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  #31  
Old 01-10-2022, 10:42 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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The thing is....there are normal people who play guitar and then there's the AGF. We are special.

Seriously, there are a ton of repetitive posts here about impedance matching, UST's vs SBT's vs internal mics vs external mics vs everything. The info is here and free. But a lot of casual players, weekend warriors and open mic'ers are not interested in learning anymore - they know enough to plug in, strum some chords, sing some words and get attention. There's no spotlight or attention here.

There are ~750 people on the AGF right now as I write this (119 members and 623 guests). Most users ever online was 9,571 on 07-01-2021 at 01:57 PM. So maybe we have 10,000 people using this forum from the US, UK, Australia, Canada, other countries in Europe, Asia, central and South America. How's that stack up to the total number of guitar players in each of these regions? Are we 10% of all guitar players? 1%? I'd guess even less than that.

So I don't think the OP is wrong in their observation, I think they're just preaching to the choir.
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  #32  
Old 01-11-2022, 06:54 AM
cdkrugjr cdkrugjr is offline
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And Quack is itself a sound . . . Heard on its own, we might think that '70s and '80s piezo sound is trash, but then you hear it in the songs we loved back then. . .

A few years ago Hillsong came out with a live album where, with their resources, included a couple songs with that distinct tone, echoing some of the early Hills Community Church cassette tapes.

They wouldn't have that sound if they didn't want it.
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  #33  
Old 01-11-2022, 08:24 AM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
The thing is....there are normal people who play guitar and then there's the AGF. We are special.

Seriously, there are a ton of repetitive posts here about impedance matching, UST's vs SBT's vs internal mics vs external mics vs everything. The info is here and free. But a lot of casual players, weekend warriors and open mic'ers are not interested in learning anymore - they know enough to plug in, strum some chords, sing some words and get attention. There's no spotlight or attention here.

There are ~750 people on the AGF right now as I write this (119 members and 623 guests). Most users ever online was 9,571 on 07-01-2021 at 01:57 PM. So maybe we have 10,000 people using this forum from the US, UK, Australia, Canada, other countries in Europe, Asia, central and South America. How's that stack up to the total number of guitar players in each of these regions? Are we 10% of all guitar players? 1%? I'd guess even less than that.

So I don't think the OP is wrong in their observation, I think they're just preaching to the choir.
Very well said. We are such a small group and are in no way representative of most musicians. I am sure others who are not members here also hate quack, but they choose to not discuss it for hours haha.

It's funny though, I play with two musicians who are amazing guitarists. Give them a guitar, any guitar and they make it work. The one plays a G series Takamine so not even the palathetic pickup and the other uses a Martin with the Aura installed. Now I know the Aura can sound great, but I don't even think he totally understands what it's for. When they play, I forget the tones they are getting and just focus on their skill. Their tones are not bad by any means, but would probably be shunned around here.
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  #34  
Old 01-11-2022, 09:07 AM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Petty1818 View Post
I will be perfectly honest, I don't even care if I have quack. That's not what bothers me about UST pickups. What bothers me is that they often sound a bit bright/harsh in the high end. I have always struggled to make a UST sound full and round. If I found that in a UST, I would probably be fine.

I do agree though, the audience does not care one bit. I have played live with the Fishman Matrix, Matrix into the Aura spectrum, Amulet, Lyric, Anthem, K&K, HFN etc, and not even my band members noticed the changes. Most musicians simply do not care. A pickup is a pickup.
I agree with this 100%. I despise a thin, harsh, overly bright sound and many UST pickups sound that way without modification. I don't need the ultimate tone to be happy, just something pleasing to my ear, since I have to listen to myself for hours at a time. The audience doesn't care or notice....it's all for your own sake. I have done gigs where I plugged straight into a speaker with zero effects on my guitar and vocals and those gigs were just as well received as any others.
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  #35  
Old 01-11-2022, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Tnfiddler View Post
I know the general public doesn’t care, but I don’t understand how any musician who hears the unplugged tone of their guitar, could so easily accept a metallic, quacky tone! Even before I knew AGF existed and I started being so analytical of tone/strings/picks/capos because of it, I hated a metallic or quacky acoustic tone.
I personally don't care for the sound either BUT
I would suggest you "don't understand", because you are confusing your totally subjective perspective, and personal taste, with some kind of imagined universal acceptable tone goal --and are forgetting that the universe is in fact "relative" Me,,,, I don't understand why anyone would choose vanilla when dark chocolate is available
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  #36  
Old 01-11-2022, 09:24 AM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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I have been close to getting this on a few occasions. My issue is that out of all the IR pedals out there, the Voiceprint tends to sound the least impressive in demoes. I do however think it has the most ability to eq in the proper tone.

The trouble with IR's is simply making them work live. Cool concept, but once on stage, the guitar seems to disappear. I still might try one though as I like that the Voceprint allows for eq of just the IR. That's huge IMO.
The Voiceprint is far from perfected. Maybe next iteration will be better? I tried it and each time I tried creating a IR or "voiceprint", it would be wildly different from the last one. Little changes in phone placement or how you played would cause large disparities in the IR you created. And they all had that "airy", far away sound to them, which doesn't work for live play. JMO though...some people seem to like it.
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  #37  
Old 01-11-2022, 09:58 AM
lkingston lkingston is online now
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The “quack” is worse when the piezo transducer is overdriven. This is why some of us like pickups with individual piezo elements for each string so much. You don’t get the quack when you really dig in. My favorite acoustic pickup systems right now have individual piezo elements for each string, plus a microphone blend. I prefer this to Tonedexter type mic modeling.
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  #38  
Old 01-11-2022, 10:43 AM
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A few months ago, my wife and I went to an America concert in Reno. We're long time America fans and couldn't believe our luck in getting tickets. In anticipation of the show, we listened to our America records over and over again.

When the show finally started, the first thing I notice was the quack of the acoustic guitar. It wans't bad, but it was there. After about 2 songs, I simply didn't hear it any more. My emotional response to the group's wonderful music and the memories the songs dredged up were more than enough to overcome whatever quack was still remaining.

In a similar way, I've noticed that sometimes I don't like the sound of one of my guitars if I haven't been playing it for a long time. My ears have become used to the sound of, say, my Martins so when I first pull out my Gibson J15, it sounds harsh. However, after playing my Gibson for a few hours this perceived "harshness" has disappeared.

Of course, when I then start to play a Martin, it sounds so different that I really don't like its tone. Then, after a couple hours, whatever sound or tone I didn't like has disappeared.

I'm not saying the quack has disappeared, I'm only saying that I just don't notice it any longer.

Human hearing is such a strange and complex thing. What sounds glorious to one person is horrendous to another.

I must also confess that prior to joining AGF, I never knew what "quack" was and never noticed it. Ever.

Not sure this has contributed anything but I thought I'd share.

Best,
PJ
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  #39  
Old 01-11-2022, 11:46 AM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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I've waited a long bit to answer this because I have something of a contrary opinion, and here it is: Life s a compromise. We can't always get everything we want at once. The piezo pickup is a compromise. It is the most reliable, predictable pickup there is. It is the best at rejecting inducted noise and feedback. As a result, for traveling musicians who play in an ensemble, it allows the fastest, most reliable, most trouble-free setup of all the pickups.

It might sound like a conundrum, but the big tours in big venues come with their own big challenges such as terrible acoustics in sports arenas alternating with huge boomy theaters. For those circumstances you need reliable sound as much as you need good sound, and that's why traveling artists sometimes use piezos and work around their quack.

Bob
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  #40  
Old 01-11-2022, 03:26 PM
lkingston lkingston is online now
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I used to do live sound for a living (before my ears gave out). Mostly I was at the sound board, but I also did load ins and load outs as a regular stage hand on larger shows for extra money. I learned from that that not everything you see in a big show is as it seems!

Often that “rack of guitar amps” that you see in the rock and Christian rock shows is really just a stage prop. A single monolith that is bolted together to be easily moved with a forklift. It would look like a rack of Mesa Boogie (or whatever the sponsorship deal was) amps from the front, but from the back you could see that it was just a mostly empty large frame with a single speaker in one corner. The brand on that one speaker would be something like EV. Utilitarian and easy to replace if it got damaged.

I agree with Bob that shows like this are not about producing the best audio. Most of us play in smaller venues where feedback, quick loading, and using particular sponsored equipment that we may not actually like are not concerns. Many of us actually get far better acoustic guitar sound than what is practical in a large venue.
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  #41  
Old 01-11-2022, 03:27 PM
lkingston lkingston is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photojeep View Post
A few months ago, my wife and I went to an America concert in Reno. We're long time America fans and couldn't believe our luck in getting tickets. In anticipation of the show, we listened to our America records over and over again.

When the show finally started, the first thing I notice was the quack of the acoustic guitar. It wans't bad, but it was there. After about 2 songs, I simply didn't hear it any more. My emotional response to the group's wonderful music and the memories the songs dredged up were more than enough to overcome whatever quack was still remaining.

In a similar way, I've noticed that sometimes I don't like the sound of one of my guitars if I haven't been playing it for a long time. My ears have become used to the sound of, say, my Martins so when I first pull out my Gibson J15, it sounds harsh. However, after playing my Gibson for a few hours this perceived "harshness" has disappeared.

Of course, when I then start to play a Martin, it sounds so different that I really don't like its tone. Then, after a couple hours, whatever sound or tone I didn't like has disappeared.

I'm not saying the quack has disappeared, I'm only saying that I just don't notice it any longer.

Human hearing is such a strange and complex thing. What sounds glorious to one person is horrendous to another.

I must also confess that prior to joining AGF, I never knew what "quack" was and never noticed it. Ever.

Not sure this has contributed anything but I thought I'd share.

Best,
PJ


I have the opposite reaction over time. I don’t necessarily notice crappy piezo sound right away. But as the show goes on, it starts to bug me, and by the time it’s over, I can barely stand it! Just sayin’…
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  #42  
Old 01-11-2022, 04:33 PM
Tnfiddler Tnfiddler is offline
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Originally Posted by lkingston View Post
I have the opposite reaction over time. I don’t necessarily notice crappy piezo sound right away. But as the show goes on, it starts to bug me, and by the time it’s over, I can barely stand it! Just sayin’…

I couldn’t “unhear” the quack the other day, myself! I know there have been lots of very rational answers for why it’s accepted and all, but I guess I’ll just always be obsessive about my own plugged-in sound and roll with it.
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  #43  
Old 01-11-2022, 08:44 PM
lkingston lkingston is online now
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With piezo, the louder you dig in, the more it quacks. As I said a few posts back, individual elements on each string really minimize this. So does a mic blend. A Matrix pickup isn’t too bad even though it’s one element.

One thing that sounds really great and is easy is using a mic on the guitar along with the pickup and blending the two. A Shure SM57 works fine. It actually sounds wonderful. A built in mic blend doesn’t sound any better. It’s just easier.
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  #44  
Old 01-11-2022, 08:55 PM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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I can't say I have ever been to a live show where a UST pickup/quack had any impact on my enjoyment. If anything, I often think, "why can't I get my UST to sound that good!"

What really ruins my night though is an acoustic guitar player who uses chorus. Might be the worst tone I have ever heard. I love chorus, but please don't use it on every song!
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  #45  
Old 01-12-2022, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by lkingston View Post
With piezo, the louder you dig in, the more it quacks. As I said a few posts back, individual elements on each string really minimize this. So does a mic blend....
+1... exactly right! This is why I like Takamine’s Palathetic pickup and their preamps. I dig in and sometimes I’m rocking a Bad Company or Zep tune and the Tak doesn’t quack, sounds really good. If I’m not using the Tak system I much prefer a mag to dig in and for finger style as well. I’ve had good stage and studio success with the Baggs M1a, M80 and currently the DeArmond Tone Boss which has become my fav!
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