Any acoustic guitar pickup advice?

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by radd, Jul 12, 2020.

  1. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Age:
    70
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Acoustic amplifier is another one. Once it's amplified, it's no longer acoustic.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
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  2. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    it’s like an old George Carlin routine

    nonflammable
    Flammable
    Inflammable

    Why are there three. It either flams or it doesn’t flam.
     
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  3. mrfixitmi

    mrfixitmi Synchromatic

    886
    Mar 20, 2010
    Michigan
    I still like K&K, they are simple, no batteries no let you down, and are durable as I have ever seen. I still have two old banjos that had K&K pickups put it about 20 years ago, and they still work fine. They do respond well to pedals and preamps if you want to add color to the sound.

    There is no doubt that the Maton AP5 Pro is excellent, but I avoid them unless a customer is absolutely sure that they want it, and is willing to take the risk. The installation is quite invasive. I honestly do not like removing the bridge, even if you are careful, you can damage the top, especially on an old guitar that may have been re-glued at some time in it's life.

    I do like the Fishman sound hole pickups, and have had one for about 15 years, and it still works well. I would only wish that they had a low battery warning. I have never gotten the advertised 800 -1,000 hours of battery life, as people claimed so I find myself replacing the battery every 6 months irrespective of play time, this is more of me whining than a job stopper.
    And yes the Loud Box mini is still one of the best amps we have ever owned. We actually own three of them for various events.
     
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  4. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    Thanks.

    I’m blown away by that Fishman Loudbox Mini. I camp with our small travel trailer and bring my Telecaster that has a Lollar CC pickup in the neck position and it sounds wonderful through the mini with no pedals. Because the Loudbox is the Charge, works on an internal battery, DC and AC it will be my new travel amp.
     
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  5. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Age:
    70
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Flamboyant.
    Flamenwerfer.
     
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  6. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    Atlanta

    MAN UP!!!
     
  7. oneforsorrow

    oneforsorrow Gretschie

    120
    May 15, 2020
    Iowa
    I've got a Baggs M1 with a Para-DI (lacks a ground lift) in my Guild F50. It's not ideal but it does the job. I've adjusted the pole pieces and with enough eq, I get it to sound ok but not the way it sounds by itself. My wife had a Fishman Rare Earth blend in her guitar running through a Tonedeq. The blend it's a nice for it's flexibility. The mic can be positioned to taste and it has a HP filter/Bass boost (I can't recall what they call it) that offers some flexibility. She can adjust the mic/pup relationship as needed. The Tonedeq lacks a notch filter and parametric capability. But it does have some usable effects as well a compressor and a boost function.

    In noisy bar gigs, nuance is lost and everything is reduced to feedback control and audibility. Both our setups can work in this environment. In quieter listening rooms, we've been able to make both options sound great.

    I'm a huge fan of James McMurtry and he uses a Sunrise magnetic pup that sounds ... well, like James McMurtry. I don't know if he runs the through Sunrise pre as well? I think Richard Thompson also uses one.

    I would consider the environment in which you'll use it and what tasks you need it to perform. And I would also seriously consider what it will run through before it leaves the speaker. For us, we used to just perform acoustic around a single mic and in the right environment, there's nothing better. We played a gig years ago at Eddie's Attic in GA and the sound guy there was a magician. He made a Rode NT1-A sound like the most gloriously crafted LDC I'd ever heard.
     
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  8. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    Atlanta

    Did he have a ballcap and little glasses on? Name Colin?
     
  9. oneforsorrow

    oneforsorrow Gretschie

    120
    May 15, 2020
    Iowa
    I don't think that was his name. This would've been around 2007. I recall that he'd run sound for some 90's band ... maybe Fishbone?
     
  10. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Age:
    70
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    In a noisy bar, the audience isn't really listening for nuances. If they're actually paying attention at all, you're doing fine.
     
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  11. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    I have the LR Baggs Anthem with 2 thumb wheels and a third screw dial - sounds fine, though I don't use it much and don't have much to compare it to.

    I personally do not like the piezo sound so I want a system that includes a mic.
     
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  12. oneforsorrow

    oneforsorrow Gretschie

    120
    May 15, 2020
    Iowa
    Precisely. That's why I said it was all about feedback control and audibility. Having enough parametric eq at your disposal helps notch out the offending frequencies. Between the sweepable mid on the board and sweepable frequencies on the ParaDI, it's easy to carve out a safe space to be heard.
     
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  13. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    I'm very happy with my Prestige 330 soundboard transducer setup from JJB Electronics. It's the same as the K&K setup at a fraction of the cost, simply because JJB is a one-person shop with low overhead.

    The owner provides outstanding customer service and great communication. Installing it was easy, and I'm pleased with the sound. I find that it's much more natural than a magnetic pickup, and much less quacky than an under-saddle piezo. There are fancier systems out there that combine transducers and microphones, but this one works for me.

    One caveat: with any soundboard transducer, you'll need to make sure you've got an impedance-matching device of some kind. A preamp, EQ pedal, or DI box should do the trick. Some multi-effects pedals have impedance-matching built in: my Zoom G5 takes care of that issue and gives me EQ and reverb as well.
     
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  14. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Age:
    70
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    By the way, Leo Kottke uses a Baggs, or did the times I worked his shows, He knows the PA end of his sound as well, and is really down to earth. Highly enjoyable gig.
     
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  15. giffenf

    giffenf Synchromatic

    819
    Oct 26, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I put a JJB system in a Gretsch 5034TFT (the wacky-looking Rancher with the Bigsby) and wired it in stereo with the stock humbucker. I ran them both through a Radial ToneBon PZ Pre, which has two channels, and you can turn each channel's preamp on or off (the humbucker didn't need it, the JJB did). My intent was to get a more acousticky sound out of that guitar by putting the transducers where the bridgeplate would have been if it had had one (which it didn't), and with enough tweaking and the right blend of the two, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't as ming-bogglingly wonderful as I'd foolishly anticipated. And in that guitar, every movement, like my shirt rubbing the back of the guitar, was audible through the amp/PA. My first order of the JJBs got lost in the mail so I bought another one, and then the first one finally made its way to my mailbox, so I have another set of those that I haven't decided what to do with. I may just sell it. The guitar found a new home long ago.
     
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  16. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I installed the K&K in my 000-18 GE years and years ago when it was still called the pure western mini. But and this is a big one I have read, not tried, it with the fishman amps, that they do not perform well with them without their preamp. Quite a difference in impedance between them as I understand it. Before you buy I would email K&K and ask they are very responsive. That said I play mine direct into the QSCK10 the K&K pure is a pretty hot pickup without the preamp and to me the tone was very representative of the acoustic tone. I learned how hot when I went with the ToneWoodAmp. Another product that has a bit of a learning curve to set up right but sounds great! Love the K&K and done right it will work with your amp but direct in is not ideal as I understand it. Please check with K&K first.

    I may be remembering this wrong or backward but think the K&K wants to see a 1 meg input but most acoustic amps or the fishman anyway is 10meg but this is from memory many years ago so double check.
     
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  17. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    I’m really starting to lean towards the Baggs Anthem system

    Here it is in a Martin D-18 played through the same amp I have, the Fishman Loudbox mini charge


     
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