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  #31  
Old 12-01-2021, 09:39 AM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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Originally Posted by rmeyer7 View Post
I LOVE my Aura-equipped Martin, but it sounds great because it came with a factory-installed Aura system loaded with images of that specific guitar.

The same Aura technology doesn't work nearly as well when you're trying to find an Aura image that suits your guitar, but wasn't actually made for your exact guitar model and pickup combination. I found this out the hard way when I bought an Aura DI to try and get the same magic from my other acoustics and never came close.
Fishman really need to update this system. My main complaint is that there's no way to eq the image itself. On the Spectrum DI, you can either eq both the pickup and image together or, just the pickup. If users could also eq the image, it would be on my board still. I just find that the Aura images tend to have a bit too much presence/high end. A slightly warmer tone would make this system just about perfect.

I know Fishman have started to develop the Aura HD images so hopefully that makes its way into a new pedal.
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  #32  
Old 12-01-2021, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Petty1818 View Post
Fishman really need to update this system. My main complaint is that there's no way to eq the image itself. On the Spectrum DI, you can either eq both the pickup and image together or, just the pickup. If users could also eq the image, it would be on my board still. I just find that the Aura images tend to have a bit too much presence/high end. A slightly warmer tone would make this system just about perfect.

I know Fishman have started to develop the Aura HD images so hopefully that makes its way into a new pedal.
Here to agree with this and rmeyer. My very nice rosewood Martin has a custom-for-that-guitar Aura version and sounds very good straight in. Attempts to get something usable from my Sonitone Martins via the Spectrum DI failed, though others have had better luck.
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  #33  
Old 12-04-2021, 04:15 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
Very interesting. I’m eagerly awaiting your results.
Dave, here it be, Lad!

Here is a short sound file recorded with my Larrivee C-03 TE Tommy Emmanuel with installed Trance Amulet M Phantom with Henkel Loctite 6-Minute Epoxy mounted Amulet transducers. This is a "naked" sound file made with FLAT EQ and NO EFFECTS. IMHO, this is the best-unenhanced sound file from any pickup/preamp system, regardless of brand, I've heard to date. Please excuse my crippled hands in the playing of this tune. This is played moderately aggressively and the pings and zings that are inherent in my style are also a result of the Larrivee C-03 TE having the lowest action of any of my guitars and have nothing to do with any Trance Amulet-inherent peculiarities. Thanks and comments are welcome!

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Last edited by SpruceTop; 12-05-2021 at 08:26 AM.
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  #34  
Old 12-04-2021, 09:44 PM
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Dave, here it be, Lad!...
That's darn impressive.

Also don't be hard on yourself, that's some nice playing!
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  #35  
Old 12-05-2021, 01:56 AM
Cuki79 Cuki79 is offline
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Dave, here it be, Lad!
It sounds really great. Is the tone pot fully open?

Can you post a sample of the same tune with another Amulet equipped guitar with the red tape install?
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  #36  
Old 12-05-2021, 08:41 AM
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Default New Guitar - what say you pickup people?

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Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
Dave, here it be, Lad!

Here is a short sound file recorded with my Larrivee C-03 TE Tommy Emmanuel with installed Trance Amulet M Phantom with Henkel Loctite 6-Minute Epoxy mounted Amulet transducers. This is a "naked" sound file made with FLAT EQ and NO EFFECTS. IMHO, this is the best-unenhanced sound file from any pickup/preamp system, regardless of brand, I've heard to date. Please excuse my crippled hands in the playing of this tune. This is played moderately aggressively and the pings and zings that are inherent in my style are also a result of the Larrivee C-03 TE having the lowest action of any of my guitars and have nothing to do with any Trance Amulet-inherent peculiarities. Thanks and comments are welcome!


I think you did it! Thatís as good a pickup sound as Iíve heard. 100% analog! Why wouldnít Gary @ Trance endorse that sound? I can imagine how good is sounds through the PA. Bravo Ken.

P.s.

I donít have to imagine. I played it through the portable PAs and it sounded terrific. Do I remember you writing that you didnít install the tone wheel? Thatís the full open sound?
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Last edited by martingitdave; 12-05-2021 at 08:57 AM.
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  #37  
Old 12-05-2021, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Cuki79 View Post
It sounds really great. Is the tone pot fully open?

Can you post a sample of the same tune with another Amulet equipped guitar with the red tape install?
Hi Cuki,

This is the Trance Amulet M Phantom system and although I ordered the system with the VT option, it came with the M-only jumper on the preamp in place and I installed it that way as an M-only preamp. With the Henkel Loctite 6-Minute Epoxy installation of the Amulets and the resulting amplified tone, I won't be adding the VT soundhole module and wire harness to the system.

The Trance preamp is setup just as I received it from Trance Audio. I haven't gone inside the Trance preamp to adjust anything. I'll have to remove the preamp to adjust the Main Gain Trimmer pot inside to adjust downward the system's very high output signal to make it compatible with the Input gain capabilities of more mixers, amps, and PA speakers. The Amulet Bass-side and Treble-side balance-adjustment pot also hasn't been played with. I've never felt the need to adjust this balance pot in any of my Trance installations. Also, there is an internal Phase Switch in the preamp that can be flipped for whatever reason and I won't play with that either. So, what you're hearing in the demo is the following signal chain with all EQ Flat with No Effects other than the "normalizing" of the sound file to bring it up to a good listening level.

The signal chain for the recording is as follows: Trance Amulet M Phantom > Canare 15-foot instrument cable > PreSonus Studio 192 Audio Interface Channel 1 Input with 48-volt phantom power > Audacity set for Mono recording at 48000 Hz/16 bit-rate.
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  #38  
Old 12-05-2021, 09:17 AM
TheJackal TheJackal is offline
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Default I recommend the James May Ultratonic

I installed the James May Ultratonic in my latest guitar purchase, a Larrivee L-04 that had an undersaddle Fishman. The installation was straightforward following James' instructions. The results are stellar.

I've got K&K Minis in most of my guitars and I was an early adopter of the Tonedexter. This L-04 was my first, best chance to go all ultratonic and I am pleased with the result to the point that I've ordered 3 of his upgrade systems for some of my other guitars. I've installed the upgrade in my OM-40R, will install the other two in my OM-40 and L-05. The results in the OM-40R with the upgrade are in line with the full Ultratonic.

Since you already use the Tonedexter, I think the Ultratonic would be the right choice.

Congrats on the new guitar.
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  #39  
Old 12-05-2021, 09:29 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
I think you did it! That’s as good a pickup sound as I’ve heard. 100% analog! Why wouldn’t Gary @ Trance endorse that sound? I can imagine how good is sounds through the PA. Bravo Ken.

P.s.

I don’t have to imagine. I played it through the portable PAs and it sounded terrific. Do I remember you writing that you didn’t install the tone wheel? That’s the full open sound?
Thanks, Dave! Yes, I didn't install the Tone/Volume Module and wire harness as I wanted to hear what a straight-ahead M-only system would sound like. Given what I'm hearing, I won't be adding the VT option to the preamp.

I've asked Gary Hull about using super glue and epoxy to mount the Amulets and he adamantly warned against doing that as he said I'd hear all kinds of trebly artifacts and it would ruin the Amulets (upon attempted removal, I assume). All I hear with this epoxy installation are good things in the amplified tone! Using epoxy, it would likely be a bit more difficult to remove the Amulets but according to Teddy Randazzo of Dazzo pickups, it's just a matter of slipping a flat object under the pickup (his Dazzos) and working it away from the bridge plate. Any residual epoxy can be removed with brake cleaner fluid which sounds scary but apparently works okay without ruining anything.

The nice thing about epoxy installation is that you have about 4 to 6 minutes to slide the pickup around on the bridgeplate while plugged into an amp or headphones to find the best location for each transducer. I don't do this as I'm not into tormenting myself! I locate the Amulets where Trance recommends placing them by using a pencil line on the bridgeplate, under the saddle line, drawn using a foam board template. Then I eyeball the Amulets into place by looking through the bridgepin holes with two LED lights and a mirror lying on the inside back of the guitar. I apply a very thin smear of epoxy to the bridgeplate location of an Amulet and a very thin smear of epoxy to the Amulet. I place the Amulet on the bridgeplate and slide it slightly into position and hold it in place for a couple of minutes while monitoring that it doesn't slide around. The Amulet, given its lead wires weight, will tend to torque one way or the other on the bridgeplate until the epoxy sets up after about 4 to 6 minutes. No clamping of the Amulets is necessary! Install one Amulet at a time and wait until the Amulet stays in place before installing the other one. Full curing (hardening) of the epoxy takes about 24 hours but it's safe to play the guitar after about a half-hour to an hour after installation.
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Last edited by SpruceTop; 12-05-2021 at 02:45 PM.
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  #40  
Old 12-05-2021, 09:48 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Originally Posted by Cuki79 View Post
Can you post a sample of the same tune with another Amulet equipped guitar with the red tape install?
Cuki, I don't have any previously recorded demos using the same song but for comparison purposes, here's the Larrivee C-03 TE/ Trance Amulet M Phantom combination with epoxy-mounted Amulets from the beginning of this thread, and with some other demos of my Martin HD-28/Trance Amulet M-VT (9-volt, battery-powered system):



-----------

I'm searching around for my Trance demos and will post what I find. Here's one from April 12, 2019:

Here's a comparison demo using my now sold 2014 Martin HD-28/Trance Amulet M-VT (9-volt battery-powered) and recorded simultaneously using a Shure SM81 SCM:

As mentioned before, this is a continuing series of onboard, acoustic-guitar, pickup/preamp to microphone comparisons. This time, I've just made some quick recordings of my vocal accompaniment guitar part for Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" without the Drop-D Tuning. These two tracks were made simultaneously with one channel recording the Trance Amulet M-VT, with its Tone Control set to full-spectrum tone (Treble-end of control rotation), and the other channel recording the Shure SM-81 microphone that is about 8" inches away from the guitar at the 14th-fret, neck and body interface with the mic capsule pointed between the neck-joint and soundhole. When playing through a PA or amp, a player would dial-in the Trance Amulet M-VT's Tone Control to have a more pleasing balance of the tonal spectrum by rolling off some of the high and mid-range to be in a more pleasing balance with the Bass frequencies. These are direct-to-computer recordings using a PreSonus Studio 192 Interface with each track recorded simultaneously and then each rendered in two-channel mono output for listening. The tracks are rendered with FLAT EQ and NO EFFECTS, except Normalization, and picked with a Guitar Moose .80mm Classic Flatpick. One thing I will say is that the Martin D-18 in my Schatten comparison sounds better mic'ed than the Martin HD-28 mic'ed in this comparison. Although different mic-positioning can compliment one guitar or the other, my initial assessment is that if you want to play out with a mic using a Martin dreadnought, a Martin D-18 may be a better tonal choice for live performance compared to an HD-28 as the D-18 sounds clearer and more upfront with less darkness. Please excuse any slightly mis-fretted notes as I have carpal tunnel in both hands, especially in my fretting hand. Thanks and your comments are Welcome!





-----------

Here's another of my now-sold 2014 Martin HD-28 with Trance Amulet M-VT (9-volt battery-powered) going through a ToneDexter with a Slot 22 Image made using a Shure SM81 SCM. Below is the text and recording for the demo I posted on August 20, 2017:

Here's another recording of "Crossing Muddy Waters" that I just made using the latest ToneDexter Version 1.20 update which includes NO LIVE-PERFORMANCE FEEDBACK-FIGHTING EQ on SLOT 22 for more natural guitar tone recording purposes. The recording was made with the Trance Amulet M-VT Tone Control on Full-Spectrum tone (Tone Wheel all the way to the treble-end of its travel), and with no additional EQ or Effects. The Shure SM81 small condenser mic was 10-inches out with the capsule pointed perpendicular to the Martin HD-28's 14th-fret neck/body joint. The flatpick is a Charmed Life .75 mm Brown (Vespel) and the strings are Martin MSP7200SW Medium-guage Phosphor Bronze.


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Last edited by SpruceTop; 12-05-2021 at 02:51 PM.
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  #41  
Old 12-05-2021, 09:54 AM
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Default New Guitar - what say you pickup people?

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Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
Thanks, Dave! Yes, I didn't install the Tone/Volume Module and wire harness as I wanted to hear what a straight-ahead M-only system would sound like. Given what I'm hearing, I won't be adding the VT option to the preamp.

I've asked Gary Hull about using super glue and epoxy to mount the Amulets and he adamantly warned against doing that as he said I'd hear all kinds of trebly artifacts and it would ruin the Amulets (upon attempted removal, I assume). All I hear with this epoxy installation are good things in the amplified tone! Using epoxy, it would likely be a bit more difficult to remove the Amulets but according to Teddy Randazzo of Dazzo pickups, it's just a matter of slipping a flat object under the pickup (his Dazzos) and working it away from the bridge plate. Any residual epoxy can be removed with brake cleaner fluid which sounds scary but apparently works okay without ruining anything.

The nice thing about epoxy installation is that you have about 4 to 6 minutes to slide the pickup around on the bridgeplate while plugged into an amp or headphones to find the best location for each transducer. I don't do this as I'm not into tormenting myself! I locate the Amulets where Trance recommends placing them by using a pencil line on the bridgeplate, under the saddle line, drawn using a foam board template. Then I eyeball the Amulets into place by looking through the bridgepin holes with two LED lights and a mirror lying on the inside back of the guitar. I apply a very thin smear of epoxy to the bridgeplate location of an Amulet and a very thin smear of epoxy to the Amulet. I place the Amulet on the bridgeplate and slide it slightly into position and hold it in place for a couple of minutes while monitoring that it doesn't slide around, the Amulet, given its lead wires weight, will tend to torque one way or the other on the bridgeplate until the epoxy sets up after about 4 to 6 minutes. No clamping of the Amulets is necessary! Install one Amulet at a time and wait until the Amulet stays in place before installing the other one. Full curing (hardening) of the epoxy takes about 24 hours but it's safe to play the guitar after about a half-hour to an hour after installation.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all our questions before we ask them. I think Iím convinced.

Hereís my take:

Both the amulets and the Dazzo appear to use the same principle of suspending the piezo in a 3D shape. However, Garyís preamp is a thing of beauty. And does not weight the top down like the internal Sunn Audio design. Therefore, you have demonstrated that you can buy Garyís system and install with the ease of Teddyís system. I think the choice then becomes:

Do I want an active internal preamp? Buy Trance.

Do I want a passive installation? Buy Dazzo and a Sunn Audio DI2

Do I want passive and low impedance compatibility? Buy K&K

Do I want a K&K SBT that resists feedback like a UST? Buy an Ultra tonic.

Do I need a stage ready system for a gig guitar for any instance? Buy an Anthem.
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  #42  
Old 12-05-2021, 10:18 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Originally Posted by TheJackal View Post
I installed the James May Ultratonic in my latest guitar purchase, a Larrivee L-04 that had an undersaddle Fishman. The installation was straightforward following James' instructions. The results are stellar.

I've got K&K Minis in most of my guitars and I was an early adopter of the Tonedexter. This L-04 was my first, best chance to go all ultratonic and I am pleased with the result to the point that I've ordered 3 of his upgrade systems for some of my other guitars. I've installed the upgrade in my OM-40R, will install the other two in my OM-40 and L-05. The results in the OM-40R with the upgrade are in line with the full Ultratonic.

Since you already use the Tonedexter, I think the Ultratonic would be the right choice.

Congrats on the new guitar.
Thanks for the comment. I've only heard good things about the UltraTonic system and may try one sometime.

With the amplified tone I'm hearing, I doubt if I'll ever use my ToneDexter with the Larrivee C-03TE/Trance Amulet M Phantom rig. With epoxy-mounting of the Amulets, I'm finally hearing what a Trance system is supposed to sound like and can now appreciate why Jackson Brown and Neil Young use them. I believe that the earliest Trance Amulet mounting was done with Barge Cement which I'm assuming when properly applied would give a thin and hard adhesive bond and enable the Amulets to transmit more of the guitar's signal to the preamp. The only reason I think Trance went to the "permanent tape" was to facilitate the removal and relocation of the Amulets when people botched installing them. Once that tape comes in contact with the bridgeplate that's where the Amulet will be located as trying to pull the Amulet away from the bridgeplate can tear the tape and lessen its stickiness when pressing it back on the bridgeplate. Removing the compromised tape and placing a new piece of tape on the Amulet is necessary to try mounting it again. The beauty of the Henkel Loctite 6-Minute Epoxy is that even if you initially locate the Amulet away from the target location you can just slide it back into place within 5 to 6 minutes!
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Last edited by SpruceTop; 12-05-2021 at 11:09 AM.
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  #43  
Old 12-05-2021, 10:48 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all our questions before we ask them. I think I’m convinced.

Here’s my take:

Both the amulets and the Dazzo appear to use the same principle of suspending the piezo in a 3D shape. However, Gary’s preamp is a thing of beauty. And does not weight the top down like the internal Sunn Audio design. Therefore, you have demonstrated that you can buy Gary’s system and install with the ease of Teddy’s system. I think the choice then becomes:

Do I want an active internal preamp? Buy Trance.

Do I want a passive installation? Buy Dazzo and a Sunn Audio DI2

Do I want passive and low impedance compatibility? Buy K&K

Do I want a K&K SBT that resists feedback like a UST? Buy an Ultra tonic.

Do I need a stage ready system for a gig guitar for any instance? Buy an Anthem.
Dave, the Trance Amulet M Phantom can also be powered by an outboard, 9-volt battery-powered, 48-volt power source such as the Rolls PB224 Dual Phantom Plus. I bought one of these but haven't tried it yet. A single-channel version is also available. Thus, a Trance Amulet M Phantom can be used with any mixer, amp, or PA that doesn't have onboard 48-volt phantom power.

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Taylor 717e
Taylor 618e
Taylor 614ce
Larrivee D-40R Sunburst
Larrivee D-03R Sunburst/Ultra Tonic
Larrivee D-40M Legacy/Dazzo
Larrivee C-03R Tommy Emmanuel/Trance M-VT Phantom
Emerald X20
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Last edited by SpruceTop; 12-05-2021 at 02:53 PM.
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  #44  
Old 12-05-2021, 11:59 AM
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
Dave, the Trance Amulet M Phantom can also be powered by an outboard, 9-volt battery-powered, 48-volt power source such as the Rolls PB224 Dual Phantom Plus. I bought one of these but haven't tried it yet. Thus, a Trance Amulet M Phantom can be used with any mixer, amp, or PA that doesn't have onboard 48-volt phantom power.


Thatís a great point for people who control their own sound end to end. It eliminates the batter.
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  #45  
Old 12-05-2021, 12:33 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
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Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
Do I want an active internal preamp? Buy Trance.

Do I want a passive installation? Buy Dazzo and a Sunn Audio DI2

Do I want passive and low impedance compatibility? Buy K&K

Do I want a K&K SBT that resists feedback like a UST? Buy an Ultra tonic.

Do I need a stage ready system for a gig guitar for any instance? Buy an Anthem.
This should be a sticky in this subforum!
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