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  #31  
Old 10-22-2023, 08:58 AM
MaurysMusic MaurysMusic is offline
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Originally Posted by Petty1818 View Post
Yeah, I think that's what threw me off a bit. There's a very slight amount of unplugged tone in the video making the Amulet sound even better than usual. I have yet to hear an Amulet sound this good. Not saying it doesn't sound good to begin with, it just had a mic-like quality to it.

It would be awesome if someone with the HiFi could do a similar live recording. I would love to hear it in that type of environment.

As for the HiFi being a cheap knockoff of the Amulet, I don't necessarily buy that. If that was the case, Lloyd would have done it years ago when he first heard the Amulet in Jackson Browne's guitar. What makes the HiFi more affordable is that it's mass produced by a large company. As much as Trance can market their electronics in the preamp; you also have to realize you are paying for a smaller company that can't output what Baggs does. Some may say this is a benefit as it's all in house, but if Trance used the same components, but had their systems made overseas, I bet you would see a significant reduction in cost. Just because the HiFi is more affordable doesn't mean the components are cheaper, they just have the means to get it produced overseas to keep costs down.
That's what this audience heard in real life, too. This video isn't artifically flattering the Trance in any respect. If you were sitting where my mic was, you too, would have heard 10% acoustic bleed... so that makes this recording more accurate - not less.
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  #32  
Old 10-22-2023, 09:03 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Originally Posted by guitaniac View Post
FWIW, I’ve only had issues with two Baggs products. When one of the Hex system mini-saddles went bad, Baggs support sent me three replacements, free of charge. When the tru mic in my Anthem SL system developed a rattle after years of heavy service, Baggs support replaced it free of charge. I haven’t had a problem with either product since.
Dave, I hear less distortion and more tone definition in the Trance systems compared to the LR Baggs HiFi. I think we could channel AlohaChris's recent comment on preamp quality in equating the Trance Amulet systems to the Grace Design BiX, ALiX, and FeLiX products in that quality-wise and tone-wise they're wholly professional-grade designed and rendered products. I know all systems can sound good whether made by LR Baggs, Trance Audio, K&K, James May Engineering, Dazzo, et al. It's really a matter of manipulating the systems to hear what you want and need to hear under various venue conditions. Just my .02 cents.
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Last edited by SpruceTop; 10-22-2023 at 10:16 AM.
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  #33  
Old 10-22-2023, 10:08 AM
highfigh highfigh is offline
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I'll never know why the Jayhawks' popularity peaked so early.
Maybe it was their management, maybe they were unprepared for that level of success at that point in their lives and they stopped trying to maintain it. In either case, it's too bad- they were really good.
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  #34  
Old 10-22-2023, 10:56 AM
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
Dave, I hear less distortion and more tone definition in the Trance systems compared to the LR Baggs HiFi. I think we could channel AlohaChris's recent comment on preamp quality in equating the Trance Amulet systems to the Grace Design BiX, ALiX, and FeLiX products in that quality-wise and tone-wise they're wholly professional-grade designed and rendered products. I know all systems can sound good whether made by LR Baggs, Trance Audio, K&K, James May Engineering, Dazzo, et al. It's really a matter of manipulating the systems to hear what you want and need to hear under various venue conditions. Just my .02 cents.
I agree. You cannot drive the Baggs preamp hard without distortion. But, in fact, some people think it's a feature, not a bug. I think the preamp in the Trance is better and the new plus features make it more flexible in the future. I wish he would build in a Fishman style mid scoop.
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  #35  
Old 10-22-2023, 12:36 PM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
I agree. You cannot drive the Baggs preamp hard without distortion. But, in fact, some people think it's a feature, not a bug.
Actually, I'm finding that when you really dig in with the HiFi and have the volume full up, some venues' PA preamps will clip. First gig I did with mine, a couple people said I was distorted (thought I had a fading battery) so the first thing I did when I got home was fire up my recording rig and plug into a nice API preamp. I could pound as hard as I wanted, clean as a whistle. So now I just back off the volume a bit on the guitar. There's always still plenty of gain for the sound people to work with.
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  #36  
Old 10-22-2023, 12:40 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
I agree. You cannot drive the Baggs preamp hard without distortion. But, in fact, some people think it's a feature, not a bug. I think the preamp in the Trance is better and the new plus features make it more flexible in the future. I wish he would build in a Fishman style mid scoop.
Hi Dave, yes, a certain degree of distortion can sound rather nice and warm, and that's the reasoning behind the Saturation circuit in the LR Baggs Session DI. Frankly, when I first listened to my LR Baggs HiFi-equipped Larrivee dreadnoughts I could hear this distortion in my headphones but it sounded nicer through an amp. I almost thought and raised this issue here on AGF Amplification that I wondered if LR Baggs had incorporated a Session circuit into the new HiFi as they did a few years ago in their Element Session VTC.

Mike Laiacona, one of the founders of MXR, and founder and owner of Whirlwind Music, once remarked to me way back in the early 1980s that analog equipment tended to sound warmer because of some background hiss. I think both analog and digital pedals, and any other combos of them, sound cleaner nowadays, and I guess that's good.
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Last edited by SpruceTop; 10-22-2023 at 04:08 PM.
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  #37  
Old 10-22-2023, 05:33 PM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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Just so I am clear, are you saying that when you hit the strings with a bit more force, the signal distorts a bit? If so, I would mention this to Baggs. Maybe it's something they need to address. The only thing I could see is that maybe the HiFi has a hotter output and as a result, it's distorting the signal when it hits the mixer/pa. I just have never heard of a Baggs internal preamp distorting like this, so it seems like it potentially might just need some more headroom.

On a side note, when I did use the Amulet, I found that with aggressive strumming, I could produce quack. Never distortion, but more of that piezo tone would come out.
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  #38  
Old 10-23-2023, 06:09 AM
beatbird beatbird is offline
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Originally Posted by Petty1818 View Post
Yeah, I think that's what threw me off a bit. There's a very slight amount of unplugged tone in the video making the Amulet sound even better than usual. I have yet to hear an Amulet sound this good. Not saying it doesn't sound good to begin with, it just had a mic-like quality to it.

It would be awesome if someone with the HiFi could do a similar live recording. I would love to hear it in that type of environment.

As for the HiFi being a cheap knockoff of the Amulet, I don't necessarily buy that. If that was the case, Lloyd would have done it years ago when he first heard the Amulet in Jackson Browne's guitar. What makes the HiFi more affordable is that it's mass produced by a large company. As much as Trance can market their electronics in the preamp; you also have to realize you are paying for a smaller company that can't output what Baggs does. Some may say this is a benefit as it's all in house, but if Trance used the same components, but had their systems made overseas, I bet you would see a significant reduction in cost. Just because the HiFi is more affordable doesn't mean the components are cheaper, they just have the means to get it produced overseas to keep costs down.
I may be incorrect but I seem to recall a made in China label on the last amulet system I purchased, maybe just the lenses or just the preamp? I don't think they are making these one at a time in an in house workshop though I may be wrong.
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  #39  
Old 10-23-2023, 11:18 AM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Originally Posted by Petty1818 View Post
Just so I am clear, are you saying that when you hit the strings with a bit more force, the signal distorts a bit? If so, I would mention this to Baggs. Maybe it's something they need to address. The only thing I could see is that maybe the HiFi has a hotter output and as a result, it's distorting the signal when it hits the mixer/pa. I just have never heard of a Baggs internal preamp distorting like this, so it seems like it potentially might just need some more headroom.
See my earlier post 35. I'm a strummer, I play .13's and can bang pretty hard, and my HiFi full up doesn't clip through a studio-quality preamp under the scrutiny of studio-quality monitoring. So this seems to me like a non-thing.
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  #40  
Old 10-23-2023, 12:41 PM
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The loud volume of my Bose combined with the DJI wireless mic placement 5' in front of the bose, (and not at me) means you're hearing mostly Bose PA. But yes, scientifically, if you are hearing some acoustic unplugged bleed... it's just very little.
Yup. But we're also hearing the Bose in the room too. All of which goes to tame the natural pickup sound (of any pickup). It's a good lesson that pickup test recordings that are direct line to recorder inputs are informative, but are never the sound an audience will ever hear live.
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  #41  
Old 10-23-2023, 01:29 PM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Yup. But we're also hearing the Bose in the room too. All of which goes to tame the natural pickup sound (of any pickup). It's a good lesson that pickup test recordings that are direct line to recorder inputs are informative, but are never the sound an audience will ever hear live.
True. And the fact that the recording mic is also picking up some crowd noise helps to assure us that the Trance Amulet can reject feedback well enough to deal with moderately difficult performance environments.

I mentioned in my initial response to this thread that I didn't hear an internal mic. For my personal taste, the K&K Trinity would probably yield a better direct recording. However, the Trance Amulet can likely handle a wider range of performance environments.
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  #42  
Old 10-23-2023, 04:12 PM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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See my earlier post 35. I'm a strummer, I play .13's and can bang pretty hard, and my HiFi full up doesn't clip through a studio-quality preamp under the scrutiny of studio-quality monitoring. So this seems to me like a non-thing.
Thanks! I do a lot of strumming so those distortion comments worried me.

On a side note, for those who have tried both the Amulet and HiFi, how did they compare? Are there differences in tone? Anything one does better than the other?
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  #43  
Old 10-24-2023, 03:23 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Originally Posted by beatbird View Post
I may be incorrect but I seem to recall a made in China label on the last amulet system I purchased, maybe just the lenses or just the preamp? I don't think they are making these one at a time in an in house workshop though I may be wrong.
I just opened the package my Trance Amulet M-VT Phantom came in that I bought about 1 1/2 months ago and there is NO Made In China label anywhere to be seen. Gary Hull designs and assembles Trance products in his workshop and in the Google Map zoom-in it's a house with a moderate-sized workshop attached to it--a boutique operation if you will. He could, however, import some components from overseas as do likely all USA pickup/preamp makers.
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Last edited by SpruceTop; 10-25-2023 at 04:24 AM.
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  #44  
Old 10-24-2023, 03:31 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Originally Posted by Petty1818 View Post
Thanks! I do a lot of strumming so those distortion comments worried me.

On a side note, for those who have tried both the Amulet and HiFi, how did they compare? Are there differences in tone? Anything one does better than the other?
Scott, the LR Baggs HiFi ($200 USD) is about 60% of the price of the similar-featured battery-powered Trance Amulet M-VT ($319 USD). For me, that's about the only thing it seems to do better than the Trance. The LR Baggs HiFi is the active SBT system to get for a good tone at a fairly low price.
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  #45  
Old 10-24-2023, 06:46 PM
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
Scott, the LR Baggs HiFi ($200 USD) is about 60% of the price of the similar-featured battery-powered Trance Amulet M-VT ($319 USD). For me, that's about the only thing it seems to do better than the Trance. The LR Baggs HiFi is the active SBT system to get for a good tone at a fairly low price.

I agree. Iíll also add that Trance was inconsistent with the tape, for me. HiFi (Iíve done 3) was surprisingly consistent. No idea why. Kenís use of epoxy seems to solve that problem.
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