I have a Epiphone Masterbilt classical with the Element Active pickup. I play with a 7 piece smooth jazz band. Everybody loves the sound. I do have some feed back issues and purchased the Acoustic DI to see if it would help. (still working on that)
I've purchased a nice used Aria AK-20 classical that sounds and plays great. (I know...cheap student model. but you should hear this one.)
Which Element Active pickup should I get? I was looking at the VTC. Is there a difference in the preamps between the two models?
Also, is there a difference between steel string and nylon versions? If so, how do I know the difference to tell the dealer the model I want?
There is a difference between the steel and nylon versions of the EAS and EAS-VTC. The steel version is voiced with a mid-range frequency cut while the nylon version is not. In the vast majority of cases, the steel-voiced system will sound very good in nylon string guitars. A nylon-voiced system will most often sound poor in a steel-string guitar due to the extra mid-range passed by the preamp.
The standard EAS for steel string is simply that, EAS. The nylon and volume/tone control models use alternate model numbers.
EAS-VTC(EAS w/volume and tone control)
EAS-C(EAS for Classical)
EAS-VTC-N(EAS-VTC for Nylon)