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-   -   UST that doesn't change the guitar tone (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=572566)

Dave L 02-18-2020 08:48 AM

UST that doesn't change the guitar tone
 
If a UST is thinner is seems it would have less effect on the natural tone of a guitar? What pickups have you found have little to no effect when considering UST?

ljguitar 02-18-2020 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave L (Post 6295586)
If a UST is thinner is seems it would have less effect on the natural tone of a guitar? What pickups have you found have little to no effect when considering UST?

Hi Dave L

None.

A limitation with under saddle transducers is the same as magnetic pickups or sound-board transducers - they each only capture a small portion of the complex sound characteristics of a guitar.

It's the same limitation we have with microphones, though a good mic will sometimes capture more of those natural characteristics.

Undersaddle get the the attack, sustain, and pitch pretty well. The magnetic pickups the pitch and sustain, but not the attack very well, and the sound-board transducers capture the attack, some of the sound-board resonance, the sustain, and other characteristics. None of the three capture the sound that is being radiated into the air.

Of the three, if I can only have one, I'll go with the sound-board transducers (all 4 of my acoustic guitars have K&K Pure Mini in them). If I can combine two, I'll take the sound-board with an internal mic and an external preamp (all 4 of my acoustics have an internal mic).

These days I've switched to a ToneDexter, which is like using a pickup and an external mic (far better quality than internal mics), but does not limit my output volume as much on stage as an actual mic would.

To summarize - all pickup/microphone systems are compromised and ALL of them alter the sound from the guitar-in-the-room-by-itself.

Thankfully have choices as to how close we want to get given the actual strengths/limitations of venues we play in, and the groups we are part of.




jseth 02-18-2020 10:47 AM

As far as altering the tone of the guitar while unplugged, I noticed zero impact from the Fishman UST I used for quite a while... the Acoustic Matrix Natural or some such...

In contrast, when I had the Baggs Element installed (as part of the Anthem SL system), I noticed a HUGE impact (not in a good way) on my Mark Angus #35, a guitar I had played for over 30 years at the time... over time it seems that my guitar has regained the volume that was lost with the Element, but the "tone profile" still remains altered...

Chipotle 02-18-2020 11:09 AM

Are you referring to the unamplified tone after a UST is installed? Because as ljguitar points out, no pickup will output the actual sound-of-the-guitar-you-hear-in-the-room. The amplified sound will always have limitations.

But I think you'll find that a properly installed UST won't affect the unamplified sound very much, if at all. If it is making good contact with the bridge and the saddle, pretty much all the energy will still be transmitted to the top.

Mandobart 02-18-2020 11:21 AM

IMO, one of the drawbacks of a UST is the fact that they have to interfere with the saddle-to-bridge slot physical interface. The string vibration has to get transmitted through the UST to reach the bridge and soundboard. There's really no way it won't affect the acoustic tone. A UST is in the acoustic signal path.

SBT's, however, pick up vibrations on the bridgeplate or soundboard after the string has imparted vibration to it. The SBT goes along for the ride.

Dave L 02-18-2020 12:12 PM

Sorry, what I was trying to say was which UST have least effect on un-amplified tone.

MrErikJ 02-18-2020 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave L (Post 6295809)
Sorry, what I was trying to say was which UST have least effect on un-amplified tone.

A holy grail quest, of sorts. All pickups will alter the acoustic tone to some degree and some will be imperceptible and it won't matter and others will be noticeable. Something hard like the Matrix is less likely to noticeably alter the tone of your guitar but it's not guaranteed. This isn't always a negative either, as some people prefer the tone of their guitar after installing a Baggs Element or a Matrix.

Find the pickup that most checks your boxes, install it, and let your ears tell you if you care or not.

Petty1818 02-18-2020 02:29 PM

The Fishman Matrix is the only UST that I have used that has not altered the tone at all. It probably had some impact but nothing I could hear. The Element definitely impacted the tone. The Matrix is so hard that I compare it to putting shims in under the saddle.

rockabilly69 02-18-2020 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Petty1818 (Post 6295947)
The Fishman Matrix is the only UST that I have used that has not altered the tone at all. It probably had some impact but nothing I could hear. The Element definitely impacted the tone. The Matrix is so hard that I compare it to putting shims in under the saddle.

+1 I've had the same results. I've put Matrix USTs in two of my guitars with NO change in acoustic tone that I could hear (Martin HD28, and '79 Gibson Gospel).

Adrianw 02-18-2020 03:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ljguitar (Post 6295698)
Hi Dave L


These days I've switched to a ToneDexter, which is like using a pickup and an external mic (far better quality than internal mics), but does not limit my output volume as much on stage as an actual mic would.



I'm curious about how the ToneDexter works with the K&K mini's. I assume you're not using the onboard mics in that situation.

AeroUSA 02-18-2020 09:19 PM

In all my testing Iíve never heard this from any UST apart from the Element and Fishman Sonitone soft style pickup. Having said that, I like the Anthem so at times I use it regardless.


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