Saturday, July 08, 2006

Review: Carlos CP-1 High End Acoustic Guitar Pickup

Good... no, great things come in small packages:


Regular readers of MMM will recall that I reviewed the Carlos CP-1A Professional under-saddle acoustic guitar pickup previously here, and that I was totally blown away by it. It is no exaggeration to say that the CP-1A totally transformed the character of my experimental fretted Godin Glissentar (With the Ed Reynolds custom neck). Basically, it went from having a severely anemic sound to having a full and rich one.

That experience made me look again at the possibility of amplifying my two 1979 Anthony Gaillard Murray acoustic classical guitars. No other pickup could have possibly had me entertaining the idea of drilling an endpin jack hole and a transducer hole into those precious instruments. But, the reality of my performing life is that I need amplification, and I sorely want to have the option of playing my Murray's when the situation warrants it. So, I made a deal with Carlos, and got one of his custom made, one-at-a-time, top o' the line, CP-1 High End models.

I installed it today:

I'm going to relocate the control box inside the guitar when I get the settings worked out.


I would be lying if i said I wasn't filled with trepidation as I was drilling holes into the Murray. Tony passed away last year, so there aren't any more of them being made, you know. So, it was kind of a "My God, what am I doing?!" kind of an experience. I needn't have worried: This pickup is even more amazing than the CP-1A! The sound is so natural, that it sounds like a Murray guitar and not just a nice generic classical guitar sound. I'm betting that with this pickup a Ramirez will sound like a Ramirez, a Humphrey will sound like a Humphrey, and so on: It's detail and nuance are that good.

After twenty-seven years of owning a Murray, it's like getting an entirely new one all over again. Tony would approve.

The pickup seems to like to have the settings all wide open, which is a first: Treble, especially, usually gets harsh in a hurry, but not with the CP-1. The mids are full and rich without honking, and the bass is deep, but highly focused. I never had even a hint of impending feedback, and I am sitting right in front of a pair of Tannoy near feald monitors with the volume quite high.

As Darth Vader said of Luke Skywalker: "Impressive. Most, impressive." LOL!

Thank you again Carlos, for your awesome pickups!


Hucbald... ("hearts")

... Carlos Pickups.


And, I'm not the only one.


Blogger solitudex said...

This comment probably has no relation to your post but I would really have to say that pictures of your Anthony Gaillard Murray guitar can really send me into a state of envy. =)

A true beauty.

5:49 AM  
Blogger Hucbald said...

Thanks Jeff,

I'm actually extraordinarily blessed in that I have TWO of them, but the other does not have the gorgeously figured top. Sounds and plays just as good, though. ;^)


10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:20 AM  
Anonymous said...

I happen to have a 1974 murray.

Would be interested in finding out
it's value

6:44 PM  
Blogger Arnold Fukumoto said...

I have a 1974 and a 1977 Anthony Gaillard Murray classical guitars. Both are in excellent shape and the latter is in virtually brand new condition. I moved away from music in favor of the arts and reluctantly am considering the sale of my guitars.


Arnold Fukumoto

11:36 PM  

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