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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Need a plug-in acoustic: Convert vs buy installed?

tiller2
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Washington DC

Jun 25th, 2018 07:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

For once, I am considering an acoustic guitar I actually NEED. One for performing, with a pickup so I can just plug in at the endpin. Great sounding, of course.

I have borrowed my son's Taylor 214 Grand Auditorium, and it sounds very impressive plugged in; in fact, better than it does unplugged.

I could consider installing a high-end pickup in a guitar I own--Larrivee or a Gibson J-45--but I fear the modification will affect their unplugged tone, even if slightly. I am strongly attached to them.

Wouldn't it make sense to choose a guitar with a pickup already installed, so I know what I'm getting, both plugged in or au naturel?

Have you permanently modded a favorite acoustic in this way? What happened?

Tom B.

OK

Jun 25th, 2018 08:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

Many years ago I had a Martin thinline gold + (undersaddle piezo) professionally installed on my D28. Best I can tell it didn't alter the acoustic tone at all. Nowadays there seem to be a number of approaches that are not invasive at all, even reduced size endpin jacks that eliminate reaming. On the other hand, do you want to haul one of your treasured acoustics around. Lots of options either way.

tiller2
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Washington DC

Jun 25th, 2018 09:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks Tom, good to know. My concern is indeed about the tone.

The guitars in question are not super-valuable, vintage, etc. I've just sworn off buying more guitars without a clear need. For now, anyway. :^P

larryguitar19
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South Florida

larryguitar
Jun 25th, 2018 10:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

I can confirm what Tom B. said. I have both a Gibson J45 with the L.R. Baggs and a Martin HD28 with Thinline Gold.

It has no effect on the tone.

But you have ask yourself an important question. What is your goal? Do you play at home and only for yourself? Or are you playing live.

If you want to be heard and in a live situation the only way to do that is with with a professionally installed pickup run through a decent soundboard. If there is any loss in tone the tradeoff is worth it and it's not even close.

(This message was last edited by larryguitar19 at 01:15 AM, Jun 26th, 2018)

tiller2
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Washington DC

Jun 25th, 2018 10:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm getting a few opportunities to play live, and it's a goal of mine. Thanks for the tips.

budg
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ohio

Home of the Goodyear blimp
Jun 26th, 2018 06:28 AM   Edit   Profile  

I put in a K and K Pure Mini in my D18 and it didn’t affect unplugged tone at all.

thumbpicker
Contributing Member
******

St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Jun 26th, 2018 07:20 AM   Edit   Profile  

K&K does well in a mild setting I’ve found but if it gets really loud I get a lot of feedback. Don’t forget a soundhole cover or you’ll be howling all night. The undersaddle pickups do well but don’t seem as natural sounding to me.
Either option can work. I use an LR Baggs DI as a preamp to get a better EQ on my acoustics but having eq,phase,switch,notch filter onboard the guitar is really handy for on the fly changes.

budg
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ohio

Home of the Goodyear blimp
Jun 26th, 2018 08:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

I use a Boss GE7 eq pedal with my K and K to boost the signal and eq the bad stuff out .

Peegoo
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Ooo that sandwich

is gonna get et
Jun 26th, 2018 11:51 AM   Edit   Profile  

Spot on. A Boss EQ pedal wotks great as a preamp for the K&K systems, and is cheaper than the purpose-made preamp.

I've installed a bunch of K&Ks in acoustics over the years with 100% customer satisfaction. They require no batteries and sound great.

tiller2
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Washington DC

Jun 26th, 2018 08:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

Great tips. I’ve looked at the K&K mini before; time to try it and the Boss pedal. In the J-45.

Thanks, all

tiller2
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Washington DC

Jun 26th, 2018 08:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

ditto deleted

(This message was last edited by tiller2 at 10:46 PM, Jun 26th, 2018)

larryguitar19
Contributing Member
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South Florida

larryguitar
Jun 26th, 2018 08:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

Agree with other posters about getting some sort of EQ. I have the Fishman Tondeq.

tiller2
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Washington DC

Aug 18th, 2018 11:51 AM   Edit   Profile  

Ordered the K&K Mini. I am leaning toward buying the MXR 10-band EQ as the booster; it would be useful for other applications on my pedal board.

larryguitar19
Contributing Member
*****

South Florida

larryguitar
Aug 19th, 2018 08:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

In another thread I mentioned I am at Fur Peace Ranch doing some acoustic workshops.

As an update the consensus amongst the pros is the ToneDexter is the preferred device. No complaints with the Tonedeq but they say the ToneDexter is more versatile. I'm going to check it out myself. It looks like it's in the $399 area.

I noticed Brian Sutton doesn't use any UST. Rather he plays to a EarTrumpet Mic. Apparently that's the way to go when you tour with a 1936 Martin D28 and drilling holes is simply not an option. The mics are $800. I'm not sure I"m going there. I played through a generic Shure 57 which amplified my suckage just fine.

(This message was last edited by larryguitar19 at 10:11 PM, Aug 19th, 2018)

tiller2
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Washington DC

Sep 12th, 2018 10:46 AM   Edit   Profile  

Hey, Larry, I'd love to do the Fur Peace Ranch thing. Enjoy!

For me, the die is cast, and I'll drill my 1995 Gibson J-45 as soon as the Stew Mac reamer arrives this afternoon. Then install the K&K, and test with an EQ pedal as a booster.

I'm performing a song with it at a funeral tomorrow morning. (The church has a wireless PA system; I need to confirm that it will play nicely with the K&K.)

Hammond101
Contributing Member
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So. Cal. USA

Sep 12th, 2018 12:19 PM   Edit   Profile  

I own the StewMac reamer. It's a wonderful tool for end pin jack installs.

I've been using the Fishman Matrix Infinity and have it in several acoustics. I like the onboard preamp and tome control. No need for a buffer pedal or EQ. I do use these instruments with an LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI sometimes if I'm going to a board. Not needed going to my Fishman Loud Box.

Enjoy the install. I like doing e-tronic installs on acoustic guitars.

Bubbalou
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USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Sep 12th, 2018 04:13 PM   Edit   Profile  

tiller2, wait to hear the verdict :)

larryguitar19
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South Florida

larryguitar
Sep 12th, 2018 04:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

I used the Stewmac reamer on my Alvarez 12 string. A word to the wise---mark off the depth with some tape.

There is a taper and then straight part. I 'kept going' and drilled a hole a hair too large. No big deal but it wasn't perfect and I learned my lesson.

If you haven't done it before you might want to test it on a spare piece of wood first.


tiller2
Contributing Member
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Washington DC

Sep 14th, 2018 11:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

"tiller2, wait to hear the verdict :)"

Yesterday, at the funeral, I played my J-45 with the newly installed K&K Pure Mini pickup, and it worked very well.

The church provided a battery-operated Shure guitar wireless transmitter, which clipped on my guitar strap and had a 1/4" plug that went into the jack of my guitar. I didn't need to use my EQ pedal to boost the signal. At a brief sound check, the church's tech did a little EQ'ing via his laptop. He thoughtfully had a monitor for me, so I could hear my voice and guitar easily during the performance.

I sang well and played fine, and got a big hug from the organizer after the funeral. There's supposed to be a payment, too, but it wasn't put in my hand; we'll see if it arrives in the mail :^P (I don't really care, as the 89-year-old who died was an admirable man and I enjoyed learning about him.)



FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Need a plug-in acoustic: Convert vs buy installed?




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