Element & iBeam: Which unit in which guitar?
I've got an Element on the way soon, and I'm trying to make up my mind as to which of two guitars to install it in. The other guitar will get an active iBeam with an added soundhole magnetic pickup.
One guitar is a beat-up Aria Dreadnought AD-28 that looks rough but sounds beautiful. Nice natural scooped sound. The other is a Seagull S6+ Spruce, which sounds pretty good, too. Both guitars have solid spruce tops. I prefer the unamplified sound of the Aria, although the Seagull is more playable.
Am I correct in thinking that the iBeam's construction makes it a bit more faithful to the unamplified sound of the guitar? If so, I would be better off putting the iBeam+mag in the Aria, and the Element in the Seagull, right? I don't mind terribly if the Element colors the sound of the Seagull somewhat, as long as I can get a usable sound for solo performances (not strumming, but not quite fingerstyle, either).
I play both guitars into a Zoom A2, then into a TC Helicon Harmony G, then into the house PA.
I realize that the best answer to this question is to try both systems in both guitars, but if I can get it sounding good after the first install, I might save myself some extra work.
I think you're on the right track with your plan. The iBeam will definitely sound more like the guitar, while the Element will be a little more well-suited in a "workhorse" guitar.
If they were my guitars, I would use the iBeam for the Aria, and the Element for the Seagull, just like you said. I think that this combination would work best for what you need each guitar to do. Of course, you can always try switching the systems out, but I think you'll be happy with this setup.
All the best!