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Old 03-08-2018, 09:50 PM
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Default LR Baggs Lyric (Redux)

I am absolutely at the end of my rope with pickups for my D-28 Marquis. I’ve tried everything on the market except Dazzo, which I have no experience with. I can’t yet get a full/flat frequency response from any pickup in this guitar. It’s too loud and too resonant. I use this dreadnought for folk and bluegrass music. I’m not rocking out in bars, so feedback rejection is further down the list of “must haves” than full natural sound.

So, I decided to try a Hail Mary pass and install a Lyric in this guitar. I’ve tried the LR Baggs Lyric microphone twice on previous guitars I’ve owned. I never got a usable tone out of it. It was always boxy and “honk-y” sounding.

This time, before I installed, I called and spoke with the CS rep at LR Baggs. He gave some great suggestions and provided a diagram with recommendations for an alternate location on the bridge plate along the bass side X brace, and back slightly from the saddle line.

I’m writing this in utter disbelief. I fulled expected this to fail miserably, just like the last two times.

But, instead, I can report that it sounds absolutely excellent. Full stop.

The downside is that since I am off the direct saddle line and on the side of the bridge plate, it will have less gain before feedback. But, that’s not my concern. In testing at home, I couldn’t get it to feedback. I won’t know until I play a gig.

After watching the “produced” Lyric videos in frustration for years, and advising against it based on my past experiences, I can now say that I am getting excellent tone STRAIGHT IN with FLAT EQ from the Lyric. It can be improved further with an 8dB mid cut between 600 and 700 Hz. I can leave the rest flat. And that mid cut isn’t even a necessity.

Dumbfounded.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
I am absolutely at the end of my rope with pickups for my D-28 Marquis. Iíve tried everything on the market except Dazzo, which I have no experience with. I canít yet get a full/flat frequency response from any pickup in this guitar. Itís too loud and too resonant. I use this dreadnought for folk and bluegrass music. Iím not rocking out in bars, so feedback rejection is further down the list of ďmust havesĒ than full natural sound.

So, I decided to try a Hail Mary pass and install a Lyric in this guitar. Iíve tried the LR Baggs Lyric microphone twice on previous guitars Iíve owned. I never got a usable tone out of it. It was always boxy and ďhonk-yĒ sounding.

This time, before I installed, I called and spoke with the CS rep at LR Baggs. He gave some great suggestions and provided a diagram with recommendations for an alternate location on the bridge plate along the bass side X brace, and back slightly from the saddle line.

Iím writing this in utter disbelief. I fulled expected this to fail miserably, just like the last two times.

But, instead, I can report that it sounds absolutely excellent. Full stop.

The downside is that since I am off the direct saddle line and on the side of the bridge plate, it will have less gain before feedback. But, thatís not my concern. In testing at home, I couldnít get it to feedback. I wonít know until I play a gig.

After watching the ďproducedĒ Lyric videos in frustration for years, and advising against it based on my past experiences, I can now say that I am getting excellent tone STRAIGHT IN with FLAT EQ from the Lyric. It can be improved further with an 8dB mid cut between 600 and 700 Hz. I can leave the rest flat. And that mid cut isnít even a necessity.

Dumbfounded.
Hey Dave, That is a very encouraging report indeed! And nothing under your saddle between the bridge either. That sounds very promising. I look forward to a gig report. I have Baggs Anthems in a couple guitars and I think the TruMic is basically a Lyric? Could be wrong on that. But whatever it is, it sounds very natural and authentic. Keep us posted after gigging please.
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:12 AM
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Thanks Gary. The mic is similar in design. My understanding is that the capsule they use for the Lyric is designed to be a flat response from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. They evidently hand select the widest, flattest response capsules for the Lyric. The preamp then does all the filtering, multiband compression, and EQ. This product was released in 2014, and I was immediately smitten, and bought one. It was a bust. It sounded nothing like the videos in that guitar. I tried again in early 2016 in another guitar. The rest was the same. I guess the third time's the charm.
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:11 AM
sunpowder sunpowder is offline
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Hey David,

Glad to hear you like the Lyric. I have been using one in both my guitars (one for a couple years now, and one for about 3/4 of a year).

I am not nearly as experienced with pickups as you are but I can't see using anything else. I have tried a mag (M80) and an SBT (Schatten) before settling on the Lyric.

For me (and you know how and where I play mostly) the Lyric gives me the best representation of my guitars when amplified. Everything is a compromise compared to a condenser mic, but the Lyric is the only pickup I have used that gives a "natural response" to not just the strings, but the vibration of the body and the percussive nature of play (palm muting, etc).

It just responds "right," to my mind. The piezos always have this "rubber band" type of response that really turns me off. The Lyric has "air" that those don't provide.

I usually roll off some mids at about 500hz and 800hz...when playing with my own gear.

Although the "word on the street" is that the Lyric lacks bass, I have never found that to be the case, and on my dread, I actually need to roll off a little bass.

In my experience, getting the PRESENCE dial set correctly is the key. I have a dread and an OM-ish guitar and they both have the presence set differently, but both with good, natural results.

I also love how easy they are to install and move around, if you so desire. My Guild F30 did not have enough bridge plate in front of the pins to fit the Lyric, so I put it behind the pins directly on the spruce top. Works fine. I have never had any problems with feedback, but I don't play in loud environs.

You know, I don't do much fingerpicking like you do, but I am glad you have found it to be working for you. (Although, I always think your guitars sound good amplified. Way, way better than most I hear. But I also know you are kind of a stickler for these things )

See you soon.
Michael
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:29 AM
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Hi Mike!

I hope to see you at the next OS. The last couple of sets you guys did sounded great. I thought you might have changed pickups from the HFN. And, now I know your secret.

I am a bit obsessed with this stuff as you know. But, after I plugged it in last night, and did a little mid cut around 600 Hz, I thought to myself "well, it's been a fun ride, but I might be done." I love playing this particular guitar, and it's been a source of frustration not to use it plugged in, because I'm too finicky.

I would like to bring this D-28 this weekend, but I may have another guitar surprise for you guys, if the UPS man is on time. It's a variation of one my favorite guitars that I stupidly sold.

(Cue suspenseful music)

Best!
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:01 AM
sunpowder sunpowder is offline
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OOOH Yeah. Love new guitar surprises.

Hoping to be at OS Sunday. I have a "new" guitar myself that I may bring.

We'll see.
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:08 AM
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OOOH Yeah. Love new guitar surprises.

Hoping to be at OS Sunday. I have a "new" guitar myself that I may bring.

We'll see.
Ok, now it's a party. Er... at least as much as a a bunch of folkie guitar nerds can party.
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Old 03-09-2018, 03:04 PM
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Y'know, I've been looking at the Lyric recently as well. I always thought it sounded "ok" but never wanted to use it as a single source. However, I recently acquired a PZ Pre and thought "well, maybe I'll add a mic to my LB6 equipped Yammie" and started looking at options. I strongly considered Miniflex (and still am) but they sure are expensive and rather large. Doyle Dykes has a new custom system that mixes the LB6 and the Lyric and I thought "huh."

The Miniflex is definitely a superior mic but I wanted something smaller and pre-EQ'd that it could be easily mixed with the piezo and Baggs informed me this would be easy to do as the Lyric has passive ring connector, so I'll probably be giving this a try in the near future.
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Old 03-09-2018, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by MrErikJ View Post
Y'know, I've been looking at the Lyric recently as well. I always thought it sounded "ok" but never wanted to use it as a single source. However, I recently acquired a PZ Pre and thought "well, maybe I'll add a mic to my LB6 equipped Yammie" and started looking at options. I strongly considered Miniflex (and still am) but they sure are expensive and rather large. Doyle Dykes has a new custom system that mixes the LB6 and the Lyric and I thought "huh."

The Miniflex is definitely a superior mic but I wanted something smaller and pre-EQ'd that it could be easily mixed with the piezo and Baggs informed me this would be easy to do as the Lyric has passive ring connector, so I'll probably be giving this a try in the near future.
Like all pickups, they appear to be guitar dependent. Good luck!!!
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Old 03-11-2018, 08:21 PM
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I have a Martin M 36 I never take out because the Lyric well, sucks in that guitar. It is the only guitar I haven't put Dazzos in. That has got to change.

So I'm as dumbfounded as you, but be happy. I can get a decent sound if I use four band parametric EQ and futz around with it enough.
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:09 AM
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I've done some live testing with the Lyric. It's a great option for me. Overall, the tone is full and balanced, and the impact on the guitar is minimal. But, there is a mid hump around 500Hz to 800 Hz that sounds best when cut out. I'm in the process of testing a second Lyric installation in my other dreadnought. Surprisingly, it actually sounds even better than the first install. The second guitar isn't quite as resonant, so I suppose that helps. It might not need any EQ. I'll have a better idea once I've dome more testing live with the second guitar.

Here is what I've learned:

I've come to the conclusion that this internal mic can be tricky. In some guitars, I think it works perfectly in the recommended position. I didn't have much luck with the recommended position. I've had success now with the two alternate locations (back of the bridge plate and along the bass x-brace.) What I found with the tone was consistent in the two guitars. When located next to the X brace, there is a better bass response and less high mids (nasal sound) than you get with the standard placement. That said, it still needs a little EQ for the high mids and low mids. I found that the further I move the Lyric away from the saddle, towards the back of the bridge plate, the high mids are mitigated. But, the low mids (distant sounding honk) remain. Also, I found it's sounds best towards the low e string for better bass. So, what does this all triangulate to? I'm locating the lyric on the back of the bridge plate behind the A and E strings. There, I get a good solid bass and very little of the harsh mids. However, there is still a slightly distant sounding honk in the tone. Again, that's the low mids between 500 Hz. and 800 Hz. When I cut that frequency out with a parametric EQ, by about 6 dB, it sounds like a mic in front of the guitar. Without the EQ, it sounds a little more like a mic inside of the guitar.

Next Steps:

I'm toying with the idea of getting another preamp that has at least two paramteric EQ bands. But, I'd prefer to keep things simple. For those using the Lyric successfully, which parametric preamp/DI (if any) are you using?
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Last edited by martingitdave; 03-21-2018 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 03-21-2018, 02:58 PM
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Dave,

That is pretty interesting. I haven't tried moving my Lyric around at all. Just stuck it where the diagram said to put it (under the saddle) on the Gibson, and where it would fit (behind the bridgeplate) on my Guild. You have me intrigued enough to test some other placements.


As far as EQ:
I am not one to drag around a bunch of gear (even a preamp) to an open mic for a couple of songs. But when our duo is playing for a couple hours at the coffee house, I had been using the 3-band EQ on the PA to "pretty good" effect. More recently I have been using the Tech 21 Q-strip with my lyric enabled guitars.

It gives me a lot more control of the tone...two sweepable MID bands to play with. Mostly it is just cutting there. Low and HighóI leave about flat. The Hi-pass filter is nice as well. Runs on phantom too, so no batteries. (and the red knobs are bad-*** )

I don't have a ton of experience in such things, but I think the Q-Strip sounds good. I am sure that the Baggs Venue or Para DI would work the same with the Lyric, or because the Lyric is active, you could just use an EQ pedal of some sort...if your PA set up doesn't give you enough control of the mids. Those pesky mids!!

Good luck dialing it in.
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Old 03-21-2018, 03:21 PM
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Thank you Mike. I will take a look at that Q-Strip. It actually looks like a perfect solution. Compact, 2 mids, 9v, phantom, and filters. What more could I want? And, it's cheaper than some of the less capable alternatives. Someone also suggested I try and program the Play Acoustic. I will try that too, but it's a lot to lug around.
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Old 03-22-2018, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrErikJ View Post
Y'know, I've been looking at the Lyric recently as well. I always thought it sounded "ok" but never wanted to use it as a single source. However, I recently acquired a PZ Pre and thought "well, maybe I'll add a mic to my LB6 equipped Yammie" and started looking at options. I strongly considered Miniflex (and still am) but they sure are expensive and rather large. Doyle Dykes has a new custom system that mixes the LB6 and the Lyric and I thought "huh."

The Miniflex is definitely a superior mic but I wanted something smaller and pre-EQ'd that it could be easily mixed with the piezo and Baggs informed me this would be easy to do as the Lyric has passive ring connector, so I'll probably be giving this a try in the near future.
I have both the Lyric and the MiniFlex2Mic. My experience has been the same as your expectations. I can get a better tone with the 2Mic, but its greater bulk and heavier weight is a big drawback, especially considering that I can use ToneDexter for equally good tone and less feedback susceptibility. At some point I'll be replacing the 2Mic with a JJB or Ultra Tonic system.
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Old 03-22-2018, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
I will take a look at that Q-Strip.

I got mine when M.Friend sent me a 20% off coupon. But...I think Eric Skye had one for sale in the classifieds recently for a good price.
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