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Acoustic amplification

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Terry Allan Hall 13 Nov 99 - 09:26 AM
catspaw49 13 Nov 99 - 10:53 AM
JedMarum 13 Nov 99 - 11:17 AM
LaToya McCoy 14 Nov 99 - 08:02 AM
JedMarum 14 Nov 99 - 10:52 AM
matt 14 Nov 99 - 06:11 PM
Metchosin 14 Nov 99 - 09:41 PM
Jeremiah McCaw 15 Nov 99 - 01:32 AM
JedMarum 15 Nov 99 - 12:10 PM
Fortunato 15 Nov 99 - 02:59 PM
Matt 15 Nov 99 - 07:55 PM
Chet W. 16 Nov 99 - 05:30 PM
Lady McMoo 17 Nov 99 - 03:21 AM
Mbo 17 Nov 99 - 08:45 AM
Max 17 Nov 99 - 11:49 AM
JedMarum 17 Nov 99 - 12:50 PM
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Subject: Acoustic amplification
From: Terry Allan Hall
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 09:26 AM

Not to upset the "purists", but what do y'all use for amplification of your instruments?

After 25 years of gigging several times a week, I've only recently found a pick-up system that I'm happy with...a Dean Markley "Sweet Spot" under-the-saddle transducer thru a Lloyd Baggs Para-coustic DI/Preamp/EQ, plugged into either my Carvin 12-channel PA system (larger solo as well as trio gigs), or a little self-contained and delightfully portable unit I put together consisting of a small 160 watt 4-channel mounted into a box w/ a 12" and horn (nursing home/hospital gigs). The self-contained system is also used if I'm working w/ a LOUD drummer as my "personal guitar monitor".

What are y'all's thoughts?


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Subject: RE: Acoustic amplification
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 10:53 AM

Well, you could check a lot of previous threads on the subject starting HERE I HOPE.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Acoustic amplification
From: JedMarum
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 11:17 AM

My Larrivee has a Fishman Matrix Pickup. It has a truely wondeful sound, and approxiamtes very well the acoustic qualities of this beautiful guitar. I do not use an instrument mic on stage.

I normally play my Larrivee through the house system. Many clubs have their own, but when I have bring one I have been using a pair of Crates (two way cabs; 15" with horns) but I will be buying JBL's MR925 - these are also two way cross cabs with a 15" speaker and a horn. Both sets of speakers are stand mountable.

I am using a SpiritFolio mixer by Soundcraft. It is a little 6 channel stereo mixer, and I am using a Peavey CS 800 stereo power amp.

The system provides good sound, and lots of it. It has a bit too many components for my liking, and I will be assembling the electronics into a road cabinet.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic amplification
From: LaToya McCoy
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 08:02 AM

One guitarist I play with uses a Martin Mini-Flex, which is actually a microphone that lives inside your guitar. It has a very natural acoustic sound, better than any pickup I've heard.

The only snag is that you have to put a hole in your Martin to do it -- but it's down where the peg for your strap goes, and no one will ever know, and are you really going to ever sell that Martin anyway?


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Subject: RE: Acoustic amplification
From: JedMarum
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 10:52 AM

I have heard the 'mic' units built into guitars and have never believed they were better than the Fishman or Baggs set-ups. They may be as good,but then I have only heard a few and so much of the sound quality depends upon the instrument and the player ....

I always wondered too, if the internal 'mic' set-up didn;t suffer the same problems as on stage instrument mics, namely feedback and EQ issues.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic amplification
From: matt
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 06:11 PM

In my Santa Cruz i use a Highlander microphone into the Baggs Para-Acoustic DI, Zoom 507 reverb in effects loop, then into a GK250ML guitar amp. The amp has 4 band eq, with two 50 watt power amps, built in chorus and echo, all pumping through two 6 inch speakers. I can run p.a. cabinets with this puppy. It works for both small and large rooms. The Highlander has some high end "sparkle" that is a bit troublesome, but I get a sound much nicer than any piezo I have heard. With the large band, it's Sennheiser mics through the Mackie board and then to the big cabinets. After a dozen gigs we finally got it right. An audience member who is a player said, "Sounded like Tony Rice."


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Subject: RE: Acoustic amplification
From: Metchosin
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 09:41 PM

I wholeheartedly agree that the Highlander and Fishman systems work extremely well. However it is interesting to note that the legendary Martin Carthey used a Radio Shack lavalier microphone (lapel type) with remarkable results. Certainly an area for cheap experiment for the rest of us. Best loudspeaker system ever heard for acoustic guitar was a tri-amped dipole (open back bass and mid drivers which was rented to Leona Boyd by Thompson Audio in Victoria, B.C. This was as close to believable acoustic tone production, transient response and natural character as I have ever heard. Also I read recently, that John Williams uses Rogers or ATC studio monitors of very modest dimensions to amplify his classical guitar in larger venues. These applications make sense in that the guitar requires a very wide band width of 70Hz to 15Khz and superb transient response in order to reproduce the instrument's highly complex harmonic content and staggering dynamic range. Unfortunately, a lot of guitar speakers and P.A. monitors are tone generators rather than accurate reproducers of the signal they are sent. Anyone out there who's interested should look into trying good quality interconnect and loudspeaker cableing as well. You may be amazed at the difference good wire and connectors can make to your sound. End of Rant.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic amplification
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 01:32 AM

A further note on cables: in a moment of pure self-indulgence I purchased a Monster Cable Bass DI cord for my acoustic bass guitar. Not their absolute top of the line, but still set me back $80 (Can). When I got it home I set up a direct A/B comparison between it and my usual Rodam cord. I could actually hear a difference, and I don't have as good an ear as I would like. The difference was small, of course, but it was there: a tiny increase in volume and a definitely fuller "rounder" tone. I'm convinced.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic amplification
From: JedMarum
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 12:10 PM

matt -
I have a Santa Cruz 000 which is strictly acoustic (for now). I bought is sans electronics, but now wish I hadn't I wrote to Santa Cruz and they said their favorite option for it was the Baggs. I am still reluctant to cut this beautiful guitar, and may reserve this instrument for home play. I use a Larrivee J10 for performance, and though it does not have the delicate qualities of my Santa Cruz for the 'up the neck' finger pickin' stuff I like to do; it works pretty well for it, and can't be beat for most first position playing; finger or flat pickin'.

What model Santa Cruz do you use? I love these guitars and am a bit disappointed to find so few people playing them.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic amplification
From: Fortunato
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 02:59 PM

liam,

how do you rate your Santa Cruz up against the Taylors and Larivee's you've owned/played?

Thanks Fortunato (shopping for acoustics)


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Subject: RE: Acoustic amplification
From: Matt
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 07:55 PM

Fortunato and Liam,

My Santa Cruz is a D cutaway made of Brazilian Rosewood and Sitka. I have two other D's for back up: a twelve fret and a standard D in IRW and Sitka, I sold my Larrivee D-09 to a friend. The guitar had good tone; it lacked volume and projection. After she lost it to a thief, she bought a Santa Cruz FS. Taylors have great necks, smooth action and a uniform sound. They lack strong personalities, unless you buy the Leo Kottke 12 string. Consider a Collings OM. Lowden guitars, especially the O series, sing. The best tone I have heard in the past year came from a Dana Bourgesois OM cutaway. Pierre Bensusan uses Lowden. Tony Rice and Duck Baker both use Santa Cruz. Everybody and his mother seem to have a Taylor. Brad Davis, who rips with Marty Stuart, uses a Collings. I hope no one is confused.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic amplification
From: Chet W.
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 05:30 PM

Seriously, in my experience there is no better way to amplify an acoustic instrument than through a good microphone. The exception I guess would be if you wanted to easily add effects to the signal, but if you just want to amplify the natural sound of your instrument, spend some extra money on the right microphone for it (go to a place where you can try them out) and put away those pickups (except for my 85 GMC).

Chet


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Subject: RE: Acoustic amplification
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 03:21 AM

I've experimented at various times with Fishman, C-ducer, Ashworth, Shadow and others, sometimes active sometimes passive, with a variety of amplification. The best sound I've managed to get is with a large DiMarzio transducer mounted directly under the bridge. I don't like the sound of under saddle systems. With any of the above, I've found the sound is not particularly natural although it certainly gives more flexibility with effects and amplification.

In recent months, I've gone back to using a quality mike and quite agree with Chet W. If you want the real sound, there really isn't any alternative. I can't leap around on stage any more but that's probably a good thing!

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Acoustic amplification
From: Mbo
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 08:45 AM

I just lash a regular microphone the the body of my guitar with a guitar strap...

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Acoustic amplification
From: Max
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 11:49 AM

I think I'm gonna take my Martin D-15 and put in a LR Baggs Dual Source. The music store guy says its minimal alteration to the instrument and sounds great. I am tossed up though on the Baggs and the Fishman Active Matrix. I am really shooting for the acoustic sound. I hear that the new acoustic amps are very helpful in that too, but I am likely to mostly just plug into the house systems.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic amplification
From: JedMarum
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 12:50 PM

Mics are fine for getting close to the acoustic sound, but they bring so much extra baggage to the stage ... most sound systems are already a comprmise (good as they may be) to reproducing the fine acoustic qualities of a good guitar. It seems to me the best thing to do is use an electronic arrangement that works pretty well at capturing the good qualities of your guitar, and there are some very good choices now-a-days. In my estimation instrument mics are for studios, or maybe very well controlled stage environments. I don't typically have the luxury of very well controlled stage environments, so I use a a great electronic set-up for my guitar - it approximates the refined sound of my guitar, and is a well controllable signal. I am happy with that sound.


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