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Author Topic: K&K Pure Mini... not quite right  (Read 5705 times)
gsage709
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« on: December 03, 2010, 12:00:46 PM »

I have an L03 Bubinga with a K&K pure mini installed, and for the most part I really like the sound I am getting from it.
I also run into a BBE Acoustimax and then direct to the board.

I play mostly worship music in a full band setting, but have recently been playing with an acoustic rock band (two acoustics, percussion and vocals for now).  My big dilemma is that while I love the round warm sound that the K&K is giving me, I am really missing the attack of a UST.  I feel like I especially have trouble keeping up with the other guitar in the rock band setting. 

My initial thought is to swap out the K&K for an IMix system so I can get a blend between the UST attack and the SBT resonance.
I also had read some threads about combining the K&K with a DTAR Wavelength, but I'm not so sure about the idea.
Seems like the IMix would be better since it is made to work together, although I do hate to lose the K&K.

What say all of you?  Any other options or solutions are welcome as well!

Thanks!
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ronmac
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2010, 01:33:40 PM »

Dual source systems offer much more versatility than a single source.

I use the same dual source configurations, a K&K PWM and Fishman Rare Earth Humbucker, in both of my main instruments. Each pickup feeds into its own processing (preamp/eq and sometimes slight compression) and are summed to mono at the board. I add the appropriate delay/reverb to fill out the sound and provide the stereo imaging.

My default eq is to roll off the low end of the K&K and roll off the high end of the Fishman. This gives me the best of both, the solid low end of the magnetic pickup and the natural mid and highs of the soundboard transducer.

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Ron

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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2010, 01:36:58 PM »

 what about getting an EQ in between the gtr & PA?

 you can fine tune everything there, cut out some of the bass frequencies, but not get that ugly piezo-ish  tone...


 EQ pedals are fairly cheap

 *edit* obviously you have experimented with the eq on the PA, right?
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Michael T
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2010, 01:46:53 PM »

You really shouldn't need the acousticmax (I have 1 too). Just an XLR pre amp to control the EQ and add a phase shift if you need it. The Acousticmax while very clean seemed to remove a lot of beef from mine. Unless you are getting a lot of ground hum the preamp will perform much better than the DI and give you more control.
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2010, 01:54:39 PM »

I install lots of pu's for worship players and have installed the duel systems of an under the saddle and an I beam.Most end up using just the Ibeam.I've also installed a lot of K+K.Get a good preamp and that will solve all your problems.
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bluesman67
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2010, 02:27:46 PM »

That's good advice from Unclerob, an inexpensive and simple fix.  A nice little LR Baggs Gigpro will do the trick nicely.  I have a K&K preamp I use, same idea as the Gigpro.  The K&K is passive and needs a signal boost, it should sound terrific!
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2010, 02:53:32 PM »

I'd get (in fact I have) a K&K Pure Preamp.  It's designed for that pickup and it does what it's supposed to.  Whether I use it is on a whim if I'm playing through my Ultrasound.  If you are going into a board, the XLR version would probably be a better choice.

Ed
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gsage709
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2010, 03:46:55 PM »

Thanks for all the replies everyone.

I'm not sure how buying a different pre/eq is going to help.  My acoustimax has bass, treble, sweepable mid, notch filter, phase switching and the sonic maximizer function.  Maybe someone can enlighten me.

My problem is the lack of edge or zing or whatever you want to call it from the K&K. That's why I thought about the UST/SBT blend.

Am I making sense?
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bluesman67
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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2010, 03:49:25 PM »

Thanks for all the replies everyone.

I'm not sure how buying a different pre/eq is going to help.  My acoustimax has bass, treble, sweepable mid, notch filter, phase switching and the sonic maximizer function.  Maybe someone can enlighten me.

My problem is the lack of edge or zing or whatever you want to call it from the K&K. That's why I thought about the UST/SBT blend.

Am I making sense?

The K&K is passive, there needs to be a signal boost coming from the p/u to the amp, none of those controls at the amp matter unless there's a signal boost that that preamp will provide.  With the signal boost will also come tonal clarity and a natural sound.  P/Us with a battery have a preamp onboard and don't need an external one.  I prefer external.
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gsage709
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2010, 04:03:31 PM »

The K&K is passive, there needs to be a signal boost coming from the p/u to the amp, none of those controls at the amp matter unless there's a signal boost that that preamp will provide.  With the signal boost will also come tonal clarity and a natural sound.  P/Us with a battery have a preamp onboard and don't need an external one.  I prefer external.

Hi bluesman,

I have gain and volume control on the acoustimax as well.
It's BBE's version of the PADI or Ultrasound DI.
The tone of the K&K is great.... I just want some more edge on occasion.
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2010, 04:17:58 PM »

The big glaring thing that jumps out to me is the input impedance.  The K&K pickup is 1 Meg.  The K&K Preamp is 1 Meg.  The Acoustimax is 2.2 Meg. 

Ed
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Michael T
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2010, 04:41:29 PM »

The impedance thing can be dialed out, but at the sake of some frequencies.

It really sounds like you are looking for a volume pedal with a couple presets.

You also sound like you  are resistant to not using your acousticmax, I went thru similar feelings myself after spending the bucks on that piece of equipment. They do clean up the ultrasonic harmonics, but they are not ideal for a lot of pick ups. Same with my PADI, if I spend "enough time" tweaking it it's pretty darned good, but no where near as good as a simple matched preamp with a phase shift.
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gsage709
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2010, 05:06:46 PM »

The impedance thing can be dialed out, but at the sake of some frequencies.

It really sounds like you are looking for a volume pedal with a couple presets.

You also sound like you  are resistant to not using your acousticmax, I went thru similar feelings myself after spending the bucks on that piece of equipment. They do clean up the ultrasonic harmonics, but they are not ideal for a lot of pick ups. Same with my PADI, if I spend "enough time" tweaking it it's pretty darned good, but no where near as good as a simple matched preamp with a phase shift.

I wouldn't be against using a different Pre/EQ... I'm just not sure switching would do what I want it to do.  I love buying and trying out new stuff (my wife hates it though  )

If I am reading all this right, then you guys are saying that the K&K's, when matched with a correct impedance Pre/EQ (Pure XLR or Ultrasound), will give me a sound that has similar edge to what a UST will give me?

That's is what I am looking for a warm sound with just enough front end bite and edge, and I feel like the K&K's have the warmth but lack the bite.

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ronmac
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2010, 06:03:58 PM »

Talking about sound is like dancing about architecture... so it is easy to misinterpret and become frustrated when giving or receiving advice.

There are a few general things we should discuss before getting any deeper into this:

1) SBT (such as the K&K) tend to sound more "natural" offering more of a "body" tone and are often lacking the "bite" of an under saddle or magnetic pickup and generally have the lowest feedback threshold.

2) Under saddle pickups are known for offering a good "bite" and can cut through a busy mix better than an SBT. Some folks don't like the "quack" of a hard driven UST, although that can almost always be dealt with if matched with a high headroom preamp and some EQ. Good threshold before feedback.

3) Sound hole magnetic pickups offer a very solid fundamental sound, although some think it too "electric". Again, that can be mitigated by proper preamp and EQ use. They have the highest threshold before feedback and offer good cut in a mix.

4) Generally speaking, using the manufacturers recommended preamp for any given pickup type will yield the best results. The K&K is a good example of this. Because their SBT is 3 separate piezo discs wired in parallel the output impedance is lower than most other passive pickups. The input of their Pure Preamp (or Pure XLR Preamp) is designed to match the lower output impedance of the SBT. You can still use another brand preamp with the K&K, it just requires a touch of EQ to compensate for the resultant change in the frequency response.

5) The easiest way to build a system that can sound natural (or not), cuts through a busy mix, offers the performer a degree of flexibility for different styles/performing situation/venues, and has a high threshold before feedback requires a  dual (or triple) source system with individual processing.

6) Real world is usually a compromise :)

From the description of your requirement, as I read it, you will be best served with #5.
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Ron

gsage709
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2010, 06:42:37 PM »

Ron I think you are understanding where I'm coming from  bigrin

Do you think the IMix would get me closer to what I want, or maybe another dual source?
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ronmac
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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2010, 07:13:59 PM »

The IMix is a nice system, and I think one that will get you to the performance you are looking for. It has the advantage of being an all-in-one solution.

I chose to go with my configuration (SBT and Magnetic) so that:

1) I could use my already installed passive K&K PWM (no battery or preamp inside the instrument)

2) Easily switch the Magnetic PU between instruments (I have since purchased a second one, liking the combo so much)

In the past I have also used UST/IBeam combos, UST/mic combos, Mic(internal and external)/Magnetic combos. All had the ability to be flexible with the predictable sound each brings to the mix.

Do not underestimate the necessity for good preamp/eq control (included with the IMix), regardless of pickup type.
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Ron

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« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2010, 08:24:39 PM »

Great info Ron!
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gsage709
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« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2010, 10:06:20 PM »

Great info Ron!

 +1  I agree, thanks a lot Ron.
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Mr_LV19E
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« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2010, 11:44:31 PM »

Have you checked to see if the K&K is installed with super glue and not the adhesive tape method, that can make a huge difference?
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gsage709
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« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2010, 11:52:52 PM »

Have you checked to see if the K&K is installed with super glue and not the adhesive tape method, that can make a huge difference?

They are super glued in place
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