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Author Topic: LR Baggs M-1 vs K&K western mini  (Read 4907 times)
markyboy
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« on: July 09, 2008, 07:33:07 PM »

Okay, before I jump, I'd like one last check to see what's the fav around here. It look like the K&K, but I really like how the Baggs M-1 isn't glued in or anything. Except you can see it and the K&K you can't. I't looks like any of these two will work pretty well. Has anyone had experience with both?
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Dale_I
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2008, 12:45:35 AM »

These two systems are totally different animals. The K&K is an under bridge system, similar to the LR Baggs iBeam system. The M-1 is a soundhole humbucking style pick up that uses the top's vibration and floating pickup to give a very natural sound to a pickup otherwise designed for electric guitars. I have both and would say that the under bridge iBeam is "most natural", the M-1 would be "more natural", and the under saddle Element would be "Natural"...

If that makes any sense...
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sdelsolray
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2008, 02:21:19 AM »

You've identified some of the ergonomic and functional differences.  Others include feedback resistance (favors M-1) and ambient/unwanted noise (tie - M-1 makes a loud click when you strike it, the K&K pickups up body taps, swiches, etc.).

But the real issue is how they sound.  They sound different.  Chosing which you prefer sonically is what you should do.  It really doesn't matter much what I or others think about the sound.
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Dale_I
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2008, 08:48:08 PM »

Along with that thought...

You can also use systems such as the LR Baggs iMIx to combine different styles of pick ups and mix them with each other to get the tonal benefits of both, or mitigate the down sides of either. A normal iMix configuration is the under saddle Element with the under bridge iBeam. However, I purchased an M-1 with an attenuation cable to plug it into the iMix blender and can now substitute either the Element or the iBeam and use the M-1 in its place.

I like the sound of the iBeam/M-1 combo, but with stage monitors I can sometimes have a problem with feed back. So, I can unplug the iBeam and go with the Element/-M-1 combo in those instances. We usually have in-ear monitors, which drastically reduce the complications of feedback.

A third thought... if you choose to go with something like an iBeam mixer, you also have an option of utilizing a stereo cable out of your guitar and sending both signals individually to the sound board. Or, sending one signal through a processor and the other clean. Or, sending out signals to different amps. Or... Or... Or...      You get the picture.  If the board sends one pick up to the right and the other pick up to the left, it really fills in the sound like there were two guitars playing.
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omozom
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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2008, 05:32:30 PM »

Listen to a few. It may help you decide.
I have the M-1Active in my Blueridge dread. I like the sound very much. Very hassell free. It is visible. It does pick up knocking sounds. Which is good and bad. Good if you play in a percussive style.
This site has many sound files you can check out.
http://www.fingerpick.com/pickups.htm
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Michael T
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2008, 10:57:58 AM »

These two systems are totally different animals. The K&K is an under bridge system, similar to the LR Baggs iBeam system. The M-1 is a soundhole humbucking style pick up that uses the top's vibration and floating pickup to give a very natural sound to a pickup otherwise designed for electric guitars. I have both and would say that the under bridge iBeam is "most natural", the M-1 would be "more natural", and the under saddle Element would be "Natural"...

If that makes any sense...

I agree. My choice ended up being the K&K with a XLR preamp, simple invisible and very clean sound. After researching I was concerned about the dreaded feedback issue that is commonly referred to on different forums (easily influenced I guess). So I tried the Rare Earth, DiMarzio, M1 sound holes with a PADI, and then a Boss G7 EQ preamp. Personally, too metallic and a lot of tweaking to get to an acceptable tone, they were good, but a bit of effort for me.

I took the plunge and had the K&K minis installed, got the matching XLR preamp and then ordered a lutehole just in case I had issues with feedback. Honestly, I have really not had any feedback issues unless I face into the monitor head on, and then only at very high volumes and have really not needed the lutehole (but I like the looks of it). I haven't had any experience with the I-beam, but I think the whole feedback issue is overblown with the K&K's (OMO). Here's an interesting article on some comparisons too.

http://www.dougyoungguitar.com/pickuptest.htm

 
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jackstrat
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2008, 04:30:23 PM »

I have both,the M1 and K&Ks installed in a Martin D15S and a Babicz Tribeca OM.

K&K provide a slightly more natural sound. But they feedback (esp the D15). Also, they seem to have an impedance mismatch with many amps. Through a mixer and PA, or direct to my recording gear they sound great.

The M1 is also very natural sounding. Perhaps not quite as woody, but definitely a great live sound. No feedback and no impedance problems.

Plus the M1 is non intrusive and can be used with multiple guitars, takes only a minute or so to move from one guitar to another.

You can't go wrong either way, but if you don't like fussing around with feedback, installation, etc, the M1 is a great choice. If you like tinkering, the K&Ks are great, especially for the low price.

jack
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markyboy
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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2008, 07:27:22 PM »

Thanks for all the input. I was checking out some of the demos for both on Youtube and it looks like alot of combos are being used together. The M1 sounds great as well as the K&K. The one thing I like about the M1 is it can be shiched from guitar to guitar pretty easily.
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stgeorge
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2008, 01:33:09 AM »

I am probably too late, but here is my 2 cents. I have had the K&K mini in an OM3MT with the K&K external preamp. It was pretty natural, but volume was a bit lacking. It did feed back a bit. I put a Schatten HFN (also soundboard type) in a Northwood OM75, with the K&K preamp  and it was amazing, incredible! But I never played it on stage. I then put the Schatten in a Seagull 12 and a Larrivee OM-50, also incredible. Has more volume and is even more natural than K&K. Only problem with soundboard types.......feedback. Played 4 gigs this past month, all outside. As soon as you get pretty loud....feedback. Even with a maximum soundhole cover by Lute Holes. I could Not keep up with the rest of the band volume-wise.  angry The other guitarist plays an Ovation, we are not a rock band.

Lesson: Having the best tone in the world doesn't matter....if you can only get that tone in your living room, or local small coffee house. I would have traded all my guitars for one with an M1 installed.
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Michael T
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2008, 03:50:01 AM »

Lesson: Having the best tone in the world doesn't matter....if you can only get that tone in your living room, or local small coffee house. I would have traded all my guitars for one with an M1 installed.

Really? Don't you run thru the PA at the outdoor venues? If playing loud enough to have those kinds of issues even with a lutehole, you're right, throw a sound hole mag in the bag. If I need to crank the volume up with the K & K/XLR my lutehole does a fine job, but I am using the fishman performer as a monitor then (behind and offset left), and running a line out to the PA for the mix. I do have a D'mazzio mag in the bag just in case though 
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stgeorge
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2008, 10:32:24 PM »

I do run through the PA at the outdoor venues. I believe the venues' sound people were not the best...But that is often to be expected. In the future I will just expect the worst and go with the pick up that is least likely to give me a feedback problem.
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Dale_I
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2008, 02:29:15 AM »

The soundhole plugs can mitigate feedback if you have an internal mic. However, they can hurt you if your dealing with an  under bridge or, to a lesser extent, an under saddle transducer. Both under saddle and under bridge are going to be defined as soundboard type systems. Normally, what is causing the feedback will be your monitors, unless the main mix is loud enough to affect the guitar's body.

You can move your monitor, as was previously mentioned, to a position to your left to allow the sound to reach you without affecting the guitar top as much and it will help tremendously. But, this is where the dual systems really shine. Feedback can be controlled by splitting the signal to different locations, and rarely will the same frequency attack both locations at the same time.

However, the M-1 is probably the best mentioned so far to limit the affects of live sound feedback. Since the signal is the difference between the sting vibration and the top movement, you can get pretty aggressive with it and still end up with usable live volume.

Since we've changed to ear buds, this has stopped being a concern. So another option is to drop a hundred or two into some good ear buds and just have the monitor mix sent to your head.
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2008, 06:22:09 PM »

I do run through the PA at the outdoor venues. I believe the venues' sound people were not the best...But that is often to be expected. In the future I will just expect the worst and go with the pick up that is least likely to give me a feedback problem.

Hi George.  I'd like to try and help with your K&K feedback issues. I have some experience there and have always been able to kick it. Check your email, I sent you a note.

David
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greene32
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« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2008, 10:35:52 PM »

Dave--would you be interested in helping me with my K&K?  I'm at the point of wanting to tear it out and go another direction.  I have an L-3, K&K PW mini, Pure XLR preamp.  I have to set the gain at zero on our board AND on the pre and cut the mid and low tones on the pre just to get a sound that's even remotely like a guitar.  The low end is all thick and muddy and sounds nothing like my Larrivee.  The only time I've gotten a good sound is running through the pre and using the 1/4" out to my amp, then miking that.  A lot of rigamarole after a $250 investment in pickup and pre-amp.  It's not just our setup at church--sounds the same way from XLR out to my amp and from XLR out to my fostex MR8 recorder, or skipping the pre and going straight in.  Welcome any suggestions.
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dberch
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2008, 10:20:05 PM »

Hey, greene32.  Sure, I can give it a shot. 

The first things I would check are:
- check that Gain on XLR Preamp is not set past 50%, or half way.  That should give you plenty of signal.  Set vloume at 75  - 100 %.
- Channel Trim on your MR8 should be set toward line level, rather than mic level. Your Pure XLR is putting out a line level signal. 
- If going to your amp (assuming an acoustic amp), try the 1/4 out from the Pure XLR into isntrument channel and set it for Active signal at the amp.
- if using XLR from Pure preamp to yoru amp, set it for Line level, not mic level. If you can't do line level, use 1/4 instead of XLR.

What amp are you using? Is it an acoustic or an electric amp? I can be more specific if I know what the amp is.

I'll check back in later tonight.
David
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greene32
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« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2008, 11:50:36 PM »

Thanks David.  I'm getting good results going through the Preamp through my amp using the 1/4" out, set up as you described in your earlier email.  Also, good/great results at church using the same method now that we've removed an EQ that was in the signal chain, I believe right after the mixing board.  I had ordered another pickup to replace the K&K, then the day it arrived, someone took the EQ out of the chain for some reason, and wow, the guitar just sounded great, with none of the previously mentioned issues.  I guess you really have to be patient and work through these things.  Thanks again for your all your help. 

Sean
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