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Old 02-14-2007, 01:22 PM
GCWaters GCWaters is offline
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Default Soundboard transducer vs. mic

Ok, I have a Baggs ribbon transducer in my 814c...satisfaction level is mixed--through a good pa, it sounds great...when I have to go through an amp (right now, a Fender Acoustasonic jr., though I've also tried an UltraSound), I have to fight to get the tone I want....considering making some changes. Easiest thing to do is swap out the preamp for the dual source preamp and add the mic; a little more complicated would be swapping out the RT for the element and adding the Ibeam....ignoring for a minute whether the element or the RT is better, what're your thoughts on the mic vs the ibeam? Any big advantages/disadvantages one way or the other? Thanks for any help...
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Old 02-14-2007, 01:47 PM
Mr. IJaK Mr. IJaK is offline
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Mic feeds back more but sounds better, transducer is a bit more convenient but won't ever sound as good.
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Old 02-14-2007, 02:05 PM
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Hi GC...
I used an LRBaggs dual source rig in my Olson for nearly 7 years with an LB6 saddle and the internal mic. I ran the mic at full volume and the pickup about 1/3 of the way up, and a feedback buster in the soundhole (that I cut to fit around the edge-clamp volume).

I never had feedback and it sounded awesome. A friend liked it so much he installed the ribbon/mic version and suffered nothing but tone frustration till he switched the ribbon for an LB6 saddle. The LB6 is a Baggs unit with 6 piezo elements mounted in a brass bar that is topped with micarta which is shaped into the saddle. It is both hotter and mellower than the ribbon (it is a full saddle replacement, not an undersaddle piezo).

Eventually it began showing it's age, so I replaced the rig with a K&K pure western mini and K&K silver bullet mic dual source (passive) and I use an external blender which I mix 50/50 mic to pickup ratio. I like the K&K better - the tone is even more full (I now have the K&K dual source rigs in 3 of 4 guitars-the other just has a mini).

I've played iBeams in several guitars, but they were always lacking in the treble end, fed back easily and were a bit anemic tonewise compared to others out there (PUTW and K&K). They were very touchy to get placed correctly under there. The K&Ks run circles around them for fullness, woodiness, gain and tone quality.

I like the Baggs dual source rigs with an LB6 and mic...I love the K&K dual source with mini and a mic. Either can be setup to sound really nice.
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Old 02-14-2007, 02:12 PM
GCWaters GCWaters is offline
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Thanks for the feedback, guys...Larry, any thoughts on teh element vs. the RT and the L6?
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Old 02-14-2007, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCWaters View Post
Thanks for the feedback, guys...Larry, any thoughts on teh element vs. the RT and the L6?
Hi GCW...
Not a fan of undersaddle pickups...not since I found the under bridgeplate units.

In combo with a mic, the element would be stronger than the ribbon, and I think you are just exchanging one set of piezo-y characteristics for the another.

With it's higher gain the LB6 is harder to overdrive (which is why it sounds less piezo-ish). My question to you is are you committed to staying with a Baggs rig no matter what, or are you wanting your guitars to sound as natural as possible?

A simple K&K pure western mini by itself sounds as good as most dual source rigs with undersaddle and ''something else''. Add a preamp to the K&K and it outstrips them. So do the BBand and PUTW under bridgeplate units (when preamplified).
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Old 02-14-2007, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi GCW...
My question to you is are you committed to staying with a Baggs rig no matter what, or are you wanting your guitars to sound as natural as possible?).
That is the question! I've been looking at the K&K for awhile, just haven't made the decision to strip out the baggs and go in a new direction....
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Old 02-14-2007, 03:17 PM
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My Langejans has a half Baggs half K&K system. I use a Baggs Duet II (same preamp as the non destructive Dual Source) with the Baggs internal mic. But in place of the Baggs pickup I use a K&K PW Mini. It's the most natural thing I've ever heard on an acoustic (and comment after comment at shows indicates others feel the same).

I love an internal mic on an acoustic, period. I just think to get close to true acoustic tone you need some actual ambience, which you get, obviously, from a good mic. I have little problems with feedback, by the way - in fact I can normally go full mic without feedback, although I find 50% is a perfect mix in my case.
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Old 02-14-2007, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCWaters View Post
That is the question! I've been looking at the K&K for awhile, just haven't made the decision to strip out the baggs and go in a new direction....
Hi GCW...
What do you think of Harlon's approach. He just swapped in a K&K Pure Western Mini in place of the undersaddle and left the mic in place. It is an option worth experimenting with.
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Old 02-14-2007, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi GCW...
What do you think of Harlon's approach. He just swapped in a K&K Pure Western Mini in place of the undersaddle and left the mic in place. It is an option worth experimenting with.
It certainly is....
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Old 02-14-2007, 04:41 PM
Mr. IJaK Mr. IJaK is offline
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Oh yeah, like ljguitar says, if the mic is [b]inside[b] the soundhole and you use a feedback buster, it'll still be pretty feedback resistent.
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Old 02-14-2007, 05:12 PM
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Sorry, I've never liked the sound much of an internal mic. It sounds like the INSIDE of the guitar, not the outside. It's OK the use to add a little ambience but if I had to choose I'd go with a soundboard transducer over an internal mic and only as the SECONDARY source of amplification. Sorry, I still prefer the UST, in my case the Baggs Element, as the primary source. Of the 3 Baggs pickups you named I think the Element is the most natural sounding. I think the only possible way to get a decent sound out of an internal mic is to EQ it separately like Sdelsolray does.
I had a Fishman Blender in my rainsong so I do have personal experience with internal mics. I think my Element system sounds better than the Blender in that guitar at least. If you like your RT through a PA but not your amp, maybe it's your amp that is the culprit?
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Old 02-14-2007, 05:40 PM
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I've always had great results with I-beams paired with an external small diaphragm condensor. Right now I'm using an AKG C430 and it sounds pretty good. I'd guess I'm typically running about 50/50 for the signal with a slight bump on the Baggs during fingerstyle tunes. Previous to the I-beams introduction, I used the LB6 and compared to anything from that era it was quite a bit better. I feel like the I-beam is a major improvement over the LB6, unless you are playing in a high volume environment (especially with larger bodied rosewood instruments) According to Baggs, that's where the Element comes in.
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Old 02-14-2007, 07:02 PM
Kevin A Kevin A is offline
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I have K&K minis in two of my guitars, an I-beam in another, and the K&K Trinity Western (K&K mini & internal condenser mic) in another.

My impressions: the K&K SBTs have a much more 'natural' acoustic sound than any UST I've used. The I-beam is equally rich sounding as the K&Ks, but to my ear, is a bit 'harsher,' lacking some of the 'woodiness' the K&K minis provide.

With the Trinity, I'm able to have greater control by balancing two signals (from the SBT & from the mic) and achieve a fuller, more robust acoustic tone without any sense of artificially 'boosted' tone. Result is a sound quite like an externally mic'd guitar.

With the mic, feedback can be more of an issue— especially with louder venues, but by adjusting the balance via an external preamp, I'm able to use it extensively in a band setting with good results.
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Old 02-14-2007, 07:05 PM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainsong View Post
Sorry, I've never liked the sound much of an internal mic. It sounds like the INSIDE of the guitar, not the outside. It's OK the use to add a little ambience but if I had to choose I'd go with a soundboard transducer over an internal mic and only as the SECONDARY source of amplification. Sorry, I still prefer the UST, in my case the Baggs Element, as the primary source. Of the 3 Baggs pickups you named I think the Element is the most natural sounding. I think the only possible way to get a decent sound out of an internal mic is to EQ it separately like Sdelsolray does.
I had a Fishman Blender in my rainsong so I do have personal experience with internal mics. I think my Element system sounds better than the Blender in that guitar at least. If you like your RT through a PA but not your amp, maybe it's your amp that is the culprit?
Internal mics are high-maintenance, and I agree that they simply don't work well, mixed with another source, unless there is separate eq available to the internal mic before blending. I use three bands of parametric for the internal mic and I get pretty close to what an external mic sounds like, maybe akin to a SM57. I still prefer an external condenser mic for the second source. Virtually no eq needed, however an exernal condenser exhbits feedback sooner than an internal mic.
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Old 02-14-2007, 07:10 PM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitness1 View Post
I've always had great results with I-beams paired with an external small diaphragm condensor. Right now I'm using an AKG C430 and it sounds pretty good. I'd guess I'm typically running about 50/50 for the signal with a slight bump on the Baggs during fingerstyle tunes. Previous to the I-beams introduction, I used the LB6 and compared to anything from that era it was quite a bit better. I feel like the I-beam is a major improvement over the LB6, unless you are playing in a high volume environment (especially with larger bodied rosewood instruments) According to Baggs, that's where the Element comes in.

Yeah, a SBT/external condenser is my favorite combination too, about a 50/50 mix, give or take. But that's for my mamby-pamby New Agey/American Primative fingerstyle tunes. If I were playing in a band, or strumming my guitar for rhythym or accompaniment, moving around on a stage, I'd choose some other solution.
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