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  #1  
Old 04-02-2022, 01:24 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Default DEMO: Schatten Dual HFN/HFN Hybrid Artist Plus 2 in Larrivee D-40R Sunburst

I received my new Larrivee D-40R Sunburst last week and decided to install in it a DIY modified Schatten HFN Artist Plus 2 system. The Schatten system started out as a Schatten HFN Artist Plus 2. I kind of destroyed the HFN pickup's three-footed base when removing it from another guitar. I removed the wrecked base from the brass-enclosed HFN sensor and I added a new HFN three-footed pickup to the second channel of the Artist Plus 2 endpin preamp. This normal HFN pickup is installed under the line of the bridge saddle per recommended location and the "naked" sensor is installed centered on the rear of the bridgeplate and about 1/8" from the bridgeplate's rear edge.

The two pickups can be used separately or blended together via the system's soundhole dual-volume control module. This is my best ever installation of a normal HFN three-footed pickup as it yields a decent bass response and overall tonal balance and string-to-string volume balance in its output. The "naked" HFN has less output given its location but it also is well-balanced in the tonal spectrum and string-to-string volume output.

The following blues-comp demo is a blend of the two pickups in what I hear through headphones as a decent balance of the two that may add something good to the overall tone. Perhaps if there is any interest I'll post some individual demos of each pickup on its own. The Schatten Artist Plus 2 preamp can be battery-powered with its onboard always available battery or by optionally applying 48-volt phantom power via a TRS/XLR instrument cord which I've used for this demo. The output of the Schatten Artist Plus 2 preamp is noticeably higher with phantom powering. The following demo was played with a Guitar Moose .80mm flatpick and made with direct-to-computer recording with FLAT EQ and NO EFFECTS.

Comments are welcomed and appreciated!




Larrivee D-40R Sunburst with Schatten HFN/HFN Hybrid Dual Artist Plus 2 and Larrivee D-03R with Ultra Tonic 3.2
__________________
Martin HD-28 Sunburst/Trance M-VT Phantom
Martin D-18/Ultra Tonic
Adamas I 2087GT-8
Guild F-212XL STD
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Taylor 717e
Taylor 618e
Taylor 614ce
Larrivee D-50M/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Blue Grass Special/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Sunburst
Larrivee C-03R Tommy Emmanuel/Trance M-VT Phantom
RainSong BI-DR1000N2
Emerald X20
Yamaha FGX5
Avian Skylark 2A
Republic Duolian/Schatten NR-2

Last edited by SpruceTop; 04-03-2022 at 03:08 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-02-2022, 04:49 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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To invoke Def Leppard:

Is anybody out there (power chords), anybody there? (power chords)
Does anybody wonder (power chords), anybody care? (power chords)
__________________
Martin HD-28 Sunburst/Trance M-VT Phantom
Martin D-18/Ultra Tonic
Adamas I 2087GT-8
Guild F-212XL STD
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Taylor 717e
Taylor 618e
Taylor 614ce
Larrivee D-50M/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Blue Grass Special/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Sunburst
Larrivee C-03R Tommy Emmanuel/Trance M-VT Phantom
RainSong BI-DR1000N2
Emerald X20
Yamaha FGX5
Avian Skylark 2A
Republic Duolian/Schatten NR-2

Last edited by SpruceTop; 04-03-2022 at 09:16 AM.
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  #3  
Old 04-02-2022, 08:36 PM
BlueStarfish BlueStarfish is offline
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That sounds pretty good for a pickup played straight to DAW. Especially considering it sounds like you played it all with a flatpick. Most pickups sound pretty bad in that situation (but fortunately often at least a little better in the room through an amp or PA).

Iím curious to learn more about how you did the install, can you provide any photos and further description?

Iím also curious if having the second pickup is additive given that they are basically the same pickup element. Do you have an opinion on that?
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  #4  
Old 04-03-2022, 08:32 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueStarfish View Post
That sounds pretty good for a pickup played straight to DAW. Especially considering it sounds like you played it all with a flatpick. Most pickups sound pretty bad in that situation (but fortunately often at least a little better in the room through an amp or PA).

I’m curious to learn more about how you did the install, can you provide any photos and further description?

I’m also curious if having the second pickup is additive given that they are basically the same pickup element. Do you have an opinion on that?
Thanks, BlueStarFish, For Your Interest! Yes, a flatpick is the bane of all pickup systems in that it has the potential to produce more hard-edged, metallic-sounding transients with its hard-surfaced and quicker back and forth motion against the strings when compared to flesh and fingernail fingerpicking. With flatpicking it's also easier to drive the pickup system and recording chain into distortion with a bit more picking force than what was adjusted for as good gain staging prior to playing and recording a demo. Although some of my various pickup/guitar demos also include fingerpicking, I primarily use flatpicking as my mode of play for my demos; if a pickup system sounds good when flatpicking, my reasoning is that it'll likely sound excellent when fingerpicking.

Being that I don't see much interest in my demos, I didn't bother to take any photos of my Schatten HFN/HFN Hybrid installation. After a light sanding of the bridgeplate and subsequent vacuuming of any debris inside the guitar, I applied acetone to clean the bridegplate, the back of the guitar where the battery bag will go, and the sidewalls of the guitar for application of the sensors, Dual-Volume Control module, battery bag, and wire guides, my installation procedure was as follows:

1) A couple of days earlier, I'd soldered the new three-footed HFN sensor to Channel 2 of the Artist Plus 2 preamp and made sure both internal GAIN pots were adjusted to 100% output. IMPORTANT FOR ANY ACTIVE HFN USERS, ALWAYS ADJUST THE INTERNAL GAIN POT(S) ON THE ENDPIN PREAMP TO 100% AS THESE SCHATTEN ENDPIN PREAMPS ARE LOW TO LOW-MODERATE OUTPUT POWER!

2) I laid a 4" x 5"-inch mirror on the back of the guitar with an LED light on each side of it, This facilitates all phases of the installation;

3) I installed the Artist Plus 2 endpin dual-channel preamp in the endblock of the guitar--Larrivee makes it easy by having already drilled the proper-sized hole and installing an easily removable expandable endpin plug;

4) I applied the 3M VHB tape to the naked HFN sensor and I eyeballed it into place by looking through the bridgepin holes and watching as the sensor passed the holes and visually centered it side-to-side. Using my fingers I felt for the rear of the bridgeplate and moved the sensor about 1/8" inch back toward the bridgepin holes and stuck it on the bridgeplate;

5) Next I prepared the three-footed HFN sensor's feet with 3M VHB tape by applying it to the sensor's feet and cutting away the excess tape on the ends and between the feet. I aligned the sensor with the saddle slot by using an LR Baggs iBeam plexiglass jig laid on top of the bridge with its downward guideposts located in the appropriate bridgepin holes. Weaker tape on the face of the jig holds the downward-facing Schatten-labeled face of the sensor in place. I then removed the backing from the VHB tape on the sensor's feet which, of course, are on top and facing the installer;

6) Next, I carefully wrangled the jig and sensor combo into the guitar, guided the jig's upright guideposts into the appropriate bridgepin holes, and held everything as parallel as I could to the bridgeplate and brought it all upward and stuck the sensor to the bridgeplate;

7) I installed the supplied battery bag, sidewall wire guides, and soundhole dual Volume control module. Tuned up the guitar and tested it by playing into my FELiX 2 and listening through headphones. I adjusted the balance between the two sensors by using the dual-Volume soundhole module.

As for the second naked Scatten sensor, although it adds something to the mix I could live without it as currently installed as its positioning away from the line of the *bridgesaddle weakens its output signal. Basically given the room on the bridgeplate, the positioning behind the bridgepins was the only logical place for the naked sensor. There is room to move it another 1/4" inch toward the bridgepins and that would likely increase the output a bit. My feeling is given my experience with using Henkel Loctite 6-Minute Epoxy, mounting the naked sensor with this thin and hard medium would significantly increase the sensor's output.

*We can thank Ovation's long-ago research into pickup placement for finding that the bridgesaddle location is the best place for achieving the highest gain-before-feedback position for a pickup.
__________________
Martin HD-28 Sunburst/Trance M-VT Phantom
Martin D-18/Ultra Tonic
Adamas I 2087GT-8
Guild F-212XL STD
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Taylor 717e
Taylor 618e
Taylor 614ce
Larrivee D-50M/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Blue Grass Special/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Sunburst
Larrivee C-03R Tommy Emmanuel/Trance M-VT Phantom
RainSong BI-DR1000N2
Emerald X20
Yamaha FGX5
Avian Skylark 2A
Republic Duolian/Schatten NR-2

Last edited by SpruceTop; 04-03-2022 at 09:21 AM.
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  #5  
Old 04-03-2022, 02:20 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Just when I thought the floodgates for responses to this demo were opening wide, I guess the server crashed and no one was able to post to this thread. Woe is me as I'm awaiting some company and as Bob sang: I'm a poet, I know it, Hope I don't blow it ...
__________________
Martin HD-28 Sunburst/Trance M-VT Phantom
Martin D-18/Ultra Tonic
Adamas I 2087GT-8
Guild F-212XL STD
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Taylor 717e
Taylor 618e
Taylor 614ce
Larrivee D-50M/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Blue Grass Special/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Sunburst
Larrivee C-03R Tommy Emmanuel/Trance M-VT Phantom
RainSong BI-DR1000N2
Emerald X20
Yamaha FGX5
Avian Skylark 2A
Republic Duolian/Schatten NR-2

Last edited by SpruceTop; 04-03-2022 at 03:06 PM.
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  #6  
Old 04-03-2022, 04:29 PM
stevecuss stevecuss is offline
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Spruce,

I'm loving this mad science approach! What is your thinking about using a naked HFN with the 3 footed HFN? Are you also planning to try a different 2nd source like a mic or mag?

I am working on a HFN/Mag two channel system. HFN out through the custom MiSi 9db boost end pin jack and then a K&K Double Helix Mag through a Sarno Tube DI (arriving tomorrow) with cable out the sound hold for a custom 2 channel system. I figure I can adjust gains and blends based on stage volume and feedback issues. I mostly play on a silent stage, except for live drums, so the HFN has served fine as a single source so far, but I'm excited to try thew Mag with it.
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Steve
Mcilroy A25c (Cedar, English Walnut) with Schatten HFN (custom MiSi Crystal Jack Preamp, putty install.)
Maton 75th Anniversary OM
50th Anniversary Fender Am Std Strat.
Gretsch 6120 Nashville Players in Blue.
Line 6 Helix.

If I played as much as I read threads, I'd be a pro....
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  #7  
Old 04-03-2022, 05:38 PM
Marty C Marty C is offline
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First, those guitars are beautiful!!! I love a sunburst and those are superb.

I really like the tones you are getting. As a reference, I would like to hear just a few open chords. Open "E" chord tells a ton.
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  #8  
Old 04-04-2022, 04:24 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevecuss View Post
Spruce,

I'm loving this mad science approach! What is your thinking about using a naked HFN with the 3 footed HFN? Are you also planning to try a different 2nd source like a mic or mag?

I am working on a HFN/Mag two channel system. HFN out through the custom MiSi 9db boost end pin jack and then a K&K Double Helix Mag through a Sarno Tube DI (arriving tomorrow) with cable out the sound hold for a custom 2 channel system. I figure I can adjust gains and blends based on stage volume and feedback issues. I mostly play on a silent stage, except for live drums, so the HFN has served fine as a single source so far, but I'm excited to try thew Mag with it.
Steve, the naked HFN adds something but I'm not really pleased with its weaker signal as it's toward the rear of the bridgeplate and doesn't generate nearly as much output as the normal HFN at its saddle location. I may go back in and remount the naked a bit closer to the rear of bridgepins to hear if that increases its output. I could epoxy it to the bridgeplate and that would likely increase its output for sure.

As for trying a different pickup with the normal HFN, that may be what I'll do. I've thought of trying a Shadow NanoMag at the end of the fingerboard but I'm not really into the electric-guitar tone mags can have especially when played aggressively. Perhaps a Schatten UST would be the best solution as it would probably compliment the HFN and be plenty loud and have great gain-before feedback. Schatten mentions something about adding a mic to the Artist Plus 2 Preamp and I guess that may be possible when phantom powering the system?

As for your rig, the addition of a magnetic pickup would be perfect for your band situation. The Sarno Steel Guitar Black Box Rocks! Let us know how you make out with your rig!
__________________
Martin HD-28 Sunburst/Trance M-VT Phantom
Martin D-18/Ultra Tonic
Adamas I 2087GT-8
Guild F-212XL STD
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Taylor 717e
Taylor 618e
Taylor 614ce
Larrivee D-50M/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Blue Grass Special/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Sunburst
Larrivee C-03R Tommy Emmanuel/Trance M-VT Phantom
RainSong BI-DR1000N2
Emerald X20
Yamaha FGX5
Avian Skylark 2A
Republic Duolian/Schatten NR-2
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  #9  
Old 04-04-2022, 04:27 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty C View Post
First, those guitars are beautiful!!! I love a sunburst and those are superb.

I really like the tones you are getting. As a reference, I would like to hear just a few open chords. Open "E" chord tells a ton.
Thanks, Marty, I've really come to love Larrivee guitars over the years!

I'll try to get some more demos up tomorrow. I'll make a demo with just the HFN normal pickup alone, and with the HFN naked alone, and then both combined.
__________________
Martin HD-28 Sunburst/Trance M-VT Phantom
Martin D-18/Ultra Tonic
Adamas I 2087GT-8
Guild F-212XL STD
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Taylor 717e
Taylor 618e
Taylor 614ce
Larrivee D-50M/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Blue Grass Special/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Sunburst
Larrivee C-03R Tommy Emmanuel/Trance M-VT Phantom
RainSong BI-DR1000N2
Emerald X20
Yamaha FGX5
Avian Skylark 2A
Republic Duolian/Schatten NR-2
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  #10  
Old 04-04-2022, 08:39 PM
stevecuss stevecuss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
Steve, the naked HFN adds something but I'm not really pleased with its weaker signal as it's toward the rear of the bridgeplate and doesn't generate nearly as much output as the normal HFN at its saddle location. I may go back in and remount the naked a bit closer to the rear of bridgepins to hear if that increases its output. I could epoxy it to the bridgeplate and that would likely increase its output for sure.

As for trying a different pickup with the normal HFN, that may be what I'll do. I've thought of trying a Shadow NanoMag at the end of the fingerboard but I'm not really into the electric-guitar tone mags can have especially when played aggressively. Perhaps a Schatten UST would be the best solution as it would probably compliment the HFN and be plenty loud and have great gain-before feedback. Schatten mentions something about adding a mic to the Artist Plus 2 Preamp and I guess that may be possible when phantom powering the system?

As for your rig, the addition of a magnetic pickup would be perfect for your band situation. The Sarno Steel Guitar Black Box Rocks! Let us know how you make out with your rig!
I gotta say, my Schatten HFN has never sounded better since I added the custom MiSi preamp end jack. Before I had to crank my acoustic amp, now it acts like a proper high output, impedance matched pickup. It might be worth a try for your HFN too.
__________________
Steve
Mcilroy A25c (Cedar, English Walnut) with Schatten HFN (custom MiSi Crystal Jack Preamp, putty install.)
Maton 75th Anniversary OM
50th Anniversary Fender Am Std Strat.
Gretsch 6120 Nashville Players in Blue.
Line 6 Helix.

If I played as much as I read threads, I'd be a pro....
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  #11  
Old 04-05-2022, 02:50 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevecuss View Post
I gotta say, my Schatten HFN has never sounded better since I added the custom MiSi preamp end jack. Before I had to crank my acoustic amp, now it acts like a proper high output, impedance matched pickup. It might be worth a try for your HFN too.
The HFNs are soldered into the Schatten Artist Plus 2 endpin preamp which gives me the option of onboard mixing of them and battery or phantom power and they should be impedance matched. Could a different preamp be any better than that?
__________________
Martin HD-28 Sunburst/Trance M-VT Phantom
Martin D-18/Ultra Tonic
Adamas I 2087GT-8
Guild F-212XL STD
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Taylor 717e
Taylor 618e
Taylor 614ce
Larrivee D-50M/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Blue Grass Special/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Sunburst
Larrivee C-03R Tommy Emmanuel/Trance M-VT Phantom
RainSong BI-DR1000N2
Emerald X20
Yamaha FGX5
Avian Skylark 2A
Republic Duolian/Schatten NR-2
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  #12  
Old 04-06-2022, 02:45 PM
stevecuss stevecuss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
The HFNs are soldered into the Schatten Artist Plus 2 endpin preamp which gives me the option of onboard mixing of them and battery or phantom power and they should be impedance matched. Could a different preamp be any better than that?
It's a great question. I'm going off subjective memory which is dangerous, but I was underwhelmed by the artist preamp. But honestly, I think I learned about the internal gain dial AFTER I switched out the active for a passive, so that may have been the whole problem.

I have an aversion to gear inside my guitar - the artist with phantom is genius, but I try to not have a battery in there if possible. I'm sure this aversion is largely silly, but there it is.
__________________
Steve
Mcilroy A25c (Cedar, English Walnut) with Schatten HFN (custom MiSi Crystal Jack Preamp, putty install.)
Maton 75th Anniversary OM
50th Anniversary Fender Am Std Strat.
Gretsch 6120 Nashville Players in Blue.
Line 6 Helix.

If I played as much as I read threads, I'd be a pro....
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  #13  
Old 04-06-2022, 04:24 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevecuss View Post
It's a great question. I'm going off subjective memory which is dangerous, but I was underwhelmed by the artist preamp. But honestly, I think I learned about the internal gain dial AFTER I switched out the active for a passive, so that may have been the whole problem.

I have an aversion to gear inside my guitar - the artist with phantom is genius, but I try to not have a battery in there if possible. I'm sure this aversion is largely silly, but there it is.
Steve, you've got a wonderful tone on both guitars with your Schatten/MiSi rigs!
__________________
Martin HD-28 Sunburst/Trance M-VT Phantom
Martin D-18/Ultra Tonic
Adamas I 2087GT-8
Guild F-212XL STD
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Taylor 717e
Taylor 618e
Taylor 614ce
Larrivee D-50M/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Blue Grass Special/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Sunburst
Larrivee C-03R Tommy Emmanuel/Trance M-VT Phantom
RainSong BI-DR1000N2
Emerald X20
Yamaha FGX5
Avian Skylark 2A
Republic Duolian/Schatten NR-2
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  #14  
Old 04-15-2022, 01:12 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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I just bought a Schatten LP-15 pickup that I'm thinking of swapping out for the "naked" Schatten HFN pickup in my DIY system. Being that the LP-15 I bought is the "Outsider" option (the "Insider" option was sold out). The only difference between the Outsider LP-15 and Insider LP-15 is the Outsider has a 1/4"-inch plug and the Insider has an endpin jack, The LP-15 pickup is the same.

I'm going to test the output signal strength of the Outsider LP-15 by mounting it on the top of my Huss & Dalton TD-R to gauge whether its signal strength is more than that of the HFN "naked" sensor. If it is, I'll perform the swap-out and make another demo.

__________________
Martin HD-28 Sunburst/Trance M-VT Phantom
Martin D-18/Ultra Tonic
Adamas I 2087GT-8
Guild F-212XL STD
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Taylor 717e
Taylor 618e
Taylor 614ce
Larrivee D-50M/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Blue Grass Special/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Sunburst
Larrivee C-03R Tommy Emmanuel/Trance M-VT Phantom
RainSong BI-DR1000N2
Emerald X20
Yamaha FGX5
Avian Skylark 2A
Republic Duolian/Schatten NR-2

Last edited by SpruceTop; 04-15-2022 at 03:08 PM.
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  #15  
Old 04-15-2022, 04:56 PM
stevecuss stevecuss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
Steve, you've got a wonderful tone on both guitars with your Schatten/MiSi rigs!
Thanks, I'm really happy with both. Oddly, the Bourgeois has significantly hotter signal than the Mcilroy. More SBT randomness, I'm guessing.
__________________
Steve
Mcilroy A25c (Cedar, English Walnut) with Schatten HFN (custom MiSi Crystal Jack Preamp, putty install.)
Maton 75th Anniversary OM
50th Anniversary Fender Am Std Strat.
Gretsch 6120 Nashville Players in Blue.
Line 6 Helix.

If I played as much as I read threads, I'd be a pro....
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