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  #1  
Old 07-17-2015, 03:21 PM
alexcinca alexcinca is offline
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Default Acoustic guitar live + 2 pickups installed: LR Baggs M80 & Anthem. Many questions

Okay. Tricky one. But I'm in the right place to ask it. You clever.

I've got a Martin. No pickup. I'm gonna install:

- LR Baggs M80, soundhole pickup, humbucker.
- LR Baggs Anthem, piezo + mic

Both of them of course having their own endpin Jack waiting for me to alter my beautiful guitar.

2 questions here, but interdependent.

My intention: Live performance. Anthem for fingerpicking and clean in general. M80 to add distortion, boosting when needed, effects in general.

I accept recommendations regarding feedback issues and the best way to combine these two sweet pups regarding the sound (for example: does anyone know if Anthem would be good at being distorted or run through pedals?)

And related to that, but more specifically:

-What do you think I should do?
-Is there a way of combining the two pups into one signal and run it through one bigger cable (a cable that exists in the market ).
- Do you think given the characteristics of the pickups itd be better to run two separate signals and alternate between them on stage depending on the sound I want to obtain?
- Would these two combined signals give me a thicker and more coloured and versatile sound or would they be fighting each other, especially regarding feedback. For instance, if running the combined signal through distortion.
- Since I guess Anthem is not suited for the distortion/boost task (or at least not in the way the M80 is), then two separate signals might be best but:
a) Two separate signals that are combined inside the guitar (therefore one single hole) but later split outside the guitar through one pedal, and then running through two different sets and therefore amplifiers
b) Two separate signals since the beginning. Two holes for my Martin. Pure Caitlyn Jenner transformation.

- And what about the amplifiers?


Is there anything else worth asking that I've missed when transcribing the Bible?

Guys, so many questions, and I can't pay you. Thatd go against the spirit of this beautiful site. Not that I'm poor.
But I'll remember you in my prayers to LR Baggs CEO.

PS: If you dont know what im talking about. Check this. 4:40 when he switches
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYPCYboEpmk
Sometimes he uses soundhole pickups sometimes he doesn't. I guess with proper volume piezo + mic can be distorted without feedback.

Some experience?
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  #2  
Old 07-17-2015, 04:08 PM
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Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexcinca View Post
-Is there a way of combining the two pups into one signal and run it through one bigger cable (a cable that exists in the market ).
Sort of, if you want to get into some custom work. I assume you have the full Anthem, not the SL. If so, the full Anthem comes with a mono, power switched jack. The M80 also uses a power switched jack, since it's an active pickup, but it can also be run in passive mode. I'm not sure what type of jack it has, I'll assume it's also mono. So, you can get a stereo jack (Fishman/Switchcraft) and do one of:

Wire the Anthem to the tip (or ring) and the power switch
Wire the M80 to the other (ring or tip), and just use it in passive mode

You'll be throwing away the jacks that come with the Anthem and M80, and you won't be able to use the M80 in active mode.

Or

Try to power switch both pickups, running off the same batter. I've never tried this, and it seems iffy to me, but others here have reported they've done it.

Another approach is to stick to purely passive mags, M1 passive, Sunrise, etc, so you completely avoid the issue of combining 2 active pickups to start with, and don't feel like you're losing anything by not being able to use the M80 in active mode..

in any case, then you just use a stereo guitar cable, readily available at GC, etc, into a preamp that accepts a stereo cable, or get a Y-cable, TRS (stereo) on one end, 2 mono plugs on the other end, and plug in to anything with 2 channels.

On your other questions, I think you'll just have to try and see. I don't know why the Anthem wouldn't work into distortion, but it all depends on the sound you want. A mag will certainly sound more "electric". But people do use USTs and dual source systems - Phil Keaggy rocks out with his Baggs Dual source pickup thru an overdrive, for example. Will more pickups give you a better sound? Hard to say, again. It's tempting to use as many pickups as you can. I've at times had 4 different sources on my guitar. It wasn't always better - sometimes more complexity is just more complexity. Simpler can be better, too.
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Old 07-17-2015, 05:02 PM
alexcinca alexcinca is offline
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Thank you so much for the detailed reply.
Definitely ruling out passive mode option, I'm gonna dig into the stereo and Y cable possibility.
The fact of combining both signals was based on the assumption that together they would be adding up somehow regarding the sound but now that I think of it, having two different cables and two holes is not that big of a deal.

Doug, could you explain about those times you had 4 different sources on your guitar? Did you use four different amps?
Is it possible to run the 2 different signals through 2 different chains of pedals and then mix them together into the same amp? Or does the different nature of M80 and Anthem require two different kind of amps?

So many questions... :S
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Old 07-17-2015, 05:17 PM
lschwart lschwart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexcinca View Post
Thank you so much for the detailed reply.
Definitely ruling out passive mode option, I'm gonna dig into the stereo and Y cable possibility.
The fact of combining both signals was based on the assumption that together they would be adding up somehow regarding the sound but now that I think of it, having two different cables and two holes is not that big of a deal.

Doug, could you explain about those times you had 4 different sources on your guitar? Did you use four different amps?
Is it possible to run the 2 different signals through 2 different chains of pedals and then mix them together into the same amp? Or does the different nature of M80 and Anthem require two different kind of amps?

So many questions... :S
How are you planning to get the distortion? Will you be using a pedal that creates the effect itself or will you be using a boosted signal to overdrive an electric guitar amp?

Louis
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Old 07-17-2015, 05:17 PM
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The only way you'll be able to use a single stereo or Y-cable with 2 active pickups is if you can figure out how to power switch them both with a single jack. Some people here have done it, I've never tried. I suspect most people who want to combine 2 active pickups end up with 2 jacks, and 2 cables.

My 4 source setup was K&K+Duncan MagMic +DPA 4099 (clip on external mic). The MagMic blends a mic+mag right on the pickup. I ran the (passive) K&K to the tip of a TRS jack, the MagMic to the ring. I plugged in a stereo SPS-1 end-pin preamp module with volume and balance into 1 channel of the SPS-1 rack. It's a feature of the SPS-1 that you can use the module as a blender into a single channel. So with that, I could control relative volumes between the K&K and MagMic, and on the MagMic itself, I could control how much Mag vs mic I had. Then the DPA 4099 had it's own cable (no end-pin jack - the mic's on the outside of the guitar) that I ran into the 2nd SPS-1 rack channel.

So 4 sources, 2 rack preamp channels with parametric EQ with blend between channels, volume and blend in the end-pin preamp, volume and blend on the MagMic. Lots to control and keep track of. It sounded OK, but so does a K&K+mic, or a MagMic alone, or the DPA 4099 alone.

There are other ways to use lots of pickups. David Wilcox uses (or at least used at some point) 2 Pendulum SPS-1's slaved together somehow, I assume with a least 2 end-pin jacks. Thomas Leeb often uses many pickups, using multiple end-pin jacks, just running into a multi-channel mixer. and so on.
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Old 07-17-2015, 06:56 PM
midwinter midwinter is offline
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If I were you, I'd run two lines out of the guitar and into two separate effects chains.
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Old 07-17-2015, 07:27 PM
Gypsyblue Gypsyblue is offline
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To the OP: If I were you I'd install one pickup or the other but not both.

What you're proposing is just unnecessary and will be needlessly complicated to work with on a gig...although some of us, including myself, have done it.

I didn't think it was worth it.

To my way of thinking, what you're considering doing is the kind of thing a beginner with more theory about how things might sound than actual experience with how they actually do sound, might think up.

So don't do that to your Martin.

My guess is that you won't and that this is all a pipe dream.
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Last edited by Gypsyblue; 07-17-2015 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 07-17-2015, 09:32 PM
midwinter midwinter is offline
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I understand why you'd say that. I ran dual-source rigs for a long time, mostly as a way of compensating for various weaknesses, and it was a PITA.

But OP seems to have a pretty specific need: have an acoustic guitar most of the time that he/she can overdrive when needed. There's no reason that you couldn't run one pickup through a drive pedal and accomplish that. You could even have a pretty good acoustic sound out of the pickup combination and then just distort/effect one part of it.
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:20 AM
alexcinca alexcinca is offline
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Thank you guys. I think you're bringing me down to Earth. Very interesting experience Doug, even if I haven't even half of those resources available.
You're right, I've never amplified an acoustic properly, and I'm basing my assumptions on forums and YouTube.
I guess M80 will be enough then, even if the clean sound is quite unpleasant to my ears...

Last edited by alexcinca; 07-18-2015 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:24 AM
alexcinca alexcinca is offline
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Originally Posted by lschwart View Post
How are you planning to get the distortion? Will you be using a pedal that creates the effect itself or will you be using a boosted signal to overdrive an electric guitar amp?

Louis
I guess I'd go for distortion pedal, but I haven't tried the other option on amplified acoustic... is it better?
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexcinca View Post
Thank you guys. I think you're bringing me down to Earth. Very interesting experience Doug, even if I haven't even half of those resources available.
You're right, I've never amplified an acoustic properly, and I'm basing my assumptions on forums and YouTube.
I guess M80 will be enough then, even if the clean sound is quite unpleasant to my ears...
If you're just getting started, definitely go slow, step at a time. You may be surprised in either direction as to what it's really like. It takes a long time and experience in different settings to know what works for you. And even then, things will work well one night, and not the next.

Also keep in mind that what *really* matters most is the sound system. A great (and I mean something beyond the means of most individual players) PA with a good sound person in a good room will make just about any pickup sound really good. A bad PA with a bad sound guy in a bad room will make the best pickup sound bad. It's all about the entire signal chain (including your fingers), and the pickup's a relatively small part of that. If you want to invest in some gear to be sure you sound good, I'd start with the best PA system you can afford (and are willing to cart around)
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:49 PM
lschwart lschwart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexcinca View Post
I guess I'd go for distortion pedal, but I haven't tried the other option on amplified acoustic... is it better?
With acoustic, you're better off with a pedal that creates the sound and then playing though an "acoustic" amp or full-range PA speaker (or PA system). Less chance of feedback because you don't have to hit a boost to overdrive the amp, and you don't have to run a dedicated electric guitar amp for just the distortion (an amp that gets you that sound isn't likely to be right for the more acoustic sound you also want to have available). But, strictly speaking, it's doable either way, as long as you're happy with the sound you get.

Good luck with finding the right balance between the range of sounds you want to make and a reasonable level of simplicity! Tricky, for sure!

Louis
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Old 07-18-2015, 01:08 PM
midwinter midwinter is offline
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One other, perhaps comparably-priced option, is just to get a guitar like a Godin A6 Ultra. You could run the bucker out to an electric chain and the piezo out to an acoustic one.
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Old 07-18-2015, 05:29 PM
alexcinca alexcinca is offline
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Thank you so much. Let's put this into practice
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:17 PM
Isrvel Isrvel is offline
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Hey Alex, I know it's been quite a long time since this post, but did you ever see this?

Worsham & LR Baggs

Doing that on my acoustic now...
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