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  #1  
Old 01-12-2019, 02:21 PM
Monsum Monsum is offline
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Default Schatten HFN passive pickup - my experience

Recently, there has been some love shared for Schatten HFN pickups at AGF. So after all that praise I decided to replace an LR Baggs Element UST in my Gibson J15 with a Schatten HFN passive SBT.

Installation is as easy as it gets, I used the supplied tape but they also give you some putty if you prefer that. The volume output is pretty high for a passive pickup, somewhere around a K&K pure mini output.
Now, the most important thing - the sound, again I would compare it to the pure mini pickup, in a sense that it sounds better than any UST and similar to its K&K competition.
It picks up any percussive hits very well from the guitar body. Mine is quite mid range heavy so a good preamp with EQ is a must in my opinion.
I haven't played it live yet so can't say if it feedbacks easily.
To sum up, I'm glad I bought it and I definitely recommend it if you're in search of a good passive pickup.

Here is a video I made, where you can listen to a direct recording:


Last edited by Monsum; 01-12-2019 at 04:21 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2019, 02:43 PM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Thanks for the report and the demo.

Are you recording directly to your video cam, or are you miking an amp or PA speaker? I'm guessing its direct to cam because I don't hear any of the boominess which occurs when an SBT-equipped guitar's top is interacting with loud speaker sound.

To my ear, this pickup sounds a lot like like Aero's Ultra Tonic system. If it happens to reject feedback as well as the Ultra Tonic, it'll be an incredible bargain.
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  #3  
Old 01-12-2019, 04:24 PM
Monsum Monsum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitaniac View Post
Thanks for the report and the demo.

Are you recording directly to your video cam, or are you miking an amp or PA speaker? I'm guessing its direct to cam because I don't hear any of the boominess which occurs when an SBT-equipped guitar's top is interacting with loud speaker sound.
The guitar was plugged into a Fishman Platinum Stage preamp with EQ set flat and then straight into an audio interface, no amps or PA.
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  #4  
Old 01-12-2019, 05:02 PM
TNO TNO is offline
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Nice demo. I have one showing up Monday. Looking forward to trying it out!
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  #5  
Old 01-12-2019, 05:26 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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First of all welcome to the Schatten club! Sounds like your happy with it which also makes me happy as I was one of the main people speaking highly of the pickup. Looks like you opted to go with the tape install, same as Petty1818, I definitely encourage you to try the putty install as well when you have time. I started out with the tape method but certainly preferred the putty method in my guitar. You won't know for sure until you try. Thanks for sharing the video as well, awesome demo! We need more vids like this out there to show off this pickup.
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  #6  
Old 01-12-2019, 07:25 PM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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Sounds great! There's definitely some piezo tone in there that I have as well but mine sounds quite a lot like my unplugged guitar. I am really enjoying the HFN, spectrum DI and Lr Baggs Session pairing. I am getting a very fat and organic tone.

My only small complaint is that I feel as though my low E string is a bit weak. It's odd though because when I pick each individual string, they all seem to be perfectly balanced volume wise. Then when I solo or finger pick, I feel like the low E string sits back in the mix. My strings are getting dead though so maybe I should try some new ones and test again. If it is weak, I think it has more to do with my install being a bit off as opposed to the pickup feet not being all attached securely. I have it perfectly in line with the saddle but I think it's a bit off of the low E string.
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  #7  
Old 01-13-2019, 06:52 AM
Monsum Monsum is offline
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Thank you everyone for comments. I agree that this pickup is a great alternative to K&K pickups. Thanks GuitarLuva for bringing this pickup to my attention.
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  #8  
Old 01-13-2019, 06:58 AM
Monsum Monsum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petty1818 View Post
Sounds great! There's definitely some piezo tone in there that I have as well but mine sounds quite a lot like my unplugged guitar. I am really enjoying the HFN, spectrum DI and Lr Baggs Session pairing. I am getting a very fat and organic tone.

My only small complaint is that I feel as though my low E string is a bit weak. It's odd though because when I pick each individual string, they all seem to be perfectly balanced volume wise. Then when I solo or finger pick, I feel like the low E string sits back in the mix. My strings are getting dead though so maybe I should try some new ones and test again. If it is weak, I think it has more to do with my install being a bit off as opposed to the pickup feet not being all attached securely. I have it perfectly in line with the saddle but I think it's a bit off of the low E string.
I noticed that weaker E-string too when I had a soundhole cover on. It seemed like it lost some bass around 80-100Hz but without the soundhole cover it sounds rather balanced.

There is a little bit of unpleasant 'quack' and harshness but it might improve when these coated strings settle in and also it's easy to dial out some of the annoying mids.
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  #9  
Old 01-13-2019, 09:22 AM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monsum View Post
Thank you everyone for comments. I agree that this pickup is a great alternative to K&K pickups. Thanks GuitarLuva for bringing this pickup to my attention.
No problem at all. Please keep us in the loop on when you try it out at a gig.
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  #10  
Old 01-13-2019, 12:54 PM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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One nice surprise so far is that feedback seems to be very similar to the Amulet M, which I never had any issues with and I play loud. I am testing the HFN through a QSC K10 that's pointed right at me and quite loud and I haven't had any problems. The only small issue is when I went to drop D but a simple notch filter adjustment made the issue go away.
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  #11  
Old 01-13-2019, 03:55 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petty1818 View Post
One nice surprise so far is that feedback seems to be very similar to the Amulet M, which I never had any issues with and I play loud. I am testing the HFN through a QSC K10 that's pointed right at me and quite loud and I haven't had any problems. The only small issue is when I went to drop D but a simple notch filter adjustment made the issue go away.
Well that's good to hear.
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  #12  
Old 01-13-2019, 06:24 PM
The Kid! The Kid! is online now
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Considering swapping a K&K for this.
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  #13  
Old 01-13-2019, 06:27 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Kid! View Post
Considering swapping a K&K for this.
Not to hate on the k&k as it is a good pickup and I have used it before, but the Schatten HFN is much easier to install/remove and sounds much better IMO.
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  #14  
Old 01-14-2019, 10:51 AM
Monsum Monsum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petty1818 View Post
My only small complaint is that I feel as though my low E string is a bit weak. It's odd though because when I pick each individual string, they all seem to be perfectly balanced volume wise. Then when I solo or finger pick, I feel like the low E string sits back in the mix. My strings are getting dead though so maybe I should try some new ones and test again. If it is weak, I think it has more to do with my install being a bit off as opposed to the pickup feet not being all attached securely. I have it perfectly in line with the saddle but I think it's a bit off of the low E string.
I asked the Schatten technical support about that weak low E string and this is what they replied:

"Sometimes it is a mechanical phasing issue. Reinstall the pickup but don't put any of the vhb on the center foot of the pickup base. See if that solves the issue".
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  #15  
Old 01-14-2019, 11:54 AM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monsum View Post
I asked the Schatten technical support about that weak low E string and this is what they replied:

"Sometimes it is a mechanical phasing issue. Reinstall the pickup but don't put any of the vhb on the center foot of the pickup base. See if that solves the issue".
Hmm, I would not have thought of that. I might give that a try. I also have some of the Amulet M tape left over that I might try as it's even thinner. I think Sprucetop once mentioned that he had issues with the HFN in that the three feet did not all fully attach as the bridge plate was not completely flat. I wonder if this is why Schatten moved to the abs base. Maybe it's more consistent or can be a bit more flexible.
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