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Old 05-30-2012, 12:01 PM
Dynamic Dynamic is offline
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Default Soundhole pickups

First I am a FOH engineer not a player. My church has Saturday night services during the summer with some of our youth group kids playing guitar. We have some good young players but really uneven sound. The kid's guitars are all over in terms of quality and pickup systems. We switched to mics mid summer last year in hopes of improving things but some of the kids were really put off by not being able to move around. We tried some clip ons only to have them pulled off, dropped, etc. I was told this summer there will be no guitar mics, don't suggest it, not an option, plug in pickups only. We recently had a member donate all the soundhole pickups he collected over the years. My plan is to try to find the best matches for the kids who either don't have any pickup or have a truly awful onboard piezo. I am hoping you good people can help me characterize them so I have someplace to start besides trying all 17! in every guitar. The pickups are:

Dean Markley Promag
DM Promag Plus
DM Promag Grand
DM Promag Gold
Seymour Duncan Woody SA-3SC
SD Woody SA-3HC
SD Woody SA-3XL
SD Acoustic tube SA-1
SD Performer Maverick
LR Baggs M1
Fender ACP-1
Fishman Neo-D
Fishman Black Stack
Fishman Rare Earth
Barcus Berry Maplebar
Dimarzio Elemental
Dimarzio Super Natural

Insight on any of the above is much appreciated. Which are naturally bright? Which dark? Which are high output? Better for picking styles? Better for strumming? Better for 12 string? Better for acoustic bass? I am highly inclined to prefer the nine friction fit units from DM, SD, BB and Fender purely for the ease of use factor so input on them is of particular interest to me.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:12 PM
theotigno theotigno is offline
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Here is what I had from your list:
  • DM Promag Gold - My first magnetic and my least favorite
  • LR Baggs M1 - My favorite from the list; has a touch of acoustic sound to it
  • Fishman Neo-D - Just okay but had some noise
  • Fishman Rare Earth - My second favorite; pleasing tone and warmer
I would go with the M1 and the Rare Earth to start. The M1 was brighter than the Rare Earth, but both sounded good to me. For strumming, I prefer the M1 over the Rare Earth. For a lighter touch, I can see using the Rare Earth over the M1.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:13 PM
Cheetotoe Cheetotoe is offline
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(DISCLAIMER: None of my post is religious or political in nature)

First off, how many will you need? That number should be considered along with how many members/donaters your church has. If I went to a small church, I'd be a little annoyed that my money was buying 15 Rare Earth Blends for the kids who can't hold still in front of a mic. I'd say for your purpose, unless you only need 3 or 4, keep it under $75 a piece.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:14 PM
Dynamic Dynamic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheetotoe View Post
(DISCLAIMER: None of my post is religious or political in nature)

First off, how many will you need? That number should be considered along with how many members/donaters your church has. If I went to a small church, I'd be a little annoyed that my money was buying 15 Rare Earth Blends for the kids who can't hold still in front of a mic. I'd say for your purpose, unless you only need 3 or 4, keep it under $75 a piece.
There are six or seven kids that will rotate throughout the summer two have good quality on board setups alread, four or five do not. Perhaps my original post wasn't clear. A member has already donated the seventeen pickups I listed. I am hoping to make reasonable matches between some of them and the kids guitars without having to buy any additional pickups.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:30 PM
fongie fongie is offline
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My favourite is the 'Rare Earth single coil'. Not to be confused with the 'Rare Earth Humbucker' or the 'Neo-D'
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:13 AM
Cheetotoe Cheetotoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynamic View Post
There are six or seven kids that will rotate throughout the summer two have good quality on board setups alread, four or five do not. Perhaps my original post wasn't clear. A member has already donated the seventeen pickups I listed. I am hoping to make reasonable matches between some of them and the kids guitars without having to buy any additional pickups.
Well in that case have the kids bring in their report cards. The kid with the highest grades should be allowed to use the Baggs M1!

I'd say your best bet is to just have one of the more experienced guitarists in your church try all of them. You can listen in too and draw your own conclusions. But the Baggs M1 is my favorite from that list.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:41 AM
jricc jricc is offline
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I'll rate the pickups I've had on a scale of 1-10.
1 being awful, 10 being great.

Dean Markley ProMag 4-10.
Seymour Duncan Acoustic Tube 6-10
Fishman Neo D 5-10
Fishman Rare Earth Humbucker 7.5-10
DiMarzio Elemental 5-10

Hope this helps, good luck.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:53 PM
philosofriend philosofriend is offline
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The sound of all the pickups (and some awful piezos) will be affected by the impedence of the preamp they are plugged into. Different DI boxes and different stomp boxes can change the tone. A magnetic pickup straight into the line in of a PA usually sounds way more thin and sissified than it will with a proper preamp.
They cost $120, but an E-H Hum debugger is my favorite preamp, plus it kills 60 cycle hum actively (Same principle as noise cancelling headphones.)
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