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  #1  
Old 01-14-2020, 08:41 AM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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Default EQing a mag pickup versus a piezo

Whats some of the general differences between the sound of a mag pickup versus the undersaddle piezo, when it comes to properly EQing them? I find with both, they sound better with some of the mids backed off. I also find mag's tend to need a little boost in bass and treble. What do you all find?
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:04 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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I've always thought that the mid cuts on mags needed to be a little lower than the mid cuts on piezo pickups, say the 600Hz to 800Hz range for mags and the 1KHz to 1.5KHz range for piezo pickups.

I'm beginning to have second thoughts about the Black Angel mag. I initially used a 660Hz cut with the Black Angel, but I'm now getting better results with a 1.2KHz cut. I honestly can't tell you if the need for that cut is more a function of the BA or the particular guitar its in. I just know that the 1.2KHz cut is sounding better to me.

When I get the time, I'll be making some test recordings to double-check my findings with that rig.


Luthier Dave Wendler invented a MagPi pickup system which passively combines a mag pickup with a piezo SBT. I owned one of his MagPi-equipped ElectroCoustic guitars for a year before I finally discovered that a cut at 3KHz worked best with it. It took so long to discover that because I had never before owned a guitar/pickup rig that needed a cut that high.

These days I'm trying to have fewer preconceptions about what EQ adjustments are needed, and to let my ears be the guide.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:42 AM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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I think with either kind of pickup it helps to let go of any preconceptions about what your guitar ought to sound like, and work with what it actually does sound like. And we're talking damage control here -- you want the least-bad version of your current reality.

Also, I think it helps to be mindful of your audience and what they came for. They're there for music, and they'll probably like your music better if your instrument's sound fits in well with your voice and/or bandmates. The butts in the seats really don't care whether or not your guitar sounds like an accurately-amplified version of its acoustic self. Except for that one guy with his arms folded who can't stop staring at your fingers. And he's probably reading this. :-)
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:13 AM
MrErikJ MrErikJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitaniac View Post
I've always thought that the mid cuts on mags needed to be a little lower than the mid cuts on piezo pickups, say the 600Hz to 800Hz range for mags and the 1KHz to 1.5KHz range for piezo pickups.

I'm beginning to have second thoughts about the Black Angel mag. I initially used a 660Hz cut with the Black Angel, but I'm now getting better results with a 1.2KHz cut. I honestly can't tell you if the need for that cut is more a function of the BA or the particular guitar its in. I just know that the 1.2KHz cut is sounding better to me.
My experience is similar to the OPs and Guitaniacs. With USTs, I usually cut around 1-1.5khz and it seems mags like a lower mid cut.

HOWEVER, with my Black Angel Piezo & Mag, I EQ it a little differently. Using my Pendulum SPS-1, I notch out 60hz on the piezo SBT, set a somewhat wide Q on the midrange and cut around 700hz, and then (with a med-width Q) boost the highs around 5khz. On the mag, I boost the bass around 150hz (I think) cut the mids a little around 280-300hz and then again around 1.5khz as that gets the mud and honk out of the way and lets the best bass and treble frequencies complement the piezo.

So, I've found, like Guitaniac, that there's room for the nasal freqs to come out of a mag and that EQ is not exclusive to USTs. As a matter of fact, I think the mystical Sunrise buffer box not only amplifies and buffers the signal, but widely scoops the midrange and enhances the bass and treble. They say it accesses the "coupling" feature unique to the Sunrise but that EQ is, kinda, generically "acoustic" sounding as it is. The EQ I apply to the BA is similar and I don't think it's coincidence that some really like the Buffer box with the BA.
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:16 PM
roylor4 roylor4 is offline
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I cannot compare mag vs (ust) piezo, but I definitely eq mag and sbt's differently.

My JJB's usually need a cut in the bass and a boost in the treble, my mags (DeArmond ToneBoss and SD woodyl XL) need a boost in the bass and cut in the trebles - this is morer exaggerated on the DeaArmond than the SD.

I expect it varies a lot depending on the pickup being used as well as the guitar it's mated to.
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  #6  
Old 01-14-2020, 02:50 PM
RustyAxe RustyAxe is offline
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I always end up cutting the mids a bit, regardless of pickup. My Baggs M1A is no exception, but it never needs more bass or treble. It should be noted, too, that not all magnetic pickups are equal.
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Old 01-15-2020, 06:14 AM
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varmonter varmonter is offline
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There are a plethora of great soundhole
pups out there. It used to be sunrise was
the only decent mag out there.
My current is the baggs m80.
Something inside itvallows it to
also pickup body resonance.
Since i bought it ive pretty much
given up on piezo ust/sbt type
pickups. All just too unruley at
loud bar volumes.
I use to use a low cut around 200
on my kk. found 110 to 140 the sweet
spot on the m80.I usually cut the muds
at 700 and adj the q for the room.highs are cutoff at 8 to 10k
usually bass boost a bit at 400.
But its all subjective. ymmv
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Old 01-15-2020, 08:44 AM
dberkowitz dberkowitz is offline
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As Larry Fishman will tell you, the "quack" [a term he abhors] happens around 5-7k. If you have parametric, you'll want to pull that back.
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Old 01-17-2020, 07:39 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrErikJ View Post
My experience is similar to the OPs and Guitaniacs. With USTs, I usually cut around 1-1.5khz and it seems mags like a lower mid cut.

HOWEVER, with my Black Angel Piezo & Mag, I EQ it a little differently. Using my Pendulum SPS-1, I notch out 60hz on the piezo SBT, set a somewhat wide Q on the midrange and cut around 700hz, and then (with a med-width Q) boost the highs around 5khz. On the mag, I boost the bass around 150hz (I think) cut the mids a little around 280-300hz and then again around 1.5khz as that gets the mud and honk out of the way and lets the best bass and treble frequencies complement the piezo.

So, I've found, like Guitaniac, that there's room for the nasal freqs to come out of a mag and that EQ is not exclusive to USTs. As a matter of fact, I think the mystical Sunrise buffer box not only amplifies and buffers the signal, but widely scoops the midrange and enhances the bass and treble. They say it accesses the "coupling" feature unique to the Sunrise but that EQ is, kinda, generically "acoustic" sounding as it is. The EQ I apply to the BA is similar and I don't think it's coincidence that some really like the Buffer box with the BA.
I just finished listening to a performance from last night with my Black Angel rig. It occurred to me that the Black Angel signal could probably use a little presence boost, at least when I'm picking with bare finger-pads. I immediately thought of this post, though I see that you used the presence boost on the SBT. Nevertheless, I'll have to give it a try with the mag.
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Old 01-17-2020, 01:26 PM
j3ffr0 j3ffr0 is offline
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I have been using a pretty narrow cut around 350-400 hz on my rare earth blend. I have tried cutting around 1.1 to 1.5k as well, but I feel like I'm better off cutting 350-400 hz.
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  #11  
Old 01-17-2020, 02:04 PM
ManyMartinMan ManyMartinMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
...I think with either kind of pickup it helps to let go of any preconceptions about what your guitar ought to sound like, and work with what it actually does sound like. ...
This is it for me. I've never had a studio engineer or live sound-person or my sound guy ask me what pickup I had. They simply set levels for the guitar & environment so it sounded best. Preconceptions almost always lead to misconceptions.
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