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  #1  
Old 12-11-2018, 02:49 PM
IH8FRETBUZZ IH8FRETBUZZ is offline
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Default Passive Under saddle vs K and K mini

I want a passive pickup to use with a tonewod amp. I tried a LRBaggs active sound hole pickup and there was way to much feedback for this application. I have a cheap Fishman sound hole passive pickup and it sounds good. Just donít like the pickup mounted in the sound hole. Was thinking either a K and K mini or an under saddle but Iím still searching for the right one. Donít really need anything for speaker monitors etc. just for the tonewood amp.
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Old 12-11-2018, 04:19 PM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Its been decades since I've owned a guitar with the ceramic crystal Fishman passive piezo pickup. I recall the polymer Matrix and Element, which require a preamp inside the guitar, were a big step up. If it was between what I remember of that passive piezo UST and more recent experience with a K&K, then the K&K is the clear winner.

If avoiding a battery is your issue, then the Mi-Si Trio I use is another option that is competitive with a Baggs Element. It uses a super capacitor that you charge in about a minute for 18 hours of play.

For top dollar, the Barbera Soloist replaces your bridge saddle and is reported to be an excellent sounding pickup that can work passively.
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Old 12-11-2018, 04:25 PM
6L6 6L6 is offline
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All of my acoustics have K&K's installed. i love 'em!
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Old 12-11-2018, 04:30 PM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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I highly recommend this passive undersaddle pickup.

https://opentosourcesensors.com/prod...saddle-pickups

The caveat is that your Tonewood amp would probably need an input impedance of at least 2 or 3Mohms for best results. Some of the passive undersaddle pickups out there require a 10 Mohm input impedance for best results.

I took a quick look at the Tonewood Amp manual but didn't see a reference to input impedance. Its probably in the neighborhood of 1Mohm if its designed to be used with mag pickups. The OTSS pickup will work with that, but it might sound a bit trebly. (You could inquire about that to OTSS's pickup designer, David Enke.)


What's puzzling me is why you believe a passive undersaddle pickup would be less susceptable to feedback than an active system. Undersaddle pickups in general are inherently a bit more feedback prone than magnetic pickups. If feedback is an issue with the Tonewood amp, that may be why its bundled with a magnetic pickup.


An advantage of the Pure Mini would be that it works well with an input impedance of 1Mohm or as little as half that in some cases. With respect to feedback issues, however, it would be more troublesome than a magnetic pickup or an undersaddle pickup.

By the way, the issue with the Baggs M1 or Baggs M80 is not that they are active pickups (in some cases). They are a little more feedback prone than a pure mag pickup because they are hybrid pickups which respond to soundboard vibrations as well as string vibrations.

Last edited by guitaniac; 12-11-2018 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 12-11-2018, 04:43 PM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Jon mentioned the Barbera Soloist, and that one does indeed resist feedback well (because of its unique design) and it works well with a 1Mohm input impedance. The downsides are the high price and the need for expert installation.

http://www.barberatransducers.com/guitar_pickups.html
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Old 12-11-2018, 04:51 PM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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I should mention that I've used the Barbera Soloist, the K&K Pure Mini and the OTSS UST. For my taste, the OTSS pickup is the best sounding one and the Soloist is the least feedback prone of the three. The OTSS pickup is the one which I'm still using, and I currently have them in two guitars.

Last edited by guitaniac; 12-11-2018 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:31 AM
IH8FRETBUZZ IH8FRETBUZZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitaniac View Post
I highly recommend this passive undersaddle pickup.

https://opentosourcesensors.com/prod...saddle-pickups

The caveat is that your Tonewood amp would probably need an input impedance of at least 2 or 3Mohms for best results. Some of the passive undersaddle pickups out there require a 10 Mohm input impedance for best results.

I took a quick look at the Tonewood Amp manual but didn't see a reference to input impedance. Its probably in the neighborhood of 1Mohm if its designed to be used with mag pickups. The OTSS pickup will work with that, but it might sound a bit trebly. (You could inquire about that to OTSS's pickup designer, David Enke.)


What's puzzling me is why you believe a passive undersaddle pickup would be less susceptable to feedback than an active system. Undersaddle pickups in general are inherently a bit more feedback prone than magnetic pickups. If feedback is an issue with the Tonewood amp, that may be why its bundled with a magnetic pickup.


An advantage of the Pure Mini would be that it works well with an input impedance of 1Mohm or as little as half that in some cases. With respect to feedback issues, however, it would be more troublesome than a magnetic pickup or an undersaddle pickup.

By the way, the issue with the Baggs M1 or Baggs M80 is not that they are active pickups (in some cases). They are a little more feedback prone than a pure mag pickup because they are hybrid pickups which respond to soundboard vibrations as well as string vibrations.

I donít really know much about pickups or the physics of their capabilities etc. the reason I was thinking a passive is because the active LRBaggs M80 had a major feedback issue. Also I have another guitar with a Fishman under saddle with an active preamp and same problem. However when I use a soundhole mounted Fishman passive pickup ( Neo D ) it works great with the tonewood amp. I just donít like a pickup mounted in the sound hole because itís kind of an interference for finger style playing, at least for me it is.

Just donít want to glue a K and K mini on my guitar and find out it has feedback issues with the tonewood amp also.
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:50 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IH8FRETBUZZ View Post
I donít really know much about pickups or the physics of their capabilities etc. the reason I was thinking a passive is because the active LRBaggs M80 had a major feedback issue. Also I have another guitar with a Fishman under saddle with an active preamp and same problem. However when I use a soundhole mounted Fishman passive pickup ( Neo D ) it works great with the tonewood amp. I just donít like a pickup mounted in the sound hole because itís kind of an interference for finger style playing, at least for me it is.

Just donít want to glue a K and K mini on my guitar and find out it has feedback issues with the tonewood amp also.
Your feedback experience with those three pickups is a bit unusual and they are three good choices if feedback suppression is one of your primary concerns. I am certain that the fact that the NeoD was the best of the three has nothing to do with passive/active and for most people a SBT like a K&K would be more feedback prone than any of those three options you already have tried.
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  #9  
Old 12-12-2018, 09:27 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Providing that it will fit at the end of your fretboard, here's a tiny mag pickup which won't block your soundhole.

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/acce...-endpin-preamp


I'm personally unfamiliar with the ToneWood Amp and why it presents such a feedback problem, but if a mag pickup is necessary for best results, then an active mag (like the one above) shouldn't be any more feedback prone than a passive mag.


No matter what pickup you use, you won't be able to get an unlimited amount of gain from the system. There are many ways to discourage feedback (phase inverting, notching problem frequencies, preamps with automatic feedback zappers). Sometimes its enough to just turn the level down a bit and play harder.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IH8FRETBUZZ View Post
I want a passive pickup to use with a tonewod amp. I tried a LRBaggs active sound hole pickup and there was way to much feedback for this application. I have a cheap Fishman sound hole passive pickup and it sounds good. Just donít like the pickup mounted in the sound hole. Was thinking either a K and K mini or an under saddle but Iím still searching for the right one. Donít really need anything for speaker monitors etc. just for the tonewood amp.
HiÖIH8itTOo!

The k&K can be used without a preamp and it still sounds good in a PA. If you add a preamp, it can sound much better (more guitar-like). I'd never want to use an under saddle without a preamp.


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Old 12-12-2018, 09:41 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Seems to me what you really need is a preamp with a low cut filter, a phase switch, and a notch filter. Likely the NeoD was out of phase with the other two pickups and for your set up that made it more feedback resistant.
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:11 AM
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I've used a K&K pure mini through a TWA with great results. I currently use both a JJB 330 and whatever Journey Instruments' propriety SBT unit is through a TWA , also with great results. Every SBT I've tried has worked very nicely.

The input impedance on the TWA is around 500k ohms. The main thing to remember to do with the TWA is to go to Global Settings and set the Master Gain for whatever guitar you attempt to set up. Up to 5 guitars can set up and stored on the device. I'm personally a fan of the TWA but as they say, "YMMV".
If you still get feedback you simply dial down the gain, very easy to do on the fly- even mid song.

Here is a sound sample of my Journey OF660 being played through the TWA with a touch of delay. Use headphones for best results.

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Old 12-12-2018, 10:17 AM
MrErikJ MrErikJ is offline
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I typically suggest, based on playing style, either the K&K or the Baggs M1/M80. I think they're both pretty versatile and work for most players. If the Baggs didn't work for you, give the K&K a shot. They also have a mag you can wire in combo with it.

It partly depends on playing style but I usually recommend USTs to fingerpickers or players who want a little more string definition and presence. I think the K&K is pretty versatile as it sounds good strummed or fingerpicked, tho for my playing style, I would want to add a UST or Mag to give the strings more presence. But on its own, USTs don't sound great for heavy strummers (unless you're in a band mix). EQ is important for the K&K as it has a heavy low-mid response.
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Old 12-12-2018, 04:42 PM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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If steelvibe (Sean) is correct about the TWA'a input impedance being 500Kohms, it obviously wasn't designed to accommodate a passive undersaddle pickup. A passive mag pickup, a passive Pure Mini or any active system are still decent options if you're connecting directly to the TWA. (With most passive undersaddle pickups, you'd need an outboard preamp between the guitar and the TWA to get a full and pleasing tone.)

If you are just amplifying for your own enjoyment at home, steelvibe's suggestion to use headphones would certainly enable you to avoid feedback problems, whatever the pickup.

If you're looking to amplify loudly in a venue somewhere, that's a whole different ballgame.


In what situation are you having the feedback problems? I can tell you from experience that a Baggs M80 is a lot less feedback prone than a Pure Mini soundboard pickup. If you.re having problems with the M80, don't expect to be able to do the exact same procedure and have no problems with the Pure Mini.

Last edited by guitaniac; 12-13-2018 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 12-12-2018, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitaniac View Post
If steelvibe (Andy) is correct about the TWA'a input impedance being 500Kohms, it obviously wasn't designed to accommodate a passive undersaddle pickup. A passive mag pickup, a passive Pure Mini or any active system are still decent options if you're connecting directly to the TWA. (With most passive undersaddle pickups, you'd need an outboard preamp between the guitar and the TWA to get a full and pleasing tone.)

If you are just amplifying for your own enjoyment at home, steelvibe's suggestion to use headphones would certainly enable you to avoid feedback problems, whatever the pickup.

If you're looking to amplify loudly in a venue somewhere, that's a whole different ballgame.


In what situation are you having the feedback problems? I can tell you from experience that a Baggs M80 is a lot less feedback prone than a Pure Mini soundboard pickup. If you.re having problems with the M80, don't expect to be able to do the exact same procedure and have no problems with the Pure Mini.

Thanks guitarniac for your response!

The information regarding the input impedance of the TWA is accurate unless the TWA employee who responded directly to my inquiry is misinformed.

The reason I say to listen with headphones is not to suppress feedback during use but rather to demonstrate the quality of sound an SBT pushes through the TWA (a direct response to whether a K&K will work, and the answer is yes). The sound you hear is the effect of the TWA coming out of the sound hole of my guitar and being picked up by a Zoom H2n.

For live situations you can control feedback using the onboard notch filters and further mitigate feedback problems with a rubber feedback suppressor. The effects are still usable in DI mode but go direct to your stage amp or FOH while bypassing the guitar chamber as the point of amplification. In my view these are cool devices that are well thought out and not the novelty item many think they are. But... there is a bit of a learning curve.
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Last edited by steelvibe; 12-12-2018 at 09:26 PM. Reason: added information
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