This is a list of acoustic guitars that ship with a Fishman pickup system, primarily the Fishman Sonitone and Fishman PreSys. Both of these pickup and preamp systems are used in acoustic guitars, allowing you to plug that guitar into a PA system or an acoustic amplifier.
What to look for
So what's the best way to find acoustic guitars with Fishman pickups?
This is a matter of knowing which brands to look for and reading the specs sheets. While some acoustic guitar brands are more likely to have them (more on those below), Fishman acoustic pickups show up all across the acoustic guitar spectrum.
If you're looking on a site like Sweetwater, simply look under the "electronics" section of acoustic-electric guitars and see if Fishman is mentioned.
Top Acoustic Guitars with a Fishman Pickup
This is a list of acoustic guitars that we verified to ship with a Fishman pickup and preamp installed. Note that we've focused on the more popular brands and best-selling acoustic guitars, and that this is not an exhaustive list. If you know of an acoustic guitar with a Fishman pickup that you think deserves inclusion, let us know about it in the comments section below and we'll check it out. Otherwise, happy guitar browsing.
- Epiphone Hummingbird Pro
- Epiphone Pro Dove Acoustic
- Ibanez AEWC400 Acoustic-Electric
- Cordoba Fusion 12 Orchestra CE Nylon String Acoustic
- Martin OMC-16E Acoustic-Electric
- Martin GPC-16E Rosewood Acoustic
- Martin D-X2E Dreadnought Acoustic
- Gibson Acoustic Songwriters Standard EC
- Martin D-X1E Dreadnought Acoustic
- Martin LX1E Little Martin
- Ibanez AW54CE Acoustic-Electric
- Washburn Comfort G55CE Koa
- Martin DX Johnny Cash
- Martin D JR-10E Acoustic-Electric
- Washburn Comfort G66SCE Spalt Maple
- Cordoba GK Studio Negra
- Martin SC-13E Acoustic-Electric
- Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat
- Martin OMC-15ME
- Epiphone J-45 Acoustic-Electric
- Washburn Woodline 012SE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Gibson Acoustic J-45 Studio Rosewood
- Gibson Acoustic Hummingbird Studio
- Cordoba C5-CE Nylon String Acoustic
- Gibson Acoustic Songwriter Standard EC
- Martin OM-28E
- Cordoba GK Pro Negra
- Ibanez Artwood AC340CE Acoustic
- Washburn Comfort G25SCE Acoustic
- Martin D-16E Rosewood Acoustic
- Martin HD-28E Acoustic Guitar
- Fender Newporter Special Acoustic
- Cordoba C7-CE Nylon String Acoustic
- Martin D-18E Modern Deluxe Acoustic
- Fender CD-140SCE Dreadnought
- Fender Newporter Special Acoustic
- Cordoba Fusion 14 Maple
Which acoustic brands typically use Fishman pickups?
As we've curated acoustic guitars with Fishman pickups, we've noticed a few brands that seem to have some kind of an agreement where they're regularly including Fishman pickups in their acoustics.
Again, it's important to note that they show up in a lot of acoustic guitars, but these acoustic brands - in particular - are more likely to have them:
Aside from these three, Gibson and Epiphone are two additional companies we noticed that seem particularly friendly to the Fishman brand.
Otherwise, it's hit or miss depending on which guitar you're talking about.
Do Fishman acoustic pickups sound good?
What about the tone and sound quality of these pickups?
It's important to point out that the tone quality of an acoustic guitar is going to be most dependent on things like construction quality, tonewood, and string quality, all of which have little to do with the pickup system that is transmitting that sound.
In an acoustic guitar, the pickup's job is to transfer as much of the natural tone of the instrument as possible and not necessarily to create tone, like we see in electric guitar pickups.
Read more: Best guitar pickups
But the Fishman acoustic pickup systems - in particular - are known to be extremely well-designed for this task.
While a lot of the tone will depend on other factors, we think it's safe to count on Fishman pickups when it comes to accurately representing the natural tone of the acoustic in an amplified environment.
What are some of the acoustic pickup alternatives?
Fishman's primary acoustic pickup competitor is a company called L.R. Baggs, which makes pedals and pickups for acoustic guitars. Gibson acoustics are commonly shipped with L.R. Baggs systems, though they're also found in a wide range of brands.
Taylor guitars makes their own preamp and pickup called the Expression System, but it's exclusive to Taylor and not really an "alternative" unless you buy a Taylor to begin with.
There are a few other brands that make their own system, though they're not really available on the open market.
For specialized acoustic pickups and preamps, Fishman and L.R. Baggs are at the top of the food chain.
Types of Fishman Acoustic Pickups Systems
There are two predominant versions of the Fishman acoustic pickup system, the Sonitone and the Presys. Of the two, the Presys is the nicer system with a full EQ and tuner, while the Sonitone is a simpler under-saddle system with a tone and volume control.
The Sonitone pickup is installed under the saddle and uses a simplified control scheme that sits directly under the soundhole.
Here's a diagram of how it sits under the soundhole of an acoustic guitar:
This pickup system is the cheaper of the two and often installed in cheaper or smaller acoustic guitars, though still does a good job of capturing and transmitting the guitar's tone.
The Presys or Presys+ is the nicer, larger, and more expensive of the two Fishman devices. It's often included in pricier acoustic guitars and offers significantly more control than the Fishman Sonitone.
Of the two systems, we'd definitely recommend the Fishman Presys+ since it's more flexible and better-sounding than the Sonitone.
Other preamps we noticed include the Isys+, Sonicore, Aura VT Enhance, and Matrix VT Enhance.
As we've established, Fishman leads the way when it comes to acoustic guitars with pickups. Most acoustic guitar brands will - at some point - cross paths with Fishman systems, though this list is about giving you the best options within that criteria. If you know of a particularly awesome acoustic guitar (brand and model) that we didn't include, that also ships with a Fishman pickup, feel free to mention it in the comments section below.
We'll do a bit of research and consider updating the article - while giving you credit at the top of the page - if it fits the list.
Other questions about the guitars already mentioned are welcome there as well.
We'll see you there.