After all these years, it’s still difficult to get great, natural sound from an acoustic guitar. While under-saddle piezos, soundhole pickups, and acoustics with built-in electronics can sound great, the pickups are fixed in place, preventing you from grabbing sound from places outside the soundhole. And if you have an acoustic and don’t want to make permanent modification, you’re essentially limited to soundhole pickups, transducers and standard microphones.
Now there’s a new option called iSolo. It’s a condenser microphone and preamp that can be mounted anywhere on your guitar’s body (or even on the headstock, if you’re so inclined) in a nonpermanent installation. Better still, iSolo’s mic/preamp also houses a wireless transmitter than sends the signal to a stomp-box-size receiver for live performance and a USB receiver for recording direct to your computer or handheld.
The iSolo sits on what the company calls a Magic Carpet: a high elastic sponge with durable adhesive gel that leaves no residue on your guitar’s finish. The high-sensitivity mic is omnidirectional and is on an adjustable extension, so you can position it to exactly the right spot.
iSolo is being billed as the smallest wireless instrument microphone in the world. We can’t prove or disprove that, but we can say that—judging by the videos below—iSolo sounds great, and there’s no denying that it offers tremendous freedom by eliminating the need for cords. The device is small and unobtrusive, and its size suggests it should have little to no effect on the guitar top’s vibration.
The full iSolo package consists of the iSolo transmitter, which includes the pro-quality condenser mic and ultra-low-noise mic preamp with 12db adjustable gain; the Live receiver, which includes a volume control, adjustable low-cut filter, two latency modes (12ms/20ms) and battery indicator; and the Recording receiver USB interface, which streams 16-bit/48kHz uncompressed audio to your computer (Mac or PC), or iPhone and iPad via lightning-to-USB connector.
For those who just want to record, iSolo is also available with the transmitter and USB interface.
iSolo recently completed a successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. You can order the full iSolo Live&Recording package for $349 and the iSolo Recording package for $199. Visit the iSolo Indiegogo page for details.
Check out the videos below for demonstrations of the sound quality. You can also get more information at iSoloPickups.com.