View Full Version : Pickup System for Lakewood
05-20-2007, 02:56 PM
Ive had my custom shop lakewood about a month now and decided i need to look into a pickup system for it.
does anyone have any suggestions?
id like to keep any permanent modding to the least possible.
something that can take quite high levels without feedbacking.
with obviously a natural sound to it.
it will mostly be going into whatever PAs are available rather than a seperate acoustic amp.
any suggestions with reasons are welcome.
here's a quote from an earlier thread with some of my thoughts regarding amplifying acoustics...
Amplifying an acoustic is a series of tradeoffs between accuracy, expense, complexity of the system, feedback rejection, and the loss of immediacy that you experience playing an acoustic unamplified in a nice room. There are almost as many solutions as there are players. Only you can decide which one works best for you. Here are some characterisitics of the various types as I hear them
under-the-saddle pups - look "acoustic," found everywhere, often have a rubber-band like attack especially in the midrange and harsh trebles. often warm accurate bass notes, very little artifacts (body noises, string squeak, etc.), requires pre-amp, everyone makes these and most factory electrified acoustics have them. Baggs & Fishman are biggest manufacturers.
magnetic - big thing in the soundhole, especially cheaper ones sound electric, highly feedback resistant, simple installation, huge bottom end, match most high imp inputs, no artifacts in most. The Baggs M1 and Sunrise are the two best.
internal microphone - feedback prone, can be boxy sounding, almost never used as single sources Joe Mills is a popular one.
surface mount transducer - the best ones can be very accurate sounding, installation can be tricky and is critical, many are feedback prone, picks up artifacts, requires pre-amp. K&K, Pickup the world, and McIntyre make good ones
external mic - most accurate, difficult to get very loud, movement causes changes in volume and tone.
multiple sources - one source can compensate for the weaknesses of another. For example, I use a Sunrise and a McIntyre surface mount in my Lowden through a Raven blender. The Sunrise is feedback resistant and has a huge bottom, the McIntyre gives me better trebles and the artifacts that I want. Together, I get a sound that I like a lot and is very big and sensitive. Usually a mag or UTS go with a surface mount or internal mic to get the best mix. Multiple sources can get very complicated and expensive pretty fast. The Taylor ES system is a multiple source system with magnetic and surface mount transducers.
Given that you want a good bit of feedback resistance and a good degree of accuracy, I'd recommend a dual source sytem with a Sunrise for big bottom and feedback resistance and a surface mount transducer for accuracy, sparkle, and artifacts. The K&K pure western is very popular and good. Other good choices are the McIntyre or pickup-the-world. All of that would go out a stereo end pin to a Solstice blender. One channel would give you control of the Sunrise and the other of the surface mount. You would have a choice of either a low or high impedance out to the PA.
That is pretty much what I have in my Lowden although I have an earlier generation of the McIntyre and the Raven blender is no longer available. You can get an idea of how it sounds at the link in my signature.
05-21-2007, 02:44 PM
whats involved in the installation of the McIntyre? or K&K for that matter?
it certainly seems like the one im leaning towards...
if its too complicating (or too much modding) then ill probably end up with an undersaddle... especially if i could mix it with an external mic.
has anyone ever tried a small external mic? as used for drums or saxes? if this could be attatched to the guitar would this give reasonable results?
05-21-2007, 02:45 PM
oh and thank you for all that information!
very helpfull indeed
The physical installation of a surface mount tranducer is very simple. Placement is the issue. Small differences in placement can lead to pretty big differences in sound. Both companies probably have something about installation on their web sites. The closer you are to the bridge, the more feedback rejection, but you may prefer the sound of other locations better.
External mikes can sound very good if it is a good microphone but feedback rejection is very poor. I've seen one performer (Dougie McLean) use an external mic like you describe. It sounded very good and worked well for a solo folkie playing at low volume. If he hit it with his picking hand, that crash was 10 times louder than the guitar. Again, feedback rejection was poor and external mics always effect the way you play even if they're attached to the guitar.
Again, if you're playing with a band, nothing works better than a good mag. Add something else to it and you can get an amazing sound. Another dual source user with a Sunrise and a surface mount was Michael Hedges... he used Trace Amulet surfaces mounts.
05-26-2007, 01:16 PM
just started browsing.
after a little research it seems that to get good results its not going to be cheap. im going to limit this to £250 i think which i hope will be enough to cover the whole lot, inculding any accessories and installation that may be needed.
first impressions point me at using the baggs M1 and the K&K system, though i find the different K&K options rather confusing, any help here would be appreciated.
also im not finding very much info on the mcintyre pickups...
will i also need a pre amp? i have a DI box, will this be enough?
here's the link for a Mc http://www.mcintyrepickups.com/macindex.html
Are you thinking either the M1 or the K&K or both? If both, some kind of blender really makes things easier... and adds a bit to the price. The M1 doesn't require a pre-amp. The K&K will sound significantly better with one rather than without. Ditto for any surface mount pickup that I know of. Most of the players I know with a K&K have the Pure Western Mini. A few have the trinity and rarely use the mic.
05-26-2007, 07:24 PM
the K&K website is actually quite informative
how do those mcintyre pickups install on the guitar? is it glued under the guitar top like the K&K pure western?
also which blender would you suggest? and would it involve running two cables from the guitar (which would require drilling another hole?)
The McIntyre installs in the same way as the K&K...
The best reasonably priced blender out there now that I'm familiar with is the Dtar Solstice. http://www.d-tar.com/solstice.shtml If you can find a Raven they're great but aren't made anymore. There are some other good ones but they cost a bit more.
Typically you would use a stereo jack on your guitar so you come out with a single cable with a TRS plug on that end. Depending on the unit, there would either be a stereo jack on the blender or two normal 1/4 plugs. So you'd use a stereo cable or a stereo Y cable. Lavacable is a good source for either.
05-27-2007, 08:02 AM
thanks for your help here
how does the M1 compare to the sunrise in sound?
also the K&K vs Mcintyre too
it certainly does seem to gravitate around these
could you give me a brief description of the modifications needed to install a Mcintyre? and i presume no mods are needed for the soundhole pups?
its weird being a total noob again :p i can talk about fx pedals all day long
and also i thought the K&K used a stereo cable anyway (im probably wrong) if this is the case would i need two cables coming from the guitar? and then also two jack plugs on the guitar to run the two systems?
05-27-2007, 08:50 AM
I just can't say without seeing apic of the guitar in question first.:Devil :crazyguy
05-27-2007, 11:13 AM
I just can't say without seeing apic of the guitar in question first.:Devil :crazyguy
here ya go
ask if you want more :)
i really struggled getting a photo of the back without loads of reflections, and its raining outside. here what i got
and sorry about the quality, they were taken on my phone :(
my take on the Sunrise vs. the M1 is that te M1 is probably better as a single source. It picks up some of the artifacts and probably has less of an "electric" sound in the trebles. The Sunrise has a bigger bottom end and is more feedback resistant. In a dual source system, the second source would give you the artifacts and trebles so I would likely choose the Sunrise (all other factors being equal).
A lot of people really like the K&K and say it is the most accurate pickup they've heard. I participate in te Lowden user group and it is very popular there. The McIntyre seems to have a niche market primarily among bluegrass players who are sticklers for accuracy. I would expect similar sound from the two although placement is critical and probably more important for the McIntyre, having 1 vs. 3 bugs.
For the Mc or the K&K, you need to be sure the endpin jack is large enough for a 1/4 plug. The bugs are glued to the top of the guitar, usually on or very close to the bridge plate. The you run wire to the plug.
Usually a mag involves adding an interior jack so the pickup can be removed (you don't want to travel by plane or train with a heavy mag in your guitar) plus the endpin jack.
I'm 99.9% positive that the K&K is a mono signal unless you have the Trinity system which would require a stereo out. It comes with a TRSS jack so you can add a second source and an internal pre-amp if you want.
05-27-2007, 02:56 PM
so the only permanent mods to the guitar would be fitting the bridge pin jack? is that right?
everything else is reversable...
i think im fairly set on the M1 and K&K setup...
unless anyone else chimes in with another suggestion
now i need to look into a blender right?
does the M1 or purewestern need any kind of seperate equipment to operate?
also purewestern mini vs not mini? thoughts? comments?
yes, the only permanent mod is to enlarge the end pin hole for a 1/4 jack. There is a company that makes a smaller jack for using a 1/8 plug but it is vey expensive and means you need custom cables.
The surface mount pups will probably be super-glued inside the guitar so while they can be removed, doing so usually destroys them.
Here's a photo of the inline plug for my Sunrise so I can remove the Sunrise when flying with the guitar. This type of set-up is necessary with a mag. You can see I used hot melt glue and it looks a bit funky, especially since it doesn't stick well to the plastic clip that holds the jack & plug in place.
05-29-2007, 03:32 PM
haha that photo confused me!
i think ive done as much research as i can on the web for now.
ill head out to a guitar shop when i can try and have a look at some. its unlikely any acoustics will have mag pups though. pain
thanks for help
01-31-2008, 02:55 PM
While I'm sure you've already made your decision, I thought I'd chime in 9 months later.
I have a 2000 Lakewood M-32 Custom and after having several systems in this acoustic, I am currently running the following:
Fishman Ellipse Blend System:
- Fishman Matrix Natural I UST
- Fishman Internal Condenser Mic
- All blend/volume controls under rim of soundhole
I've gotten great results from this setup running it into a Fishman Loudbox 100 acoustic amp.
Also, this allows for "blending" out the internal mic and going with a Fishman Aura Imaging Blender when volume/feedback becomes a concern.
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