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  #16  
Old 12-15-2021, 02:47 PM
capefisherman capefisherman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jklotz View Post
If you haven't already, try putting the guitar channel of the s1 pro on the mic setting.

This! ALWAYS use the mic settings on my S1's, far superior to the guitar setting.
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  #17  
Old 12-23-2021, 01:15 AM
sashapak sashapak is offline
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Hi guys,

Thank you all for your inputs and sharing the experience!

So, I've just got myself a Grace Design BiX and I'm finding it does make the K&K Pure Mini in my Eastman sound better. It's like there's more flesh and clarity in the notes.

The closest analogy is the feeling I got when I upgraded from my Shure Beta 58 vocal mic to Neumann KMS 105 - there's more detail and it sounds better.

I don't know if I should try out the Alix. I think for now, I'll keep the Bix and see whether I truly need an Alix.

If any of you have had experience with Alix vs Bix - please share.

Interestingly, I don't feel like Bix is adding much to my Cole Clark guitar. There's actually some humming noise with the Cole Clark's active pickup that goes away if I reduce the volume/gain on either Bix or Cole Clark. I think Cole Clark can stand on its own without an external preamp.

Thanks again and happy holidays!
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  #18  
Old 12-27-2021, 05:07 AM
sashapak sashapak is offline
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Hi guys,

Thanks for all your inputs and advice!

I've decided to do a short gear review/test with K&K Pure Mini + NUX B5RC 2.4Ghz Wireless system and Grace Design BiX preamp.

https://youtu.be/-4sRp3TDEM0

Let me know what you think. I'm gonna keep them all, but am also pondering if I should try out the Grace Design Alix )))
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  #19  
Old 12-27-2021, 09:48 AM
southbeck southbeck is offline
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Is there no Mid control on the Bix preamp? That seems really weird. One of the things the k&k often needs is a mid-cut. And a sweepable mid control is one of the most important controls on a preamp for acoustic guitar, I would say..

Are you using the preamp with a converter to get the right 1m input for the k&k? Like this one:

https://gracedesign.com/product/bix-...edance-adaptor
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  #20  
Old 12-27-2021, 05:27 PM
sashapak sashapak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southbeck View Post
Is there no Mid control on the Bix preamp? That seems really weird. One of the things the k&k often needs is a mid-cut. And a sweepable mid control is one of the most important controls on a preamp for acoustic guitar, I would say..

Are you using the preamp with a converter to get the right 1m input for the k&k? Like this one:

https://gracedesign.com/product/bix-...edance-adaptor
No, there's no mid control. I've noticed that I can get rid of the low end hum from my Eastman by rolling off the bass.

Thank you for the link to the converter, didn't know about it. They don't have shipping to Australia on the website, I just sent them an email asking about it.

I believe the wireless transmitter pack does act in some way as the impedance converter - I watched a Youtube video where it was mentioned that the wireless packs provide 1 Ohm impedance.
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  #21  
Old 01-01-2022, 02:02 PM
sashapak sashapak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capefisherman View Post
I have used both. After going down just about every rabbit hole in Pick-Up Land (although I have not tried the James May system) and more electronic enhancers than I can even remember, I keep coming back to the K&K, which I've used in at least three dozen guitars over the last 10 or so years (multiple Martins of various sizes and materials, Taylors, Gibsons, Larivee's, others....). BUT, it became quickly obvious years ago that while the sound of the K&K is passable when run direct into an amp or PA, using a pre-amp is (IMO) vital to get the best possible sound, and yes, I am one of those who is probably MUCH to critical of what I hear. More than once I have left a venue with some guy wailing away on some poor defenseless Takamine plugged into a crappy PA.

Over the 10+ years I've been using K&K-equipped guitars I tried many pre-amps. The one made by K&K is just too harsh to my ears but I do still use one on occasion because I play lots of outdoor gigs in the summer.....beach weddings are a big thing here on Cape Cod. Used a Red Eye too for many years; better than the K&K pre-amp but still not *quite* the natural smooth sound I was seeking. There were various Baggs boxes that came and went and others I can't recall.

Then I bit the expensive bullet and bought a Grace Alix. Wow. It took me a while to dial in the sound I was seeking but finally found it: clear, clean treble end and mids, no more of the boomy bass that is something that must be dealt with using a K&K, rugged as a tank. Unless there is no power available, I cannot imagine performing without it!!

FWIW, I use a pair of Bose S1 Pro's and play a Bourgeois OM, Martin M-36, and a Martin Custom Shop Seth Avett D-35. These are all rosewood bodies but my most recent mahogany guitar (recent Martin D-18) also sounded fantastic with a K&K and the electronics listed above.

Yes, the Grace Alix is expensive. Yes, it requires AC power. And yes, there is a bit of a learning curve. But for me anyway, it is so, so worth it. At my regular cafe gig I get compliments but about every week from listeners and other musicians on the quality/fidelity of the sound. If there is any way for you to try out your guitar with an Alix, I strongly urge you to do it! Or even buy one from a place like Sweetwater who has a no questions asked 30-day return policy.

Good luck! Those rabbit holes can be very, very deep.....

Gene
Hi Gene,

So I got myself an Alix Now I have a BiX and an Alix. To my ears, acoustically the difference is very small, but Alix does offer more flexibility when it comes to dialling the bass and getting rid of feedback.

I need to spend more time with it to really see how I can further tweak it. I like the variable impedance switch as well.

Quick follow up question regarding further pedals: what reverb and compressor pedals do you use, if any? Actually, what other pedals do you use in combo with Alix?

Many thanks in advance!
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  #22  
Old 01-01-2022, 09:28 PM
tadol tadol is offline
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Those are great preamps, but justifying the cost of those, vs James Mays Ultratonic upgrade, is almost impossible for me to understand. I hope someday to get a chance to play a nice K&K equipped guitar thru an Alix, but it would have to seriously blow me away to make me feel that I wouldn’t have been better served with an Ultratonic and maybe a nice effects pedal for a similar cost. One thing I’ve taken for granted is the ability to plug into a board, an amp, or a powered speaker and have a great sound without feedback and without having to even really think about it -
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  #23  
Old 01-02-2022, 01:29 AM
sashapak sashapak is offline
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Thank you Tadol,

If you get a chance to try one at a store or a friend's, I'd recommend it.

I think the quality jump is quite noticeable to my ears even with BiX. Actually, I haven't noticed a significant increase in quality from BiX to Alix. It's like the sound is more high fidelity, notes are more separated from each other and there's no boominess. The sound is very pleasant to listen to.

My justification is that if I get another good acoustic guitar down the line and install a K&K in it, it'll work out cheaper than installing something like LR Baggs Anthems in each.

I'm still not decided whether I need/want to keep both. I got both on a used market in very good condition. I'd recommend you look into that too.

I'm curious about Ultra Tonic and may get one still as my Eastman E10SS is a keeper and I want to get the most out of it. It's my first really good guitar and I have emotional attachment to it more than to my 2nd guitar - the Cole Clark, which looks great and sounds great plugged in, but I still feel more at home with Eastman.
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  #24  
Old 01-02-2022, 09:42 AM
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ljguitar ljguitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadol View Post
…One thing I’ve taken for granted is the ability to plug into a board, an amp, or a powered speaker and have a great sound without feedback and without having to even really think about it -
Hi tadol…
I'm glad you have found that.

I considered the 'alteration' but with the ToneDexter have found it unnecessary. I also didn't want to mess with updating 5 instruments. They all have a passive K&K dual source (K&K Mini plus K&K old-style mic) already. Since the ToneDexter works great with just the K&K Pure Mini (especially after the update which identifies and gives one control over feedback prone spikes) it is more amazing than two years ago when I received it as a Christmas gift.

Actually with my dual source K&K passive rigs still installed, I can pop the mic into place and using any of my preamps (Raven PMB II, DTAR Solstice, belt pack K&K dual source preamp) nearly instantly get very natural acoustic tone without feedback. It doesn't come up to the level of the ToneDexter, but it's better than most other systems I've listened to.

There are many ways to accomplish the same (or similar enough) end results. And when I'm honest, my live sound is first for me, second for acoustic players who know the difference in the audience.At age 73, the ToneDexter is likely my last attempt to get my guitar to sound more like my guitar live.

The vast majority of people who hear me play don't care as long as it sounds like a guitar.




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Last edited by ljguitar; 01-02-2022 at 09:46 AM. Reason: touched a couple thoughts a bit…
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  #25  
Old 01-02-2022, 02:00 PM
Tnfiddler Tnfiddler is offline
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I was using my D41 and it’s K&K/Ultrasound DI Plus, at church this morning and no matter what I did, my guitar sounded Quacky through the monitor. I grabbed and then ran my Boss AD2 in between my Volume pedal and DI and it immediately warmed up the guitar and took the quack out of it. Those two in sequence seem to work really well to tweak the sound of a K&K.
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  #26  
Old 01-03-2022, 06:14 PM
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I've used both together: K&K + Anthem

You'd run both signals out a stereo jack, then mix them with a Felix or Helix or something like that. I been using a Helix and/or Stomp to mix dual sourced guitars for 5+ years.
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  #27  
Old 01-23-2022, 01:34 PM
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I also have an Eastman E10SS.
My K&K mini sounds great, WHEN paired with a Redeye preamp, that is.

The Eastman only really came alive with a new setup that also had me now using Medium D'Addarios.... the guitar is incredibly more resonant and live than it was prior to this (my tech said, 'this isn't a guitar yet'). SO much better, it became a true keeper

The thing also for me about the UST pickups like the Anthem is I think they really can rob acoustic tone. I had the full Anthem on my Santa cruz OM/PW - and when final tore it out (to replace with K&K) the acoustic tone was noticeably better for not having that UST pickup under the saddle.
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  #28  
Old 02-02-2022, 07:17 PM
varmonter varmonter is offline
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Id rip out that kk install the anthem.
And buy a Grace felix. The anthem
Being a dual source ..if you use a stereo
Cord and plug it into ch 2 of the
Felix it will split the mic and pickup signal
To ch 1 and 2. You can eq each independantly
And blend..more mic in quiet settings
More pickup in louder settings.
I love the sound of the kk until
things get loud ..it (kk) never worked
For me in a band setting..and never
Worked for me at open mics.
Just my opinion but i dove down the
Kk rabbit hole for years and bought felix
And all sorts of outboard gear to
No avail..just couldnt get it consistant
At gigs...drove me nuts. Then i read
One day about the exponential response
Of a soundboard pup and realized
once it got loud my guitar top was vibrating
To the bass and drums and anything
Else in the room crowd etc..and the kk
Would pick that up as well..just a nightmare.
I still think they have a great sound
Just has to be quiet..
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  #29  
Old 02-12-2022, 12:28 AM
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This is a fascinating discussion, but I must say, way over my head. Most days I have trouble finding the power button.

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