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Old 03-01-2020, 09:17 AM
J Patrick J Patrick is offline
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Default Do K&Kís sound best in smaller guitars?

My experience with about 10 or so guitars that I have owned with would suggest as much. Your experiences/thoughts?

And would that be true of SBT’s in general?
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:34 AM
Coop47 Coop47 is offline
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Limited experience as far as my own guitars, but I have one (courtesy of a Maury's Music giveaway here - Thanks Maury's!) in my Guild D-25 and I'm very pleased with it. Sounds better to me than some UST/Mic blended systems I've used.

A friend installed one in an OM-28 that also sounds great.
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:45 AM
evenkeel evenkeel is offline
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I've installed over a dozen K&K's in various guitars. Parlor's, OM's, jumbos and dreads. Six and 12 strings guitars. Even a uke. The uke was a challenge as it was not possible for me to get my hand inside to place the discs.

I've never had an installation that sounded bad. Some guitars sounded better than other as you'd expect. But it was not based on guitar size.
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:47 AM
RustyAxe RustyAxe is offline
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I have a K&K in my Guild B-50 ABG. That is not a small guitar.
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:56 AM
varmonter varmonter is offline
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one would think a smaller body
guitar would be a tad more feedback
resistant than a dred. that said i have
a kk twin mando in my mandolin And it will still occasionally feedback.
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Old 03-01-2020, 10:10 AM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Patrick View Post
My experience with about 10 or so guitars that I have owned with would suggest as much. Your experiences/thoughts?

And would that be true of SBTís in general?
What have you noticed specifically about larger guitars not sounding as good?
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Old 03-01-2020, 11:49 AM
J Patrick J Patrick is offline
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....if you have done multiple installations in a wide variety of guitars you will likely have noticed that the results do differ....in some guitars the response is thinner or fuller....some installations are clearer and less woofy...I have found better balance and more even response in smaller guitars....I put a K&K in a Taylor GS mini and it was one of the best sounding installs I ever heard....I’ve done several dreads...a Taylor a Martin and a Santa Cruz...all of those sounded good but live EQ was fussier requiring bigger low end cuts....and they lacked the clarity and more natural sound that I get with smaller guitars....I did have a Striebel small jumbo that was an excellent sounding installl....but mostly I have had what I consider better results in OM’s or smaller guitars...

...on a few occasions I have heard installs in heavier overbuilt guitars where the K&K has not fared well...thin and restricted tone....I do realize that the quality of the install is very important...and I have owned several instruments that I did not personally install the pickup....the trend seems to exist whether I or somebody else installed the pickup...so I do not believe that the quality of install to be the determining factor in this case...

....ultimately I have come to suspect that larger bodied guitar may be exciting the transducers more aggressively and overdriving the signal...something that can be adjusted with gain structure and eq...but I never seem to get the best results when that’s the case...
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Old 03-01-2020, 12:37 PM
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ljguitar ljguitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Patrick View Post
My experience with about 10 or so guitars that I have owned with would suggest as much. Your experiences/thoughts?

And would that be true of SBTís in general?
Hi Patrick

Not for me here. I do NOT find them performing better in small body instruments, rather about the same.

I have 4 guitars with K&K Pure Mini pickups in them - a pair of OM (one handbuilt and one factory built with solid-top laminate-back) and a Dreadnought and a Mini-Jumbo (larger dimensions than a Dreadnought, but not as deep).

And I've heard a ton of local players with them installed in Dreadnoughts and they sound great, and don't present additional issues for getting great sound from the PA as smaller instruments.

If anything, I think they give the OM sized instruments a fighting chance in the mix, whereas the larger bodied instruments often work less hard to produce adequate tone/volume in ensemble settings.



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Old 03-01-2020, 01:04 PM
J Patrick J Patrick is offline
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...I am definitely getting the sense that my suspicions are not based on a large enough sample size to be well founded....thanks for the responses thus far...

...I currently own three K&K equipped guitars....a self built 14 fret 000....a Santa Cruz Tony Rice and a Bedelll Coffehouse Parlor...basically a 12 fret 00....the self built 000 and the Bedell definitely sound better than the SC plugged in....both have a shallower body depth and neither has the big unplugged sound of SC....all three have a fairly light build with the 000 being the lightest....

....itís just a curiousness on my part...I remain a loyal fan of K&K pickups...
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Old 03-01-2020, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Patrick View Post
...I am definitely getting the sense that my suspicions are not based on a large enough sample size to be well founded....thanks for the responses thus far...

...I currently own three K&K equipped guitars....a self built 14 fret 000....a Santa Cruz Tony Rice and a Bedelll Coffehouse Parlor...basically a 12 fret 00....the self built 000 and the Bedell definitely sound better than the SC plugged in....both have a shallower body depth and neither has the big unplugged sound of SC....all three have a fairly light build with the 000 being the lightest....

....itís just a curiousness on my part...I remain a loyal fan of K&K pickups...
Hi J Patrick

What are you using for a preamp to play your K&K equipped guitars through? And is your main use amps or PA systems?

There is certainly no harm in asking curious questions about one's experiences. And different results doesn't have to disqualify your experience.

With any pickup system the guitar it's plugged into, the preamp it's boosted by, the amp or PA that are reproducing the sound, and the venue it's being played in all affect the quality of the output/results.

Also how heavy your touch is a factor as well. Whether you are primarily a heavy strummer or quiet fingerstyle player or a mixture somewhere in between also affects how well internal pickups perform for people.

There are a lot of variables when it comes to guitars and their pickup systems.



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Old 03-01-2020, 08:41 PM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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I recently watched an older episode of "That Pedal Show" on YouTube where they basically looked at the K&K and Anthem pickups. I am putting a K&K in my Taylor soon but that episode scared me just a bit. It was obvious that the Collings guitar with the K&K in the video did not have the correct preamp but straight to the board it sounded pretty terrible. It's definitely a pickup that requires a bit of external preamp/eq help so I don't think it's necessarily the most plug and play. I might have to buy one of the battery powered K&K preamps just to have whenever I am without my pedalboard.

On the other hand, the Anthem was pretty great straight to the board with little help. I did not have success with that system but I can see why people like & appreciate it.
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Old 03-02-2020, 04:44 AM
Marty C Marty C is offline
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I have a Martin D-16gt. I ordered this with a sunburst top and had a k & k installed at the dealer before I picked it up. At the dealer we plugged into their Ultrasound amp and the sound was great. When I returned home, I could;ít get the sound good in any system I had. I spent a ton on preamps and always seem to have feedback. Read a lot and assumed this was an impedance issue. So I purchased a k & k preamp.

I got together with a cousin I play with. He has a Martin 000-18 (same Spruce top and mahogany sides). He had a K & k put in by the same dealer. His guitar sound great plugged into anything with no or very little eq.

I just assumed as the OP that this must be the case - that pick was made to give more body to smaller guitars.

I since have installed an Anthem SL (which I like less than the k & k) and now a Fishman Matrix Infinity (which seems to be the best option so far).

The Fishman (UST only) has a way internally to adjust the mids. This seems to help this guitar a lot. It does not sound like the guitar unplugged, but maybe something I can work with using an IR loader with the help of Jon and Kuki.

Just my experiences. One thing I did notice when I took the k & k out. The two outside disk were green in color and large than the inside disk. With some internet research, I found this to be either a very old style or one that should have been installed in a 12 string. Therefore, the over pronounced bass and heavy mids that I was always trying to dial out.

Since the guitar was probably 5 years or older by the time I figured this out, I decided not to give any complaints to the shop where I bought it. However I havenít been back to that shop since.

Maybe I should try the correct one again?
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Old 03-02-2020, 04:57 AM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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I have limited experience with K&K, having only installed a twin in a mandolin. It works just fine there.

OTOH, I've installed several JJB's which are very similar. I've done 2 violins, 2 violas, 2 mandolins, a resonator mandolin, a banjolin, a mandola, 2 octave mandolins, a 26" mandocello, a banjo, an archtop guitar, Sel-mac guitar, 3 flattop guitars (one 12 string) and an upright bass. Its a challenge getting the heads placed in a small instrument with f holes!

I found the JJB's to work equally well in every application when used with a good acoustic amp or a good pre-amp into a mixer. They do not seem to favor any particular body shape or size.

Last edited by Mandobart; 03-02-2020 at 05:04 AM.
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:54 AM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty C View Post
I have a Martin D-16gt. I ordered this with a sunburst top and had a k & k installed at the dealer before I picked it up. At the dealer we plugged into their Ultrasound amp and the sound was great. When I returned home, I could;ít get the sound good in any system I had. I spent a ton on preamps and always seem to have feedback. Read a lot and assumed this was an impedance issue. So I purchased a k & k preamp.

I got together with a cousin I play with. He has a Martin 000-18 (same Spruce top and mahogany sides). He had a K & k put in by the same dealer. His guitar sound great plugged into anything with no or very little eq.

I just assumed as the OP that this must be the case - that pick was made to give more body to smaller guitars.

I since have installed an Anthem SL (which I like less than the k & k) and now a Fishman Matrix Infinity (which seems to be the best option so far).

The Fishman (UST only) has a way internally to adjust the mids. This seems to help this guitar a lot. It does not sound like the guitar unplugged, but maybe something I can work with using an IR loader with the help of Jon and Kuki.

Just my experiences. One thing I did notice when I took the k & k out. The two outside disk were green in color and large than the inside disk. With some internet research, I found this to be either a very old style or one that should have been installed in a 12 string. Therefore, the over pronounced bass and heavy mids that I was always trying to dial out.

Since the guitar was probably 5 years or older by the time I figured this out, I decided not to give any complaints to the shop where I bought it. However I havenít been back to that shop since.

Maybe I should try the correct one again?
It's very possible that you just had the wrong one installed. That's why I always order the pickup myself and then bring it in to have it installed. I have run into that issue before where the dealer thought they had the newest version of a pickup only for me to find out later on that they installed an older model.

With that said, it kind of sounds like what you require is not so much a natural tone as something that's super feedback resistant. How loud do you play? One option is the aura spectrum to pair with your Matrix.
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Old 03-05-2020, 09:46 AM
J Patrick J Patrick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi J Patrick

What are you using for a preamp to play your K&K equipped guitars through? And is your main use amps or PA systems?

There is certainly no harm in asking curious questions about one's experiences. And different results doesn't have to disqualify your experience.

With any pickup system the guitar it's plugged into, the preamp it's boosted by, the amp or PA that are reproducing the sound, and the venue it's being played in all affect the quality of the output/results.

Also how heavy your touch is a factor as well. Whether you are primarily a heavy strummer or quiet fingerstyle player or a mixture somewhere in between also affects how well internal pickups perform for people.

There are a lot of variables when it comes to guitars and their pickup systems.



....I have used my K&K equipped guitars through many preamps and many sound systems over the years ...my initial main setup nearly twenty years ago was a Raven Labs PMB into a Mackie 808S with Mackie 12 inch Speakers....in truth I canít say that any thing Iíve used since those early days has been substantially better....but i have bought and used many of the usual preamps...Baggs...Fishman...Red Eye....DTar...Tonedexter...Headway....etc....and I have played through rigs as simple as an SWR Cali Blonde and large festival systems that cost tens of thousands of dollars...

...my playing touch varies...I have played hard hitting bluegrass and light open fingerstyle stuff....my experience is that K&Kís do not sound their best with a heavy hand and excel at moderate to light fingerstyle playing which is what I mostly play these days....

...I will add that I was a professional sound tech for a while...I gave it up about 6 or 7 years ago when my hearing started deteriorating...my specialty was acoustic music and I was affiliated with a major folk festival and mixed many different setups over the years...I found that seasoned pros pretty much had their gear and sound dialed in no matter what setup they were using....the bottom line is knowing how to get the best out of what you have....as always...there is no substitute for experience...
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