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Author Topic: Acoustic Pickups  (Read 3930 times)
zackblues
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« on: April 20, 2010, 05:21:47 AM »

Anyone know of any good acoustic pickups that DO NOT require me to drill into my guitar or make any modifications to it??????
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yosephroth
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2010, 06:15:50 AM »

Soundhole pickup with the chord coming out through the sound hole, or a microphone.
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Larrivee L-04Re
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Michael T
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2010, 11:39:21 AM »

Little if any modifications would be a SBT (sound board transducer) system, which btw is highly thought of with many acoustics. Without going into a long dissertation of the different types and combinations available out there, and there are a bunch just do a search on pick ups, they have often been discussed. My favorite is the simple K & K Pure Western Mini. Have one in my DV09 & one in my L05-12. High praise for these but always brings up discussion of the combo units with piezios & mics. They are simple and accurate faithfully reproducing the acoustic tone of most guitars, I do use a matching off board preamp (K & K XLR) but they can be run thru an acoustic amp without one and tweaked there to run out to a PA, or mic'd at the amp for the house to mess with. Larrivee end pins are sized to accept the 1/4" jack so no drilling should be needed. A word of warning, electronics can build way more GAS than guitars and cost a ton once you get into all the combinations and toys available out there.

For me, the sampler the better, if it has a knob I think I need to turn it, so I just wanna plug and play. The K & & does it for me. YMMV   
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08 Larrivee L05-12
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Brodie001
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2010, 05:45:19 PM »

LR Baggs M1(A).  Its a soundhole pickup that also picks up body vibration.  I have one in my D03R, and it sounds great.  The endpin hole on Larri's is pre-drilled to 1/2 in, so you can install the endpin jack with no drilling, and the pickup itself just rests in the soundhole secured by some screw clamps.  You can get the active (A) or passive version.  The nice thing about the active is it has a volume knob.

Take home points:  easy to install, no modifications to guitar necessary, and it sounds great.
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Ben

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fongie
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2010, 06:22:59 AM »

Just purchased myself a Fishman Rare Earth Humbucker sound hole pickup, I hear so much good reviews. Bought a EMG sound hole pickup recently and have never looked back. Infact I loved it so much I bought this Fishman. Easy to install, your choice if you decide if you want it to be installed temporarily or permanent. Check it out.
cheers
fongie
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Zohn
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2010, 10:53:08 AM »

My favorite is the simple K & K Pure Western Mini. Have one in my DV09 & one in my L05-12. High praise for these but always brings up discussion of the combo units with piezios & mics. They are simple and accurate faithfully reproducing the acoustic tone of most guitars, I do use a matching off board preamp (K & K XLR) but they can be run thru an acoustic amp without one and tweaked there to run out to a PA, or mic'd at the amp for the house to mess with. Larrivee end pins are sized to accept the 1/4" jack so no drilling should be needed.

Michael, I'm actually considering one of those pure western minis in my new custom OM. I 'm thinking to keep it passive as well, and then run it externally through my Ultrasound DI plus which is a pre-amp as well. Anyone else tried this?

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"To me...music exists to elevate us as far as possible above everyday life." ~ Gabriel Faure
Michael T
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2010, 01:25:38 PM »

Michael, I'm actually considering one of those pure western minis in my new custom OM. I 'm thinking to keep it passive as well, and then run it externally through my Ultrasound DI plus which is a pre-amp as well. Anyone else tried this?



Ultrasound is very well respected with their acoustic reproduction and I believe the DI plus is a low impedance input which would respond well with the K&K.
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08 Larrivee L05-12
02 Larrivee DV-09
73 Granada Custom
Kids got the others  :)

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=797065

eded
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2010, 01:42:59 PM »

Ultrasound is very well respected with their acoustic reproduction and I believe the DI plus is a low impedance input which would respond well with the K&K.

Unless they have changed it, the input of the Ultrasound is high impedance (1MegOhm).  This is what the K&K is looking for.  It's a great match (in my experience). 

Ed
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Michael T
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2010, 02:00:58 PM »

Unless they have changed it, the input of the Ultrasound is high impedance (1MegOhm).  This is what the K&K is looking for.  It's a great match (in my experience). 

Ed

Isn't 10mohm usual and K&K is 1mohm I assumed that is low impedance, in either case you are right they are a match and should respond very well together. I know I had to tweak like crazy with my baggs padi to get even an acceptable tone and it was 10mohm, but my boss was 1mohm and worked great except for the hiss, then I got the XLR and it was even better, almost no tweaking needed. So if the ultrasound is a 1 mohm it should work perfectly well.
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08 Larrivee L05-12
02 Larrivee DV-09
73 Granada Custom
Kids got the others  :)

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=797065

SeattlePete
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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2010, 04:21:53 PM »

The new Ultrasound DI Plus (I've only seen it on the ultrasound site, and on ebay) adds a phase switch, which I think is a great feature at no additional cost.

That said, I decided to go with the BBE Acoustimax (arriving tomorrow) for my K&K - I like the pedal feature, mute option, and even if I don't use the sonic maximizer feature, it's a little something extra.

Acoustimax is 2.2M input, which, from what I've read, is okay.  The Ultrasound is a perfect impedance match though, if it's a paramount concern. 
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Michael T
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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2010, 05:01:23 PM »


Acoustimax is 2.2M input, which, from what I've read, is okay.  The Ultrasound is a perfect impedance match though, if it's a paramount concern. 

Shouldn't be a problem at all, may just have to scoop the bass or mids just a tad more, no big deal. 
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08 Larrivee L05-12
02 Larrivee DV-09
73 Granada Custom
Kids got the others  :)

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=797065

fongie
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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2010, 09:42:35 PM »

Michael, I'm actually considering one of those pure western minis in my new custom OM. I 'm thinking to keep it passive as well, and then run it externally through my Ultrasound DI plus which is a pre-amp as well. Anyone else tried this?


I'm interested in hearing what you really think of these Ultrasound DI plus, Bro. Is it some kind of a booster to your pickup's? How much more boost? Zackblue i hope you don't mind us hijacking your thread? I think this might benefit your search for a good pickup setup. AS mentioned, I bought a Fishman rare earth humbucker soundhole, would this Ultrasound give it extra boost?
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michau
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« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2010, 10:32:57 PM »

fongie,

I recently picked up the Ultrasound DI Plus and I've tested it so far through 3 pickup systems - LR Baggs Dual Source, Alvarez 600T Mk II (UST + mic), and Fishman Classic 4T. You can definitely boost it up more via the gain setting on the preamp. You can adjust the volume using either the wheel on the humbucker or the gain on the preamp, so there's a possibility for a substantial increase in volume. I'm no sound tech, but I believe the DI plus would boost the signal sent from the humbucker's preamp (or at least that's what it seems to be doing when I tested it out - I don't really know the technical nuts and bolts). However, I think the real talking point is the ability to reproduce the natural sound of your guitar. My friends and I did a little test using our PA at church and the DI plus makes a world of difference on all three pickup systems (granted they were on different guitars). It honestly sounds just like your guitar....LOUD - no funny processed sounds or unnatural qualities. Cuts out the quackiness of USTs and does a good job shaping the tone and cutting mids if you use the settings. I picked it up for $50 on ebay. Couldn't go wrong at that price. Hopefully this helps!
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fongie
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« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2010, 10:46:56 PM »

fongie,

I recently picked up the Ultrasound DI Plus and I've tested it so far through 3 pickup systems - LR Baggs Dual Source, Alvarez 600T Mk II (UST + mic), and Fishman Classic 4T. You can definitely boost it up more via the gain setting on the preamp. You can adjust the volume using either the wheel on the humbucker or the gain on the preamp, so there's a possibility for a substantial increase in volume. I'm no sound tech, but I believe the DI plus would boost the signal sent from the humbucker's preamp (or at least that's what it seems to be doing when I tested it out - I don't really know the technical nuts and bolts). However, I think the real talking point is the ability to reproduce the natural sound of your guitar. My friends and I did a little test using our PA at church and the DI plus makes a world of difference on all three pickup systems (granted they were on different guitars). It honestly sounds just like your guitar....LOUD - no funny processed sounds or unnatural qualities. Cuts out the quackiness of USTs and does a good job shaping the tone and cutting mids if you use the settings. I picked it up for $50 on ebay. Couldn't go wrong at that price. Hopefully this helps!
Thank you Michau, sure does.
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Zohn
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2010, 11:16:44 AM »

Hey Fongie
I still have to get mine. Bought it online and had it sent to a colleague in Pittsburgh. He brings it back in 3 weeks time.
I "payed" for a Baggs Parra DI from a "respected" US dealer, but the deal was rejected because I don't stay in the States. Anyway, I got this great deal on the Ultrasound from another dealer (in the States) and bought it instead. Judging from various reviews (and posts on this thread) it turns out it was a good buy...
I intend to go this way of using 1 pre-amp with passive systems (no batteries inside the guitar) on all my future guitars.
I'll wait for our exchange rate to improve somewhat, and go for the Pure Western mini then. I know Tuffy loves them too. 
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"To me...music exists to elevate us as far as possible above everyday life." ~ Gabriel Faure
Michael T
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« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2010, 01:02:44 PM »

All preamp are going to give you at least a volume and gain setting to boost the pickup signal, some gain knobs are inside and need to be set from there (I believe the basic K&K belt worn preamp is set up that way). Normally you would turn the volume on your amp off and bring the preamp volume and pick up volume together all the way up, then bring the gain up until you get just a little bit off clipping, then back it off a little bit for added headroom. Then set you amp volume for it's loudest setting and control all of them at you guitar if so equipped or use the pre amp volume to set your play levels.

Most preamp also will bring your signal to line level for use with the PA, a DI gives you a stronger constant on that to run long cables (20/30 ft) without picking up "ground hum or loop hum"
BTW the Acoustimax feature on their product cleans and boosts the line level even more, some like it some don't but it is adjustable too.
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08 Larrivee L05-12
02 Larrivee DV-09
73 Granada Custom
Kids got the others  :)

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=797065

fongie
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« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2010, 09:59:13 PM »

Hey thanks Zohn and MikeT. I hear ya'.  +1
cheers
fongie
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Zohn
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« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2010, 07:42:37 AM »

I'm interested in hearing what you really think of these Ultrasound DI plus, Bro. Is it some kind of a booster to your pickup's? How much more boost? Zackblue i hope you don't mind us hijacking your thread? I think this might benefit your search for a good pickup setup. AS mentioned, I bought a Fishman rare earth humbucker soundhole, would this Ultrasound give it extra boost?

Hey Fongie!
Finally got my Ultrasound. All my guitars have active electronics fitted, so I can't really comment on the boost. I have to say that it makes a huge difference fed into a desk - adds a lot of warmth and beef to the sound. I tried it with the Tak (nylon string and Cool Tube pre amp) and the J-05 (B-band). The balanced signal I believe makes a huge difference too, no feed-back or noise worth mentioning and the phantom power supply from the desk means no battery required - just an additional XLR male to female cable. I'm a happy camper.  
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"To me...music exists to elevate us as far as possible above everyday life." ~ Gabriel Faure
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