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Author Topic: Preamp recommendation for K&K mini  (Read 5800 times)
HAMFIST
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« on: October 20, 2011, 02:03:13 AM »

So I have a K&K mini (passive pickup) installed in my OM-03MT. Have not really been playing amplified lately, just micing the thing.

Wondering what recommendations people have for a preamp for the K&K. I know K&K has their own line of preamps, but I guess I would prefer to get something sourced locally as opposed to having something ordered in. Is there a particular, more broadly available, preamp people have had good results with?

I am not looking for a bunch of effects. A built-in tuner would be nice. Just want some clean boost and some EQ that is voiced properly for these pickups.

Thanks for your support!
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2011, 06:57:52 AM »

I have the K&Ks in both my Larrivees (a six string and a 12-string) and I am using the L.R. Baggs Para-Acoustic D.I. preamp with good success.  It allowed me to tune in a very good acoustic sound thru my Peavy tube amp. so I can play acoustic rythym in our cover band when needed (without switching amps) and still be heard in the mix.  (Think Eagles, Hank Williams, Alabama, etc.)  I posted this in another recent thread, but damned if I can find it now.

Anyways, to get a true acoustic sound, I first miked the guitars through my PA to determine the "reference" sound I was after, then switched back and forth between the miked sound and the guitar playing through the preamp/amplifier, adjusing the controls on the preamp until the sound was the same..  So now, I just keep the preamp on the same setting for both guitars, and it sounds great.  The preamp has all the controls you would ever need, in my opinion.  The tunable notch control and phase inverter are especially important for adjusting to different venues and rooms.  It doesn't have a built in tuner though.  Get one of those clip on headstock tuners instead.
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eded
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2011, 12:02:48 PM »

Personally, I've found the K&K Pure Preamp to be the best pre for those pickups.  It makes sense since they were designed for and impedance matched to them.  I also had great results with an Ultrasound Preamp.  Their products are pretty much flawless in my book.  I know a bunch of people who really like the Red Eye Preamp and a few who like LR Baggs preamps.

As far as tuners go, the headstock tuners (Snark, Intelli, etc.) are the way to go these days.  Accurate, inexpensive, and usable whiter you are plugged in or not. YMMV on that one though.

Ed
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Michael T
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2011, 03:08:46 PM »

I use the K&K XLR with wall wart, just set it flat and it handles PA's fantastic. Amps on the other hand I find I need to tweak the bass or mids (sometime both) or up the trebs. It's odd with PA's, not needing tweaking from one to the other, I guess they are cleaner. I usually prefer mics but in today's venues it is almost impossible and be entertaining at the same time.
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Mr_LV19E
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2011, 06:40:16 AM »

Personally, I've found the K&K Pure Preamp to be the best pre for those pickups.  It makes sense since they were designed for and impedance matched to them. 

 +1
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2011, 07:56:19 AM »

I would have/should have got the K&K preamp but I didn't want to wait to order one so I got the L.R Baggs preamp because it was already stocked at music stores.  I can't say if the K&K preamp would have been more suitable, but I don't regret buying the Baggs one.  It makes sense to me that the absolute best option for use with the K&K sbt would be the K&K preamp.  But I'm happy with my choice in any case.
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tuffythepug
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2011, 03:10:51 PM »

I would have/should have got the K&K preamp but I didn't want to wait to order one so I got the L.R Baggs preamp because it was already stocked at music stores.  I can't say if the K&K preamp would have been more suitable, but I don't regret buying the Baggs one.  It makes sense to me that the absolute best option for use with the K&K sbt would be the K&K preamp.  But I'm happy with my choice in any case.

Pretty much mirrors my experience as well.  I already had an LR Baggs M1 passive sound-hole pickup that I was using on a couple of different guitars and I had the Baggs para-acoustic DI pre-amp for it.      when I put in the K & K pure western mini in my 000-50 I went ahead and used the Baggs pre-amp with it and found that it worked very well for my purposes.    Of course in a perfect world you'd want the total K & K setup but I try to use what I already have whenever possible
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Zohn
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« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2011, 05:31:51 AM »

I'm all for matching the chain with K&K components, that is after all the purpose - designed and matched components specifically for one another. I bought a Trinty system recently and it came with a belt-clipped dual channel pre-amp, a Pure pickup and matched mic. The 2 signals from the guitar are run via a stereo jack and a stereo 1/4" jacked cable into the preamp where it is combined out to the amp/desk. Each channel's eq are tunable inside the preamp with a screwdriver with the lid removed, and the gain for both channels are adjustable from the outside. It is thus a "set-and-forget" arrangement.

I can fully recommend the Ultrasound DI-plus as well, I have one and find it to be a perfect match (similar imatching specs) with the Pure Western Mini in my Canteri.
The eq and feedback filter are adjustable on the outside of the DI similar to the the Baggs Para. It is however a single channel unit and won't work with multi-source systems like the Trinity. Another advantage of this system is the loop function, allowing you to use your amp in the mix and/or as a monitor.

What I love about these systems is there is no battery inside the guitar - they're in the pre-amps. The DI can operate without a battery when there's phantom power from a desk or a modern acoustic amp.
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2011, 08:32:23 PM »

To bring this topic back up...
I have used the Baggs Para DI and the K&K XLR preamps.  I did not like the Baggs - it was very hard to EQ and it just never sounded good to me.  I've since heard that the impedance does not match between the two (I think the K&K needs 1megOhm and the Baggs is 10MegOhm).  I sold the Baggs and got a K&K XLR preamp and it sounded great.  I then got a wild hair and decided to try something different that I'd heard about.  It's made by Orchid Electronics out of England and is called the Muting DI.  It sounds better than anything I've tried or heard - including a Pendulum and Raven.  The muting footswitch is a terrific addition.  They have a non-muting and an EQ as well.  In talking with John at Orchid, they seemed to have the K&K in mind when designing their preamps.
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Chris
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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2011, 10:18:03 PM »

Has anyone used the Baggs Venue Di with the K&K Pure Mini?
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rockstar_not
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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2011, 05:44:45 AM »

To bring this topic back up...
I have used the Baggs Para DI and the K&K XLR preamps.  I did not like the Baggs - it was very hard to EQ and it just never sounded good to me.  I've since heard that the impedance does not match between the two (I think the K&K needs 1megOhm and the Baggs is 10MegOhm).  I sold the Baggs and got a K&K XLR preamp and it sounded great.  I then got a wild hair and decided to try something different that I'd heard about.  It's made by Orchid Electronics out of England and is called the Muting DI.  It sounds better than anything I've tried or heard - including a Pendulum and Raven.  The muting footswitch is a terrific addition.  They have a non-muting and an EQ as well.  In talking with John at Orchid, they seemed to have the K&K in mind when designing their preamps.

Where can you buy the Muting DI?  I installed a mini pure western in my L-03 many years ago, and since I rarely use the pickup (I almost always mic my Larry), I never bothered buying a pre-amp for it.  I found the UK site, but is there a US dealer?
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« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2011, 07:40:11 AM »

To bring this topic back up...
I have used the Baggs Para DI and the K&K XLR preamps.  I did not like the Baggs - it was very hard to EQ and it just never sounded good to me.  I've since heard that the impedance does not match between the two (I think the K&K needs 1megOhm and the Baggs is 10MegOhm).  I sold the Baggs and got a K&K XLR preamp and it sounded great....................

The "mismatch" between the K&K and Baggs Para DI is not insurmountable though.  The K&K has more bass response than many other passive transducers which likes a lower impedance input at the pre-amp than the Baggs has.  I didn't have much trouble equalizing the combination, though.  I just rolled off the bass on the pre-amp almost completely and the mid-range down to about 1/3 of a turn above completely counterclockwise.  This is with the K&K pure mini in my L-07 and L-40 12-string.  With my L-40 12-string, I can bring the bass control up a bit more than with the 6-string for the most natural sound.  I play both guitars with that setup in our "electric" band and it works great.  Another great advantage of the Baggs Para DI is it's "tuneable" notch filters and it's presence control which add yet more versatility.

I would love to try the K&K Pure XLR preamp to see if it makes a noticeable difference from what I have now.  It would have to be a lot better sounding before I would invest in one at this stage.
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Back in '66, I was 13 and that was my fix.
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cbarclay
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« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2011, 11:21:24 PM »

Where can you buy the Muting DI?  I installed a mini pure western in my L-03 many years ago, and since I rarely use the pickup (I almost always mic my Larry), I never bothered buying a pre-amp for it.  I found the UK site, but is there a US dealer?
There's not a US dealer that I'm aware of.  When I (and others I know) bought theirs it was just a matter of contacting them and setting up payment.  I ordered mine and had it within a week.  Great service.
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Chris
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HAMFIST
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« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2011, 01:05:34 AM »

Thanks for the thoughts.

I went out and got the Pure preamp. Killer. Just killer.
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« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2011, 06:01:20 PM »

Thanks for the thoughts.

I went out and got the Pure preamp. Killer. Just killer.


Did you get the regular Pure or the XLR?
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