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  #46  
Old 12-20-2018, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
TI firmly believe that the pickup's vibrational transference of bass and overall signal strength is being compromised.

I don't know. All that matters is if it works for you, but what I've observed is that different adhesives sound different and that the effect isn't consistent across different pickup designs. For example, you'd think that putty on the HFN would be really lousy at transferring energy, but I recall trying to use tape for one, and was surprised how "hard" and thin it sounded. I've been surprised that they now offer tape for those - haven't tried a newer one. When the ibeam first came out, some people complained it sounded thin and nasally, and there was a store in Santa Cruz that was installing them with thicker foam tape that seemed to sound better - this is a bit like what I think Gary may have been saying - the direct contact may actually produce more trebles and a harsh sound rather than more bass. Superglue on the bridgeplate, if it doesn't work will pretty ensure you can't use a trance - it won't adhere properly with the tape or barge cement once the bridgeplate has superglue on it, which again is contradictory with PUTW pickups where he at least used to recommend smearing a little superglue on the bridgeplate to create a smooth bondable surface... too many variables, and that's without getting into the effects of bridgeplate material and thickness, bracing patterns, and so on.
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  #47  
Old 12-20-2018, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
I don't know. All that matters is if it works for you, but what I've observed is that different adhesives sound different and that the effect isn't consistent across different pickup designs. For example, you'd think that putty on the HFN would be really lousy at transferring energy, but I recall trying to use tape for one, and was surprised how "hard" and thin it sounded. I've been surprised that they now offer tape for those - haven't tried a newer one. When the ibeam first came out, some people complained it sounded thin and nasally, and there was a store in Santa Cruz that was installing them with thicker foam tape that seemed to sound better - this is a bit like what I think Gary may have been saying - the direct contact may actually produce more trebles and a harsh sound rather than more bass. Superglue on the bridgeplate, if it doesn't work will pretty ensure you can't use a trance - it won't adhere properly with the tape or barge cement once the bridgeplate has superglue on it, which again is contradictory with PUTW pickups where he at least used to recommend smearing a little superglue on the bridgeplate to create a smooth bondable surface... too many variables, and that's without getting into the effects of bridgeplate material and thickness, bracing patterns, and so on.
After about 6 months without doing so, I just plugged-in my Trance M-VT-equipped Martin HD-28 into my Line 6 L2t, and playing with only the Trance M-VT's Tone control, and with all the L2t's EQ set flat, my amplified tone playing with a flatpick is close to my-guitar-only-louder (which is what I'm after). I mounted the Amulets in this guitar with my even-pressure all-over C-clamp method which has always yielded decent results in several Trance installations. Trance's Gary Hull's method of selective pressure mounting of the Amulets is his recommended method of pinpointing the tone you want to hear, and likely will yield the best-amplified tone, but it's tedious to do*.

*This is likely why the Amulet transducers are called Lenses because they can be focused by pressing on certain areas of the transducer to pick up as full a vibrational spectrum and signal strength as possible in its mounted position.
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  #48  
Old 12-20-2018, 09:19 PM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
I don't know. All that matters is if it works for you, but what I've observed is that different adhesives sound different and that the effect isn't consistent across different pickup designs. For example, you'd think that putty on the HFN would be really lousy at transferring energy, but I recall trying to use tape for one, and was surprised how "hard" and thin it sounded. I've been surprised that they now offer tape for those - haven't tried a newer one. When the ibeam first came out, some people complained it sounded thin and nasally, and there was a store in Santa Cruz that was installing them with thicker foam tape that seemed to sound better - this is a bit like what I think Gary may have been saying - the direct contact may actually produce more trebles and a harsh sound rather than more bass. Superglue on the bridgeplate, if it doesn't work will pretty ensure you can't use a trance - it won't adhere properly with the tape or barge cement once the bridgeplate has superglue on it, which again is contradictory with PUTW pickups where he at least used to recommend smearing a little superglue on the bridgeplate to create a smooth bondable surface... too many variables, and that's without getting into the effects of bridgeplate material and thickness, bracing patterns, and so on.
It's interesting you say that. When I first installed my HFN, I put more putty on than I probably should have and I applied just a slight amount of pressure. The tone was very natural, warm and fat sounding. I worried that it wasn't pressed in enough so I put more pressure and the result was a thinner/brighter tone. It does seem as though some pickups definitely do benefit from a bit of a thicker adhesive to tame the high end.

With that said, it does sometimes make me wonder if the Amulet I tried wouldn't maybe benefit from a putty install? The tape is so thin that I feel as though in my particular guitar, the lenses are just amplifying too much high end and need a thicker type of adhesive in order to tame that high end. I mean it's an easy enough experiment.
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  #49  
Old 12-21-2018, 10:38 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Originally Posted by Petty1818 View Post
It's interesting you say that. When I first installed my HFN, I put more putty on than I probably should have and I applied just a slight amount of pressure. The tone was very natural, warm and fat sounding. I worried that it wasn't pressed in enough so I put more pressure and the result was a thinner/brighter tone. It does seem as though some pickups definitely do benefit from a bit of a thicker adhesive to tame the high end.

With that said, it does sometimes make me wonder if the Amulet I tried wouldn't maybe benefit from a putty install? The tape is so thin that I feel as though in my particular guitar, the lenses are just amplifying too much high end and need a thicker type of adhesive in order to tame that high end. I mean it's an easy enough experiment.
I'm very interested in your findings if and when you try using putty instead of the Trance tape for mounting your Amulets. My wish is that the Trance tape was even thinner than its .009 inch thickness but what an ordeal that would be to try to apply such a thin tape to an Amulet without it tearing or folding! Another experiment you could try is to double-stack two pieces of Trance tape on each of your Amulets to gain a thicker .018" thickness.
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  #50  
Old 12-21-2018, 10:51 AM
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martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
I'm very interested in your findings if and when you try using putty instead of the Trance tape for mounting your Amulets. My wish is that the Trance tape was even thinner than its .009 inch thickness but what an ordeal that would be to try to apply such a thin tape to an Amulet without it tearing or folding! Another experiment you could try is to double-stack two pieces of Trance tape on each of your Amulets to gain a thicker .018" thickness.
My experience with the "temp" tape on the Trance was less than stellar. I can;t see how thicker tape would help. I just wish it was easier to apply these 3D sensors to the bridge plate for reliable results. Unfortunately, it remains a crap-shoot.
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  #51  
Old 12-21-2018, 11:05 AM
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My experience with the "temp" tape on the Trance was less than stellar. I can;t see how thicker tape would help. I just wish it was easier to apply these 3D sensors to the bridge plate for reliable results. Unfortunately, it remains a crap-shoot.
Yes, I, too, think thicker isn't going to be better. Also, as I've mentioned, I use my C-Clamp method that applies even pressure on the Amulets and get consistently good results when locating the Amulets per Trance's recommended default locations. The Trance selective pressure-point method likely gives better results but how much better than my method? I've haven't really tried the Trance method because it seems so clumsy and tedious--at least from my jettisoned one and only effort--so I can't answer that.

I totally second your K&K recommendation as being THE go-to solution for an easy and consistent installation as it doesn't require any installation acrobatics like some other systems, and it sounds good when paired with a good preamp with EQ. Then there's the UltraTonic system from James May that I may give a try as it seems like a better-sounding variation on the K&K system.
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Vega No. 2 Tubaphone
OME North Star Walnut
Eastman EBJ-WL1 Whyte Laydie
Vega 12" Old Tyme Wonder
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Last edited by SpruceTop; 12-21-2018 at 11:29 AM.
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  #52  
Old 12-21-2018, 11:18 AM
TranceAudioInc TranceAudioInc is offline
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I just had someone contact us this morning asking about the possibility of installing our pickups using superglue or epoxy, and they pointed me to here, where this conversation is going on.

SpruceTop, I hope that you will take the time to contact me, so we can have an in-depth conversation about this before you make any regrettable and irreversible decisions regarding the use of superglue, epoxies, or putties. I'm hoping that you'll actually try our installation method instead of improvising, although believe me, I understand the lure of the DIY spirit!
The answer to a better installation isn't in using different clamps or glue and I'm hoping that you'll give our way a chance. It's not tedious, by the way; it's actually pretty straightforward, and I’d be happy to answer any concerns you may have.

Petty1818, I'm not sure exactly what to say; I've tried unsuccessfully for several years now to get you to contact us (both through this forum and via emails) so we can discuss your particular instrument and find out why you are having trouble getting the proper sound from your installations. I'm more than happy to walk you personally through the process and troubleshoot any problems we encounter. I'm still hoping that you'll take me up on this offer.

Oh, and Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all!
Gary Hull/Trance Audio
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  #53  
Old 12-21-2018, 11:26 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Originally Posted by TranceAudioInc View Post
I just had someone contact us this morning asking about the possibility of installing our pickups using superglue or epoxy, and they pointed me to here, where this conversation is going on.

SpruceTop, I hope that you will take the time to contact me, so we can have an in-depth conversation about this before you make any regrettable and irreversible decisions regarding the use of superglue, epoxies, or putties. I'm hoping that you'll actually try our installation method instead of improvising, although believe me, I understand the lure of the DIY spirit!
The answer to a better installation isn't in using different clamps or glue and I'm hoping that you'll give our way a chance. It's not tedious, by the way; it's actually pretty straightforward, and I’d be happy to answer any concerns you may have.

Petty1818, I'm not sure exactly what to say; I've tried unsuccessfully for several years now to get you to contact us (both through this forum and via emails) so we can discuss your particular instrument and find out why you are having trouble getting the proper sound from your installations. I'm more than happy to walk you personally through the process and troubleshoot any problems we encounter. I'm still hoping that you'll take me up on this offer.

Oh, and Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all!
Gary Hull/Trance Audio
Thanks, Gary! As I've mentioned, I've gotten satisfactory results with Trance systems and think they are the best! I'm a bit of an experimenter and gambler in that I think I can beat the odds, which, in my case, doesn't usually work. I'll be sure to just use the Trance mounting tape from now on and use your pressure method per your advice. Merry Christmas To You & Your Loved Ones!

Ken
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Martin D-18
Martin D Jr B-Band A1.2N
Taylor 614ce ES2
Taylor 618e ES2
Taylor 356ce ES2
Taylor 322ce ES2
Taylor GS Mini-e Koa ES2
Vega No. 2 Tubaphone
OME North Star Walnut
Eastman EBJ-WL1 Whyte Laydie
Vega 12" Old Tyme Wonder
Rickard 12" Maple Ridge Dobson
Pisgah 12" Walnut Tubaphone
Bart Reiter Regent Whyte Laydie
Deering Sierra Flathead

Last edited by SpruceTop; 12-21-2018 at 11:32 AM.
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  #54  
Old 12-21-2018, 11:36 AM
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Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
My experience with the "temp" tape on the Trance was less than stellar. I can;t see how thicker tape would help. I just wish it was easier to apply these 3D sensors to the bridge plate for reliable results. Unfortunately, it remains a crap-shoot.
I also didn't find the temp tape useful. But the real thing is easy to use, and very forgiving and sounds good. Simple to put on, simple to remove. If you run out, ask for some more.
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  #55  
Old 12-22-2018, 12:56 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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UPDATE:

I installed the Schatten last night using the tape method. The guitar I put it in (Emerald X30) has an offset sound hole so I was able to mess around with the placement without having to remove the strings each time which is a huge bonus. It sounded best to me placed where they recommend only I moved it a few mm closer to the bass strings. Once installed I was easily able to reach in and just using gentle force to push up on the pickup I was getting a lot more output. Since I liked what I was hearing I grabbed my Loctite 495 and with the aid of a foam brush, applied some to the 3 legs of the pickup and installed. For those of you who had concerns with using superglue, and because I'm a brave soul, I removed the pickup once again (as a test) and very little mess was left behind. All was needed was some gentle sanding of the soundboard and the 3 legs on the pickup and I had it back in within a few minutes. That's why I love Loctite 495 it's so easy to use.

Anyway, back to the pickup. I hooked up the guitar to my DAW and found a +3db boost at 100Hz and a cut of -3db at 2500Hz and I was rocking away. The pickup is very "mic like" and good for what it is. A cheaper, passive pickup with a very easy install. I also couldn't believe the clarity from it so I grabbed my Anthem SL equipped Gibson and did some comparing. This time I connected them both to my Fishman loudbox artist amp. Output levels were very close with the Anthem SL just ever so slightly louder that most people probably wouldn't notice but the Schatten completely obliterated the Anthem SL for clarity.

Next I tried the Schatten with Tonedexter and found that they are a great match. Tonedexter added some more low end and reduced the harsh mids that you would otherwise have to EQ out. I'll probably revisit this post to add some more stuff as I get more time to play around but so far I'm quite happy with the results.
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  #56  
Old 12-22-2018, 02:03 PM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Originally Posted by GuitarLuva View Post
For those of you who had concerns with using superglue, and because I'm a brave soul, I removed the pickup once again (as a test) and very little mess was left behind. All was needed was some gentle sanding of the soundboard and the 3 legs on the pickup and I had it back in within a few minutes. That's why I love Loctite 495 it's so easy to use.
How exactly did you remove the PUP after installation with Loctite 495? Is this particular glue weaker than standard cyanoacrylate glue? Would Loctite Threadlocker Blue 242 be another option for not quite permanent pickup installation?

Thanks!
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  #57  
Old 12-22-2018, 02:26 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Originally Posted by jonfields45 View Post
How exactly did you remove the PUP after installation with Loctite 495? Is this particular glue weaker than standard cyanoacrylate glue? Would Loctite Threadlocker Blue 242 be another option for not quite permanent pickup installation?

Thanks!
Just grab a hold of it with a generous amount force and it will come right off leaving little mess behind. The trick is to how you put it on. Use a foam brush and gently apply it to each of the 3 legs (don't drown it). It creates a very strong bond (i.e. it will never ever fall off but still relatively easy to remove if you so desire). That's why I love the stuff! But there's no way I would ever consider using Loctite threadlocker for a pickup install that's not what it's designed for. Not saying it wouldn't work just that I wouldn't ever consider trying it.
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  #58  
Old 12-22-2018, 07:23 PM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Originally Posted by GuitarLuva View Post
UPDATE:

I installed the Schatten last night using the tape method. The guitar I put it in (Emerald X30) has an offset sound hole so I was able to mess around with the placement without having to remove the strings each time which is a huge bonus. It sounded best to me placed where they recommend only I moved it a few mm closer to the bass strings. Once installed I was easily able to reach in and just using gentle force to push up on the pickup I was getting a lot more output. Since I liked what I was hearing I grabbed my Loctite 495 and with the aid of a foam brush, applied some to the 3 legs of the pickup and installed. For those of you who had concerns with using superglue, and because I'm a brave soul, I removed the pickup once again (as a test) and very little mess was left behind. All was needed was some gentle sanding of the soundboard and the 3 legs on the pickup and I had it back in within a few minutes. That's why I love Loctite 495 it's so easy to use.

Anyway, back to the pickup. I hooked up the guitar to my DAW and found a +3db boost at 100Hz and a cut of -3db at 2500Hz and I was rocking away. The pickup is very "mic like" and good for what it is. A cheaper, passive pickup with a very easy install. I also couldn't believe the clarity from it so I grabbed my Anthem SL equipped Gibson and did some comparing. This time I connected them both to my Fishman loudbox artist amp. Output levels were very close with the Anthem SL just ever so slightly louder that most people probably wouldn't notice but the Schatten completely obliterated the Anthem SL for clarity.

Next I tried the Schatten with Tonedexter and found that they are a great match. Tonedexter added some more low end and reduced the harsh mids that you would otherwise have to EQ out. I'll probably revisit this post to add some more stuff as I get more time to play around but so far I'm quite happy with the results.
If your Anthem SL rig is like mine, it sets a poor standard for clarity without some substantial EQ corrections. My rig is overly strong around the crossover frequency of 250Hz. Before I learned to EQ down those low mids, folks would tell me that my amplified steel-string OM sounded like a nylon-stringer.
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  #59  
Old 12-22-2018, 11:06 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Originally Posted by guitaniac View Post
If your Anthem SL rig is like mine, it sets a poor standard for clarity without some substantial EQ corrections. My rig is overly strong around the crossover frequency of 250Hz. Before I learned to EQ down those low mids, folks would tell me that my amplified steel-string OM sounded like a nylon-stringer.
Every pickup needs some EQ help to sound its best. I should've said that when I hooked them both up to the Fishman amp I left the EQ flat. Even after tweaking both of these pickups the clarity and note separation on the Schatten is far superior to the anthem to my ears. The only edge I would give the anthem is it has more bottom end on it's own compared to the Schatten without a preamp. I'm not trying to sell it by no means but my impression of it so far with only a couple hours of playing time is very high. If anything changes I will let you know, crossing my fingers as I haven't been having much luck with pickup systems lately but I think I found my winner.
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  #60  
Old 12-23-2018, 05:41 AM
philjs philjs is offline
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Originally Posted by GuitarLuva View Post
...crossing my fingers as I haven't been having much luck with pickup systems lately but I think I found my winner.
AND it's Canadian-made!

Phil
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