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  #16  
Old 05-26-2017, 04:46 AM
Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
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I used a Fishman Aura Spectrum which is a modeler. I got a good sound figured out which was quit easy. Then when I went to open mics I plugged into a mic cable and played. The sound was good as all the sound guy had to do was not screw it up, just send it out. Really it was so slick and easy. I just walked on stage and plugged in. I knew the sound man could catch up so I just went with the show after he had me in the monitors.
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  #17  
Old 05-26-2017, 06:08 AM
cattzap cattzap is offline
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I'm not a fan of Line 6, although many people are and that's fine. If that's you keep doing what you like and don't let me discourage you. To me they get too complicated and detailed for on the fly quick setup and adjustments. I guess I'm just an old fashion "I want a dedicated knob to turn for than, not a screen to flip thru" guy.
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  #18  
Old 05-26-2017, 06:17 AM
Mischief Mischief is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buc-a-Roo View Post
As has been said, sound quality on open mic stages is widely variable and in very large part out of the control of the performer. To my way of thinking learning to deal with sub-standard amplification goes with the territory. Keep it simple, plug in and go........don't be distracted by lousy sound.

I agree with this. Especially the plug in and go part. Don't get hung up on having that perfect sound at an open mic.

I was in your position and struggled on and on. I changed pickups, preamps, buying pedals etc. I could always get my own brilliant tone with my gear but open mikes was never what I wanted in fact it was horrible sounding. I loved the guitar acoustically or when I dialed it in. It was just a beautiful guitar but...

I decided I'd rather a simple plug in no hassle solution that was easy to get a great sound. Vs a phenomenal sound only I could get with my own gear but sucked at the hands of others.

I'll suggest you consider what I ended up doing. I listened to the recommendation of my Dad and bought a Takamine (P6NC) every time I play out the sound is great and I get very good compliments on the guitar sound. Since then I have never had an open mic sound issue.

For use with my own gear, I do use the TC Body Rez which makes it even better.
BTW just before I bought the tak I was about to drop another $350-$400 on a para EQ DI and another couple hundred on a belt preamp to fix the horrible sound at open mikes. I'm glad I opted for a different guitar instead.

It does not have to be a Takamine per se. But the idea is having a specific go to, no fuss plug and play guitar that easily sounds great is worth a it. Btw I hate quacky guitars and I love my Tak.

Any factory good quality guitar that sounds natural and acoustic like out of the box is what I would consider if I were you. Have it set up and use it whenever your not in charge of your own sound.

Hope this helps.
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  #19  
Old 05-26-2017, 06:36 AM
Wyllys Wyllys is offline
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Another possibility is that at home you are in a different relationship with the amp than when playing through a PA at the open mic. HF waves are shorter and more easily focused, so that part of the sound will be less present when the playing position is to the side and/or behind the speakers. Yet the LF is not diminished, the longer waves broadcasting in an ever wider pattern as you go down in frequency.

The end result is that while the tone may sound "bassier" on stage it is entirely possible for it to be fine out front but unbalanced toward the low end on stage due to the physics of how PA speakers work.

If you can, set up a PA speaker on a stand, play a good guitar CD through it and walk around the speaker from directly on axis in the front to off axis to the side all the way to behind and hear how the sound becomes muffled as you get further off axis.
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  #20  
Old 05-26-2017, 07:10 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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We don't really know the specifics of the OP's situation. If he's doing as jseth has speculated is possible (running a long instrument cable from a passive pickup to PA mixer), then his situation can easily be greatly improved with an outboard preamp and the skills to use it effectively.

The fact that the OP has used an outboard preamp on at least one occasion and run into feedback problems implies to me that he's either a very light-handed player using an intrinsically quiet playing style (fingerstyle w/bare finger pads) and/or he's not using the preamp to his best advantage. (Unless the PA sound is extremely mid-heavy, dumping mids down to 8 o'clock (probably around 10db) is a big mistake.)

I've dealt with enough Pure-Mini equipped guitars to know that a bass roll-off is sometimes needed, but rarely a mid cut, especially a deep mid cut.


In the "just suck it up" department, I will observe that the best nails-worn-to-nubbs bare-fingered player that I ever worked with (as an average idiot soundman) was using a Matrix-equipped D28 during that period. He'd just tell me to roll the bass down to 9 o'clock and leave everything else flat. It worked great for him.
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  #21  
Old 05-26-2017, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitaniac View Post
We don't really know the specifics of the OP's situation. If he's doing as jseth has speculated is possible (running a long instrument cable from a passive pickup to PA mixer), then his situation can easily be greatly improved with an outboard preamp and the skills to use it effectively.

The fact that the OP has used an outboard preamp on at least one occasion and run into feedback problems implies to me that he's either a very light-handed player using an intrinsically quiet playing style (fingerstyle w/bare finger pads) and/or he's not using the preamp to his best advantage. (Unless the PA sound is extremely mid-heavy, dumping mids down to 8 o'clock (probably around 10db) is a big mistake.)

I've dealt with enough Pure-Mini equipped guitars to know that a bass roll-off is sometimes needed, but rarely a mid cut, especially a deep mid cut.

In the "just suck it up" department, I will observe that the best nails-worn-to-nubbs bare-fingered player that I ever worked with (as an average idiot soundman) was using a Matrix-equipped D28 during that period. He'd just tell me to roll the bass down to 9 o'clock and leave everything else flat. It worked great for him.
Thanks for all the tips so far. To clarify, I am aware of that the sound behind the PA will be a little muffled compared to when I'm at home in perfect conditions. But I've also had other guitarists tell me at open mics that my tone was not that great, very low output and muddy.

I was not aware about the error of cutting my mids being a big mistake, so thanks for that tip! I'm going to play again this week and I'll try the K&K pre-amp again but this time not cut the mids so much if at all. I'm about to pick up a Para DI for small change so that will give me the EQ plus the notch. I think with some experimentation I'll hopefully get some better tone.

On the recommendation of buying a Tak or some other guitar for my plug and play open mic guitar, just what about the Tak or it's electronics makes it such a great live guitar? Barn door electronics?
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  #22  
Old 05-26-2017, 08:11 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Methos1979 View Post
On the recommendation of buying a Tak or some other guitar for my plug and play open mic guitar, just what about the Tak or it's electronics makes it such a great live guitar? Barn door electronics?
Interestingly, the easiest guitar that I dealt with last night was an OM-sized Tak. It had a perfect tonal balance (for my taste) with zero EQ adjustment.

Taks use something called a Palathetic pickup system which is fairly feedback resistant and very dependable. Beyond that, the conventional wisdom is that Tak guitars are somewhat "overbuilt" which makes them less feedback prone and better for amplification.

http://www.takamine.com/palathetic-pickup


BTW, I have a friend who recently "upgraded" from a Tak to a Matrix-equipped Martin. From an amplification perspective, we are both disappointed with the "upgrade".

On the downside, Tak fretboards tend to be on the narrow side. Many fingerstylists prefer a wider fretboard.


PS Please let us know how your next outing with the preamp goes. Hopefully, you'll get the sound problem sorted out and a change of guitars won't be necessary.
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  #23  
Old 05-26-2017, 08:28 AM
cattzap cattzap is offline
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To me simple light and easy and no lcd displays to try to see in a quick non optimal lighting is the key factors on deciding what device to add, which is looking like a DI/preamp. That LR Baggs looked good and the ones I've heard in use always sounded very good to me.

There's also the possibility that the sound man has you set how he likes you, and if you eq to something he still has the final say in eq'ing you again. If that needs to be said or not I don't know, but it's there.
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  #24  
Old 05-26-2017, 07:54 PM
Mischief Mischief is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Methos1979 View Post



On the recommendation of buying a Tak or some other guitar for my plug and play open mic guitar, just what about the Tak or it's electronics makes it such a great live guitar? Barn door electronics?


First sorry for the long post.

Just to add a little further. To what was already said. If you were entertaining the idea of a Tak at all, the made in Japan (MIJ) models are the preferred Tak's. The CT-4 and CT-4DX can typically sound better. I have the cool tube preamp CT-3 which has its own pros but the CT-4 DX would have been my top pick.

I believe there are a few Tak models with wider fretboards but it's true they are on the narrower side. I also use to demand a wide finger picking fretboard. But then it was pointed out to me that electric guitars are even narrower and people can play fast and clean on those even finger picking without issue. TBH I now don't even think about the narrower fretboard and the P6 has the narrowest of them all.

And here's the kicker for me. I love the tone quality and everything about the Tak unplugged too. It only lacks a little in volume but is not quiet at all. It's plenty loud for a living room session, a sing along or acoustic recordings. I have the Nex body which is like a smaller scaled down jumbo. At any time I needed the projection of a full size highly responsive topped guitar is when I would just be plugging in anyway. YMMV.

As said before there's other good stage guitars besides Tak's. You may very well find a simple easy solution for your current model. But what I found is the highly sought after qualities I looked for in my guitar acoustically worked against me on stage and to fix those issues meant a lot of fiddling and outboard gear. That was fine for my own set up but too much for open mikes or playing on others gear. I've stopped chasing that completely mic sound of my guitar and am now happy with a natural acoustic sound. That meant I looked at imaging pedals and all the pickup options.

In the end I think getting one of the better bridge pickups with a matched preamp on a well balanced guitar is a good place to start. Keep it simple.

There's other excellent pickup systems that sound natural. Amulet and the like. But often it's finding the one of several systems that plays nice with your guitar when the others won't. Then finding the right outboard gear etc. it can be done and you can get lucky. Otherwise it's chasing your tail and spending lots.

For an open mike or stage guitar I would look at any one of the guitars that sounded great out of the box plugged in that you were happy with.

Take it a step further with TC Body Rez, dual source mic / mag blended in or imaging (like the Tonedexter). But start with something that sounds good out of the box to begin with. Starting with that awesome acoustic and then figuring out how to amplify it to sound good with all third party gear can be a lengthy costly venture. Again this is just my 2 cents. The main point is don't feel boxed in or like you have to be able to make your current guitar work. Do it if you want but look at all your options and go for the one that makes best sense to you.

I'll leave the rest of this thread for likely excellent advice on options on how to get your current guitar to work well. Hopefully you'll be able to try as many of those with minimal costs and find something that works well for you.
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  #25  
Old 05-27-2017, 01:10 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Methos1979,

I'm wondering what amp(s) you're using at home to monitor your amplified sound. Certain amps have a lot of "personality" in that they are overly strong in certain frequency ranges. Electric guitar amps, in particular, tend to be heavy in the midrange. PA systems, on the other hand, are usually designed for a flat frequency response. That's something to keep in mind if your amp at home is giving you the perception that your Pure Mini pickup needs a big mid cut and a large treble boost. Granted, you'll likely need more high end (irregardless of the amplification system) when playing with bare finger pads than when playing with a pick. (If you're getting a Baggs PADI, that "presence" knob may be helpful in bringing out more high-end sparkle.)

I took a look at K&K's basic Pure Preamp manual. It doesn't mention the db range of the tone controls, but it does say that the midrange knob controls a "super wide band" of frequencies centered at 1.5KHz. That means that a heavy mid cut with that preamp will be dumping the main body of your signal and making it more difficult to avoid muddiness and feedback problems with the low end (when the sound person attempts to boost the signal to an adequate level). It could also be why your signal sounds weak and muddy to your peers who're listening from the house side.

In any event, its likely possible to get a more pleasing tone and more gain-before-feedback with the gear that you already have, just by cutting less midrange (or no midrange) and rolling off more bass.

Its undoubtedly true that a Tak, or some other built-for-amplification guitar (like a Godin Multiac) will give you more gain-before-feedback than most Pure-Mini equipped guitars. It just seems to me that you have other options to explore before taking the big step of acquiring another guitar.
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  #26  
Old 05-27-2017, 07:27 AM
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Thanks for the further opinions. I have no plans to add another guitar, just curious about why the Takamine's seem to always be favored for stage use.

I actually do have another guitar on order to compliment the one I have. It's an Emerald X20 carbon fiber. I've owned one before and it was very good for my style of playing sound-wise so that might help. I wonder who the X20 with it's offset sound hole responds to stage use. I might do a post on that in the Carbon Fiber sub-forum. This one will also have a K&K in it.

I've got a LR Baggs Para DI inbound so I'll give that a try and be sure to not dial out the mids. To answer the questions posed about my amplifier, currently it's a Carvin AG200 with is more PA-like (some refer to it accurately as more of a half PA) than a normal acoustic amplifier. Amps before that were a Genz Benz Shenandoah, and the Fishman SA220 and also the Loudbox Mini and Artist.

We'll hit one of the open mics Sunday and I'll try the little belt clip K&K this time only dialing up the treble a bit while leaving the mids and bass flat and let the sound guy dial back (or up) as needed. I've also got a Red Eye I'll start taking and if they have an XLR with phantom power I might try that as that has a treble boost to it. That might work better with the place that has the higher-end equipment and pro-sound guy anyway.

I'll also be auditioning the new sound hole cover I just got in so that should help with some feedback issues with this small and resonant guitar. I'll report back how it goes.
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  #27  
Old 05-27-2017, 07:33 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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PS I also noticed in the Pure Preamp manual that there's a gain control inside the box. You may be able to increase your preamp's gain if necessary, but I wouldn't mess with that until you've at least tried cutting the mids less (or not at all) and cutting the bass more in your open mic setting. I've been told that frequencies around 1Khz are the easiest to hear, and I believe that's true. Even if you personally dislike hearing a lot of signal in the 1KHz area, being heard should be your first priority with amplification. The fundamental vocal frequencies of human adults will mostly range between 70Hz and 260Hz. Having enough mids in your signal will definitely help cut through in a room where a lot of folks are talking.

Last edited by guitaniac; 05-27-2017 at 07:46 AM.
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  #28  
Old 05-27-2017, 08:16 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Originally Posted by Methos1979 View Post
Thanks for the further opinions. I have no plans to add another guitar, just curious about why the Takamine's seem to always be favored for stage use.

I actually do have another guitar on order to compliment the one I have. It's an Emerald X20 carbon fiber. I've owned one before and it was very good for my style of playing sound-wise so that might help. I wonder who the X20 with it's offset sound hole responds to stage use. I might do a post on that in the Carbon Fiber sub-forum. This one will also have a K&K in it.

I've got a LR Baggs Para DI inbound so I'll give that a try and be sure to not dial out the mids. To answer the questions posed about my amplifier, currently it's a Carvin AG200 with is more PA-like (some refer to it accurately as more of a half PA) than a normal acoustic amplifier. Amps before that were a Genz Benz Shenandoah, and the Fishman SA220 and also the Loudbox Mini and Artist.

We'll hit one of the open mics Sunday and I'll try the little belt clip K&K this time only dialing up the treble a bit while leaving the mids and bass flat and let the sound guy dial back (or up) as needed. I've also got a Red Eye I'll start taking and if they have an XLR with phantom power I might try that as that has a treble boost to it. That might work better with the place that has the higher-end equipment and pro-sound guy anyway.

I'll also be auditioning the new sound hole cover I just got in so that should help with some feedback issues with this small and resonant guitar. I'll report back how it goes.
Sounds like a good plan. The sound person can roll off the bass as easily as you can.

Your AG200 probably has a decently flat frequency response and is a good device to monitor on. However, it appears that the sweepable mid control is as much of a feedback notch as it is a mid control. It probably has a much narrower frequency band than the Pure Preamp's mid band and you could be doing your actual cutting anywhere within its range of 100Hz (definitely a bass frequency) to 2KHz. A deep "mid" cut with this control probably won't correspond very closely to a deep mid cut with the Pure Preamp's mid control.

Regarding the Baggs PADI, its generally a very good preamp. I personally preferred using a GE-7 with the Pure Mini, but you can certainly make the PADI work. There's a way that you can use the PADI's notch to identify your guitar/pickup rig's most feedback prone frequency (probably between 100Hz and 200Hz) and notch it down (up to -6db) with the PADI's notch. Between the bass control and the notch, you should be able to deal with your muddiness and feedback problems. You'll also have a great deal of available gain (up to 24db) to use if you need it.

Oops. It should also be mentioned that the PADI's phase inversion switch may be helpful with feedback issues and the presence control can be very helpful with a dull tone. I was having problems dealing with an iBeam-equipped guitar on one occasion, and a healthy presence boost made an unexpectedly big improvement.

Last edited by guitaniac; 05-27-2017 at 08:24 AM.
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  #29  
Old 05-27-2017, 08:32 AM
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Great tips on the PADI - thanks. When I get it in I plan to really play with it. The presence knob was a welcome addition along with the notch and EQ. If I can't get a decent tone with that then I just should be playing live!
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  #30  
Old 05-27-2017, 10:00 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Originally Posted by Methos1979 View Post
Great tips on the PADI - thanks. When I get it in I plan to really play with it. The presence knob was a welcome addition along with the notch and EQ. If I can't get a decent tone with that then I just should be playing live!
Here's a link to the PADI manual, jf you haven't checked it out already.

https://static1.squarespace.com/stat..._di_manual.pdf

Section 1B describes how to use the notch to find the most feedback prone frequency and subsequently notch it down. You can do the experiment at home, sitting in front of the AG200 (tone controls set flat). It may not be the same exact frequency which will give you problems at an open mic, but it will give you a general idea of where your problem area (with respect to feedback) will usually be.

Last edited by guitaniac; 05-27-2017 at 11:11 AM.
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