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K & K pickup users

HeeHaw

Member
Messages
4,958
I recently purchased a Gibson Hummingbird of 1974 vintage, and really would love to use the guitar live. Traditionally I've outfitted all my acoustics with undersaddle baggs element, but have never liked the way the undersaddle units seem to rob a little volume from the instrument.

Which leads me to the K & K mini. I'm guessing it doesn't mess with the tone or volume quite as bad as it's glued inside of the guitar vs. undersaddle. Are you K & K users happy with your pickups, and are there any cons you can think of?
 

rowdyyates

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,343
Perfectly happy and thete are no cons. It will not affect your acoustic sound at all.
 

Seorie

Member
Messages
431
yeah, K & K mini is as good as I've found for 'transduced' sound.
Only one minor 'con', I have a 'robust' right hand and employ some thwack along with picking, I've added a video of what I mean so you get the idea.
If I thwack the strings to far back towards the bridge it can come out sounding like a thump, solution - dont do that kinda thing - at the bridge.


http://youtu.be/pXdGXIRSibo
 

Scott M.

Member
Messages
265
Have used them for years. Can be a little bass heavy but nothing a little eq can't take care of. You can't beat the sound of the pckup IMO.
 

bluesjuke

Disrespected Elder
Messages
24,146
I have the K&K Pure Western in my Martin HD-28V.
Very happopy with it, keeps my guitar sounding just like my guitar does when plugged in.

Good across the spectrum response & balance.
 
Messages
7,039
I have the model with the micrphone and the preamp. It's a very good system and not too hard to install. I've done two guitars and it takes about 1.5 hours with "practice runs" and taking your time.
 

Steve Hotra

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,195
I had one installed in my 1973 BC Rich B 28 dreadnought.
The tone of this guitar comes through .. No battery needed.
Very happy with my K&K mini western with volume control.
 

SarasotaSlim

Member
Messages
1,569
http://www.kksound.com/pureresonatorbb.html

I don't have any K & K stuff but they did make me think about how a piezo is mounted. Many of the K & K piezos are round doughnut looking types that are screwed to the instrument with some kind of washer through the doughnut hole holding it tight against the mounting surface.

I'm in the middle of an experiment with some piezo transducers bought from some company out of Miami. (I Googled piezo) They sell them in small lots of 5 or 6 for around $25. You just have to guess as to what type you want to buy from them. I took a wild stab in the dark and ordered some that look like small washers with a hole in the middle and 2 wires pre soldered to them. Preliminary unscientific tests are promising! I've wired one directly to a guitar cord and plugged it into an old tweed Deluxe and while mashing it firmly to my dining room table with my finger I can get a significant amount of volume from tapping on the table.

Next step is to figure out what value pot plays well with the thing and it's playmate will be an old chrome Kay pickup and all of these will go on my new reso. The piezo transducer is screwed to the under side of the reso cone. If that doesn't work I may try screwing it directly to the biscuit like the pic on the K & K web link. I'm excited about this project - I haven't bought a new guitar in over 20 years!
 

RustyAxe

Member
Messages
3,012
I've got K&K mini's in a D-18GE, Eastman AC420B, and a Guild 12-string. You'll get best results using a properly impedance matched pre-amp (I use the K&K Pure and Pure XLR). The "bassiness" noted by some is a product of the impedance mismatch between the pickups and the amp/PA. Without the preamp I found the K&K to be thin on treble, and heavy on the bass, even with the much lauded Baggs ParaDI. The K&K preamp(s) solved the problem.
 

guitardustin

Member
Messages
139
^^^Agreed, while it's annoying to have to buy a ton of things to get the best sound, the preamp makes a big difference with K&K sounding more natural.
 

TVC

Member
Messages
182
Have had the K&K Pure Western in my Larrivee D-60 for 7 years now. Love it and just no need to go changing. Very natural sounding (which I am very picky about, I hate quacky acoustic sounds), and as stated in other posts, it lets the guitar sound like the guitar. Priced very fairly. I do use mine with the Baggs Venue because I love the features that 'pedal' has and in case of feedback issues, it has a notch filter and a phase switch. Its a combination that has worked very well for me. A few small tours and many Friday night gigs. Highly recommend them.
 

rockabilly69

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,173
FWIW, I mounted a K&K Western Pure Mini in my Parkwood LE061. I also have the K&K XLR preamp. As far as I'm concerned, it's decent at best. Not as good as a good undersaddle or good magnetic. It's wired to it's own jack, so I blend it with a DiMarzio Angel, and that sounds pretty good. But on it's own I find it unpredictable at loud stage volumes. I like it in quieter fingerpicking gigs.
 

JSeth

Member
Messages
2,469
http://www.kksound.com/pureresonatorbb.html

I don't have any K & K stuff but they did make me think about how a piezo is mounted. Many of the K & K piezos are round doughnut looking types that are screwed to the instrument with some kind of washer through the doughnut hole holding it tight against the mounting surface.

I'm in the middle of an experiment with some piezo transducers bought from some company out of Miami. (I Googled piezo) They sell them in small lots of 5 or 6 for around $25. You just have to guess as to what type you want to buy from them. I took a wild stab in the dark and ordered some that look like small washers with a hole in the middle and 2 wires pre soldered to them. Preliminary unscientific tests are promising! I've wired one directly to a guitar cord and plugged it into an old tweed Deluxe and while mashing it firmly to my dining room table with my finger I can get a significant amount of volume from tapping on the table.

Next step is to figure out what value pot plays well with the thing and it's playmate will be an old chrome Kay pickup and all of these will go on my new reso. The piezo transducer is screwed to the under side of the reso cone. If that doesn't work I may try screwing it directly to the biscuit like the pic on the K & K web link. I'm excited about this project - I haven't bought a new guitar in over 20 years!
I don't know where you got your information, but K&K PW Mini's are NOT SCREWED to ANYTHING! They are tiny, lightweight, VERY thin units that are glued to the soundboard/bridgeplate...

I have the K&K Pure Western Mini in my Goodall Grand Concert; I have the Baggs Anthem in both my Mark Angus guitars (6 and 12 string), and was quite dismayed by the loss of volume and the shift in tone from that unit's install... NO WAY was I going to do that to my new Goodall!

I had heard that the K&K sounded just fine without a pre-amp. I have to say that is just wrong! They are high impedance, so they work without a pre-amp, but you will play hell to get a decent acoustic sound from it without using something else along with it... this may depend upon what YOUR idea of a decent sound is, of course!

I just know that when I ran the K&K through my Bose T1, I was convinced that it really needed that additional unit to approach what I consider to be a "good" acoustic tone... I play through a Bose L1 Classic with one sub (B1)...

A couple weeks ago, a fellow on the Acoustic Guitar Forum hipped me to Shoreline Music - they had (still have?) a close-out sale on the K&K Pure XLR pre-amp (designed to be used with the K&K PW Mini) for $89, free shipping!!! It's normally $230 or thereabouts... so I got one of those and I like it a lot! Haven't gigged with it yet, but I did a test-run and it sounded great...

My personal feeling is that the K&K, while a good sound source, needs something else... I plan on using an SM57 along with it, just for a bit of string noise and breath, as the transducer's response does not give me those qualities... it won't take much, so I won't have feedback issues. A lot of folks who are serious acoustic players/performers will use the K&K in conjunction with one of those "rice grain" sized mics, installed internally, but then you're talking a dual source pre-amp... and the price is going up with each additional piece of gear added... not to mention the complexity of dialing all of it to a tone you like...

Oh; an interesting thing to note: When using the K&K Pure pre-amp, that boomy low end thump seems to have gone away!

play on.........................................>

John
 






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