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Old 02-06-2010, 09:54 AM
$ongWriter $ongWriter is offline
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Default K & K Question???

I have a K & K pickup in my Woolson. I normally like this pick-up but it's too bassy in my guitar. I talked to the builder and he suggested I try the K&K pre-amp. Does anyone use that pre-amp and did it help the amplified sound?
Thanks
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by $ongWriter View Post
I have a K & K pickup in my Woolson. I normally like this pick-up but it's too bassy in my guitar. I talked to the builder and he suggested I try the K&K pre-amp. Does anyone use that pre-amp and did it help the amplified sound?
Thanks
Hi $w…
I have K&K in 4 different gutiars. I own 5 preamps including a K&K preamp. They are all good for adjusting tone...I really don't find the K&K any better than my other pickups at adjust tone.

They do trend toward bassy. Both the ''regular'' K&K and ''mini'' are more bassy, but the ''regular'' K&K really gets mega-over-bassy. I have a friend with one of these and we just turn the bass off and then bring back in a touch (and it then sounds fine).

By the way, K&K pickups do sound better with a preamp, and turning the bass down is allowed. That is why preamps and amps have adjustable tone controls.

A few questions...
Is yours the mini or a regular one?
What are you playing into/through?


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Old 02-06-2010, 11:53 AM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by $ongWriter View Post
I have a K & K pickup in my Woolson. I normally like this pick-up but it's too bassy in my guitar. I talked to the builder and he suggested I try the K&K pre-amp. Does anyone use that pre-amp and did it help the amplified sound?
Thanks
What is the remainder of your current signal chain?
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:18 PM
alnico5 alnico5 is offline
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I have a KK in my Taylor 412. I use an Ultrasound AG-30. I just turn the bass control almost all the way off.
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:21 PM
alohachris alohachris is offline
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Default Aloha Alnico

Aloha $ongWriter,

I use K&K/ internal mic dual systems in my three gigging guitars and blend them through a Pendulum SPS-1 preamp. I know the plusses and minusses of the K&K mini and have used and heard them through many configurations of signal chains.

K&K pickups ABSOLUTELY need a preamp for peak performance, i.e., controlling bass frequencies and boominess, despite what others may say here. Sure, you can plug it straight in and get sound. But as you're finding, the quality and control of that sound is really what you want. ABSOLUTELY, a K&K will sound bassy without a preamp, especially the larger PW model, more so than the Mini. If you're playing a dreadnaught or jumbo guitar, the boominess problem tends to be more pronounced.

K&K's work great with K&K preamps (matched impedances). Better ones include the Fishman Pro EQ Platinum, DTAR Solstice, Highlander IP Series or PAMDI & the premium Pendulum SPS-1.

With exception of the Fishman, each of those allows K&K pickups to shine or to be blended with other sources such as an internal mic, soundhole or UST pickup - which is definitely preferrable. More importantly, those preamps also give you much better control over the hyped lower-mid and bass tendencies of the K&K. Please pay attention to matching the impedances of your pickup and preamp in advance, whichever you buy.

Always PLAN the elements of your live rig - BEFORE YOU BUY - so that they don't fight each other thus reducing the quality and control of your sound, as you are experiencing now. Choose all elements for compatibility in terms of quality level, electronics (such as headroom & impedance specs), portability, and future growth in your system and then let your ears make the final choices after your research.

Good Luck!

alohachris

PS: In choosing a preamp, try to select one that has deep and full EQ (not a Baggs Para DI or even the Venue!) . Tone shaping to various rooms and live situations in which you'll find yourself makes EQ quality a CRITICAL element for feedback and room control. That's why I use the SPS-1, among many other features. Good Luck. - alohachris

Last edited by alohachris; 02-06-2010 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 02-06-2010, 06:51 PM
66strummer 66strummer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by $ongWriter View Post
I have a K & K pickup in my Woolson. I normally like this pick-up but it's too bassy in my guitar. I talked to the builder and he suggested I try the K&K pre-amp. Does anyone use that pre-amp and did it help the amplified sound?
Thanks


Is it the "mini" or the standard version? I had to remove a standard one from a bass heavy dread because the bass was out of control even using the K&K preamp. The preamp may not solve your problem if you installed the full size version. Does your guitar have a lot of bass naturally?
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:52 PM
$ongWriter $ongWriter is offline
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Default thanks guys

Thanks guys. I'm trying to use the LR Baggs pari di. It did sound better just turning the bass all the way or almost all the way off. Can someone explain to me the problem with the para di and the k&K. I've heard they don't work together but don't understand why. I have the k&K mini.

Thanks for the good advice..
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Last edited by $ongWriter; 02-06-2010 at 07:52 PM. Reason: miss spel
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:52 PM
alohachris alohachris is offline
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Default Sorry, Got My Posters Mixed Up

Aloha $ongWriter,

My response was to $SongWriter, not Alnico. Sorry, Got my posters mixed up.

Regarding the compatibility issues of the K&K pickups and LR Baggs Para DI, it is all about an impedance mismatch which I alluded to in my post above.

The K&K's impedance is rated at 1 Mega Ohm, and the Para DI, as with most preamps, is rated at 10 Mega Ohms. That difference translates into an emphasis on bass or lower-mid frequencies that can make a guitar signal sound really boomy, especially if it's a larger sized guitar and marginal or no EQ is used.

The Para DI lacks a deep or good enough EQ to deal adequately with the problem in all rigs and venues. Buying a new preamp with good to great EQ like the Fishman EQ Pro Platinum, DTAR Solstice or others I mentioned can easily diffuse the problem with some rolling off of bass and lower-mid frequencies. The Para DI is simply not up to the task, especially with larger guitars.

Another remedy, oft-discussed here, is to mod the cable from your end jack to the DI or preamp by adding a resistor at the jack end to facilitate matching impedances. I've never done that, but several have reported success with that approach while others have not.

So the boominess problem is easily solvable, just not by the LR Baggs Para DI, which is only good as an emergency, in the guitar-case, backup kind of DI, IMO, especially if you're gigging. If you're playing at home and parties......?

BTW, it is pretty transparent to see that Dieter at K&K chose to be different with his impedances in hopes of selling a few matching preamps a long the way. Yes, his preamps do work well with the mini, and are mostly affordable.

However, other preamps may provide better value, quality and expandability should you decide to improve your signal chain or the number of signal sources. Your decision on how to fix the problem will probably be made based on funds available, and whether or not you play professionally, would be my guess. Just Ol' Aloha's two cents. And, Good Luck!

A Hui Hou,

alohachris

Last edited by alohachris; 02-06-2010 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:31 PM
66strummer 66strummer is offline
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There is a modification that can be made to match impedance (K&K to Baggs Padi). It requires soldering a resistor (less than $1 part) into the signal path between the guitar and 1/4" cable before it plugs into the PADI. There's an old thread about this "mod" here on the forum. No guarantee but a possible option.....


http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...%3BK+impedance
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:47 PM
donh donh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by $ongWriter View Post
Thanks guys. I'm trying to use the LR Baggs pari di. It did sound better just turning the bass all the way or almost all the way off. Can someone explain to me the problem with the para di and the k&K. I've heard they don't work together but don't understand why. I have the k&K mini.

Thanks for the good advice..
The ParaDI has a 10meg input impedance and theK&K wants to see 1meg. With a K&K and 10meg you get a bass boost. Piezo pickups of all kinds are very load-dependent.

I use the Red-Eye DI (1meg input impedance, excellent gain stage control, & an awesome boost button) with wonderful results.
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Old 02-06-2010, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by $ongWriter View Post
Thanks guys. I'm trying to use the LR Baggs pari di. It did sound better just turning the bass all the way or almost all the way off. Can someone explain to me the problem with the para di and the k&K. I've heard they don't work together but don't understand why. I have the k&K mini.
Hi $w…
We use a Martin D-28 with K&K Pure Western Mini on our Worship Team every Sunday coupled with a ParaDI and it works marvelously. No feedback issues, and great sounding - sounds amazingly like a D-28.

Some think there is an impedance mismatch which will make some sort of discernible difference, and if there is we sure are not having issues with it...

The ParaDI is above average among inexpensive preamps as a simple and effective means of improving the sound of your K&K (and other pickups as well).

Are there better ones? Sure. How much better? Not enough that the average audience will ever know the difference.

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Old 02-07-2010, 05:56 AM
Michael T Michael T is offline
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I went with the K&K XLR preamp just because it is a match to the pick ups. I have a K&K in both my 6 string and 12 string & my son has one in his. The XLR can be purchased with a wall wart or run off batterry. No problems with it and works great. If you haven't purchased a preamp just get the matching K&K, they are inexpensive in comparison to many and are designed for that pickup.
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Old 02-07-2010, 08:55 AM
RustyAxe RustyAxe is offline
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I hated the K&K PWM direct to amp or PA, and with my Baggs Para-DI. Picked up a Pure preamp (not the XLR) and it was a dramatic change for the better.
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:42 AM
$ongWriter $ongWriter is offline
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Default Thank guys!!

Well after much thought I went with the Fishman pro plat thingiee...figured it would work with the K&K and would be better to use with my other guitars...thanks or the help!!!
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Martin's
42D-18
262-17
54D-28
49-000-18
49-OO-18 shade top
56 OO-18
D-28LSH
OMJM
OM-28 RC
D-28 37'A
M3M
PRE WAR "J"
Gibson 42 J-35
Gibson 51 J-45
Taylor 717e
Taylor 616e proto
Tak "kc"
Tak SS
Tak New Yorker
Rainsong shorty
Gibson 78 LP Deluxe
Gibson SG
Fender Lacabrinta Tele
Fender p-90 Tele
Fender 51' CS No caster
Fender CS Strat
Fender 73 P bass

Last edited by $ongWriter; 02-07-2010 at 10:42 AM. Reason: took out word
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:54 PM
alnico5 alnico5 is offline
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I e-mailed Ultrasound and confirmed that the AG-30 imput impedence is 1MegOhm, what the KK wants. The KK does pump out the bass but turning down the Ultrasound's bass control works pretty well. My reverb pedal, a Mr. Springgy by Lee Jackson, also has a 1 MegOhm input/output so I'm in luck.
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