Comments on these pickups: K&K, Baggs M1, iMix, Dtar Wavelength??

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by jamison162, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. jamison162

    jamison162 Member

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    Does anyone have any experience with these, and what's your setup? (Single vs. Dual Source, Preamps, DI, etc.)
     
  2. EricPeterson

    EricPeterson Member

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    I used a BAggs Ibeam for a wile and it sounded great but would feed back at most volume levels got them to exchange it for a element undersaddle it works great i love it. great support for them they were very helpful. I just have my epi pr350 sr (solid spruce and rosewood) striaght into the PA. It almost sounds like my acoustic much better than other undersaddles i have used and is only ~100. The Ibeam sounded perfect except for the feedback, they told me that they often use both of these pickups with the Imix and get good results.

    FWIW i have seen a guy using a laviree with the M1 and he got a pretty good sound I kinda wish i would have looked closer at this, just i dont like sound hole pickups for cosmetic reasons but can save you from having to buy a pickup for every guitar.
     
  3. Jeff Flowerday

    Jeff Flowerday Member

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    I've had the IMix and the M1 and the K&K Trinity Western.

    K&K wins hands down. Most natural sounding of all of them. Only issue is they are a little sensitive to feedback so you have to be really careful at louder gigs.
     
  4. jamison162

    jamison162 Member

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    I've researched acoustic pickups/preamps for a little over two years and currently have the K&K dual source (w/mic) installed in my Taylor 810 and I just have not been impressed with the tone. Just sounds flat and dull to me.

    Used a Rane AP-13, Ran Direct, now using a Dtar Solstive and still not that impressed. The K&K doesn't sound much different than the old Fishman Blendar I had in a previous Taylor.

    I know for a fact I'm having string balance issues with the pickup side, but despite communicating with K&K haven't really started troubleshooting yet. I wonder if I just got a bad set of pickups all together because I really don't see what all the fuss has been about. And I am real picky when it comes to these things. Did the install myself and everything went fine.

    Go figure.....
     
  5. 62Tele

    62Tele Supporting Member

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    I have an I Beam in my Collings OM - great for lower volume gigs (the only kind a guitar this expensive will go to) but the comment on feedback is absolutely correct. They have a lot of bottom end in some guitars so plan on a little EQ if you try one.

    I have a M1A in a better than average late 90's Bozeman J45. The pickup does a GREAT job at stage volumes (and this is the bar guitar the kids get to play). It has a lot of tonal charactersitics similar to the Sunrises (which I used for many years) but is livelier and a little more acoustic sounding to my ears. And it's really nice to NOT need an external buffer setup.

    We tried both pickups together in the J45, each pickup into it's own channel on an acoustic amp and it sounded remarkable (Baggs offers a dual source setup with these two as well). This is probably the best stage setup I've ever heard if you really want to nail things - just keep the I-Beam going out to the mains and the M1 going to both the mains and the monitors and the feedback should be a lot easier to handle. ***If you decide to add a M1 to an active I-Beam, the folks at Baggs told me you have to use the PASSIVE magnetic. I forget why.

    I should qualify the above - I rarely get along with under the saddle pickups (I play a lot of slide so their often noisy, not to mention the quack) and after years of installing internal mics for other people I've never put one into one of my own guitars. I don't believe the sound pressure is high enough inside a guitar to make these little mics work well - whole different story for violins, mandolins and banjos. I also find a lot of the acoustic pickups to sound flat like you mentioned. I heard a guy play an old J45 witha PAF mounted in the soundhole through a blackface twin one night in Montreal - no it didn't sound "natural" but it sure sounded "musical." Guess that's my bias.

    GOOD LUCK!
     
  6. Big0range

    Big0range Member

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    I've got an Baggs Dual-Source (piezo & mic) in my Harvey Leach acoustic. It sounds good, but I have to be extremely careful about how I mix the mic an piezo. The mic gives it a nice full-bodied sound, but a tad too much and it's solid feedback. I understand most mics are that way, though. I've also heard the iMix is less prone to feedback. Haven't played it, but heard it and it sounded good.
     
  7. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    I bought three pu systems to try...first was the M1a and it was too middy for my guitar...tried the I-Beam but that was DOA out of the box so I never got to hear it...I eventually went with the K&K Pure mini-Westerns and they sound great...the installation is not elegant as the pre-amp is attached via a strong magnet that is installed with double sided tape and tends to be very wobbly but it sounds great...

    I have opted for an AER AK15+ for my new Larrivee OM 03R after hearing a demo of one...its a dual source pu that has great dynamic range and doesn't distort or feedback even at high volumn levels...I was quite impressed at how natural it sounded in the demo guitar it was in...

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  8. jamison162

    jamison162 Member

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    That AER is a new one on me. I know they make like the best acoustic amps. With the K&K, what preamp are you referring to inside the guitar?
    Did you get the active version. Mine is totally passive, the dual source that is, have to have phantom power with the mic.
     
  9. somecafone

    somecafone Member

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    I have had good results w/ a Fishman Rare Earth Blender and a Baggs Para DI.
    The only mod for installation is the endpin jack.

    I used it extensively w/ a very loud band and never had trouble w/ feedback.

    I used the set up at open mics, weddings, a country-singing contest...various "plug in and go" situations and never failed to acheive a good sound easily.

    The only sonic drawback was a very slight "softening" of the attack on the low E and A strings. Very, very slight.

    There is a small balance or blend knob on the pup that lets you dial in or out as much mic as you want.
    I typically used about 60% pup and 40% mic.
     
  10. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    Hi Jamison,

    I have the Ultra-Pure Western mini setup and like it a lot...apparently AER started in pickups and preamps...who knew I also only know of their amps...the guy at the store recommended it and I demoed it and liked way better than the B-Band A5 system which sounded nice but more middy and not as open as the AER system...

    http://www.kksound.com/acousticguitar.html#ultrapure


    http://www.aer-amps.de/AK15plus/AER_PDF/AERAK15%20plus.pdf#search=%22aer%20pickups%22


    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  11. johneeeveee

    johneeeveee Member

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    I totally agree, and I've tried all of the one's you mentioned and also had a Sunrise, and tried the Expression system and the Amulet. I run my K&K loaded Martin 00-15 into a passive Radial JDI direct box and it sounds closer to my actual guitar than anything else I've tried. It's a very natural sounding pup.

    I play solo, and with piano and brushed drums and upright bass at times, and it works fine at those volumes. I don't think it would work in front of a loud band, as Jeff mentioned above.

    Good luck - jv
     
  12. stephenT

    stephenT Silver Supporting Member

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    Sunrise (period).
     
  13. jamison162

    jamison162 Member

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    My K&K dual source sounds very dull, flat and sterile; not to mention the string balance issue. I think I just got a bad one or botched the install (which doesn't seem likely to me). This is even with a bone saddle and new JP strings.

    I've had the Rane AP-13, Solstice so far. I'm going back to a single source for now, what that will be I'm not sure yet.

    I need some EQ, Feedback control. I will probably end up with either: Ultrasound amp or DI, LR PADI, or Dtar Equinox. I want it simple but pleasing.
     
  14. clemduolian

    clemduolian Silver Supporting Member

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    I've had MANY pick up systems in my main guitar over the years (starting with stereo Barcus Berry Hot Dots with a custom internal preamp...anyone remember Hot Dots?). Anyway, my current set-up is dual source. A Baggs active I-Beam and a Bartolini Hi-A (circa 1977) magnetic pick-up, mounted with a custom mini-plug system that allows me to clip/plug it in or not. These run stereo into either a DTAR Solstice preamp OR a Seymour Duncan TARA (True Acoustic Response Amplifier) amp (one of best acoustic guitar amps EVER made, WAY ahead of its time. Since both the DTAR and the TARA have great EQ and/or notch flexibility I have had no problems with feedback with this configuration.

    Previously, I have had great success with Highlander and Sunrise pickups...and the long lost FRAP system:AOK

    Trust your ears for what is best and be sure to check out the "system" while playing (what you hear) and while someone else is playing your guitar (front of house/what they hear).

    Good luck,
    Clem
     

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