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  #61  
Old 02-26-2017, 03:38 PM
bobwl bobwl is offline
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I've owned and tried a ton of different pickup solutions over the years. Soundboard transducer, Fishman systems, LR Baggs systems, LR Baggs soundhole magnetics (M1, M1A, M80), LR Baggs Lyric, K&K, Taylor ES1, and most recently a Takamine Ct4IIB, and Takamine CTP3.

I haven't tried a ES2 outside of just messing around with it for short time, so I won't comment on that. However, out of the other choices I have to say my favorite has been the Takamines. Now they are my most recent addition since I got my P1JC last week. I got it so cheap I went ahead and got a CTP3 for it. I have to say it has quickly become my favorite.
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  #62  
Old 03-24-2018, 04:24 AM
AndyC AndyC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwl View Post
I've owned and tried a ton of different pickup solutions over the years. Soundboard transducer, Fishman systems, LR Baggs systems, LR Baggs soundhole magnetics (M1, M1A, M80), LR Baggs Lyric, K&K, Taylor ES1, and most recently a Takamine Ct4IIB, and Takamine CTP3.

I haven't tried a ES2 outside of just messing around with it for short time, so I won't comment on that. However, out of the other choices I have to say my favorite has been the Takamines. Now they are my most recent addition since I got my P1JC last week. I got it so cheap I went ahead and got a CTP3 for it. I have to say it has quickly become my favorite.
Another (somewhat delayed!) vote for the Takamine MIJ guitars. I have a TNV-460SC with the Cooltube preamp (CTP-2) and also the Takamine TriAx2 soundhole pickup (which is essentially a re-badged Baggs M80). The TriAx plugs into the CTP-2 internally, and then you can blend the signals together, dial in the tube "warmth" and you have a stunning sound plugged in. The TNV460SC is a beautiful guitar by the way.
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  #63  
Old 03-24-2018, 10:11 AM
John Bartus John Bartus is offline
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Seeing as we have another Ghost thread that has been reborn, I will chime in with my two cents' worth. Martin guitars with Fishman Aura onboard preamps (IMHO) are easily the best sounding plug direct to PA / DI guitars there are. I now own five. Classic DC-Aura, two jumbos (rosewood and maple), a newer DC-Aura GT, and a Custom Shop DC-Aura with the F1+ preamp. While the custom shop model rarely leaves my home studio, I gig with the rest all the time.

There.

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  #64  
Old 03-24-2018, 01:30 PM
pjroberts pjroberts is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
Good plugged in tone can't happen unless a guitar sounds good before it's plugged in.
.
This I have to disagree with. Many Taks are a good example, as well as low end Taylor 100/200 series. Might be cheaper, but great acoustic tone is mimicked through the amplification, and of course once electrified you can adjust / equalize the tone.
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  #65  
Old 03-24-2018, 01:52 PM
taylorgtr taylorgtr is offline
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Which ever one Tommy Emmanuel is playing. (I know he usually plays Matons....but I'd apply this to any guitar he's got plugged in).
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  #66  
Old 03-24-2018, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorgtr View Post
Which ever one Tommy Emmanuel is playing. (I know he usually plays Matons....but I'd apply this to any guitar he's got plugged in).
Tommy has a special EQ and effects thing that he has in his sound.

I'm thinking EQ control is more important than the system in the guitar itself. The ES2 system as an example is NOT BALANCED (as was the ES1). So when I plug into a house system it sounds like crap... unless I go through my little preamp first. Just having a preamp with no adjustments improves the sound tremendously. Then I can dial it in as necessary. The ES1 system is better for that because it is balanced, but still benefits from the preamp, but differently. JME
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  #67  
Old 03-24-2018, 03:51 PM
taylorgtr taylorgtr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1 View Post
Tommy has a special EQ and effects thing that he has in his sound.

I'm thinking EQ control is more important than the system in the guitar itself. The ES2 system as an example is NOT BALANCED (as was the ES1). So when I plug into a house system it sounds like crap... unless I go through my little preamp first. Just having a preamp with no adjustments improves the sound tremendously. Then I can dial it in as necessary. The ES1 system is better for that because it is balanced, but still benefits from the preamp, but differently. JME
Correct, he has a mic/undersaddle combo inside his guitar, and uses an AER amp with an AER Colorizer....and he has a sound man that runs his shows. Not all of us can manage that...but then again, we're not Tommy, either.
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  #68  
Old 03-24-2018, 06:21 PM
jparis51 jparis51 is offline
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Originally Posted by noledog View Post
As a full-time working musician I've tried many different options and for the wide variety of genres, dynamics, venues, and volumes I employ; I've found that Takamine's MIJ models to work best for me in combination with the two Loudbox Performers I use in tandem...the Cooltube system is warm, phat & beautiful sounding. Easy to dial in, few ever feedback issues that are easily remedied. They are plug n play, rugged, comfortable and the five I've owned came setup stage ready perfect, and yes the MIJ Taks do sound lovely unplugged, using HHG, scalloped bracing & dovetail joints which I prefer.

I also use my D18 with a Baggs M80 for certain venues, a different sound and very nice for finger picking in my more mellow venues.

Btw...I've purchased 3 Taks from our AGF sponsor Pacific Guitar Sales, Jerry has a very nice inventory and is wonderful gentleman to do business with!

eric
+1 on Pro Series Taks, however I replaced the CTP-3 Cool Tube on my P5JC jumbo cutaway with Tak's CT4-DX preamp and I haven't looked back. The CT4-DX is an 18 volt preamp, and while YMMV I'm convinced the added headroom from 18 volts does more to eliminate quack than the Cool Tube does. It drops right in to the same mounting frame and accepts a second source just like the CTP-3. Bonus: way longer battery life.

18 volts does wonders for any piezo pickup, see the threads on DTARs elsewhere here. I've also found the CT4-DX is amazing on Tak 12-strings, again YMMV but to my ears Cool Tubes kind of blur the sound of a 12.
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  #69  
Old 03-24-2018, 07:21 PM
KarenB KarenB is offline
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"Yamaha A3 series guitars are great plugged in. They are being closed out. I paid $900 for an AC3R with nice hard shell case"
Was that at a local store or an online store?

Nevermind. I saw one online at Sweetwater.
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  #70  
Old 03-24-2018, 07:31 PM
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I dislike almost all factory rigs. I always buy a guitar, then add my own, either Baggs, Trance Audio, or a strange one called Pick Up The World.

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  #71  
Old 03-25-2018, 10:50 AM
Sonics Sonics is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Bartus View Post
Seeing as we have another Ghost thread that has been reborn, I will chime in with my two cents' worth. Martin guitars with Fishman Aura onboard preamps (IMHO) are easily the best sounding plug direct to PA / DI guitars there are. I now own five. Classic DC-Aura, two jumbos (rosewood and maple), a newer DC-Aura GT, and a Custom Shop DC-Aura with the F1+ preamp. While the custom shop model rarely leaves my home studio, I gig with the rest all the time.

There.

Although it's not quite there yet, I'm a big advocate of sound image technology, and so is Martin, Yamaha, Ovation, Godin, et al.

Technically it's 'cheating' since all the processing takes place in the digital domain in real time, so you should consider it an 'effect'. As in the case of most pieces of technology, I expect the price to fall with a corresponding increase in processing power and performance.

'Soft' synths 'virtually' ended the career of a large array of physical keyboards in the studio. Perhaps in the future you will only need ONE guitar to fulfill all your needs...unless you're a 'purist'.

Here's mic modelling applied to a solid bodied instrument.



...here's guitar modelling

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  #72  
Old 03-25-2018, 05:25 PM
jp2558 jp2558 is offline
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Another vote for the Fishman Aura Enhance VT in the current Martin lineup. But those are in the guitars outside the OP’s price range.
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  #73  
Old 03-25-2018, 05:39 PM
BluesKing777 BluesKing777 is offline
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I posted this in the Acoustic Amplification section the other week, funnily enough titled:

"The Best Pickup I have Played - Maton AP5-Pro"

I keep talking about the fantastic pickup system in the new Maton acoustics - the Maton AP5-Pro with piezo undersaddle and condenser mic with preamp in the side of the guitar.

Here is my solo version of "Brain Damage" by Pink Floyd with the guitar plugged straight to my mixer and iMac, no other preamps or gadgets, no eq change, no reverb. My vocal is through my Neumann KM184 with reverb on the desk, so there is some spill from the guitar, but this is the best pickup sound I have played or heard direct.


https://soundcloud.com/bk7-3/braindamage7b




BluesKing777.
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  #74  
Old 03-25-2018, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jparis51 View Post
+1 on Pro Series Taks, however I replaced the CTP-3 Cool Tube on my P5JC jumbo cutaway with Tak's CT4-DX preamp and I haven't looked back. The CT4-DX is an 18 volt preamp, and while YMMV I'm convinced the added headroom from 18 volts does more to eliminate quack than the Cool Tube does. It drops right in to the same mounting frame and accepts a second source just like the CTP-3. Bonus: way longer battery life.

18 volts does wonders for any piezo pickup, see the threads on DTARs elsewhere here. I've also found the CT4-DX is amazing on Tak 12-strings, again YMMV but to my ears Cool Tubes kind of blur the sound of a 12.
* I posted on this when this thread originally came about (post #5) and still agree on MIJ Taks and their 3 interchangeable preamps all of which I've had; the CT4BII, Cooltube & CT4DX...while I still prefer the warmth of the Cooltube, (and I prefer the CTP-2), JPARIS is exactly right about the CT4DX.

** I've interchanged them and keep a backup CT4BII, which I actually like very much as well, and it's the simplest of the 3 to use and the battery last longest with one 9v. HOWEVER, the CT4DX DOES have incredible headroom and versatility and is designed to add a dual source as the Cooltube does as well...I used my M80 in one of mine.

*** Since the initial date of this thread I've added a Martin 000-18e Retro with the F1 Aura Plus. I know this system inside and out and have been toying with it for 3 years till I finally bought one from Maury when I found out they were being discontinued. Comparing it with the Tak system, it is not as user friendly nor as quick to dial in a good stage sound for what I do as a full-time solo artist playing trop-rock/reggae at loud outside venues here on the coast. The Cooltube's warmth for a six-string and midrange freq cut/boost is a huge on-stage feature. HOWEVER, I have tweaked my Retro's ribbon mic image and found it to be more of a "my guitar only louder" tone vs the oomph, warmth and sustain I get from the Tak. So I like them both but I must say that the "my guitar only louder" isn't always the "best" sound that works for some of the things I play.

**** As a working musician who needs good, consistent & reliable tools, I've come to appreciate and use both systems effectively. After years tho of using my MIJ rodie Taks, they are wonderfully reliable beasts. I've only had the Retro 4 months so I can not attest to the longevity of it's reliability yet.

***** May add that I also use a D18 with an M80, yet another useful tone and tool. While I don't prefer it as much for the loud hammerin' stuff, it really shines when I play smaller venues and softer material aka my fingerstyle, percussive, and folk music. It dials in so beautiful for that and is so easy.

****** All my guitar's amplified tone is plug n play, no external preamp etc...they plug direct into a Loudbox and sound great imo as well as feedback I get from other musicians and audience. That is a testimony to these 3 systems I use. They are all very good, high quality systems offering very usable and pleasing sounds. Learning how to use them and gaining an ear for it over many years of experience is valuable in being able to dial in on stage quickly for many different type venues and their varying acoustic properties. Some good stuff in this thread for up and coming artists who need info on this topic. I enjoy reading different artist's needs and perspective as to what works for them and how they achieve it...glad this thread was revived.

HERE ARE 3 LIVE SAMPLES OF ALL 3 SYSTEMS PLUG N PLAY INTO LOUDBOX PERFORMER AT DIFFERENT VENUES:

#1 MIJ Takamine Signature Series KC70 (I've owned several MIJ Taks & this is still my all-time fav!) Palathetic system: https://youtu.be/HPXEn9aCGUQ

#2 Martin 000-18e Retro F1 Aura Plus using ribbon mic image: https://www.facebook.com/eric.alabis...6145041948349/

#3 Martin D-18 with M80: https://youtu.be/j_Wrmzze9Es

eric
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Last edited by noledog; 03-25-2018 at 11:27 PM.
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  #75  
Old 03-26-2018, 08:36 AM
Roseland67 Roseland67 is offline
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I currently have 2,
2005 Gibson Cascade
2017 Martin OMC16e

Gibson very good, Martin better.

Gibson set up is higher, better for slide,
but intonation is only fair, amplified tone
is fine, no concerns.
Purchased new for $1000.

Martin rings, sustain is very good,
Intonation is perfect, amplified tone
is equal to or better than Gibson.
Purchased new for $1500.

Both are fine and are played daily,
Content with these 2 fine axes.
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