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  #1  
Old 01-25-2020, 02:05 PM
stevecuss stevecuss is offline
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Default Fresh Schatten HFN Thread...

Friends,

You guys got me on the Schatten bandwagon last year and this morning I finished my 4th install, so I'm no Schatten guru, but today was striking in that it sounded harsh, thin and extremely quiet through just an Ultrasound Amp and sounded amazing through an Ultrasound DI/Preamp into the Ultrasound Amp.

I suppose I always presumed an acoustic amp had a great preamp in it, but the same company, supposedly same layout DI/Pre made it full and loud with minimal gain and output settings.

I used putty, the guitar is an OM21 with a thunderous midrange, so the kids are quite pronounced through the preamp/amp. Switching 'shape' to 'on' heightens the mids considerably, but softens the highs. It has plenty of lows.

I'll likely keep it as is. I have an HX Effects that I can use for surgical EQ and for adding an IR.

But I may also switch out the putty for tape. I just emailed Les to get his take on using glue. I'm sold on the HFN and see it as my long term pickup solution, especially in light of modern IR capabilities.

anyway, mostly an update, but if anyone has thoughts on tape vs putty to manage the midrange, I'm open to hearing.
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Mcilroy A25c (Cedar, English Walnut) with Schatten HFN (Passive, putty install.)
Martin Custom Shop 00028c with Fishman.
Martin OM21with HFN (putty.)
Gretsch 5422T
50th Anniversary Fender Am Std Strat.
Home Built "Cusstone" 18 Watt Plexi.

If I played as much as I read threads, I'd be a pro....
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2020, 02:16 PM
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Mbroady Mbroady is offline
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I initially installed the HFN with tape and it sounded good. The low end was not as deep in the K&K mini I used prior to the HFN instillation, but nothing a little EQ couldn’t take care of. However, after a while I was losing low end volume. It was most likely due to the tape coming loose, but rather then try to fix the tape issue I reinstalled the pick up with putty. Been a few weeks and so far the balance has remained perfect.
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2020, 02:45 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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I'm not familiar with Ultrasound amplifiers, do you know what the input impedance is by chance? Whatever it is, since it sounded good when using the preamp it sounds like an impedance mismatch. I know my Fishman Loudbox Artist has a 5Mohm input impedance and I have no issues plugging into that amp without a preamp.

Regarding the tape vs putty, all I can say for sure was in some guitars I tried both and noticed a difference, though not drastic, and in others I didn't. I can't say 100% why but it might have to do with uneven contact with tape in some of the installs. I'm no HFN guru either, but I did 5 of my own guitars and a few for my friends and my conclusion is that the putty is easier to install and I believe it will stick forever and can compensate for things like uneven bridge plates and the like.

I'm also with ya on my thoughts on the HFN! I spent a lot of money and time over the years trying most of the pickup systems out there only never to be fully satisfied with them. The HFN does everything I need and if I ever wanted to part with one of my guitars that I currently have I can easily pull the HFN out and stick a cheap UST in there and put the HFN in the new guitar. Since strictly using putty I've never experienced uneven volume, lack of bass or any other abnormality like some others reported.

Oh by the way Les will tell you not to use glue as the pickup needs to flex and glue will prevent that. Curious me ignored his advice and installed the pickup with Loctite 495 (over a year ago) as that glue is easy to use and clean up (unlike superglue). I had no intentions of keeping it in, just wanted to test it and to be honest I never noticed any issues. I had it like that for a few hours of playing before I swapped that install over to putty. If my memory serves me correctly, Martingitdave tried gorilla glue on an install one time and had less than desirable results. But hey, one of my favorite aspects of the HFN is that you don't need glue or epoxy and any future install that I might do will be putty.
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Old 01-25-2020, 03:45 PM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Is this your only HFN pickup? Or do other HFNs work fine into that amp?

Did you by chance plug the HFN into the amp's mic input? That won't work and will sound really bad due to the low impedance being presented by the amp for use with a microphone.
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  #5  
Old 01-25-2020, 03:48 PM
stevecuss stevecuss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarLuva View Post
I'm not familiar with Ultrasound amplifiers, do you know what the input impedance is by chance? Whatever it is, since it sounded good when using the preamp it sounds like an impedance mismatch. I know my Fishman Loudbox Artist has a 5Mohm input impedance and I have no issues plugging into that amp without a preamp.

Regarding the tape vs putty, all I can say for sure was in some guitars I tried both and noticed a difference, though not drastic, and in others I didn't. I can't say 100% why but it might have to do with uneven contact with tape in some of the installs. I'm no HFN guru either, but I did 5 of my own guitars and a few for my friends and my conclusion is that the putty is easier to install and I believe it will stick forever and can compensate for things like uneven bridge plates and the like.

I'm also with ya on my thoughts on the HFN! I spent a lot of money and time over the years trying most of the pickup systems out there only never to be fully satisfied with them. The HFN does everything I need and if I ever wanted to part with one of my guitars that I currently have I can easily pull the HFN out and stick a cheap UST in there and put the HFN in the new guitar. Since strictly using putty I've never experienced uneven volume, lack of bass or any other abnormality like some others reported.

Oh by the way Les will tell you not to use glue as the pickup needs to flex and glue will prevent that. Curious me ignored his advice and installed the pickup with Loctite 495 (over a year ago) as that glue is easy to use and clean up (unlike superglue). I had no intentions of keeping it in, just wanted to test it and to be honest I never noticed any issues. I had it like that for a few hours of playing before I swapped that install over to putty. If my memory serves me correctly, Martingitdave tried gorilla glue on an install one time and had less than desirable results. But hey, one of my favorite aspects of the HFN is that you don't need glue or epoxy and any future install that I might do will be putty.

Thatís a great post, thanks. I looked up input impedence and for 1/4Ē input it is 10meg and for xlr it is 10k. Interesting.

So straight in with a 1/4Ē is thin, but di/pre into XLR is full. And physically, it is the same input - a clever 2 in 1 input. I always assumed the amp had the preamp sort of built in, in fact I bought the DI/pre after the amp because of how good the amp sounded with previous guitars. It has all the same switches and eq etc, but must have a whole other gain structure as the Schatten is barely noticeable straight into the amp and there is more than enough volume when first running through the pre.

I have a Mcilroy with an HFN installed. Iíll a/b the guitars for output volume when I get home. I donít recall this issue when I played the Mcilroy through it.

None of this is a problem to solve, I donít think, just a curiosity in my never ending pickup and preamp education.

Thanks for feedback on glue. That saves me from the ever question of greener grass.
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Steve
Mcilroy A25c (Cedar, English Walnut) with Schatten HFN (Passive, putty install.)
Martin Custom Shop 00028c with Fishman.
Martin OM21with HFN (putty.)
Gretsch 5422T
50th Anniversary Fender Am Std Strat.
Home Built "Cusstone" 18 Watt Plexi.

If I played as much as I read threads, I'd be a pro....
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  #6  
Old 01-25-2020, 05:15 PM
stevecuss stevecuss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonfields45 View Post
Is this your only HFN pickup? Or do other HFNs work fine into that amp?

Did you by chance plug the HFN into the amp's mic input? That won't work and will sound really bad due to the low impedance being presented by the amp for use with a microphone.
Wow, I'm not sure how I didn't realize this, but it didn't occur to me that channel one would have a different gain structure for mic, but of course that makes sense. But all the same, it is very low in the guitar input as well.

I just tested my other acoustic and it has the same issue - very low output. The preamp changes the game for sure.
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Steve
Mcilroy A25c (Cedar, English Walnut) with Schatten HFN (Passive, putty install.)
Martin Custom Shop 00028c with Fishman.
Martin OM21with HFN (putty.)
Gretsch 5422T
50th Anniversary Fender Am Std Strat.
Home Built "Cusstone" 18 Watt Plexi.

If I played as much as I read threads, I'd be a pro....
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2020, 05:20 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevecuss View Post
Thatís a great post, thanks. I looked up input impedence and for 1/4Ē input it is 10meg and for xlr it is 10k. Interesting.

So straight in with a 1/4Ē is thin, but di/pre into XLR is full. And physically, it is the same input - a clever 2 in 1 input. I always assumed the amp had the preamp sort of built in, in fact I bought the DI/pre after the amp because of how good the amp sounded with previous guitars. It has all the same switches and eq etc, but must have a whole other gain structure as the Schatten is barely noticeable straight into the amp and there is more than enough volume when first running through the pre.

I have a Mcilroy with an HFN installed. Iíll a/b the guitars for output volume when I get home. I donít recall this issue when I played the Mcilroy through it.

None of this is a problem to solve, I donít think, just a curiosity in my never ending pickup and preamp education.

Thanks for feedback on glue. That saves me from the ever question of greener grass.
My pleasure! If your amp has a 10Mohm input impedance than the HFN (in theory) should be just fine, it's when you go lower, typically in the KHz range where you get the tinny sound from passive pickups. My audio interface has a 1Mohm input impedance and the HFN is fine in that as well with no preamp. I guess impedance matching with passive pickups can be a bit finicky at times. Of course the manufacturers will tell you to use a preamp, which is never a bad idea. I'll be curious to hear the answer at the end of this.
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Old 01-25-2020, 05:25 PM
stevecuss stevecuss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarLuva View Post
My pleasure! If your amp has a 10Mohm input impedance than the HFN (in theory) should be just fine, it's when you go lower, typically in the KHz range where you get the tinny sound from passive pickups. My audio interface has a 1Mohm input impedance and the HFN is fine in that as well with no preamp. I guess impedance matching with passive pickups can be a bit finicky at times. Of course the manufacturers will tell you to use a preamp, which is never a bad idea. I'll be curious to hear the answer at the end of this.
Yeah, its weird. Almost impossible to get the guitars to any decent volume when straight into the amp, plus the amp significantly cuts bass and sounds very thin. DI/Pre into amp for both guitars - full, rich sound, even too much midrange. I suspect the ideal would be for me to add my HX Effects into the mix with Eq and maybe IR to really get it cooking.
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Steve
Mcilroy A25c (Cedar, English Walnut) with Schatten HFN (Passive, putty install.)
Martin Custom Shop 00028c with Fishman.
Martin OM21with HFN (putty.)
Gretsch 5422T
50th Anniversary Fender Am Std Strat.
Home Built "Cusstone" 18 Watt Plexi.

If I played as much as I read threads, I'd be a pro....
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  #9  
Old 01-25-2020, 05:30 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevecuss View Post
Yeah, its weird. Almost impossible to get the guitars to any decent volume when straight into the amp, plus the amp significantly cuts bass and sounds very thin. DI/Pre into amp for both guitars - full, rich sound, even too much midrange. I suspect the ideal would be for me to add my HX Effects into the mix with Eq and maybe IR to really get it cooking.
I just read some pages in the manual for your amp. Are you using channel 1 or 2? They say channel 2 is designed primarily for acoustic guitar and when channel 1 is not in use to turn down all the controls to minimum level. Something else to try!
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Old 01-25-2020, 05:40 PM
stevecuss stevecuss is offline
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Originally Posted by GuitarLuva View Post
I just read some pages in the manual for your amp. Are you using channel 1 or 2? They say channel 2 is designed primarily for acoustic guitar and when channel 1 is not in use to turn down all the controls to minimum level. Something else to try!
Ah, thanks for checking on that. I just tested it with channel 1 dials up, and then all zeroed out and no difference. I appreciate the suggestion though. Amp sounds better with bass cranked, treble cut by 70%, shape switch on (some combination of mid boost and presence cut) and enough volume for maybe 20 folks.
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Steve
Mcilroy A25c (Cedar, English Walnut) with Schatten HFN (Passive, putty install.)
Martin Custom Shop 00028c with Fishman.
Martin OM21with HFN (putty.)
Gretsch 5422T
50th Anniversary Fender Am Std Strat.
Home Built "Cusstone" 18 Watt Plexi.

If I played as much as I read threads, I'd be a pro....
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Old 01-25-2020, 05:42 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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I should've asked this in the last post, what exact model is your amp? Ultrasound DS4? DS3? According to the info I read on both of those the high impedance input is only 1Mohm!
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Old 01-25-2020, 05:46 PM
stevecuss stevecuss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarLuva View Post
I should've asked this in the last post, what exact model is your amp? Ultrasound DS4? DS3? According to the info I read on both of those the high impedance input is only 1Mohm!
Mine is the DS3 and I saw above I mistyped it. Yes, it is 1MOHM. Is that considered too low then? I feel that impedance input is the final frontier in my pickup/input education.
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Steve
Mcilroy A25c (Cedar, English Walnut) with Schatten HFN (Passive, putty install.)
Martin Custom Shop 00028c with Fishman.
Martin OM21with HFN (putty.)
Gretsch 5422T
50th Anniversary Fender Am Std Strat.
Home Built "Cusstone" 18 Watt Plexi.

If I played as much as I read threads, I'd be a pro....
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Old 01-25-2020, 05:51 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Originally Posted by stevecuss View Post
Mine is the DS3 and I saw above I mistyped it. Yes, it is 1MOHM. Is that considered too low then? I feel that impedance input is the final frontier in my pickup/input education.
The HFN is 2Mohm which does work fine with my 1Mohm audio interface with no preamp but I also use EQ and effects when I plug into that to shape my tone (or maybe i'm lucky) but in your case I'm willing to bet it would most likely be causing your problem especially since you're fine when using a preamp. When I plug into my amp I don't use a preamp and keep the EQ flat.
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Old 01-25-2020, 05:56 PM
stevecuss stevecuss is offline
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Originally Posted by GuitarLuva View Post
The HFN is 2Mohm which does work fine with my 1Mohm audio interface with no preamp but I also use EQ and effects when I plug into that to shape my tone (or maybe i'm lucky) but in your case I'm willing to bet it would most likely be causing your problem especially since you're fine when using a preamp. When I plug into my amp I don't use a preamp and keep the EQ flat.
That is helpful, thanks. Part of my overall lack of concern is that our church has a slew of decent DIs and preamps that play very nice with the HFN, so I've got all manner of good options when playing there.
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Steve
Mcilroy A25c (Cedar, English Walnut) with Schatten HFN (Passive, putty install.)
Martin Custom Shop 00028c with Fishman.
Martin OM21with HFN (putty.)
Gretsch 5422T
50th Anniversary Fender Am Std Strat.
Home Built "Cusstone" 18 Watt Plexi.

If I played as much as I read threads, I'd be a pro....
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  #15  
Old 01-25-2020, 06:26 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Originally Posted by stevecuss View Post
That is helpful, thanks. Part of my overall lack of concern is that our church has a slew of decent DIs and preamps that play very nice with the HFN, so I've got all manner of good options when playing there.
It's certainly a good idea to always carry a preamp on you with any passive pickup for when you're plugging into the unknown and it sounds like you have that covered in spades. I wouldn't let this amp impedance mismatch bother you!
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