I have decided to amplify my old classical guitar. While I doubt seriously I will forsake either of my electrics, the strat or the sg, as of this moment I feel no need to play another guitar. After having listened to Willie Nelson’s “Stardust” album and hearing the tone he achieved, I am smitten, and nothing else will do.
After doing a little research I found what Willie uses to get that tone, and discovered the inevitable truth that all of the equipment he uses is not only unavailable, but exceedingly rare. Not in a Elton John’s million dollar piano kind of way. But in a marketing afterthought 50 or so years ago.
The pickup that gives the guitar that signature tone was an afterthought, it was never mass produced, and Willie stumbled across it by accident. It wasn’t even originally in the Martin, but from another guitar that was destroyed by someone drunkenly stepping on it.
Needless to say the pickup used is exceedingly rare, and hard to find. Another thing that is almost unbelievable about this divine circumstance of guitar tone is that the amp used isn’t even a tube amp, its an early solid state amp, which goes against everything (admittedly little) I thought I knew. You can read more about the story, in an interview with Willie here.
Apparently Willie loves Django too!
I have been looking for a modern piezoelectric pickup like the one in trigger, but have as yet been unsuccessful at finding a modern version that creates even a similar tone. I will update if I can find anything, suggestions are welcome!! In the near future I will be drilling a hole into a guitar, something I never thought I would do. I’ll have pics maybe even a video.