Which pick up would you recomand?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by Marky Mark, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. Marky Mark

    Marky Mark Member

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    Hi,
    I am willing to mic my new Stonebridge acoustic, I play live and I do recording. I want not only a Piezo but also an electret mic, so I can mix the two together for a more balanced tone.
    Im not sure if I should cut the guit to have an -onboard- model with an eg thou...
    Oh yeah, i play folk rock, im mostly a -strummer- so i need a defined sound, not too boomy or too clingy!!! I definitly need a volume and mixer on the guit.
    Please tell me what Pup you use on your acoustic or point me out something that could match what I need.
    I've heard about the L.R BaGGs Imix, but never heard it, does anybody know/use this pup?

    Thanks for your help.
    Mark
     
  2. TNO

    TNO Member

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    K&K Trinity.
     
  3. Groberts

    Groberts Silver Supporting Member

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    I've never found an internal pick up, even with internal mic that sounds anywhere near as good as recording with a good external condenser mic.

    For live, I love my K&K pure Western Mini. It can be paired with an internal mic, but they are mmore prone to feeding back. For me, the convenience of of the K&K pure Western Mini without an internal PU is well worth it. and it sounds GREAT! Very natural.
     
  4. Mrjoelv

    Mrjoelv Member

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    I agree that the Pure Mini is a great choice. I was reluctant to change out my Truetone set up but the Pure Mini sounds very natural, no batteries and the constant feedback problems are gone.


     
  5. Marky Mark

    Marky Mark Member

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    Interesting, I'm definitly going to take a look at the K&K western mini. But I will pair it with an internal mic because I want my sound to be rounder and fuller. As for the feed back I should be abble to control it with a mixer.
    Any thoughts on the L.R Baggs Imix?
    Thanks
     
  6. Hangfire

    Hangfire Member

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    K&K Pure Westerns on all of my Blackwood Larrivees;-)
     
  7. johneeeveee

    johneeeveee Member

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    My 2 cents: Internal mics are pretty worthless. I've heard them all and haven't found one I could use but maybe a touch in a live mix (even on quiet or solo stuff). IMO they are not worth the money or extra hardware in your guitar.

    K&K PWM is a great pup IMO.

    Aagin, just my 2 cents... others may feel differently - jv
     
  8. -kk-

    -kk- Member

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    yup, another vote for K&K, and no internal mic... almost unusable playing live (my experience). You can mix the K&K minis with a condenser mic, that will work well.
     
  9. johneeeveee

    johneeeveee Member

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    My sentiments as well... and even a SM57 on the outside of a guitar (combined with a K&K PWM) would be more useful than an internal mic IMO.

    Good luck - jv
     
  10. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    I don't like pickups any more on an acoustic(doen't matter what), give me an LDC in the studio...
     
  11. johneeeveee

    johneeeveee Member

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    Are we talking about recording? If so, I agree, and I wouldn't even consider using a pup, any pup.
    For live use, however, it can be more practical to use a pup, and the K&K is the closest thing to a mic I have found. In a perfect world we could all play our acoustic guitars in quiet listening venues with awesome sound systems and great FOH engineers with great mics.
     
  12. spence

    spence Supporting Member

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    Microphones aren't designed to be used inside of a resonant chamber. Mic it from the outside if you have to, but if you move around when you play, you will never have a balanced sound out front. I would recommend clamping the mic on the guitar if it's essential to use one. DPA mics work really well this way. A good pickup is certainly more practical than a mic for live stuff. Whichever option you use, it ain't gonna be perfect, but it can be really good, and that's all you need for live stuff. Sooner or later you just have to jump into the fire and roll with it. Just don't put the mic inside your guitar!

    TIP: If you feel like you have to mount the mic inside, mount it closer to the B and E strings to avoid amplifying the low end resonance from the lower strings. This will help eliminate some of the low end rumble, but in doing so, you're sacrificing the overall balance of the strings, so why bother? You just open up a can of worms if you mount the mic inside.
     
  13. chinstrap

    chinstrap Member

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    The Sunrise System sounds great and is a pickup that fits most soundholes, no mods necessay.
     
  14. johneeeveee

    johneeeveee Member

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    True... the Sunrise is a great sounding magnetic pup, although quite a but more expensive than a K&K. I had one for years and many well known artists use them (Lyle Lovett, Joni Mitchell). They don't sound as "natural" or acoustic as the K&K, but it is a great sound... a little more "electric" and definitely more feedback resistant in front of a loud band.
     
  15. 62Tele

    62Tele Supporting Member

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    Pretty much my experience. I would second the notion of a K&K for live, use a magnetic for band volumes (I like the Baggs better than the Sunrise these days and used Sunrises for many years) and a good condenser for recording.
     
  16. platonicbomb

    platonicbomb Member

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    I have been using an LR Baggs Dual Source for about 10 years, maybe more. Always get compliments on the sound, even though it's hardly state-of-the-art technology (at least I assume someone has made some improvements somehow). But then in 1994 I used a Seymour Duncan sound-hole pickup with a small mic taped to it. It got rave reviews too, but then I was performing in Romania at the time. It required two channels on the mixer because I wasn't running it as a stereo out. Kind of a pain, but it proved to me the value of a mic.

    The LR Baggs does use an internal mic and mixes it with an under-the-bridge piezo. With all due respect to everyone else's experience, it delivers a nice full sound and can be used at pretty high volumes without getting feedback. You mix it with a couple of dials on an inch-long plate clamped to the sound-hole. I use the piezo full-on with a little microphone to sweeten it up.

    I don't know whether the Dual Source is still available, though I'd guess any new developments by Baggs are an improvement on it.
     
  17. johneeeveee

    johneeeveee Member

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    With all due respect to you and to personal tone subjectivity, I have never heard an under the saddle piezo pup that sounded good to my ears. I know some folks like that strident string attack, and even the "quack" when they dig in. Annie DiFranco is an example of someone who likes that sound, and even records direct with it sometimes.

    Others may chime in, and that just my 2 cents. I have been the sound engineer on a songwriter showcase here in Portland OR every Sunday for the last 5 years. I go through about 30 different artists and guitars every week, so I have heard about everything. IMO, the K&K PWM is the most natural sounding pup out there, and it is unintrusive and relatively inexpensive. It has been the pup in my touring guitar (Martin 0015) for the last 7 years and has always delivered stellar sound. I do play in quiet settings, so take that into consideration.

    Hope this helps, and good luck - jv
     
  18. WilliamTell

    WilliamTell Member

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    I've had the iMix and yet I prefer the Dual source. The iMix contains the under bridge "iBeam" which is resistent to feedback, but loses the sparkle and "live mic" sound that the Dual Source Mic provides. I would suggest the Dual Source with the internal mic and the ribbon transducer (less bright than the element which is standard in the dual source now)

    I agree with platonicbomb...I've been playing the Baggs Dual Dource for over 15 years...people always compliment the richness and authentic acoustic tone coming from the P.A....The Baggs preamps add a little more midrange than most people may like but I've always found it too help to fatten up the tone and cut through the mix.

    Ultimately it's your ears that will be the judge. Ask 10 guys and you'll get 11 different opinions...I've been playing acoustic guitar in a live setting both solo and in 5 piece bands for over 20 years... From junk to boutique and every wood combo, and the Baggs Dual source has never let me down.

    Good luck on the tone search...
     
  19. johneeeveee

    johneeeveee Member

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    So true. You do have to decide for yourself in the end, and the more options you can try the better. It's always great to hear that someone has found something that works for them, as I know first hand just how hard it can be to find a satisfying solution to amplifying acoustic instruments.

    Good luck - jv
     
  20. in a little row

    in a little row Member

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    i prefer to record with both a ldc and pickup, especially when recording with other instruments (like drums)...you can reinforce the mic signal with the pickup, pan them for a spacial effect, or add effects to the pickup for a nicer wet/dry mix...

    live, whole different story...amplifying an acoustic is always a trade off...i prefer ust pickups to the k&k due to volume and feedback issues, and the fishman ellipse blend is a very flexible dual-source example of a live system with a mic...
     

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