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  #76  
Old 08-08-2017, 11:41 AM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
Matrix + TONEDEXTER!!!
Haha, if I could get my hands on one, I would probably give that a try.
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  #77  
Old 08-08-2017, 11:44 AM
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martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Originally Posted by Petty1818 View Post
I know you were asking Gibby but I used the Matrix for many years with the spectrum DI. I never noticed any tonal change with it. I did notice a change with the Anthem though. I am a firm believer that the harder the UST is, the less tonal degradation will occur.

I often think about getting the Matrix Infinity and going back to pairing it with the spectrum. I just found it so difficult to find an image that worked well. However, I also did not experiment a ton with the images available online.
Thanks for the reply. This seems to be the consensus among us. If the Matrix does degrade tone, it's a small amount. We also are in agreement that the harder UST is better for acoustic tone. But, I think the harder material makes it worse for amplified tone, as compared to the LR Baggs braided pickup. But, with the Aura, or Tondexter per Ken, I think it's a winner.

Moreover, if you are working on a dedicated stage guitar, I think a small trade off is acceptable, and the feedback rejection of the UST makes the Aura imaging a worthwhile combination.

That said, for my guitars that are on primarily acoustic duty, I think SBT is a better option. Custom IR convolution like Tondexter, or Cuki's process, will work with those too. Just not as well.

For instance, I went with a passive K&K for my 12 string because I don't fancy the idea of a UST under 250 lbs of tension. Quack City! The K&K worked very well, was cheap, and required no batteries. I also don't fancy restringing a 12 string to change a battery that might die prematurely. For my GE Dread, I am considering a PUTW system with MiSi preamp. I emailed them to inquire. I mostly liked the Trance in that guitar, but I could not get it dialed in properly because the bridge plate is so small there isn't any real estate to work with.

I think that each guitar requires some thought to decide on the best pickup for it. And, there will be trade offs with each decision and application.
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  #78  
Old 08-08-2017, 11:46 AM
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I think I'm going to try a Barbera Soloist on my Gibson L-OO Vintage.
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  #79  
Old 08-08-2017, 11:51 AM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
Thanks for the reply. This seems to be the consensus among us. If the Matrix does degrade tone, it's a small amount. We also are in agreement that the harder UST is better for acoustic tone. But, I think the harder material makes it worse for amplified tone, as compared to the LR Baggs braided pickup. But, with the Aura, or Tondexter per Ken, I think it's a winner.

Moreover, if you are working on a dedicated stage guitar, I think a small trade off is acceptable, and the feedback rejection of the UST makes the Aura imaging a worthwhile combination.

That said, for my guitars that are on primarily acoustic duty, I think SBT is a better option. Custom IR convolution like Tondexter, or Cuki's process, will work with those too. Just not as well.

For instance, I went with a passive K&K for my 12 string because I don't fancy the idea of a UST under 250 lbs of tension. Quack City! The K&K worked very well, was cheap, and required no batteries. I also don't fancy restringing a 12 string to change a battery that might die prematurely. For my GE Dread, I am considering a PUTW system with MiSi preamp. I emailed them to inquire. I mostly liked the Trance in that guitar, but I could not get it dialed in properly because the bridge plate is so small there isn't any real estate to work with.

I think that each guitar requires some thought to decide on the best pickup for it. And, there will be trade offs with each decision and application.
I also think that each guitar reacts differently to certain pickups so it's always a consideration. I am finding that for me, the most natural systems are not always the best. If I was a finger picker, I could see myself loving a Dazzo, Trance etc but they don't always translate well to strumming.

With that said, I see where you are coming from with the harder material having a worse tone. However, I have never liked the tone of the Element. Always preferred the Matrix. Neither one sounds like an acoustic guitar but the Element seems to have this metallic tone to it. I do have a Headway UST in my octave mandolin. It's a bit different as it's completely round so takes more time to install but it actually sounds very natural so I guess it all depends.
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  #80  
Old 08-08-2017, 12:32 PM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
Matrix + TONEDEXTER!!!
Interesting. That would indicate that you like it even better than the Trance Amulet/ToneDexter combo.

Of course, the Matrix is one of the most commonly used pickups in the country. There was certainly plenty of beta testing done, and possibly some tweaking done, to assure that ToneDexter plays well with it.
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  #81  
Old 08-08-2017, 12:57 PM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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I had thought about starting a thread about this but for those of you who have used both, what was the big difference between the aura and tone dexter tonally? Obviously I know that with the tone dexter you can create actual images of your guitar, but I am referring more to the actual tone. I found with the spectrum, the images would often create a bit of a hollow and sometimes thin tone. It was difficult to eq out. Is the tone dexter better in this regard?
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  #82  
Old 08-08-2017, 02:01 PM
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Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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Originally Posted by troggg View Post
Hi Doug, would you say your tastes and recommendations apply solely to fingerpicking or do you feel they crossover to to players who strum semi-aggressively or aggressively?
I'm 99.99999% fingerstyle :-) Certainly pickups have a harder time with more aggressive playing. The pickups I'm using would fair as well as any, maybe better, with more aggressive playing. The Trance has a lot of headroom, as does the Dazzo. I think SBTs in general stand up better against strumming, but some may find the attack too mushy. USTs tend to have the most quack, but the Barbara is pretty good in that respect. being passive, you at least don't have to worry about spikes overdriving a cheap internal preamp, so if you use a good external preamp with lots of headroom, the Barbara should work well.

Personally, I think to some degree, you have to play to your instrument, adjusting your technique as necessary to get a good sound. That can mean that when you're plugged in, you can't play as aggressively as you can acoustically, if you want to get a good sound.
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  #83  
Old 08-08-2017, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by guitaniac View Post
Interesting. That would indicate that you like it even better than the Trance Amulet/ToneDexter combo.

Of course, the Matrix is one of the most commonly used pickups in the country. There was certainly plenty of beta testing done, and possibly some tweaking done, to assure that ToneDexter plays well with it.
Better than the Trance? Not really, I'm just thinking that the ToneDexter may offer the best results with a UST. I haven't tried it yet with any UST-equipped guitars and may not get the chance for awhile as tomorrow I'm thinking of trading-in my Martin GPC-18E and RainSong WS1000 for a new Huss & Dalton TD-R but that depends on the deal I can get.
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  #84  
Old 08-09-2017, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Petty1818 View Post
I also think that each guitar reacts differently to certain pickups so it's always a consideration. I am finding that for me, the most natural systems are not always the best. If I was a finger picker, I could see myself loving a Dazzo, Trance etc but they don't always translate well to strumming.
I am not calling you out or anything. It seems that Trance and Dazzos would do best for strumming because they don't quack when driven hard. They keep their integrity through even the most aggressive strumming, unlike a UST.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
Personally, I think to some degree, you have to play to your instrument, adjusting your technique as necessary to get a good sound. That can mean that when you're plugged in, you can't play as aggressively as you can acoustically, if you want to get a good sound.
This is one of the things I like about the Dazzo and the Trance. I feel I don't have to change the way I play when I plug in. I still feel like I am playing the guitar, not the pickup. I can't say the same about K and K because I never had one that I didn't have to EQ the heck out of it or add a mic to get it to sound natural enough.

Wouldn't mind trying the Barbara some day.
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  #85  
Old 08-09-2017, 02:15 PM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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I am not calling you out or anything. It seems that Trance and Dazzos would do best for strumming because they don't quack when driven hard. They keep their integrity through even the most aggressive strumming, unlike a UST.



This is one of the things I like about the Dazzo and the Trance. I feel I don't have to change the way I play when I plug in. I still feel like I am playing the guitar, not the pickup. I can't say the same about K and K because I never had one that I didn't have to EQ the heck out of it or add a mic to get it to sound natural enough.

Wouldn't mind trying the Barbara some day.
No worries! What I meant by that statement is that sometimes the most natural tone is best for certain situations. Not saying the Trance or Dazzo can't handle hard strumming, it's just that what I want out of a plugged in guitar when I strum is a big, bold tone and the Trance for me didn't provide this. It kind of reminded me of the Lyric; very natural but without that enhanced bass that I like. I just meant that if I was primarily a finger picker, I could definitely use the Trance live as it sounds quite nice in that setting.

I will say this though, I am not writing off the Trance and will be using it for a future guitar. I know my Taylor is bright and I think the Trance was just amplifying these frequencies. I would love to try it in my Larrivee but unfortunately I have the K&K in there and I really don't want to get into sanding down the bridge plate to make it work. I am hopeful that in the near future I can get a new guitar and try the Amulet again.

I too would love to try the Barbera system.
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  #86  
Old 08-09-2017, 06:43 PM
Vancebo Vancebo is offline
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Petty, that's interesting. If you're for a big bottom end, then the Dazzo has that in spades. I have to cut bass in many situations. The Lyric left something to be desired in that regard.
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  #87  
Old 08-10-2017, 01:40 AM
Riahdahn Riahdahn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post

BTW: to the OPs question, my favorites are always dual source. I currently have 4 setups that I like:

K&K + internal mic
Dazzo + internal mic
Trance M + internal mic
Barabara + internal mic

The mic's the key to making them all sound good.
Doug, what internal mic do you use with these pick ups? Do you use the same one for all of them? I'm interested in the Dazzo set up. I play mostly rhythm (sometimes hard strumming) with a little flat-picking.

Thank you!
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  #88  
Old 08-10-2017, 09:54 AM
stevecuss stevecuss is offline
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Doug,

quick question: with your Dazzo install, does it pick up your speaking voice? We installed a Dazzo in a Lowden jumbo and when our guitarist speaks in a natural voice, it comes through the PA quite significantly. We're a church environment and have the acoustic gained pretty high, but wonder if the install or pickups aren't working properly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
Nice chart! Possibly the hardest part of your chart to quantify is the ease of install, and it varies with what someone finds "hard", and it's tough to be consistent when each pickup has different challenges. For example, K&Ks involve supergluing 3 separate transducers to the right spot, a fairly tricky process for many people, not to mention the fright factor of hovering over your guitar with glue. You have that as moderate. Lyric involves reaching in and sticking the pickup on with tape. You have that as easy, which makes sense. But Trance also involves reaching in and sticking on 2 pickups with double-sticky tape, but that's "difficult"? The hardest part of most of these installs is drilling the end-pin jack. If you already have one, I'd call all of them "easy", as long as you have the right tools and have had a bit of practice.

BTW: to the OPs question, my favorites are always dual source. I currently have 4 setups that I like:

K&K + internal mic
Dazzo + internal mic
Trance M + internal mic
Barabara + internal mic

The mic's the key to making them all sound good.
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  #89  
Old 08-12-2017, 09:31 PM
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I just put a Fishman Ellipse pickup in a new-to-me Martin 000-18. You can store 4 microphone images in the Ellipse and all of them when blended in just a little bit, really dial in very organic mic'd tone from the pickup - I'm a big fan. It's very feedback resistant too. Easy to get good sound fast.
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