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  #16  
Old 06-02-2022, 09:07 AM
Snorse Snorse is offline
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Originally Posted by sublro View Post
Picture that the disks on a K&K are your ear, pressed up against a very thin wall with a very loud party and a loud sound system playing music right up against that wall on tje other side. Thatís essentially what a soundboard transducer is up against - think about how moving your ear even minor amounts would change the resonances hitting your ear. Thatís why it is both the idiosyncrasies of the individual soundboard that the K & K is installed on, so small positional differences in install can change the relative emphasis of different frequencies. I believe that is what accounts for the very different experiences of different people with K & K pick ups and all soundboard transducers for that matter. Sometimes pretty plug-in-play and all is well, and other times itís just very difficult-to-eliminate feedback issues.

not to sound like a plug, but that is specifically what the ultratonic addresses. It gives you a set of dip switches built in, so you can then plug your guitar in and listen to where that individual soundboard and transducer placement is over-emphasizing certain frequencies and notch them out, to greatly reduce the susceptibility of that particular guitar to feedback.
Do you notice any phase issues with it, as it adds extra transducer(s). I imagine that the big, feedback eliminator disc is wired to facilitate some sort of phase cancellation, but I don't know much about it.

Curious about it, but it's a lot of work to put in, do all that setting up and then find that I don't like it.
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  #17  
Old 06-02-2022, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by lschwart View Post
That's good. You didn't provide any details about those issues, so I didn't want to offer advice until I knew more about your situation.

As others have noted, if you know what your doing in terms of the room and your speaker position, the main thing with a K&K in a resonant guitar is going to be low-end EQ. For me, a HPF and/or a feedback notch filter usually does the trick. With a little tweaking in terms of the cutoff/slope of the HPF and/or the center frequency of the notch, you should be able to reduce the feedback without too much of a trade-off in terms of low-end--although, as you know, it will differ some, room to room.

On the other hand, if real, thumping low-end is what you're after, you might just consider a different sort of pickup for that guitar. I use a mag for exactly this reason in a very resonant Taylor 410.

Louis
It's a shame K&K didn't include a HPF in the preamp.

When I want real thumping low end, I use my Rick Turner Renaisance guitars. Frankly, they sound amazing plugged in and they do NOT feed back. ;-) I use them for all of my duo gigs.

I did work wit the K&K more and got better results, but I guess I'm not hearing why so many people rave about these. Sure, there's no piezo quack and they sound pretty good, but it doesn't really sound like my guitar and it requires a good bit of eq to sound good. I think I need a grahpic eq with it in addition to the preamp. Maybe I'll try my Fishman Stage preamp and see how that goes.
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  #18  
Old 06-02-2022, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by sublro View Post
I completely understand your disinterest in installing anything else.

that said, if you do want basically the sound of the K&K AND to completely put the feedback issue to bed, the James May Ultratonic will do that. I have one in my OM-21 and can hold it right in front of my S1 at considerable volume with no feedback. it works to the specific anatomy and resonances of the individual guitar it's installed in.

For me, the effort to get it installed was well worth it. I had a years long love/hate thing with K&K in several guitars previous to that.

FWIW / YMMV....
I'm not hearing why people rave about the K&K. Still needs a good bit of eq, so I guess I'm not really wanting the sound of the K&K. But honestly, at the price of the K&K add on, why not just go with the James May pickup? It's not that much more.
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  #19  
Old 06-02-2022, 01:08 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Originally Posted by DavidE View Post
I have a K&K (don't know which one) installed in my Martin OM41 Special and I've tried it in my Bose S1 straight in and with a K&K Pure Preamp. I can't get any decent volume without a ton of feedback.

What's the secret?
1. Knowing which of the several K&K pickups is installed in your guitar, and knowing it's installed correctly.

I do know that some Martins have small bridge plates that do not accomodate the disc size for even the small size of the K&K Pure Mini. Mounting the transducers partially hanging over the bridge plate edge has been the cause of excessive feedback reported in the past by users. I'm sure it's not the case for you, but I relate it because there are times when problems can be traced to poor selection of a pickup.

2. Working with the knowledge of what creates feedback and what's going wrong in your particular application.

3. Not expecting substantial and accurate "bass" from a Bose S1 with it's 6" driver.

4. Not desiring something other than what the combination of guitar, pickup, and amplification can provide.

Adding more equipment as a remedial solution often doesn't cure a problem that results for the basic physics of amplification.

5. An awarenesss that there ARE cases where a K&K transducer (provided it's the correct one...) just isn't going to work well with your equipment. Some guitars just aren't suited to a bridge plate transducer.

You certainly can use the age old "solution" of using a good microphone if you want your amplified sound to be a close facsimile of your guitar. Of course, then you face a whole other set of feedback issues.

Last edited by Rudy4; 06-02-2022 at 01:18 PM.
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  #20  
Old 06-02-2022, 01:13 PM
lschwart lschwart is offline
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Originally Posted by DavidE View Post
It's a shame K&K didn't include a HPF in the preamp.

When I want real thumping low end, I use my Rick Turner Renaisance guitars. Frankly, they sound amazing plugged in and they do NOT feed back. ;-) I use them for all of my duo gigs.

I did work wit the K&K more and got better results, but I guess I'm not hearing why so many people rave about these. Sure, there's no piezo quack and they sound pretty good, but it doesn't really sound like my guitar and it requires a good bit of eq to sound good. I think I need a grahpic eq with it in addition to the preamp. Maybe I'll try my Fishman Stage preamp and see how that goes.
I'm able to get good results using the HPF and notch on my Radial PZ-Pre, but like most things, of course, it's a compromise. For my purposes, I like the sound of my L.R. Baggs M80 better (I also used an M1 for years). Of the K&K equipped guitars I've used, the one that sounds best to me is my little GS Taylor Mini--probably because it's small and doesn't have a big bass sound. The K&K actually gives it a little more heft, as long as I down pound on it too hard, it works.

In any case, best of luck with your tweaking!

Louis
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  #21  
Old 06-02-2022, 01:32 PM
fwphoto fwphoto is offline
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Originally Posted by DavidE View Post
But honestly, at the price of the K&K add on, why not just go with the James May pickup? It's not that much more.
Good question.

I've been using K&K pickups for a long time & have dealt with feedback issues all along. The only real solution I found was putting a soundhole cover on when playing in loud situations.

I ended up doing the James May Ultra Tonic conversion in an OM-21 & was immediately blown away! The feedback issue disappeared & the sound quality improved considerably.

I recently sent my old D-18 to Bryan Kimsey for some work. He replaced the original K&K equipped large bridge plate with a small maple one so I had him just add a new Ultra Tonic rather than trying to save & reinstall the K&K. Again, I now have zero feedback from this guitar & I play in a large band with electric & acoustic (me) guitars, electric bass, piano, keyboard, drums, multiple singers & sometimes other instruments thrown in like violins & mandolins. We all have monitors as well, so you know stage volume is pretty high. Not only does my guitar not feedback at all, it also sounds better than the K&K.

So, want to move away from feedback? IMO, a simple, straightforward was is the James May way. Not cheap but buy once & smile.

Frank

Last edited by fwphoto; 06-03-2022 at 02:28 PM.
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  #22  
Old 06-03-2022, 05:46 AM
TobyB TobyB is offline
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I have K&K's in a variety of instruments... mandolin, mandola's, tenor, resonator and standard guitars, banjos and even a nyckelharpa. I also have LR Baggs in Lowden's, and a Taylor and a Takamine with their own.

In my experience, a good pre-amp with EQ and a notch filter has been the solution to all sorts of feedback problems... cutting bass and notching the howler. I have Headway's that are good, and a Grace Design Felix that is brilliant and worth all the many pennies it cost for good sound from K&K's with feedback "controlled"
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  #23  
Old 06-03-2022, 06:57 AM
AeroUSA AeroUSA is offline
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Use a HPF, Soundhole plug or change it for an Anthem.
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  #24  
Old 06-03-2022, 07:15 AM
Nymuso Nymuso is offline
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Originally Posted by DavidE View Post
So essentially, I can't get a decent amount of bass with this pickup. That's what I'm finding.
Bingo! That was my issue and my unfortunate realization. I have yet to find an elegant answer other than having a soundman on the other side of the room riding the faders and parametric EQs - in the real world of throw-and-go, not a solution for me. Experience told me that a UST does not perform any better against feedback; I tried a sound hole magnetic but I could not tolerate the tone and it did not entirely kill the feedback.

Consequently I no longer use that guitar for most gigs and have gone to a Godin A6 Ultra. Similar options might be a Fender Acoustasonic, Taylor T5 and the like. No, my Godin does not give me the tone of my HD-35, but the feedback wars are over and I have the fullness in the sound that I feel I need as a solo guitarist.

Good luck in your quest.
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  #25  
Old 06-03-2022, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Nymuso View Post
Bingo! That was my issue and my unfortunate realization. I have yet to find an elegant answer other than having a soundman on the other side of the room riding the faders and parametric EQs - in the real world of throw-and-go, not a solution for me. Experience told me that a UST does not perform any better against feedback; I tried a sound hole magnetic but I could not tolerate the tone and it did not entirely kill the feedback.



Consequently I no longer use that guitar for most gigs and have gone to a Godin A6 Ultra. Similar options might be a Fender Acoustasonic, Taylor T5 and the like. No, my Godin does not give me the tone of my HD-35, but the feedback wars are over and I have the fullness in the sound that I feel I need as a solo guitarist.



Good luck in your quest.


Thatís why I almost always gig with my Rick Turner Renaissance guitars. I always get compliments on the sound. 3rd from guitar players.
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  #26  
Old 06-03-2022, 10:37 AM
gfirob gfirob is offline
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I have an OM-42 with K&K's going through a Tonedexter. Tonedexter not only makes the guitar sound great, there are powerful feedback tools on it too. But as has been said, if you are playing with drums and electric guitars or bass, K&K's are probably not your best choice.
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  #27  
Old 06-03-2022, 01:51 PM
varmonter varmonter is offline
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If your getting your gain level correct
You should just use the vol control on
The s1 ..if your overdriving the amp
With the pre than you'll have issues.
I loved the kk in small quiet settings.
But I eventually bought a sunrise pickup.
Much more consistant and it's not a disc piezo.
So no feedback..I havnt looked back.
All that tone just to have to cut it back
And choke it out just doesnt make sense.
Kk are just not made for high volume situations..perhaps on a big stage where the speakers are far away..jmho
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  #28  
Old 06-03-2022, 02:31 PM
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James May Ultratonic - he makes an easy to install retrofit kit to work with your existing K&K, or if you need a pickup, he can sell you the whole thing. Problem solved -
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  #29  
Old 06-19-2022, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidE View Post
The last thing I'm going to do is spend money on yet another preamp. The K&K pickup with the K&K preamp should allow me to get a good amount of volume with a reasonable amount of low end. And I'm not buying add ons. I'll put in a UST before I head down that road.
I agree with your thinking, but I've no suggestions to remedy your issue with the K&K pickup. I just installed a K&K pure mini in my J45 and it works really well. Whether thru headphones, Solo Amp, Loudbox Mini or, even my old Peavy Ecoustic 112. Like you, I've been "at this" for some time, trying several different options, Fishman and LR Baggs products mostly. I've long since made peace with the goal of "my guitar, only louder" quest. I think the K&K is the best "bang for the buck", given it's $109 and it does not "quack". Hope you get it figured out and if so, let us know the remedy.
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  #30  
Old 06-19-2022, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by tadol View Post
James May Ultratonic - he makes an easy to install retrofit kit to work with your existing K&K, or if you need a pickup, he can sell you the whole thing. Problem solved -
For $179, nearly twice the cost of the pickup. Not sure that is cost-effective for those folks who buy a K&K pure mini, or a Fishman product or an L.R. Baggs product. Value segment options....
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