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Author Topic: Installed a K&K pure mini in my L-05.  (Read 5691 times)
Ian
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« on: February 23, 2012, 05:07:14 PM »

I'm completely sold on K&K pickups. I'll never go back to an undersaddle pezio, they sound like crap. The K&K makes the guitar sound like a guitar when plugged in. Love it,love it,love it!!!
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2012, 05:35:41 PM »

I agree completely.    I've tried many different methods of amplifying my acoustic guitars and the  K & K pure western mini is my favorite.  For the reason you mentioned.
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2012, 06:05:04 PM »

Hi Guys

I'm glad to hear this info about the K&K.  I am in the look of a pick-up for my OM-03RSH.  I have tried the L.R. Baggs iBeam w/ vol Control before on my Taylor GA.  It sounds pretty good but I have nothing to compare it to.  if I may ask, what is the difference between the K&K Pure Mini with the K&K Pure Western, are these models active pick-ups and do they come with volume control also?

Thank you.
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2012, 08:26:12 PM »

Another K & K fan. All the way with K & K.       The K & K website will tell you all about their products.
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2012, 04:21:59 AM »

 +1 for the K&K pure western mini, have them in both my OM's and love 'em.

Greg
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2012, 04:28:33 AM »

http://www.kksound.com/puremini.html

I guess this is a passive system. Although I don't really have the need for amplification I'm getting interested.
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2012, 07:02:25 AM »

if I may ask, what is the difference between the K&K Pure Mini with the K&K Pure Western, are these models active pick-ups and do they come with volume control also?

The Pure Mini and the Pure Western are the same model. They only make the Pure Mini for western guitars, nowadays.

The basic model is passive - that's what makes it so great: It has high output (loud enog to run into a PA directly) and, yet, it sounds fantastic. I was doing a lot of research before pulling the plug on the K&K Pure Mini; I never regretted the choice! The Pure Mini combines great sound with a plug and play attitude. No need to worry about batteries...

Features like a volume control or internal/external preamp are optional.

The rest of the bunch is right, at best you go check out their web page for yourself. It is pretty much self explanatory, and very helpful.

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tuffythepug
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2012, 07:19:24 AM »

http://www.kksound.com/puremini.html

I guess this is a passive system. Although I don't really have the need for amplification I'm getting interested.

Yes this model is a passive system.  Although the writeup for it says that it's adequate directly into an amp or PA system I've found that it benefits greatly by using a pre-amp  in front of either one.   K & K makes a preamp for this purpose.   I just use the LR Baggs DI box because I already owned it when I got the K & K mini.   It seems to work just fine with the K & K.

One issue which has come up from time to time has to do with the installation.     Some people don't want to glue anything to the inside of the guitar as is recommended.   And the transducers in some cases did not fit on the bridgeplate very well and an additional piece of wood had to be filled in to extend the existing bridgeplate.   I haven't had that trouble myself and I think it's rare but a person should take a peek inside and see if some modification might be necessary before they start.

 
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2012, 09:20:50 AM »

Yes this model is a passive system.  Although the writeup for it says that it's adequate directly into an amp or PA system I've found that it benefits greatly by using a pre-amp  in front of either one.   K & K makes a preamp for this purpose.   I just use the LR Baggs DI box because I already owned it when I got the K & K mini.   It seems to work just fine with the K & K..........................

Tuffy, I use same preamp as you with my K&K system and it works great.  I've been practising and gigging with it now for about 4 months and I can get a good acoustic tone with this combination no matter what the venue.

As a general comment, I would say that the K&K or any other similar passive system might work out plugged directly into an amp without feedback.  But if you need the ability to adapt to various venues, PA systems,  and to also tailor your sound, you need some additional control.  Any good pre-amp should do the trick, I would think.  If you don't already have a pre-amp, I would say "might as well get the K&K pre-amp as it's designed to match".  Otherwise, I would just use the pre-amp or whatever system I already have.  After all, that's what these black boxes were designed to do, right?
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2012, 11:52:53 AM »

The K&K makes the guitar sound like a guitar when plugged in. Love it,love it,love it!!!

 +1

The Pure Mini combines great sound with a plug and play attitude. No need to worry about batteries...

 +1
I use my Pure with my Ultrasound DI Plus with great results and the Trinity in my OM with the supplied 2-source Belt-clip Preamp. Both great systems.

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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2012, 04:31:07 PM »

I've installed 4 or 5 of them now.  Easy and they sound so natural.  I've got a brand new one almost installed in my Martin.  The problem is that the endpin hole is already 1/2" on Larrivees when you remove the endpin.  On a Martin, they're a bit smaller so I have to drill it out so that the jack will fit.  That's all I have left to do...and restring. 

They sound so nice with the preamp.  Always need to roll back on the mids though or they sound a bit harsh.  With the mids rolled back, the balance between the warm bass and the bright highs is perfect. 

The K&K system is great.  PWM are cheap and you can install one in all your guitars but you only need one preamp.  Very cost effective. 
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Ian
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« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2012, 04:32:29 PM »

 I've got the Mandolin K&K in my Breedlove 00, and was knocked out by the sound/feel. I couldn't wait to get this installed in my L-05. The Fishman I had for years just sounded like crap; plastic,terrible feel, not like an acoustic guitar. The K&K however,just amazing. Now I want one in my Gitane' DG-300, but I have no idea how someone could get their arm through that small soundhole to get each sensor under the moustache ends.
 On the floor, I'm running my acoustic instruments through a Radial PZ-Pre preamp/DI. I'll never go back to a piezio undersaddle pickup.
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« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2012, 01:39:32 AM »

Yes this model is a passive system.  Although the writeup for it says that it's adequate directly into an amp or PA system I've found that it benefits greatly by using a pre-amp  in front of either one.   K & K makes a preamp for this purpose.   I just use the LR Baggs DI box because I already owned it when I got the K & K mini.   It seems to work just fine with the K & K.

One issue which has come up from time to time has to do with the installation.     Some people don't want to glue anything to the inside of the guitar as is recommended.   And the transducers in some cases did not fit on the bridgeplate very well and an additional piece of wood had to be filled in to extend the existing bridgeplate.   I haven't had that trouble myself and I think it's rare but a person should take a peek inside and see if some modification might be necessary before they start.

 
Tuffy, I use same preamp as you with my K&K system and it works great.  I've been practising and gigging with it now for about 4 months and I can get a good acoustic tone with this combination no matter what the venue.

As a general comment, I would say that the K&K or any other similar passive system might work out plugged directly into an amp without feedback.  But if you need the ability to adapt to various venues, PA systems,  and to also tailor your sound, you need some additional control.  Any good pre-amp should do the trick, I would think.  If you don't already have a pre-amp, I would say "might as well get the K&K pre-amp as it's designed to match".  Otherwise, I would just use the pre-amp or whatever system I already have.  After all, that's what these black boxes were designed to do, right?


The LR-Baggs DI box seems to work OK with the PW mini but all preamps are not created equal, the input impedance is 1 meg on the K&K preamp to match the pickup transducers. I had a Fishman preamp that didn't work well with the K&K, you had to roll off all the bass or it was boomy so I got the Pure XLR preamp.
My Genz Benz amp inputs are already preamped so I don't need the box at all but I like the convenience of tone and volume control next to where I play. Also my amp provides phantom power on the XLR inputs so I use a XLR cable to hook up the Pure preamp to the amp and I don't need to use any batteries.

I would just suggest that you check the input impedance on whatever preamp you decide on to make sure it matches the pickup.
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« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2012, 01:45:11 AM »

   And the transducers in some cases did not fit on the bridgeplate very well and an additional piece of wood had to be filled in to extend the existing bridgeplate.   I haven't had that trouble myself and I think it's rare but a person should take a peek inside and see if some modification might be necessary before they start.

 

Good idea. Tuffy, do you have the K&K in your F-III? I added the bridge plate extension on my F-III to make it fit.

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Roger


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tuffythepug
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« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2012, 02:07:26 AM »

Good idea. Tuffy, do you have the K&K in your F-III? I added the bridge plate extension on my F-III to make it fit.



I have not put any kind of pickup in the F-III as of yet.  I suppose I might have to add an extension like you did if I want to add a PW mini.   I do have the K & K in my 000-50 but there was enough space on the bridgeplate so no mod. was necessary.
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« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2012, 07:26:22 AM »


The LR-Baggs DI box seems to work OK with the PW mini but all preamps are not created equal, the input impedance is 1 meg on the K&K preamp to match the pickup transducers. .......................

...................I would just suggest that you check the input impedance on whatever preamp you decide on to make sure it matches the pickup.
I've read about the importance of impedence matching, but I still can't quite understand what the actual effects of this mismatch would be in terms of sound, volume, adjustability, etc.  Does the gain control on my preamp offer any compensation for the mismatch, or is it more of a frequency response issue?.  Your mention of boominess (too much bass) might be one issue perhaps?

I just checked my Para DI to see how it is currently set for my L-07 with the K&K passive system installed.  This is how I set it up shortly after I got it and how I've been playing it ever since for both practise and gigs.  I have the LOW freq. rolled off down to about halfway between flat and min.  The MID freq. is rolled off down to almost as low as it can go at a center freq. of about 1.35 khz.  The PRES is set to halfway between flat and min.  The TREB is the only freq. range boosted.  It is at about halfway between flat and max.

So, yes it would appear in my combination, there IS an excessive amount of bass/low midrange emphasis that I am compensating for.  Since the preamp has the means to apply this compensation,  I'm good with it.
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« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2012, 04:13:21 PM »

I presently have the K&K set flat across the board with the gain set to minimum and the bass boosted just a hair at the amp, that seems to give me the most realistic reproduced guitar tone. There is plenty of adjustment if you want to alter the tone, IE just boosting the gain can give you a more gritty electric tone but I prefer the clean sound for most of the music I play.

Keep in mind that I don't perform anywhere and don't "need" amplification, all this extra stuff is just to make jamming with my wife more fun. Adding a little volume along with a little reverb and being able to control the mix of guitar with the vocals just adds a little adrenaline to the experience.
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Roger


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« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2012, 12:37:56 AM »

I installed the PWM and the K&K onboard preamp with phase switching in one guitar. The preamp came much later and the difference between straight in and thru it is huge. In another guitar I chose to install the PWM and use the outboard belt clip preamp. I wanted prevent cluttering the inside of the guitar. But, the onboard is a much more convenient way to go. The belt clip has a 3-band EQ and volume control so it does offer versatility over the onboard which has only a volume control. Either way is much better than no preamp at all. The phase switch is a great feature on the onboard in case the amp doesn't have it. I have no clue why K&K didn't install it in the belt clip preamp.
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« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2012, 08:24:43 PM »

I installed the PWM and the K&K onboard preamp with phase switching in one guitar. The preamp came much later and the difference between straight in and thru it is huge. In another guitar I chose to install the PWM and use the outboard belt clip preamp. I wanted prevent cluttering the inside of the guitar. But, the onboard is a much more convenient way to go. The belt clip has a 3-band EQ and volume control so it does offer versatility over the onboard which has only a volume control. Either way is much better than no preamp at all. The phase switch is a great feature on the onboard in case the amp doesn't have it. I have no clue why K&K didn't install it in the belt clip preamp.

The Pure XLR preamp has the phase switch plus the benefit of the XLR output.  You just need a bigger belt.
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Roger


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« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2012, 05:39:38 AM »

I've read about the importance of impedence matching, but I still can't quite understand what the actual effects of this mismatch would be in terms of sound, volume, adjustability, etc.  Does the gain control on my preamp offer any compensation for the mismatch, or is it more of a frequency response issue?.  Your mention of boominess (too much bass) might be one issue perhaps?

I just checked my Para DI to see how it is currently set for my L-07 with the K&K passive system installed.  This is how I set it up shortly after I got it and how I've been playing it ever since for both practise and gigs.  I have the LOW freq. rolled off down to about halfway between flat and min.  The MID freq. is rolled off down to almost as low as it can go at a center freq. of about 1.35 khz.  The PRES is set to halfway between flat and min.  The TREB is the only freq. range boosted.  It is at about halfway between flat and max.

So, yes it would appear in my combination, there IS an excessive amount of bass/low midrange emphasis that I am compensating for.  Since the preamp has the means to apply this compensation,  I'm good with it.

Impedance matching is important in passive systems because of the rolloff caused by the interaction of passive and reactive components that makeup the sensor-amplifier system.  When a manufacturer designs a pickup, it assumes a particular load impedance which means that it's designed and specified with a frequency response based on that exact load impedance.  In a passive system, there is no output buffer so the current that drives the load is pulled directly from the pickup.  Lower impedance loads will swamp this output current and will present to the pickup a greater load.  Since the current delivered by the pickup can only come from the transducer (and this current is fixed by the pickup design and how hard you hit the string), the output level is reduced.  Higher impedance inputs will cause a much lighter load from the point of view of the pickup, cause less rolloff and output attenuation but again, if the pickup was designed for, let's say, a 100k load and the input impedance is well above this, this the unit will still sound much different.  A simple guitar-related example comes from the volume pot value, which forms a load for the pickup.  You put a higher value pot in there, you get a brighter tone etc...

Without a preamp, there is no really good way to ensure the load impedance, as seen from the point of view of the pickup, since, well, the pickup manufacturer doesn't know and cannot control what you'll be plugging it into.

With a preamp, there is typically a FET based input stage with a VERY high input impedance where usually a resistor is hung off the input to give the pickup a fixed, known impedance.  The main difference, however, is that the pickup ONLY sees that load which is completely isolated (for all intensive purposes) from the actual load (whatever your plugging the output of the preamp into).  The drive current for the 'actual load' comes from the battery, not the pickup, so to speak.  So you can pretty much plug it into all sorts of different loads but the pickup will still sound the same.  The preamp picks up the slack.  Hopefully this explanation is not too simple nor too convoluted  :/

Of course, none of this matters if it sounds great already.

Phil
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