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Phono Blues Warning: Lowden Content with pickup...

#1 User is offline   BluesKing777 

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 07:08 PM

I just recorded this version of Robert Johnson's "Phono Blues", using my big Lowden O22 with Fishman Rare Earth Blend pickup and Neumann KM184 for vocal - spill from the guitar in the mic makes it sound more real than the pickup straight..... I really like it! Unlike my explanation posted below, I plugged the guitar/pickup direct to my mixer/iMac....




https://soundcloud.c...ues-o22pickup7b



Here is what I posted about the guitar and pickup on the other channel:


I bought my Fishman Rare Earth Blend quite a few years ago - it is a good solution for electrifying guitars you don't want to permanently alter, but...I don't really like the sound.

So, I bought a Lowden O22 a few months ago and looking at pickup options, I see the reinforced soundhole and the split saddles need modified solutions eg. the Baggs Anthem needs to be bought from Lowden to get the parts to fit. Fishman undersaddles also....

So yesterday I dragged out the Rare Earth Blend and put it in the soundhole, fiddled for a while and settled on about 30% pickup to 70% internal mic. Sounded ok - the large body O22 is nicer with the mic I thought, than previous use with my smaller body guitars.
So what can I do for eq, volume...aah, I have the old Fishman Pro EQ I had to have years ago and used probably twice! So, vol, eq, compress, line out - this could do the trick.

While it still has an 'electric' kind of mag pickup sound in there with the little bit of 'air' from the mic, I really think it suits the big O22 for some reason and I think I will keep the pickup there to experiment with for a bit longer. I mean, it is pretty similar to the Baggs Anthem setup, well soundwise to me....

Fingerpicking sounds different with this setup, than strumming. Any other fingerpickers use this pickup?





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#2 User is offline   blindboygrunt 

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 02:30 AM

No knowledge of pickups
But that was rather brilliant BK
Sounded excellent
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#3 User is offline   sparquelito 

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 04:24 AM

That is lovely, BluesKing777.

Thanks for sharing your talent and music with us.

:)
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#4 User is offline   BluesKing777 

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:03 AM

Thanks BBG and Sparque!


It is great that the pickup works well with this guitar, though not encouraging me to throw things out if they turn good later. I wonder how the pickup would sound with something like a SJ200, probably really good. The Lowden are quite unique eq wise, good for fingerpicking even though it is a jumbo - even balance of sound whereas the Martins have more bass which could throw the sound balance of the pickup out?

Anyway, I am very pleased and the track above is the pickup and vocal mic direct to a mixer, so it should work well in a PA. I practiced some songs for an hour earlier and it works well with it plugged into my Boss VE-8 with vocal as well via Shure SM58.....

There is always a catch but......they say to remove the pickup before travelling in case it comes loose and slams around inside the guitar. I just can't imagine sitting on the edge of a stage with pre gig nerves having to calmly install a pickup, and every gig?


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#5 User is offline   BluesKing777 

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 11:29 PM

FYI.


So, because this pickup above sounds so good, I thought I better re-evaluate some others I have sitting in boxes in the lunatic cave/music room.


I dragged out the Fishman NEO-D humbucker, installed it on my Lowden LSE1, plugged to mixer......mmm, alright and ok for a gig if in a fix. I made a 'dual source' pickup out of it be adding the mic from my iRig and running the Fishman lead to the iRig pream extra input......better, but the low E string had a 'boingggggg' sound to it no matter what I did with the eq.

In a drawer, next I found the humble Seymour Duncan Woody soundhole pickup, put that on the LSE1...ok, it is getting electricity going on the guitar and..took it straight back out and back in the drawer.

As an ear refresher, I grabbed the O22 with Fishman rig from the sound clip above and played that direct to mixer for a while....and kept playing! It is fabulous and guitar and pickup suit each other nicely!


I will try mix of soundhole and undersaddle pickups next....



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#6 User is offline   flatbaroque 

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 02:36 PM

That's a great result.Very natural sound.Sounded miked not pickup.Super playing.
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#7 User is offline   scriv58 

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 03:22 PM

sounds really great
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#8 User is offline   BluesKing777 

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 05:59 PM

Thanks FB and Scriv!

Hey, I was looking at Acoustic Guitar Magazine and they have a review of the new updated version of the Fishman Rare Earth Blend - it has a few changes including a shorter mic boom and a bass roll off switch.....

If they could just make them wireless.........(I had to buy a new electric toothbrush and it has Bluetooth! Why? No idea, but if they can do it.....)



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#9 User is offline   scriv58 

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 02:40 AM

BK777 please forgive if you have covered this before, but do you have any special room treatments or considerations of such in your recording process?
thanks
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#10 User is offline   BluesKing777 

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 03:30 AM

View Postscriv58, on 16 September 2017 - 02:40 AM, said:

BK777 please forgive if you have covered this before, but do you have any special room treatments or considerations of such in your recording process?
thanks


Yes, very important - small room, carpeted, internal walls filled with insulation by mistake by the house builder 20 years ago and that is fabulous, thanks.....and 53 odd years of guitars in cases on racks, music and related books, mixers, amps, mic stands and electronics plus computer and printer.....

So not the minimalist look! More 'Mad Professor!' And I almost have to wedge myself and guitar into my practice chair like Major Tom in his capsule...

So a recording engineer would be horrified. But I like a dead room and I have it. Some people like a reverby room with timber floors and lots of reflections.....



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#11 User is offline   Quake 

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 05:03 AM

BK,

Sounds great! Would not have guessed it was a big 'ol Lowden at all!
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#12 User is offline   BluesKing777 

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 04:13 PM

View PostQuake, on 16 September 2017 - 05:03 AM, said:

BK,

Sounds great! Would not have guessed it was a big 'ol Lowden at all!



Thanks Quake!

Your reply is strangely worded.... it can be taken a couple of ways....like you wouldn't expect a 'big 'ol Lowden' to sound great, or you thought it sounded like a Gibson or something. Not sure what you meant but it doesn't matter, I have one of the best guitars I have ever played and ha ha, it is mine, mine, mine! [mellow] [biggrin] [glare]
And I haven't taken it in to get a setup yet!


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#13 User is offline   Quake 

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 04:15 PM

BK,

Sorry for the confusion. Your Lowden sounded great! I would have guessed it was a smaller guitar as it is so responsive.
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#14 User is offline   BluesKing777 

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 04:28 PM

View PostQuake, on 16 September 2017 - 04:15 PM, said:

BK,

Sorry for the confusion. Your Lowden sounded great! I would have guessed it was a smaller guitar as it is so responsive.



OK, thanks for clearing that up.

Yes, I think the Lowden reputation is one of originally designing a large guitar to be responsive for fingerstyle....it is! But my smaller Lowdens 'sound' very similar but this one, O22, sounds 'wider'. How's that? Words are useless for guitars sometimes! But something like my D28 has more pronounced bass, which still sounds great but needs more right hand damping to play old style country blues...


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