Anyone using Trance Audio Amulet stereo pickup ???

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by Staceydude, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. Staceydude

    Staceydude Member

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    Anyone using Trance Audio Amulet stereo pickup ???

    This is the model that comes on the Jackson Browne Model A and a few other pickups.

    I found one at a nice price and I know the install does not look fun but have red awesome reports of pickup
     
  2. GGinMP

    GGinMP Supporting Member

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    I've got the mono Amulet and it sounds excellent.
     
  3. petty1818

    petty1818 Member

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    I would look at the new mono version. The stereo version is a bit of a pain to set up and it's quite a lot of money. It seems as though people either love this pickup or dislike it. IMO it seems as though getting a K&K pure mini would make a lot more sense. It's an affordable pickup that uses the same SBT set up.
     
  4. Staceydude

    Staceydude Member

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    I have read quite a few reviews saying the Amulet is much better than the K&K.

    I am able to buy a brand new amulet for a few pennies more than the mono version. After reading all the installation procedures I just don't see how the stereo is harder than the Mono version to install.

    There is such a variety of pickups out there now hard to decide Haha
     
  5. petty1818

    petty1818 Member

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    It's not harder to install, it just needs a special five pin jack cable to make it work. This is a major downside since you can't use a normal guitar cable. You will hear people say that the Trance is a much better system than the K&K and vice versa. Personally, I just don't think there's enough difference to warrant the extra $200.00.
     
  6. Staceydude

    Staceydude Member

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    I agree with you on the price Petty, if it were not for the discount I am getting I would look elsewhere I am sure. I appreciate your input as well thank you.

    The cable was a concern as well and I am sure I will order a spare. I don't play all over the place pretty much home and friends so if I have a spare I am sure I will be okay. I also just found an old forum thrid where trance audio replied to a post about how the cable felt flimsy... It was an interesting read as I am to cheap to buy really high end guitar cables but I think my next purchase will be a really nice quality cable.

    Here is that post info....

    In fact, the cables that are supplied as an integral part of the Amulet stereo system are custom built using Japanese Mogami cable, selected after a months-long testing phase where we brutally punished cables from every major and esoteric manufacturer we could get our hands on. In the end, only the Mogami met all our criteria. We spent several weeks running them over with road cases, office chairs, and had people walk, stomp and jump on them incessantly. Even after all this, the Mogami performed perfectly, and in fact, this very cable from those torture tests is still in use here for testing systems after nearly 25 years.
    Another desirable feature of Mogami cable is its handling capability. It has an extremely soft and flexible profile ("Like buttah" we've often been told) allowing it to easily lay flat on stage without kinking or winding itself around obstacles, even in cramped quarters.
    The connectors are high quality shielded locking types with double-reinforced strain reliefs that allow us to wring maximum performance from the system even in difficult situations where other systems fall victim to hum, noise and RF interference. This system was conceived and designed as a premium solution to perform perfectly, night after globe-trotting night. The myriad of professional artists who rely on them to deliver their musical performances in high stress situations demand nothing less.




     
  7. royd

    royd Member

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    Yeah... that comment about the cable feeling flimsy was from me. I won't go down that route again. If it was me, I would not purchase that system without a back-up cable and probably two. If the cable failed on you, getting a last minute replacement would be next to impossible. The mono version would render that issue a non-issue so I'd be way more likely to choose it over the full stereo version.

    As for the pups... I've mixed 3 guitars (I think) with the stereo Amulet at our acoustic music series. They all sounded good to very good. I wouldn't say they were significantly better than many other systems I've mixed nor were they my favorite. YMMV. I've also heard another through a typical lousy bar PA. It did not sound good in that setting (although nothing would have). The folk who had them liked them a lot. I was "ehhh"
     
  8. JKoeth

    JKoeth Supporting Member

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    What system was your favorite then?
     
  9. royd

    royd Member

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    So, here's my situation. I do the mix for a small acoustic series. It is a small room, seats 120, with just the right amount of natural reverberation. The PA system is high quality but a bit dated. We run EAW mains and subs with Yamaha and Crown power amps and a dbx processor. We have a 24 channel Yamaha board from about 10 years ago. For a variety of reasons we do not use monitors with the acoustic series. All in all it sounds very good. We've had touring pros tell us it is one of the best sounding rooms they've played. So all of the pickups that I hear are going through the same system with the same ears mixing them (for good or bad) - mine.

    First, I think that the reason there are so many options is precisely because we all hear things differently and look for different qualities in an acoustic pickup. Add different settings and what works for one person will not work for another.

    Second I have heard systems of almost all sorts sound very good to excellent and many that have sounded bad to terrible to my ears... sometimes the exact same system in a very similar guitar with one sounding good and the other not so. At the very least, the results are different... and presumably the player is happy/satisfied with what they're getting.

    Third, the entire signal chain is important. The best pickup system will not shine through a crappy PA and the best PA will only amplify what is sent to it.

    So, here are a few observations... I generally do not favor UST based systems although I have heard a few that were excellent. Two examples of excellent ones IMHO were Joe Jencks' Goodall which I believe has a Highlander in it (maybe dual source) and John Batdorf's Martin with a Fishman dual source. Both rigs sounded excellent. I think the worst sounding rigs I have mixed were also UST based. The Taylor ES... is probably our most common system, especially from our local acts. IME, they are never the worst sounding and never the best. They are consistent and sit pretty much in the middle. I think they would be very good in a dense band mix... which we don't do. I don't get too many K&K's. Those that I get lean towards a UST sound with a very similar, although less harsh, attack and a bit more of the artifacts. I mentioned that I've mixed 3 Amulets. They were among the best sounding rigs with even less harshness than a K&K. I would guess that of the rigs I've mixed, they were the closest to my guitar only louder. It is a complex system with both internal and external electronics plus a proprietory cable (I would not play this system without a backup cable in my bag... if the cable craps out and all cables crap out eventually, you're screwed). I have not mixed the Dazzos. I get very few magnetics and most that I get are Baggs M1 or M80. They aren't my favorite mags. I get a few artists who will only play through a microphone... That can work in our space but even in a good sounding listening room with a quiet, attentive audience, it is still trickier to mix than a pickup rig and requires a specific technique from the player which few seem to have. When we use a good mic and they know how to play into it, you obviously get the most "accurate" sound. We've had a player twice with a pre-war D18 that sounded like angels through a good condensor.

    So what is my fav? First, in a concert situation, I don't want my guitar only louder. I want my guitar only bigger. So... I prefer a dual source with a magnetic - I like the big bottom end and the slower/softer attack - and an SBT which gives the artifacts and a bit less effected trebles. My guitar has an earlier generation McIntyre SBT that works well for me and a Sunrise magnetic. I run them into a Sunrise stereo buffer into a Dtar Solstice and am very happy with my sound. I haven't heard any other rig that would make me pull this out. At the same time, I know it is not for everyone and the SBT makes it a bit tricky in loud dense mixes. I just sold a guitar that had a Dimarzio Angel dual source - Angel magnetic & Nanoflex UST plus blending preamp - in it that I liked very much at a much lower price point and plug n play. The Dimarzio would be my second choice.

    I am at a place where I think focusing on the pickup rig is a bit counter productive. I advise folk to find one that meets their needs and just go with it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
    GGinMP likes this.
  10. petty1818

    petty1818 Member

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    Royd, that's a good point. I learned long ago that having a goal of getting my, "guitar only louder," is just not what I want or need. It's really a compromise between having a bit of a natural tone and also having the enhanced bass that a lot of pickups give. I remember when the Lr Baggs Lyric came out, people were in love with the natural tone but wondered why it lacked bass. The thing is, the Lyric does not lack bass, it's just a normal microphone that does not add any enhanced bass.

    For me personally, I want a system that has the enhanced bass but also incorporates a bit of my own guitar. That's definitely going to be a dual source, I am just experimenting with various pickups to see what will work for me.

    On a side note, have you ever mixed the B-Band A2.2 XOM system or Barbera soloist? They are both not super popular so I assume they haven't come through your venue yet.

    As for the Amulet, I have not tried the stereo version but I have tried the Amulet M. It was installed in a beautiful Gibson SJ that I almost bought. I was very impressed with the Amulet and easily could have gigged with it. It has far more clarity than the K&k, less of a piezo tone and I honestly felt as though the Amulet would work better on a loud stage than other SBT's. The only downside is that it was a bit thin sounding. However, Gibson guitars have a unique unplugged tone and I wonder if the Amulet was just reproducing this.
     
  11. JKoeth

    JKoeth Supporting Member

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    Great reply royd! Thank you! I am considering going with a dual source. I have had the Anthem in a J45 and it sounded good but not Big enough. I am all about my guitar but bigger too. I am thinking of the Schertler Magnetic and it's condenser mic. Any experience with this?
     
  12. royd

    royd Member

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    I haven't heard the Barbera, B-Band, or the Schertler... so I can't speak to any of them. sorry.
     
  13. Bisonmadness

    Bisonmadness Member

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    There is NOTHING special or better about the sound of the Amulet pickup or system. The System, however, has too many parts with dissimilar connectors and problems with the connections. The internal preamp tends to deaden the acoustic sound of the guitar too.
    K& K, Bag End or Fishman are way better.
     
  14. GGinMP

    GGinMP Supporting Member

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    I’ve got the mono system and my guitar sounds just the same with the small preamp installed as before. The mono also uses regular 1/4” plugs.
     
  15. Matt Sarad

    Matt Sarad Member

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    A friend of mine removed the Trance from his Somogyi.

    It sound better acoustically without it.
     

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