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Old 04-14-2024, 08:27 AM
29er 29er is offline
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Default Baggs HiFi in an Archtop?

I just bought a 2020 Eastman AR804 archtop in which the previous owner had installed a LR Baggs HiFi system. This seems like a curious choice since the sensors attach to the bridge plate in a flat top. An archtop has no bridge plate so I wonder if there is a better choice for my Eastman?

FWIW, the pickup sounds fine when played through a small amp in my living room and it's really a non issue anyhow since I don't gig anymore. I guess I'm wondering if a working player would choose the HiFi for an archtop. I'm also thinking that one could easily install the sensors incorrectly in an archtop since there is no plate or pin holes to guide you in the installation. Pics for attention.
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File Type: jpg AR804 1.jpg (56.7 KB, 79 views)
File Type: jpg AR804 5.jpg (46.0 KB, 81 views)

Last edited by 29er; 04-14-2024 at 08:32 AM. Reason: Adding information
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Old 04-14-2024, 12:13 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 29er View Post
FWIW, the pickup sounds fine when played through a small amp in my living room and it's really a non issue anyhow since I don't gig anymore.
As you said, it's a non-issue.

Best to spend time on other things than looking for problems or finding solutions to non-issues
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Old 04-14-2024, 02:48 PM
29er 29er is offline
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As you said, it's a non-issue.

Best to spend time on other things than looking for problems or finding solutions to non-issues
I absolutely agree. I just wonder what a savvy player or tech would use in this guitar.
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Old 04-15-2024, 11:47 AM
29er 29er is offline
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I reached out to Baggs and they said they had not installed this system in an archtop but there's really no reason it could not work. The only potential issue might be that since you can't use the provided jig to precisely place the sensors there is a decent chance that they could be placed in a less than optimal spot under the bridge.
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Old 04-15-2024, 11:55 AM
PineMarten PineMarten is offline
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Thinking about it, K&K's archtop system is just a pair of disc transducers placed under the soundboard at around the position of the two bridge feet. The HiFi shouldn't be too different from that plus a preamp. With the tape mount it shouldn't be impossible to re-fit if the position isn't quite right, too.

I wonder if you could do something with a couple of strong magnets inside and outside the top to double-check the position?
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Old 04-15-2024, 12:06 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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I wouldn't. Acoustic archtops are acoustic instruments. Trying to amplify them and retain the acoustic sound like we do with a flat top...I dunno...If I wanted to amplify an acoustic archtop and leave the guitar intact, I'd get a floating DeArmond pickup attached, and enjoy the (very different) plugged in sound
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Old 04-15-2024, 05:31 PM
LAPlayer LAPlayer is offline
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It's there, it's working, why remove it unless you need/want a different sound?
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Old 04-16-2024, 03:48 AM
shufflebeat shufflebeat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 29er View Post
I'm wondering if a working player would choose the HiFi for an archtop. I'm also thinking that one could easily install the sensors incorrectly in an archtop since there is no plate or pin holes to guide you in the installation.
My response is based on my experience of putting a K&K Twinspot in a Framus f-hole arch-top with a floating bridge* very similar to the Eastman.

The difference in sound between K&K in a flat-top and in an arch-top is, maybe unsurprisingly, closely correlated to the difference between their respective acoustic sounds, because… they pick up acoustic sound and create an electronic signal based on it. Therefore some of the “unwanted” artefacts which might be apparent to a flat-top lover are actually just the sounds of an arch-top.

Having said that, I found the micro-placement of the K&K elements to be even more critical than my experience with a bridgeplate, a mm either way made an appreciable difference. The upside is that the general area in which you’re trying to find the sweet spot is clearly defined as the feet of the bridge only make contact in specific places.

The sweet spot for me turned out to be slightly outside the direct contact points where the balance between tone and dissonance suggested some kind of “node” in the flexing of the top.

I have no experience with the HiFi but from what I read it seems ideal for the project.

* Subsequent exploration showed this setup is very suitable for processing, IRs produced by Cuki and JonFields of this parish proved some of the most successful I’ve heard.
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Old 04-16-2024, 08:17 AM
29er 29er is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAPlayer View Post
It's there, it's working, why remove it unless you need/want a different sound?
I have no plans or desire to remove it, just thinking about the choice the previous owner made.

The next time I change strings I am going to dig deeper to see how close the sensors are placed in relation to the bridge. I'm curious as to their placement and assume they are directly under the bridge.
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  #10  
Old 04-18-2024, 01:42 AM
woland woland is offline
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Could you post a short clip of the sound, direct?
I'm very interested.
Thanks!
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