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« on: January 10, 2012, 05:25:53 PM »

 

I introduced myself this morning in the General forum section and stated I would have  a few pickup and Larrivee (model) related questions.. Have rec'd many welcomes from Forum members. Thankyou!

Here is my first question:

I have a L03R and this week tried a LR Baggs M1A pickup in, (not permanently installed...)  

I have learned that when I play I evidently touch, brush or otherwise mange to come in contact with the top of the guitar with my fingers, knuckles, nails or pick. I often will touch the the pickup with the pick as well. With the M1A all of this "noise"  is magnified and  is driving me nuts. I know it's the pickup design coupled with my style of play that is causing this....

More background: I have a Fishman Loudbox Performer for an amplifier that will function as my Amp Preamp... Never use a mike and never play out... Living room play only...

When I purchased the Fishman Amp,( I only buy used gear), the prior owner had a Martin D28, with the K&K Pure Mini pickup (with Steel Strings), it's sounded dark, muddy and just awful.. In fact I almost didn't buy the amp because of it.  I had heard a new Fishman Loudbox Performer amp at GC with a Taylor 414CE and it sounded great...So I blamed the D28, steel strings etc...

Anyway, been considering the following pickups and selling the M1A on eBay:

Fishman Matrix Infinity
LR Baggs Anthem ( the less expensive one)
K&K not sure which one..
Sunrise


Here's the other issue: I really am enjoying the L03R but know I will soon want a cutaway model... LV09 maybe... and I do prefer hi gloss back and sides over matt... I don't need a Dread size, and prefer the Venetian cutaway over the other type. Low string tension, action set to a quarter just touching on the 12th fret and a little snugger than that on the 1st fret... (old School style)

I like playing: James Taylor, Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Blues, etc...  

Thoughts?

bc

 

 




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tuffythepug
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2012, 05:40:11 PM »

The design of the M-1 picks up vibrations from the soundboard unlike other soundhole pickups.  It blends the mag pickups with a sensor to pick up the vibration of the top.    the result can be unwanted sound coming from the top when you brush against it with your picking hand or the pick itself.   Satin finish guitars like the 03 series Larrivees exacerbate the problem.

You have to be careful with that pickup.   But it has an excellent sound if you can avoid the additional, unwanted noises.   The K & K pure western mini is the best over-all in my opinion.
It's inside the guitar, totally hidden and has a great natural sound.
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GGBB
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2012, 05:58:58 PM »

Any type of pickup that responds to the guitar body to produce tone will be sensitive to any contact with the soundboard whether it be from your hands, the pick or even your arm.  Even though the M1A is a magnetic pickup, as Tuffy pointed out it is designed to respond to body vibrations as well so that is likely why your are struggling with it.  Soundboard transducers like the K&K Pure and the Baggs iBeam will have the same problems/benefits (depending on your point of view) but some are probably better than others.  Undersaddle pickups like the Matrix and other piezo types tend to not have this problem but are often criticized for the same reason because they don't reproduce body tone very well.  Pure magnetics like the Sunrise also don't have this problem, and are likewise often criticized for their lack of body tone.  Microphones are generally somewhere in between (the Anthem is mostly a mic) but often have feedback issues.  It's a compromise no matter which way you look at it.  I personally find that a good undersaddle is the best solution for live use - although where volumes are high a magnetic is probably a better choice.
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Gord

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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2012, 08:04:38 PM »

 

Hmm,

As far as volume, I play medium living room volume, usually....

If I understand what you are saying, it sounds like the K&K Western Mini may give me similar issues that I am facing now...  Maybe the Anthem SL or Matrix Infinity is the way to go.... Either way, the M1A has to go. 
Keep the thoughts coming all...

thanks

 
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2012, 08:33:05 PM »

I would expect the Pure Mini to be sensitive that way because it is a bridge plate transducer - but there are many here that use it and could actually comment from personal experience.  The Anthem SL is a mic with an undersaddle that is crossed over for low frequencies only - which in my mind is a very good idea and probably isn't terribly sensitive to handling noise.  Larrivee now uses the Stagepro Anthem on the 5s and 9s so I suppose that means something.  For myself, I have an old Takamine with an undersaddle Palathetic pickup that is great live (cuts well) and doesn't pick up handling noise but sounds just so-so.  I also have the Baggs iMix (iBeam bridge plate plus Element undersaddle) in my Larrivee.  The iBeam sounds wonderful but picks up handling noise.  The Element doesn't pick up the handling noise but sounds rather generic (quite decent though).  I personally am quite interested in the Anthem as well.
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Gord

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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2012, 08:35:11 PM »

I wouldn't look any further than a K&K Pure Mini.  I have used them in MANY different guitars and have not had a problem with any of them.  You might also wan to check out the JJB pickups - I hear they are great too and very reasonably priced.
The practical side of me asks "Why do you want to amplify since you're only playing in your living room?" but it doesn't really matter since this is for your own enjoyment.  
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Chris
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2012, 09:33:15 PM »

Being an electric player for so long I enjoy being plugged into an amplifier.... I also like to use a little chorus and reverb when I play...

Sounds like lots folks use the k&k with no issues... Maybe I will go that route... Between that and the Anthem , I may go to GC and look,try a few on the rack stuff for surface noise issues and see what I think..

 
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2012, 09:51:48 PM »

For some reason that's something I've never understood.  When my father-in-law comes over he always wants to plug the acoustic guitar in to play together and that's the same with other electric players.  That's okay though, if it's fun do it!
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Chris
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2012, 09:58:49 PM »

I wouldn't look any further than a K&K Pure Mini.  I have used them in MANY different guitars and have not had a problem with any of them.
How is it for picking up body handling noise from fingers, picks etc. in comparison to an undersaddle?  Considering all the rave reviews it gets around here, I am also quite interested in it, but the one thing I don't like about it is having to use superglue to mount the transducers.  Sounds like a no-going-back situation - a little too permanent/unreversable for my liking.
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Gord

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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2012, 10:05:31 PM »

I forgot to answer that part, thanks for asking.
I've never had any issues with 'auxiliary noise' from the satin finish and the pickup picking it up.  I mostly play in a church setting where quietness is good and it's never been an issue.
As for the permanence of the install.  The glue is removable fairly easily with care.  The way I look at it, it's preferable over adding extra holes with some other types of pickups which is permanent while the glue is temporary if removal is desired.
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Chris
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2012, 10:34:32 PM »

This is just what I needed. ...thx. 

Sounds like I'll try the k&k pure min. 

Next question, as I wrote above, I have the fish man loudbox performer amplifier, will I need a separate preamp or will I be ok wiithout?

 

Btw, I am pretty tired of donuts.. And full!   How long do indeed to add em to my posts...
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2012, 11:10:38 PM »

I'd install the pickup and see if you feel it needs a preamp. I bet you won't need one.
I'm not sure of the donut parameters but I'm full too. ;)
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Chris
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2012, 11:29:40 PM »

I've never experienced handling noise with the K&K, gluing is the best way to go, it is removable with care.
I would also recommend getting the pickup first and trying it out, my Genz Benz amp does not require a preamp but I use one anyway for simply being able to adjust tone and volume without having to walk over to the amp.
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Roger


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« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2012, 12:06:19 AM »

This is just what I needed. ...thx. 

Sounds like I'll try the k&k pure min. 

Next question, as I wrote above, I have the fish man loudbox performer amplifier, will I need a separate preamp or will I be ok wiithout?

 

Btw, I am pretty tired of donuts.. And full!   How long do indeed to add em to my posts...

 Once, on your first post is adequate for the donuts.    After that you're just fattening us up for no reason. 

   re: the K & K ... I use a Baggs para-acoustic DI box before I go to my amps. But I use regular tube amps;  not specifically made for acoustic guitar.  It just boosts and shapes the sound a bit and can get rid of some feedback in certain situations.  You probably won't need a preamp.  the K & K comes with a set of instructions.  I found some alternate instructions on the good old internet that work very well and are a little simpler.   These have great color photos and are much clearer than the instructions that come with the pickups:  www.frettech.com/kk/index.html   sometimes it's hard to get your hand in there to attach the transducers to the bridgeplate.  Also, on some models of Larrivee guitars the bridgeplate is a little small to acommodate them;   I've read where a few people had to have a small bridgeplate extension added inside their guitar for the K & K to fit properly.   Mine fit fine in my 000-50 however.
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« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2012, 04:20:41 PM »

As for the permanence of the install.  The glue is removable fairly easily with care.
No offense - but I am a little skeptical.  From what I've read, super glue will wick into the grain of bare wood somewhat, meaning that the only way to get it out completely is to remove the wood.

The way I look at it, it's preferable over adding extra holes with some other types of pickups which is permanent while the glue is temporary if removal is desired.
That's a valid point.  I already have the hole for an undersaddle (Baggs Element) but nothing else - the iBeam is attached using removable adhesive strips - so I'm down that road already.  The undersaddle hole actually bothers me a lot less than the idea of super glue soaking into the surface of the bridge plate.  I'm not being at all scientific here but it just seems like a cleanly drilled hole would have less sonic impact (on vibration) than impregnating the wood with a stiff foreign material - much along the same lines as why many guitarists object to thick/stiff finishes on guitars.  However, a reality check tells me it's likely that both are negligible.
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Gord

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« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2012, 04:43:51 PM »

i would not be concerned at all about any glue wicking into the wood.    Take a look at the installation photos from frettech.   It is a tiny amount of glue and it's used to attach the transducers to the bridgeplate.    I'm not an expert but I fail to see how this tiny bit applied in this manner could have any effect on the sound or appearance of the guitar in any way. 

GGBB, where did you read that the superglue would wick into the wood ?   And what is the downside of using glue on the bridgeplate ?    I expect there are tons of these in use and I haven't heard of any of these issues.  I've certainly never had a problem with mine.   Just curious where the info is coming from.   

I've had the undersaddle pickups and soundhole pickups in several guitars and they all work ok.  I just found the K & K to sound more like the natural unplugged sound of the guitar;  of course it depends a lot on your amplification chain too.
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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2012, 04:47:14 PM »

Wow!! Thanks for all the insight!!   

Not 100% which way I will go... There is a good chance that I will either: ditch the pickup idea for the L03R and proceed to honor my screen name (Switch) and see if I can find a nice Larrivee LV  .. I really am wanting a nice cutaway.. Not sure which one yet.. I will then decide which pickup to use based on the LV ends up being...

Time will tell....

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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2012, 05:13:45 PM »

Just curious where the info is coming from.
I honestly do not remember the specific link - I googled something like "super glue removal bare wood" and most of the links said something to that effect.  Admittedly I did not read them at much length, but when you read excerpts from several places that suggest the same thing, you come to a conclusion pretty quickly.  Are there any luthiers/techs out there who - apart from a K&K install - endorse the use of super glue for anything on guitars, especially on bare wood?  I know I've read to specifically NOT use on nut installs e.g. so there must be a reason why it's a bad idea in that situation.  Bare wood fibers are very absorbent after all.
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Gord

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« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2012, 05:43:41 PM »

I honestly do not remember the specific link - I googled something like "super glue removal bare wood" and most of the links said something to that effect.  Admittedly I did not read them at much length, but when you read excerpts from several places that suggest the same thing, you come to a conclusion pretty quickly.  Are there any luthiers/techs out there who - apart from a K&K install - endorse the use of super glue for anything on guitars, especially on bare wood?  I know I've read to specifically NOT use on nut installs e.g. so there must be a reason why it's a bad idea in that situation.  Bare wood fibers are very absorbent after all.

I think the reason they caution against using glue on the nut is because you might expect to have a need to remove the nut at some point to replace it.   If it's glued in with something like superglue you're going to remove some wood with the nut when you try to take it out.  It could be a disaster.   Seems like I've heard the nut should fit pretty tight without any adhesive material at all being applied.   Maybe only a light dab of white glue, if anything.   But, as I said before, I'm no expert and certainly not a guitar tech.  Nor is adhesive expert on my resume'. bigrin
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« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2012, 06:36:18 PM »

.........................  Are there any luthiers/techs out there who - apart from a K&K install - endorse the use of super glue for anything on guitars, especially on bare wood?  I know I've read to specifically NOT use on nut installs e.g. so there must be a reason why it's a bad idea in that situation.  Bare wood fibers are very absorbent after all.
Super glue can be and is used on guitars for sure.  It depends on what purpose and where on the guitar it is.  I often use superglue to reseat frets that have lifted.  This is a fairly common method, I believe.  Another common use is to fill in a nut slot that has been filed too deep (oops) with a paste of superglue and bone dust or baking soda so it can be re-filed.  I've had to do this a few times  crying  It is also used to repair (fill in or stabilize) tiny hairline cracks on the body.  However, for cracks where the wood can be moved with pressure from the outside or inside, white glue or hide glue is used.

As Tuffy suggests, I would never use superglue on a nut install or any part that is visible on the outside and that will likely be removed at a later time.  A tiny dab of white glue under the nut keeps it in place when the strings are removed yet it can still be tapped out later without damage if it is done properly.

I agree the tiny bit of superglue used to install transducer(s) on the bridge plate or elsewhere inside the guitar would not affect the sound in any detectable way.  And I don't think subsequent removal would do any damage if it is done properly and carefully with the correct tools.  It may mean that the transducer gets spoiled in the process, however.
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