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Ha ha ha........ the case for passive systems

#1 User is offline   Buc McMaster 

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 07:12 AM

Trundled to the the Sunday open mic gig last night for the first time in several weeks. Was greeted warmly by the host and the owner of the place......they remember me! (nice to be remembered) I was the first of the wannabes to get up......did six or seven tunes, maybe eight or nine. Marty Robbin's El Paso drew shrieks of joy from the bar at the first line.......the host played mandolin and hit a harmony in places.....big fun! When I turned to Don (the host) and told him the next one was All Along the Watchtower he reached for his Taylor, plugged it in and.......nothing......dead battery.......so I chatted up the audience as he made a quick change. A Whiter Shade of Pale went down a storm.....one of those unexpected tunes that folks like. Good set, had fun, crowd enjoyed the tunes.........I'm done. Next up: three guys (!)........a D18, a sunburst Taylor of some kind and a D28. Don gets them all situated and plugged in..........sound checks the Taylor (works, sounds wimpy), the D28 (sound hole pickup, very loud!) and the D18.......oops! Nothing......dead battery.......Don hands him his Taylor that just got a new battery. That's two. Next up is a duo.......a Takamine and a small body Martin of some description. The Tak is up and running right away but.....you guessed it......the Martin has a dead battery and the player is again handed Don's Taylor to do the set.

Geez.......when will they ever learn......... :rolleyes:

Passive pickups forever!!!
J45 Vintage - J45 12 fret
Knowin' where you're goin' is mostly knowin' where you have been. Buc, from Me & Eddie
ATLANTA: Bitter Tears An original account of Gen'l Sherman's march through Georgia in the winter of 1864
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#2 User is offline   blindboygrunt 

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 07:23 AM

I was always a little scared of a passive pickup as , not knowing a great deal , Iíve just got to the stage where I buy something that I know is beyond possibly what Iíll ever need it for and thatís it sorted

Research online has taught me more about the fact that most people out there post an opinion that is a load of bollox 90% of the time
And Iíve read that a passive pickup wonít give as much as a preamped pickup
A pickup that never needed a battery would be brilliant

I just change the battery when I change strings which would be every 4 months or so
One gig a week for two hours. No worries about battery going flat

Help me buc
As I know youíre one of the 10% 👍🏻
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#3 User is offline   ThemisSal 

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 07:26 AM

My Gibson J50 with K&K.... been using it through a FireEye the last few gigs.

It's fantastic. And I bang the red boost button when I solo (or feebly attempt to solo).

Its just easy. And frankly, I have a day job. When I have gigs on Thursday or Friday nights, I work till 4:30ish, run home, grab my guitar. mic stand, knapsack with mics/cables/fireEye - and drive an hour into Brooklyn. Wait twenty minutes for a parking space... walk a few blocks to the bar... and frankly the last thing I want to worry about are redundancies, batteries, etc. I need things to be simple and sound good. The K&K with FireEye is that.
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#4 User is offline   ThemisSal 

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 07:29 AM

View Postblindboygrunt, on 02 October 2017 - 07:23 AM, said:

I was always a little scared of a passive pickup as , not knowing a great deal , I've just got to the stage where I buy something that I know is beyond possibly what I'll ever need it for and that's it sorted

Research online has taught me more about the fact that most people out there post an opinion that is a load of bollox 90% of the time
And I've read that a passive pickup won't give as much as a preamped pickup
A pickup that never needed a battery would be brilliant

I just change the battery when I change strings which would be every 4 months or so
One gig a week for two hours. No worries about battery going flat

Help me buc
As I know you're one of the 10% 👍🏻


Grunt, the K&K Mini is a hot pickup. PLus it has the benefit of not having some thin material between your saddle and the top.
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#5 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 07:47 AM

it's easy to forget some of the many details, a fresh battery would be one of them things.

The first gig I did in some time was back in August, I had thought of everything, and made sure I had spares.. except the one thing that I never leave home without I managed to leave home without. a spare set strings... OMG.. Too late.. I was there, setup done, 15 minutes till I started, home and the closest music store both about 20 minutes away. Thank God no mishaps, but that probably would have been the night to loose a D or G string while tuning up between songs or a set. My next gig that was the first thing I put in the case when prepping. Also decided it was a good reason to bring a backup guitar too.
/Ray
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#6 User is offline   blindboygrunt 

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 07:47 AM

 ThemisSal, on 02 October 2017 - 07:29 AM, said:

Grunt, the K&K Mini is a hot pickup. PLus it has the benefit of not having some thin material between your saddle and the top.


Oh yeah. Iím a fan of k&k and would be the very thing Iíd fit
But already , even you , who I love dearly , has added a Ďredeyeí into the picture
..:
I donít have a redeye not want one
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#7 User is offline   charlotte_mason 

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 07:56 AM

haham oretty interesting situation
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#8 User is offline   Buc McMaster 

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 08:02 AM

A passive pickup like the K&K Pure is bullet proof...........it's gonna work no matter what. As Sal says, it is quite hot with plenty of output.......no on-board preamp required. I also use a Red Eye preamp on the floor at my feet..........6ft cable guitar-to-Red Eye......XLR to the mixer. (Keeping 2-conductor guitar cables as short as possible is good for retaining a quality signal.......cable capacitance is a bad thing.) I don't solo so the boost thing is not much use for me and the lack of a volume control is not a problem..........set the guitar level at the mixer relative to the vocal mic signal at sound check and I'm good to go for the set. The Red Eye insures a good impedance match regardless of the mixer, a good thing when plugging into different, unknown systems on various stages. Well, you may say, what about the battery in the Red Eye........the passive K&K will still work fine in that event (and the Red Eye is powered by phantom power from the mixer as well). It's about simplicity and efficiency at open mics.......everything is ready to go in a matter of seconds without hassles.

It struck me that of the seven guitars on the stage, three of them had dead batteries that interrupted the flow of the thing. Certainly an open mic crowd is forgiving of such things, but a passive system removes some of the potential sources of trouble from a stage rig.
J45 Vintage - J45 12 fret
Knowin' where you're goin' is mostly knowin' where you have been. Buc, from Me & Eddie
ATLANTA: Bitter Tears An original account of Gen'l Sherman's march through Georgia in the winter of 1864
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#9 User is offline   blindboygrunt 

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 08:05 AM

Hmmm
Think Iíll still fit one with a preamp
Easier changing a battery than carting a redeye about
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#10 User is offline   Buc McMaster 

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 09:01 AM

View Postblindboygrunt, on 02 October 2017 - 08:05 AM, said:

Easier changing a battery than carting a redeye about

?!? Whut?! You cannot be serious!
J45 Vintage - J45 12 fret
Knowin' where you're goin' is mostly knowin' where you have been. Buc, from Me & Eddie
ATLANTA: Bitter Tears An original account of Gen'l Sherman's march through Georgia in the winter of 1864
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#11 User is offline   blindboygrunt 

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 09:53 AM

 Buc McMaster, on 02 October 2017 - 09:01 AM, said:

?!? Whut?! You cannot be serious!

Well , yeah. Thereís nothin hard about changin a battery
And the guys that had flat batteries Iím kinda putting them in same category as running out of petrol in the car
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#12 User is offline   ThemisSal 

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 10:47 AM

Grunt you can be creative with the preamp that makes the k&k SOUND AWESOME. You dont have to spend the big $. The key is the impedance match 1 ohm.

For example, most Boss pedals have that 10hm thing going on. So you can get a pedal you like and would use (hint the tuner pedal TU3) and it warms up the tone. I bought a TU3w used for $100. I use the tuner anyway....

Or - I saw this on AGF, so I dont know firsthand - but one guy got a Behringer DI for $39 bucks that he swears does the same thing to K&K tone as my fancy Fire Eye (which I love because of the boost) : https://www.sweetwat...re/detail/DI100
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#13 User is offline   blindboygrunt 

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 10:56 AM

 ThemisSal, on 02 October 2017 - 10:47 AM, said:

Grunt you can be creative with the preamp that makes the k&k SOUND AWESOME. You dont have to spend the big $. The key is the impedance match 1 ohm.

For example, most Boss pedals have that 10hm thing going on. So you can get a pedal you like and would use (hint the tuner pedal TU3) and it warms up the tone. I bought a TU3w used for $100. I use the tuner anyway....

Or - I saw this on AGF, so I dont know firsthand - but one guy got a Behringer DI for $39 bucks that he swears does the same thing to K&K tone as my fancy Fire Eye (which I love because of the boost) : https://www.sweetwat...re/detail/DI100


I could do all that
Or I could just install a pickup with a battery
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#14 User is offline   ThemisSal 

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 11:15 AM

There are three ways out of every box... cheers!
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#15 User is offline   Jinder 

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 02:01 PM

I've got K&Ks, Fishman Matrix Infinities, a Fishman Rare Earth, a Shadow Nanoflex and a Baggs Element in my various gigging guitars.

I love the battery free vibe with the K&K. It does need a preamp to really make it sing though, which needs...a battery. I use the K&K Pure, but the Red Eye is brilliant too. The advantage of the K&K is the relative lack of freight inside the guitar-no volume wheels, batteries, minimal wires etc. Plus the sound is extremely natural and, with a spot of mid scooping, extremely expressive.

The Rare Earth is convenient in as much as the batts are easy to change and the whole thing is in and out with ease, but it doesn't sound very natural or suit my playing, even through the Aura system, and looks horrible in my opinion.

The Baggs Element sounds horrible with maple guitars (it's in my Dove) and I don't like the thick woven metal piezo element sitting between the saddle and bridge. I'll take it out and put it in something Mahogany flavoured soon. It'll sound great in my Epi EL-00.

The Matrix Infinities are superb, and jive perfectly with my Aura kit, but the best sounding (through the Aura) pickup I own is the stock Shadow Nanoflex in the Epi Texan I have. It's susceptible to occasional buzzes and hisses if the mini jack for the piezo is knocked loose from the preamp, but in general it's a fantastic sounding pickup. Go figure...
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1978 Hohner Leyanda 12 String
1998 Fender Classic Series '60s RI Telecaster

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#16 User is offline   blindboygrunt 

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 02:02 PM

I also canít be doing with no volume control Ďon the guitarí
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#17 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 02:52 PM

View Postblindboygrunt, on 02 October 2017 - 02:02 PM, said:

I also canít be doing with no volume control Ďon the guitarí



I thought that was what the right hand was for.
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#18 User is offline   Buc McMaster 

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 02:55 PM

View Postj45nick, on 02 October 2017 - 02:52 PM, said:

I thought that was what the right hand was for.

In my case the left, but amen.
J45 Vintage - J45 12 fret
Knowin' where you're goin' is mostly knowin' where you have been. Buc, from Me & Eddie
ATLANTA: Bitter Tears An original account of Gen'l Sherman's march through Georgia in the winter of 1864
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#19 User is offline   blindboygrunt 

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 02:36 AM

Ah thatís a bit ĎIím alright jackí
Perhaps a passive pickup would do me good and no change of battery would be a god send .
But to take a 2,000 1,000 pound guitar and decide on a pickup , buy it , fit it, and then discover that it wouldíve been great to have a volume , or a group of guys want you to join in for a few gigs or join a band for a while .....
Buy once cry once
A volume wheel is a useful add on for me anyway , different songs require different touch. That applies to both guitar and vocal , proximity to mic , sometimes plectrum strumming sometimes plectrum picking and sometimes gentle or heavy finger picking. The volume wheel is handy

I could use a little scooter to get to work so am I daft for having a car?

While I certainly donít exactly look forward to buying and changing a battery , itís not a hard job and every few months doing that is easier than another pedal or DI to carry about , which needs a bloody battery !

The guys who turned up with flat batteries arenít daft for fitting a preamp pickup , theyíre daft for being ill prepared
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#20 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 04:41 AM

View Postblindboygrunt, on 03 October 2017 - 02:36 AM, said:

The guys who turned up with flat batteries arenít daft for fitting a preamp pickup , theyíre daft for being ill prepared


yep this...
/Ray
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