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  #1  
Old 05-20-2017, 06:41 PM
mikeck77 mikeck77 is offline
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Default LR Baggs LB6

I had an LR Baggs LB6 installed on my acoustic. I chose this pickup because it was affordable at the time and it's description stated that it did not require a preamp. I have found this to not be the case. Aside from my effects pedal I run direct to the board at church. I get very little output. I purchased a used Acoustimax preamp thinking that would solve the problem. It didn't. What could the issue be?
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  #2  
Old 05-20-2017, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeck77 View Post
I had an LR Baggs LB6 installed on my acoustic. I chose this pickup because it was affordable at the time and it's description stated that it did not require a preamp. I have found this to not be the case. Aside from my effects pedal I run direct to the board at church. I get very little output. I purchased a used Acoustimax preamp thinking that would solve the problem. It didn't. What could the issue be?
Possibly impedance matching - I used an LB6 with a Baggs gigpro for many years with great results - I'm guessing the Para DI would do well too. I don't think the "no preamp needed" is accurate....

Did you try the XLR output on the BBE?

One of our sponsors has a Para DI at a nice/closeout price right now....

https://shorelinemusic.com/collectio...ra-acoustic-di
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Last edited by fitness1; 05-20-2017 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 05-20-2017, 07:57 PM
mikeck77 mikeck77 is offline
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The XLR on the BBE is noisy (perhaps a ground issue). And if I use the 1/4" output, the output is even less.
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:09 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeck77 View Post
I had an LR Baggs LB6 installed on my acoustic. I chose this pickup because it was affordable at the time and it's description stated that it did not require a preamp. I have found this to not be the case. Aside from my effects pedal I run direct to the board at church. I get very little output. I purchased a used Acoustimax preamp thinking that would solve the problem. It didn't. What could the issue be?
Unfortunately, the input impedance of the Acoustimax is only 2.2 Mohms. The LB6 will work much better with a preamp which has a 10 Mohm input impedance. A Baggs Para DI, Baggs Venue or Fishman Platinum series preamp will do the job.

Most passive pickups don't do well going directly to a PA mixer because of the impedance mismatch. If you were going directly to an acoustic guitar amp with a high impedance input, you wouldn't need a preamp. When running to most PA mixers, you'll need one of the aforementioned preamps.


I used to own an Acoustimax myself. It works well with some passive pickups (like the K&K Pure Mini), but doesn't have a high enough input impedance for the LB6.

I should also mention that I've used the LB6 in three guitars. Its a very dependable and "muscular" (thick) sounding pickup with the right preamp.

Last edited by guitaniac; 05-21-2017 at 06:14 AM.
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Old 05-21-2017, 12:25 PM
Mobilemike Mobilemike is offline
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Might not be an issue with the pickup. You didn't mention if you were using a DI after the effects pedal when you run it straight to the board at church. If you aren't and you're just plugging it into the mixer's 1/4" inputs, be aware that those might be line inputs and not instrument inputs. If they are line inputs then you won't get much level from them at all because they are expecting a much hotter signal.

You should definitely be using a DI if you aren't already.

-Mike
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Old 05-21-2017, 02:27 PM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobilemike View Post
Might not be an issue with the pickup. You didn't mention if you were using a DI after the effects pedal when you run it straight to the board at church. If you aren't and you're just plugging it into the mixer's 1/4" inputs, be aware that those might be line inputs and not instrument inputs. If they are line inputs then you won't get much level from them at all because they are expecting a much hotter signal.

You should definitely be using a DI if you aren't already.

-Mike
The OP mentioned using the Acoustimax's XLR out in post #3. When he does that, he has a noise problem. Its possible that accidentally having the DI attenuation pad switch pressed in is lowering his signal to the PA mixer by 12db. That would certainly cause the weak signal and noise problems.


Its possible that there's an issue with the pickup itself (ground hum?), but if the Acoustimax's DI pad isn't the problem, I'd borrow a Baggs or Fishman preamp and try that before turning my attention to the pickup and installation.

Last edited by guitaniac; 05-21-2017 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 05-21-2017, 03:00 PM
MrErikJ MrErikJ is offline
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The LB6 is my favorite pickup, but it does benefit from some type of preamp. However, it should be pretty high output, so if it seems weak there could be something wrong with it. I would echo what others have said that it does benefit from a 10megaohm input impedance, so anything from Baggs or Fishman should work. I usually use the Radial tonebone PZ Deluxe or the Baggs Para DI.

I like the sound quality of the LB6, but also that it has enough output that you don't need an onboard preamp. Something outboard is still best, but no batteries in the guitar is nice.
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Old 05-21-2017, 03:16 PM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeck77 View Post
The XLR on the BBE is noisy (perhaps a ground issue). And if I use the 1/4" output, the output is even less.
I notice from the Acoustimax manual that there is a -12db pad for the DI out. THAT pad switch (if its accidentally pressed in and on) would be lowering your DI signal at the mixer by 12db. A signal to the mixer that's accidentally lowered by 12db could be all of your weak signal problem, and most of your noise problem as well.

Even given that (possible) mistake, your LB6's amplified tone will be on the trebly side with the Acoustimax's relatively low (for an LB6) input impedance. You may be able to compensate with the tone controls, however.


As I mentioned before, I owned and used an Acoustimax for a few years. Its definitely not the best preamp for a passive LB6, but if accidentally having the DI pad switch engaged is your fundamental problem, you may be able to make the Acoustimax work acceptably well.
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:00 AM
MrErikJ MrErikJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitaniac View Post

I used to own an Acoustimax myself. It works well with some passive pickups (like the K&K Pure Mini), but doesn't have a high enough input impedance for the LB6.

I should also mention that I've used the LB6 in three guitars. Its a very dependable and "muscular" (thick) sounding pickup with the right preamp.
I have the Acoustimax as well and while I haven't tried it with a K&K, I have used it with PUTW and I think the impedance & Sonic Maximizer seems to complement a SBT better than a UST or a Mag. It's a great preamp, but now that I just use the LB6 I find the PZ Deluxe or Para DI to be a better match. I'm sure the Baggs Venue or Session would also be great complements to a passive LB6.

I would never call the LB6 the "best" pickup out there, but I do think it's the best UST around on its high-output, full-body, and (if passive) clean tone w/minimal quack. However, not everyone will like that it's a replacement saddle but it sounds good and is, undeniably, highly dependable.
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:13 PM
mikeck77 mikeck77 is offline
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I really appreciate all the input. Any other thoughts or ideas are greatly appreciated.

For the record.......the DI pad switch is not engaged so that's not the issue with the weak signal. I will be looking into a different preamp.
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:16 PM
mikeck77 mikeck77 is offline
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And what about GROUND HUM?
I've read a little about STRING GROUND.

Last edited by mikeck77; 06-01-2017 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:51 PM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeck77 View Post
And what about GROUND HUM?
I've read a little about STRING GROUND.

I'd make sure that you don't have an issue with the pickup before closing the deal on a new preamp. You could go to a music store and ask to test the preamp before purchase. Put the preamp between your guitar and whatever demo amp they have there to be sure the hum is gone. If the hum is still there, you may have a problem with the pickup's shielding or the connection at the jack.

I didn't have a hum issue with any of my three LB6 rigs, but that doesn't necessarily mean it can't happen. I've had hum issues with at least three Fishman undersaddle pickups.


Some amps have high impedance inputs that would accommodate your LB6 well (presuming the pickup is functioning as intended), but you may as well try out the potential preamp purchase and get a sense of how it works while you're testing your pickup.


PS Some examples of less expensive preamps which would work well with a properly functioning LB6 would be the LR Baggs Para DI and the Fishman Platinum Stage. If you wanted to go super-cheap, even something like the Fishman GII preamp would work decently well. My idea of a good bargain would be a used older generation Fishman ProEQ Platinum off ebay for $75 or less, although you wouldn't get a chance to test the preamp and your LB6 beforehand.

Last edited by guitaniac; 06-02-2017 at 04:33 AM.
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