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Old 12-28-2018, 12:14 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Default New PA Day: LR Baggs Synapse Personal PA System

This is my initial reaction within the first 1/2 hour of turning on this system: If you get a chance locally, I urge you to audition the LR Baggs Synapse Personal PA System. I just received mine an hour ago, and upon playing a Skaggs & Rice CD on a portable CD player through it, and compared to my Line 6 L2t that sounds really good, with the Synapse there's *No More Ear Fatigue at the same approximate volume and louder--this must be what it's like hearing performances through a Daedalus W803! This evening, I'm going to play my acoustic guitars through the Synapse to hear how it performs with guitars equipped with the ES2, Trance Amulet M, and B-Band systems. First, I'll route the signals directly to the Synapse, then through an LR Baggs Session DI, then through a ToneDexter. So far, the Synapse is a winner!

Synapse Information on LR Baggs Website



*Ear Fatigue - In the case of the Line 6 L2t, I experience ear fatigue after listening for a while to the Skaggs & Rice CD. When they chime in with their harmonies, I hear a mild grating sensation that gets on my nerves and which may be an audible form intermodulation distortion (probably not the right term because it's usually associated with the electronic performance of a device).
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Last edited by SpruceTop; 12-28-2018 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 12-28-2018, 04:25 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Congrats! I first saw one of those at last year's GearFest at Sweetwater. Not sure they were for sale, yet, at that time, but it sure sounded good.
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Old 12-28-2018, 05:07 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Playing a Taylor 614ce ES2 directly into the LR Baggs Synapse renders a nice clear and full tone. Vocals sound really good pumping an Ear Trumpet Labs Edwina through it too, powered by the amp's convenient, onboard 48 Volt phantom power. The preamps on the Synapse have a great deal of headroom and the power amp section is only about a third of the way up on its dial to fill my 15' x 35' family room with a loud volume. LR Baggs claims this system is good for a 200-person audience and I believe it.

The only onboard effect is reverb, and it's excellent as it sounds like a real reverb, which is something many onboard PA speakers with reverb don't do well. My Line 6 L2t PA Speaker's reverb, for example, sounds reverb-like but more like a smeared delay line with the individual, diminishing repeats still faintly audible. On the Synapse, I've been running the reverb on the Edwina's vocals at its lowest-level reverb intensity setting (there are three button-accessible levels for reverb intensity and length), and maybe a third of the way dialed-in on the channel's Reverb Mix control to hear what I like in a reverb, which is it's always audible but non-intrusive and is only really apparent to enhance vocals on louder vocal passages.

The LR Baggs Synapse is a well-made, simply-elegant system but it's not a lightweight at 38 lbs. For the price of this system, you can get two Bose L1 Compact Systems with similar output frequency response and sound dispersion (180 degrees but LR Baggs claims this is for the full-frequency, output response of the Synapse system) but the Bose Compact doesn't have as much output power. The only other system I considered before buying the LR Baggs Synapse was a Bose L1 Model S with B1 Bass Module and T4 Mixer. Being that I've had a Bose L1 Model II with T1 and two B1 Bass Modules, I thought I'd give the Synapse a try and, so far, I'm glad I did. More to come.
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Huss & Dalton TD-R
Martin HD-28 (Trance M-VT)
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)
Epiphone DR-500MCE (Shadow eSonic2)
Ovation Elite Plus Contour (OpProStudio)
Ovation VXT Electric (two Duncan '59/Fishman Acoustic Bridge)
Eight 5-String Banjos

Last edited by SpruceTop; 12-28-2018 at 06:07 PM.
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  #4  
Old 12-28-2018, 05:16 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jim View Post
Congrats! I first saw one of those at last year's GearFest at Sweetwater. Not sure they were for sale, yet, at that time, but it sure sounded good.
Thanks, Captain Jim! I'll give this baby a good run-through and see if she can keep up with this old boy!
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Taylor 356ce (ES2)
Taylor 322ce (ES2)
Taylor GS Mini-e Koa (ES2)
Epiphone DR-500MCE (Shadow eSonic2)
Ovation Elite Plus Contour (OpProStudio)
Ovation VXT Electric (two Duncan '59/Fishman Acoustic Bridge)
Eight 5-String Banjos
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  #5  
Old 12-28-2018, 09:22 PM
The Growler The Growler is offline
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I heard one and was very impressed. Looking forward to hearing more of your experience.
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  #6  
Old 12-29-2018, 09:45 AM
The Kid! The Kid! is online now
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This has been on my radar since they announced it at NAMM. I'd love to hear your impressions. I use Line 6 L2's like you and an L3T and Yorkville powered sub for front of house.

The L3 is a lot smoother than the L2 and paired with a sub and active crossover is really amazing. I'd still need a sub with the Synapse, but I'm wondering if it's as smooth as my L3 and how the it projects and punches in comparison to the L3T.
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Old 12-29-2018, 05:13 PM
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varmonter varmonter is offline
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Can you plug a guitar directly into the synapse?
Curious about its preamps.
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Old 12-29-2018, 06:13 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varmonter View Post
Can you plug a guitar directly into the synapse?
Curious about its preamps.
Yes.

1/4” INPUT Input Impedance: 10M Ohms
Preamp Gain: +2dB to +26dB
Input Level: -20dBv to +1dBv (0.106Vrms to 1.131Vrms).

The preamps have a lot of headroom and sound very quiet.
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Huss & Dalton TD-R
Martin HD-28 (Trance M-VT)
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)
Epiphone DR-500MCE (Shadow eSonic2)
Ovation Elite Plus Contour (OpProStudio)
Ovation VXT Electric (two Duncan '59/Fishman Acoustic Bridge)
Eight 5-String Banjos
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  #9  
Old 12-29-2018, 07:27 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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I just played my Martin HD-28 with Trance M-VT through the LR Baggs Synapse and it sounds wonderful. With the Synapse's EQ set flat (the same as on my Taylor 614ce ES2 trial), and the Trance M-VT Tone Wheel set just where the mid-range and treble frequencies kick in to light-up the bass, the guitar sounds full and quite balanced for a dreadnought. I've never adjusted the gain balance control on the internal preamp of any of my Trance M-VT installations but I may try it just to favor the bass-side Amulet transducer a bit more over the treble-side transducer. I may also move the treble-side transducer outward along the saddle-line on the bridgeplate to get a bit more 1st-string in the mix.

Everything, so far, sounds great through the LR Baggs Synpase and I'm very happy with this system! Tomorrow, I'll play the Martin Dreadnought Junior with B-Band A1.2N-1470 through the system. After that, I'll put the LR Baggs Session DI in the signal path of all the pickup/preamp systems and hear what happens. Then, of course, the ToneDexter gets to do its thing soon, too. More To Come ...
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Huss & Dalton TD-R
Martin HD-28 (Trance M-VT)
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)
Epiphone DR-500MCE (Shadow eSonic2)
Ovation Elite Plus Contour (OpProStudio)
Ovation VXT Electric (two Duncan '59/Fishman Acoustic Bridge)
Eight 5-String Banjos
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  #10  
Old 12-30-2018, 12:29 AM
The Kid! The Kid! is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
I just played my Martin HD-28 with Trance M-VT through the LR Baggs Synapse and it sounds wonderful. With the Synapse's EQ set flat (the same as on my Taylor 614ce ES2 trial), and the Trance M-VT Tone Wheel set just where the mid-range and treble frequencies kick in to light-up the bass, the guitar sounds full and quite balanced for a dreadnought. I've never adjusted the gain balance control on the internal preamp of any of my Trance M-VT installations but I may try it just to favor the bass-side Amulet transducer a bit more over the treble-side transducer. I may also move the treble-side transducer outward along the saddle-line on the bridgeplate to get a bit more 1st-string in the mix.

Everything, so far, sounds great through the LR Baggs Synpase and I'm very happy with this system! Tomorrow, I'll play the Martin Dreadnought Junior with B-Band A1.2N-1470 through the system. After that, I'll put the LR Baggs Session DI in the signal path of all the pickup/preamp systems and hear what happens. Then, of course, the ToneDexter gets to do its thing soon, too. More To Come ...
What size room / amount of people do you think one of these will cover?
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Old 12-30-2018, 01:30 AM
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The Snypase has not been on my radar, but it is Now! Thanks for sharing your insights. Subscribing!
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Old 12-30-2018, 02:00 AM
Cuki79 Cuki79 is offline
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Some info from the internet & magazine:

Here is an interesting video of the Synapse (Review is at the end)

Here is the advertized horizontal dispersion:


The Bose S1 Pro recorded in similar conditions

To my ear the Synapse has more presence and high end. (as usual Bose buts the high end

Here is the measured horinzontal dispersion by the french magazine Sonomag

Be careful the scale is not the same... It is pretty much zoomed compare to tthe other graph.

I guess Bose has less presence due to the 1-3 KHz range being few dBs down.

Funny is that both have bumps around 140 Hz and 500 Hz
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Last edited by Cuki79; 12-30-2018 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 12-30-2018, 03:02 AM
Jack Orion Jack Orion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuki79 View Post
Some info from the internet & magazine:

Here is an interesting video of the Synapse (Review is at the end)

Here is the advertized horizontal dispersion:


The Bose S1 Pro recorded in similar conditions

To my ear the Synapse has more presence and high end. (as usual Bose buts the high end

Here is the measured horinzontal dispersion by a french magazine

Be careful the scale is not the same... It is pretty much zoomed compare to tthe other graph.

I guess Bose has less presence due to the 1-3 KHz range being few dBs down.

Funny is that both have bumps around 140 Hz and 500 Hz
Hi there,

I'm Ben who presents the Acoustic Review videos - thanks for sharing!

Having played both systems in the same room I would say that the Synapse was more powerful sounding, 'beefier' perhaps, and would cover quite a large space, whereas the Bose was a bit more 'delicate' (though it still had good bass) and would be better suited for smaller venues - I think the Bose S1 would get harsh at cranked volumes whereas I think the Synapse would be ok.

I regularly gig with an AER Compact 60 and I'd say the Bose S1 is comparable in volume and also in it's slightly box-y tone - I find my AER to be quite honky sounding at home but, in a gig, that honk isn't noticeable and almost certainly helps the AER to cut through.

The Synapse seemed to me to be larger sounding - a bit like the big Shertler Jam 400 for example.

One bonus the synapse has it a master volume, so it's easier to balance the channels and then adjust the overall volume to taste - the bose just has volume for each channel and no master.

I'd happily gig either though - they're nice bits of kit!
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  #14  
Old 12-30-2018, 03:54 AM
Groovekings Groovekings is offline
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Default Pricey toy

At the price of these things they should vacuum your floor and wash your car also ! . I'm sure they sound good, just muse about the SPL rating, weight and relative cost compared to a good powered speaker and small mixer. I don't see the value proposition. You could buy 4 setups with the aforementioned speaker and mixer combo for the same price. Is it just me or ....... ?
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:04 AM
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varmonter varmonter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groovekings View Post
At the price of these things they should vacuum your floor and wash your car also ! . I'm sure they sound good, just muse about the SPL rating, weight and relative cost compared to a good powered speaker and small mixer. I don't see the value proposition. You could buy 4 setups with the aforementioned speaker and mixer combo for the same price. Is it just me or ....... ?
I kind of agree for 2 grand they should give you
a sound tech/roadie for a year.,
There is an allure for a great sounding all
in one pa. just your guitar a mic/stand and two
cords would make a nice quick setup tear down.
The synapse seems to me a good choice in this realm.
Being powerful enough to fill just about any room,
is where most of these units fail. ( bose s1,eae, aer)
In reality i doubt even with this rig that youll
be able to do this, (The quick setup thing.)Sprucetop the op already
made mention of wanting to adjust pickup parameters
to align better with the synapse ..which tells
me hes not quite happy with the tone.
Perhaps just an eq/di in between would
suffice.

Last edited by varmonter; 12-30-2018 at 06:18 AM.
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