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  #31  
Old 03-01-2021, 10:14 AM
jseth jseth is offline
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For truly "occasional" open mic use? Use a microphone... no need to rig your guitar with electronics that cost you an arm and a leg just for "every once in a while".

Would be great if you could get used to a Shure SM-58 or 57, as those would be the workhorse microphones that many open mics would employ. It's eminently "doable" to use one of those and get decent sound.

I have Dazzos in both my 6 string and 12 string guitars, and I love 'em! Best sounding pickup I've heard in my 50 years of playing on a stage, especially when I'm both performer and soundman... but they are gonna cost you, and the external preamp by Sunn Audio, while excellent, is quite pricey, as well. Not counting installation of the Dazzos (Teddy will do it for free, if you're in the general Bay Area), you're looking at around $700. Seems a bit steep for occasional use, plus there is always a learning curve with a pickup system; you're going to have to use it to get used to it and get the sound you want.

Seriously - go with a microphone, and not some high priced mic, either, as that is not the kind of mic you will be using at your generic open mic.

Coming to this Forum and asking your question is a bit akin to asking a bunch of alcoholics if you should drink, or not...
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  #32  
Old 03-01-2021, 11:27 AM
Stringmaster Stringmaster is offline
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^^^
Personally I don’t see a microphone as the best option for open mics. While it can make for the best sound and simplicity, you are at the mercy of the sound man, equipment, venue, etc. In my open mic world, the performers that need to be mic’d generally face some sort of issue—mainly not being heard. And that’s with a decent sound man with decent equipment. Having performed live with only mic’s for many years, it takes practice at dialing things in, and you generally need to control things—it’s very hit-or-miss at an open mic. I’ve also found that outboard gear is frowned on. Personally I’d go with a mag pickup that doesn’t require any external equipment, if you don’t have an instrument with electronics installed.
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  #33  
Old 03-01-2021, 04:33 PM
Lost Sheep Lost Sheep is offline
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Originally Posted by Stringmaster View Post
^^^
Personally I donít see a microphone as the best option for open mics. While it can make for the best sound and simplicity, you are at the mercy of the sound man, equipment, venue, etc. In my open mic world, the performers that need to be micíd generally face some sort of issueómainly not being heard. And thatís with a decent sound man with decent equipment. Having performed live with only micís for many years, it takes practice at dialing things in, and you generally need to control thingsóitís very hit-or-miss at an open mic. Iíve also found that outboard gear is frowned on. Personally Iíd go with a mag pickup that doesnít require any external equipment, if you donít have an instrument with electronics installed.
I am not sure I completely understand. Whether your own mic (for voice and/or instrument, the house mic(s) or plugged in to your instruments' jack, isn't one ALWAYS dependent on the sound man unless you brought your own amp/PA?
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  #34  
Old 03-01-2021, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by tbirdman View Post
I've read great things about Dazzo. I like the idea of having limited stuff inside the guitar. So if I went with Dazzo or another similar type of product like K&K mini, I would go with a preamp outside the guitar. Your thoughts on that approach. What ever happened to the tape experiments with Dazzos?
No good tape results. Just use what Teddy says. He has been experimenting. I have one SunnAudio DI. I have six Dazzo equipped guitars. The onboard SunnAudio would be great for those with just one guitar, but then you have a battery instead of the Stage DI phantom power or battery option.
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  #35  
Old 03-01-2021, 05:01 PM
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I would disagree. I participate in a couple of open mics weekly. I wouldn't say they are poor substitutes, they are just different. Those I participate in use a round-robin approach, with each participant playing a single song per round with multiple rounds as time permits.

There is a learning curve and, for many, some gear acquisition. The learning curve involves not only learning the ins and outs of using Zoom for music, it also involves learning how to set up your equipment properly. The gear acquisition may involve investing in mics, stands, mixers, audio interfaces, webcams, or other gear.

Over this year of lock-down I and my fellow Zoom open mic participants have vastly improved our audio and some of us have also improved our video. Believe it or not, it has also built a stronger sense of community than that that existed before COVID, partly because we have all been helping each other with our sound.

If you have not participated in a Zoom open mic I heartily suggest trying it.
I happily help run and participate in a zoom open mic. It is far better than nothing. We are doing it so that when things open up, we still have a small core of regulars. My method to survive zoom is compression with a quick attack and a slow release with as much ratio as you can stand. Compress on your terms so zoom sees no spikes. But it is not close to running a Dazzo pickup into a SunnAudio pre, with good monitors and QSC mains. And real people, and pub food, and beer on tap. I'll stick with my statement, far worse than the real thing.
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  #36  
Old 03-01-2021, 05:02 PM
Stringmaster Stringmaster is offline
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Originally Posted by Lost Sheep View Post
I am not sure I completely understand. Whether your own mic (for voice and/or instrument, the house mic(s) or plugged in to your instruments' jack, isn't one ALWAYS dependent on the sound man unless you brought your own amp/PA?
Yes, but I’ve observed problems when some sound guys mic up an instrument, usually related to getting enough output out of the instrument before feedback. But perhaps the open mics you attend are different—at the ones I’ve attended the majority of folks plug in, and when someone needs to be mic’d there tend to be problems. I just don’t feel that I could count on good results just showing up expecting to be well-mic’d. YMMV
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  #37  
Old 03-01-2021, 05:14 PM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
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I have not done a lot of open mic in a lot of different venues. I've done a few at music festivals, but before the unmentionable I was doing three of them locally each week. All three, when it was your turn you went up, plugged in, maybe did a little intro and played your two songs. Then you got off the stage because the next person was getting announced and on the way up. Not a lot of time for dinking around. I never saw anyone bring in their own sound system. I realize different venues do it differently but that has been my experience.
By sound system do you mean one DI box? I finally had to get a SunnAudio DI built just for open mics. You need to understand DIs. What they do is match your JJB or K&K equiped guitar to the impedance input of a mixer. Yes, some mixers have a high impedance (hi-Z) switch, but don't count on it or that it is being used. If you run your K&K directly into an 880 ohm mixer, you will get a peaky rather grating high end. Trust me on this one. Plugging in is no more time consuming. If you have a Dazzo equipped guitar you will be just about perfect with the board set flat. If you have a guitar with a battery, this is taken care of inside your guitar, one advantage to having a Taylor ES 2 pickup.
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  #38  
Old 03-01-2021, 05:29 PM
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Chriscom Chriscom is offline
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Originally Posted by Stringmaster View Post
Yes, but Iíve observed problems when some sound guys mic up an instrument, usually related to getting enough output out of the instrument before feedback. But perhaps the open mics you attend are differentóat the ones Iíve attended the majority of folks plug in, and when someone needs to be micíd there tend to be problems. I just donít feel that I could count on good results just showing up expecting to be well-micíd. YMMV
Venues and local preferences differ, but pre-pandemic I was playing and watching plenty open mics in Northern Virginia and I can't remember the last time I saw a mic'd-up guitar.
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  #39  
Old 03-01-2021, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Lost Sheep View Post
I am not sure I completely understand. Whether your own mic (for voice and/or instrument, the house mic(s) or plugged in to your instruments' jack, isn't one ALWAYS dependent on the sound man unless you brought your own amp/PA?
Yes, you are always at the mercy of the sound guy in the end. At our open mic, when we get back to it, we have a dedicated SM 57 available. It is fine. We have two channels of SunnAudio DI. We have a channel dedicated for Taylors' ES system, and two SM 58s. We can and do accommodate a small group, as long as the drummer brings a cajon. I occasionally play mandolin through the 57. We have monitors. Me and the main host are gear heads. We get paid to host and upgraded the house system to include QSCs with those proceeds, and several regulars chipped in. From feedback, we are the exception. It's a serious avocation for us. Hope to get back to it. People are amazed they can hear themselves.
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  #40  
Old 03-01-2021, 05:37 PM
Stringmaster Stringmaster is offline
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Yes, you are always at the mercy of the sound guy in the end. At our open mic, when we get back to it, we have a dedicated SM 57 available. It is fine. We have two channels of SunnAudio DI. We have a channel dedicated for Taylors' ES system, and two SM 58s. We can and do accommodate a small group, as long as the drummer brings a cajon. I occasionally play mandolin through the 57. We have monitors. Me and the main host are gear heads. We get paid to host and upgraded the house system to include QSCs with those proceeds, and several regulars chipped in. From feedback, we are the exception. It's a serious avocation for us. Hope to get back to it. People are amazed they can hear themselves.
Sounds like you have an awesome setup and I sure hope your participants appreciate your hard work and dedication in making them sound good!!
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  #41  
Old 03-01-2021, 05:55 PM
6L6 6L6 is offline
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Sounds like you have an awesome setup and I sure hope your participants appreciate your hard work and dedication in making them sound good!!
BRICK and our pal Ken do a great job running our weekly O/M. The venue (a British Pub and B&B) can't be beat and the owner supports the O/M 110%. We even have a dedicated stage the owner built in the memory of the first O/M host, Auri Naggar, who unfortunately lost his life early to cancer.

When we all get back to it (can't wait!), Cameron's Pub & Inn in Half Moon Bay, CA is where you want to be on Thursday nights starting at 7:00PM.


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  #42  
Old 03-02-2021, 08:13 AM
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Open Mics are awesome and I still go play one occasionally even though I'm gigging every weekend. But the main thing with an OM is to keep it simple. Plug in and go. I always take a guitar with the most forgiving pickup installed so I can just plug in and start playing. Your guitar will sound "good" but not up to your standards and that's ok because the audience will never know the difference and your performance is only going to last 15 - 30 minutes. If they already have a mic set up, play into it, but most OMs I've been to expect you to plug in and go. Also the less you have to fiddle with your equipment, the more relaxed you'll be for your performance.
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  #43  
Old 03-02-2021, 08:21 AM
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I also recently got a D-28 and went through the whole pickup preamp thing.

Tried the K&K pure mini, the LRB M80, and the Schatten HFN. I settled on the Schatten HFN as it sounded the best and is the least intrusive. Still had to drill the hole for the end pin jack. That pickup paired with my LRB venue DI sounds amazing, and would give you full control at an open mic. The LRB M80 is also a great sound hole pickup and I even kept that one for a backup. The only thing I did not like was having the thing in my sound hole, and it does dampen the guitar acoustically a little.

Good luck.
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  #44  
Old 03-02-2021, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by calvanesebob View Post
I also recently got a D-28 and went through the whole pickup preamp thing.

Tried the K&K pure mini, the LRB M80, and the Schatten HFN. I settled on the Schatten HFN as it sounded the best and is the least intrusive. Still had to drill the hole for the end pin jack. That pickup paired with my LRB venue DI sounds amazing, and would give you full control at an open mic. The LRB M80 is also a great sound hole pickup and I even kept that one for a backup. The only thing I did not like was having the thing in my sound hole, and it does dampen the guitar acoustically a little.

Good luck.
The Schatten HFN has a good following and reviews here on AGF. What I like about it is that it can be installed with tape or putty versus the super glue that other pickups require. Makes it an easy removal if you so desire. Did you consider Dazzo pickups at all? Did you use the tape or putty method?
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  #45  
Old 03-02-2021, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbirdman View Post
The Schatten HFN has a good following and reviews here on AGF. What I like about it is that it can be installed with tape or putty versus the super glue that other pickups require. Makes it an easy removal if you so desire. Did you consider Dazzo pickups at all? Did you use the tape or putty method?
Looks like the Dazzo requires glue and "I WILL NEVER" glue anything in this guitar again...lol

I tried the HFN with the tape and the putty. I like the tape better so I switched back to it.
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