG3 preamp via their local Cole Clark dealer.
Cole Clark 3-way pickup system.
From 2012 to 2021, most Cole Clark models featured the 3-Way pickup system. It comprises the under saddle piezo, face sensor and microphone and functions similarly to the current PG3, without the filter contour option and new configuration.
Cole Clark 2-way pickup system.
The original Cole Clark preamp is no longer available but is fitted to most Cole Clark models prior to 2012 and 1 series guitars up to December 2017.
The 2-way comprised the under saddle piezo system with the patented face sensor but without the added condenser microphone for the top end.
On this pre-amp you’ll find 5 sliders:
- Blend (F for face sensor and B for bridge)