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Preamp for passive magnetic pickup??

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,402
I've use a Sunrise and a Fishman Blackstack pickup and I'm looking for a simple preamp. I've got a Sunrise buffer box that works great but I need something for the Fishman Blackstack.

One unit that interests me is the Radial AC-Driver

What are you using?
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
37,721
mag pickups are usually fine with 1MΩ input impedances, which means any buffered "regular" electric guitar pedal will do the trick.

that boss TU2 you have lying around would do fine, while something like a graphic EQ pedal would also provide useful tone-shaping.
 

kludge

The droid you're looking for
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,109
Any good clean boost pedal will work. I actually like dirty boosts with a magnetic pickup, but I'm usually trying to cut through a band.
 

Tony Done

Member
Messages
5,896
I know that the Sunrise need some kind of preamp/buffer, but do you need a preamp for the Blackstack?
 

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,402
what's a DCR?

I can't vouch for the google search, but since I've run the Blackstack (BTW, Fishman designed this as a Sunrise clone) through my Schertler Jam 400 and found it needed a preamp, that's pretty much all the confirmation I need.

How about DCR? I did a quick search and couldn't find any mention of needing a preamp, so I'll be interested to see what turns up in this thread.
 

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,402
I'm not sure you understand the nature of The Gear Page. We encourage each other to make gear purchases.

Imagine, having two usable preamps, one with EQ that also has a piezo setting (I have a Martin D Jr w/ built in electronics) and a low Z out so I can go directly to a board and still have control over my EQ.

OK, why not use a Sunrise preamp?
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
37,721
I know that the Sunrise need some kind of preamp/buffer, but do you need a preamp for the Blackstack?
"need" is a little loaded of a term here.

they'll work fine as is but are not especially loud. into say a passive DI they'd be dull and quiet.

give them a nice 1MΩ input buffer and they'll put out a stronger, clearer signal.
 

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,402
Used the Sunrise buffer box last night w/ the Fishman Blackstack, which I had used the week before w/o a preamp. The combo sounded great into the Schertler Jam 400. The buffer box adds the gravy, more overtones and a decent bump in volume. I think the Blackstack has slightly less initial output than the Sunrise. But I thought it sounded more "acoustic" than the Sunrise,.. tho the Sunrise is in a different guitar w/ different strings and lent out to a buddy so a direct comparison isn't possible today.

"need" is a little loaded of a term here.

they'll work fine as is but are not especially loud. into say a passive DI they'd be dull and quiet.

give them a nice 1MΩ input buffer and they'll put out a stronger, clearer signal.
 

Tony Done

Member
Messages
5,896
"need" is a little loaded of a term here.

they'll work fine as is but are not especially loud. into say a passive DI they'd be dull and quiet.

give them a nice 1MΩ input buffer and they'll put out a stronger, clearer signal.
That is what I expected, and you could argue the same thing about unbuffered piezos, but when they came out, IIRC, the discussion was all about "pickup and preamp", not just pickup.
 
Last edited:

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,402
and "fine" is a subject term. depends on how high you want to crank the gain stages on your amp. There is a definite tonal difference between using the Blackstack with and without the Sunrise buffer box, with the box being more desirable as I sated above. we imagine what we want but experience,.. that is plugging it up yourself, is the final test.

That is what I expected, and you could argue the same thing about unbuffered piezos, but when they came out, IIRC, the discussion was all about "pickup and preamp", not just pickup.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
37,721
you could argue the same thing about unbuffered piezos
no way!

unbuffered saddle piezos are just about unusable, little volume and zero low end. they also need a real piezo preamp with more like 10MΩ input impedance to prevent that loading loss. even an average length of cable will degrade the sound, which is why it's so common now for the preamp to be built right into the guitar.

the big exception is something like the K&K pure mini soundboard piezo, which actually produces too much low end through classic 10MΩ piezo preamps and does better with the same 1MΩ inputs as mag pickups.
 




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