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Author Topic: Stereo/2 pick-up config K&K with UST thru Tonebone  (Read 1719 times)
flatlander
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« on: March 21, 2015, 01:02:50 PM »

I got a "Tonebone PZ Pre" and last night played with configuration I used to use since the 80's, in order to minimize quack, and stuck with for many years.
That is using stereo jack and mixing an undersaddle quacker with an "on the body" transducer. UST to allow big volume without feedback and mellowing it with on the body pick-up.
The on the body pick-ups feed back easier so hence needed UST. Get what you can from body, then use UST for volume.  K&K under the bridgeplate PU is more feed back resistant. However 2 things. They WILL feedback if monitors or stage volume too loud for whatever reason. 2 I like them but bass can be mushy to me.  Since K&K's come with stereo jack, I left old UST in and wired it to 2nd terminal.
Hadn't used UST very much because it was so weak compared to K&K. (It previously had preamp in jack)  After 1/2 hour of walking in circles I found a stereo cable and plugged them both into Tonebone. This model has 2 inputs with separate gain controls for each. YALZA! The K&K does what it does, (tonebone made bigger) and box provided plenty of gain for UST. The UST provided more clarity particularly in the bass but more sparkle in trebles as well, and the quack hidden by K&K. Sounds killer. Big, clear and pretty natural. Also I'll switch from banging pretty good with a flatpick to turning around and fingerpicking a ballad (or whatever) I was having to make quick tone and level adjustments to do that. Now I can just turnup the UST for the song, adding back more sparkle and adding to level to make up for pick to bare fingers, and that does it. So this will be great and the best and biggest tone I've had since 30 years ago when I used to haul around my old Duel Showman to play acoustic through. Ha. I'm putting K&K in Pete Anderson model this week. It has a UST in it now and I'm going to do the same thing with it. The Tonebone PZ-pre is made for high impedance piezio's (actually setting for piezio or lower impedance) and has tone controls, low cut, notch, 1/4 inch or XLR output. pre or post eq out and loop ckt. just south of 300 bucks.
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headsup
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2015, 03:02:14 PM »

Looks like a fine solution.
 I note a couple things, firstly, how far we have come from "acoustic" to having all this extra stuff inside a guitar.
Second, having to add more outboard gear to tweak our sound, and, thirdly, and this is a tad concerning-
 the price of any good quality pick up system, with the price of a good quality pre-amp, like Tonebone, will match the price of a new or gently used Larrivee guitar!
That's a lot of money, and a lot of hardware just to make a guitar sound good "amplified"..

Although I have been always searching for better tone, and that search has taken me down many roads over many years, I am some what loathe to think I need to spend such amounts of resources on more stuff to achieve that goal.

Lately, i have been going for an incredible, yet simple set up. And achieving the best result ever.
Certainly on stage, and playing with others, all the subtle nuance can be lost, but good on you for finding your own sound Nirvana.
Those pre's aren't cheap! 
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sdelsolray
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2015, 04:28:41 PM »

The preferred topology for dual source pickups/transducers involves having two preamps, each with its own eq filters and other circuits, which allow for adjusting the volume and tone of each pickup prior to a blending circuit (mono or stereo) which mixes the two signals together.

Your new configuration does this.
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flatlander
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2015, 04:37:50 PM »

True to all that but...But how many are like me and it's not as much as what you spent on what you are currently using, as it is all the money spent experimenting!
I suppose the root of all this is our abandoning of folk roots of acoustic, the integrity, that kept players, and still does if dedicated to folk, using Mics.
But between being lazy, liking the freedom of movement, practical feedback  issues, having control in different set-ups, it has to be pickups for me.
 Mics would alter my playing and take away from sound and how I would play. So that being the case it's worth it to find a live sound that can make the most of a high quality instrument. We're trying to achieve that folk integrity while cheating.
The trick I think is how quickly you can find that without going thru a ton of devices and money! But I do think it's worth it. Not just for yourself but for the audience.
 It's kinda like buying a not quite there instrument, and it not getting it. Like the money I wasted getting cheaper resonator before turning around and getting a National.
 This box makes it sound good and gives me ability to quickly make changes needed as I switch from flat pick bashing to bare finger sweetness. Get in bad feedback situation...just use more UST
and less K&K. Also practical as it could be 2 different instruments and not stereo out of 1. You can run the inputs as separate or blended. (it does use same eq for both)  It has flexability too to send ouputs, pre and post eq, to different places.  I had the UST already on L-10 and Pete had one in it so..use them!  

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flatlander
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2015, 04:44:43 PM »

The preferred topology for dual source pickups/transducers involves having two preamps, each with its own eq filters and other circuits, which allow for adjusting the volume and tone of each pickup prior to a blending circuit (mono or stereo) which mixes the two signals together.

Your new configuration does this.
Actually, to be sure, separate preamps yes, but they use the same eq. A bit of bummer if putting 2 instruments into it, but for this blending, one works fine for me. The changes I make on stage it works out, are accomplished fine just by simply turning the UST up.
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sdelsolray
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2015, 11:32:20 PM »

Actually, to be sure, separate preamps yes, but they use the same eq. A bit of bummer if putting 2 instruments into it, but for this blending, one works fine for me. The changes I make on stage it works out, are accomplished fine just by simply turning the UST up.

Then I was mistaken.  That is not the preferred or optimum topology because of a lack of separate eq for each source prior to blending.
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