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Gibson L-130 upgrade electronics vs lr baggs venue


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hi guys sorry again for a new topic I will try to keep it limited from here but I respect all of your opinions so much and advice. I love my guitar but just wanted to get it to sound the best I can in a live setting. I play Gibson L130 from 2001 - I believe it has fishman electronics.

 

my question is would it be more beneficial for me to upgrade to a K & K pure mini pickup OR keep the Fishman electronics already installed and run the guitar through a LR baggs Venue. I realize they do two separate things but I only have $300 to spend and I want to do what's best for the sound of the guitar. thank you! :)

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Different strokes for different folks.

 

Personally I figure if it ain't broke, don't fix it. That's regardless that I've read good things about this or that option.

 

Frankly I don't quite understand whatever problem you perceive that would require anything new at all.

 

That's because it's my observation that what counts is a decent matching of the settings on the guitar and the PA board or even an AE amp.

 

I've been using AE guitars since the first year or so that Ovation came out with their stuff in the early '70s. Still have both the "Electric Legend" and the "Country Artist." Both have played in venues ranging from an auditorium with some 2,000 folks on hand to a saloon with under 100 in the room. Never had a problem with those old girls or any of my newer ones. IF one matches the sound to the amplification unit(s).

 

Yeah, depending on your playing style, you may want a bit of chorus or whatever, but...???

 

m

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thank you! Definitely no reverb or chorus on the guitar my playing style is similar to Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. With that said I am running my Gibson direct into a Bose L1 and while it sounds good going direct in - it would be amateur to say that I couldn't get it sounding a little less boomy and better EQd if I had the option. The Fishman definitely has never let me down and it may even be better than what I am trying to upgrade I sadly I'm not that well accustomed to guitar gear as I am with playing. so I guess like everyone else I just want to know a way to maybe slightly improve the sound without having to put five grand into it :)

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Okay... I'm old, and hadn't heard of Tweedy. So I looked him up on Youtube.

 

Dunno if you've actually heard him in concert, but it sounded to me to be pretty worked on in the vids I watched/listened to. One instrument in a vid was a magnetic pickup as in an electric guitar.

 

Problem with trying to get a "sound" is that it ain't gonna be what you hear on recordings even if you have the identical rig.

 

Bose l1? That's a good system as is for relatively small venues. I would have given my left foot for something like that back in the '60s. The guitar is fine too.

 

There are a number of variables involved in an AE "tone," whether a mag pup or an undersaddle pup, that are, and are not involved in a straight acoustic.

 

Dunno what strings you're using, nor where you're playing on the instrument. You can lessen bassiness by playing back closer to the bridge. Or changing to another type/gauge of strings. Or even flatpick technique and angle strumming across the strings. On one vid that I watched, he was playing fairly close to the bridge - but no idea what strings were in use. He also appeared to be playing largely with what I'd call a "loose pick brush" rather than a hard hold on the pick.

 

You wouldn't have that equipment if you didn't have ability to make it work for you. But seriously, I'd first look at variables you have available to you as is. The tone control on the L1, strings, even volume on the guitar etc.

 

As for technique, I always reflect that Segovia made the comment that a guitar can be an entire orchestra of tone - but it's up to the player to draw it out from the strings.

 

m

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milod - excellent response. jeff tweedy is the lead singer of the band wilco. he's a good representation of a Gibson playing artist who is a singer songwriter. the Bose l1 is incredible - don't get me wrong. best pa I ever used and I perform in small cafe venues with my original songs. I jjsy am forever looking to hone my sound and perfect it. he does a lot of finger picking and def has I believe a blend of pickups worth more than my house - so I know I won't ever match that. I'm just hoping to get a little cleaner tone and more prescence.

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great tone! the issue with me is the l-130 does not have any controls on the acoustic electric fishman pickup and the Bose doesn't really have much controls either. it's bqsically line in and you get what you get. the performance aspect of it is that I play wherever it sounds best on guitar usually above the bridge. I do play in DADGAD Often which can also cause more low end to come out

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yeah...

 

I mostly use pretty much classical guitar concepts - sometimes just bare flesh thumb or fingers, sometimes half flesh and nail at different angles, sometimes mostly nail... sometimes near the bridge, sometimes nearer the end of the fingerboard - and each is a bit different.

 

In effect, the no-control undersaddle pup, or even a lotta soundhole mag pups, don't give you the signal control as a Les Paul, but on the other hand, it kinda forces the player to think more as a pure acoustic picker - <grin> - like Segovia.

 

Been there... done it.

 

My old early '70s first generation AE guitars - Ovation started it then - only have a volume dial. So... I guess I figured that was okay and got the amp as close as I could, then played as though I were miked into a PA 'stedda playing an electric.

 

Then again, I didn't have all the fancies available nowadays. But... neither did Chet or Travis or the old folkies even older than I am. <huge grin on that'n>

 

m

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you've certainly given me an old school true lesson in guitar playing :) I appreciate that. sometimes we get so set on trying to upgrade with new toys to make us sound better that we forget to rely on fundamentals. with that said, it seems so unfair when you have mastered the art of guitar playing and songwriting but you can't afford the upgrades that the musicians making millions can afford. so you do the best you can with what you've got. that's where I am :)

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I dunno...

 

I figure most of the pickers I hold in most awe would be those who'd say they ain't come close to mastering the art.

 

Joe Pass, Segovia, Merle Travis, Doc Watson, Chet Atkins, Leo Kottke... and I could go on until breakfast. Heck, I'm not even a good apprentice more than 50 years on... and I've played on tv, live radio, saloons and dance halls all over the place, coffee houses, a Bach piece or two and... whatever... even cowboy gigs.

 

I think it's because "we" didn't have the gadgetry and that kept our minds off it - and in ways, tend to dislike it.

 

For example, I don't like anti-lock brakes, air bags, and a batch of the new stuff that doesn't let you control the car. That's fine for those who never learned how to drive the old way. My old Austin Healey you'd get going in a four-wheel drift around corners; then the McPherson strutted Alpine with those fancy new radial tires stuck nicely until ... they broke loose too fast to catch up again. A whole different kinda driving. But then my Jeep handles a lot differently than an old Elva.

 

Just different mentalities. I think it's the same with guitar playing. There's always a workaround if it's just plain "tone" of some sort you're seeking. Kinda like mike technique... soft and low swallow the mike; howl at the moon draw back and arch the neck. Shout in anger just outa distance to get spit on the mike; make love to it lips to lips...

 

Just a question here so I can figure if I'm making an old fool of myself... age? General location? (as in northeast US, southeast US, London England or London Ontario or ... LA or Austin or Chicago...

 

And string choice? It all counts.

 

Me, I'm a bit too old even to be a baby boomer. <grin> And just a grouchy old man.

 

For what it's worth, when those electronicky thingies came along, I messed with summa them. Wasted a lotta money.

 

And... there should be some half decent unpowered mixers around for a C note or less that could even frontend the mike and guitar and add a tone control... but...

 

m

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but I only have $300 to spend and I want to do what's best for the sound of the guitar. thank you! :)

Depends of what you call "best of the sound".

My "best of the sound" plugged in is a good guitar + K&K Triniti Mini system. (because I hate piezo sounds - sounds electric to me and I love acoustics)

 

 

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I'm glad mr. gibbs added a comment with his outlook on equipment.

 

There are some in the Acoustic side of the forum that would suggest to forget any AE guitar and buy a very high quality mike for the guitar - and that anything less wastes a good acoustic guitar.

 

And some will suggest other solutions - and frankly all will work quite well and yet none may make a given performer "happy."

 

Personally I figure any major change of equipment, a "main guitar" or a "new pa" or "high-end mike" for vocals and/or guitar should come with a period of shakedown that's more for the musician to adjust and learn the toys than the quality of the equipment.

 

Then again... I'm a grouchy old man who was there and kinda resolved that audiences want a good performance and that our concerns of a 10-15 percent "better" (which may not be perceived as such by others) ain't really important to them unless we're trying to be a direct "cover band" and look and sound exactly like somebody other than who we are.

 

Grouch... grouch... <grin>

 

m

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I'm glad mr. gibbs added a comment with his outlook on equipment.

 

There are some in the Acoustic side of the forum that would suggest to forget any AE guitar and buy a very high quality mike for the guitar - and that anything less wastes a good acoustic guitar.

 

And some will suggest other solutions - and frankly all will work quite well and yet none may make a given performer "happy."

 

Personally I figure any major change of equipment, a "main guitar" or a "new pa" or "high-end mike" for vocals and/or guitar should come with a period of shakedown that's more for the musician to adjust and learn the toys than the quality of the equipment.

 

Then again... I'm a grouchy old man who was there and kinda resolved that audiences want a good performance and that our concerns of a 10-15 percent "better" (which may not be perceived as such by others) ain't really important to them unless we're trying to be a direct "cover band" and look and sound exactly like somebody other than who we are.

 

Grouch... grouch... <grin>

 

m

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m - I am a 33 year old from Philadelphia ! I play with elixir medium lights because I like the feel of them.

 

mr Gibbs - so glad you answered! the trinity was what I was really considering but I do not know the difference sadly. will that be an upgrade on the fishman (factory installed on the l130). what I want is the amazing natural acoustic sound of my 130 to stand out. I'm assuming my fishman is a piezo? it sounds good just not great. ya know?

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m - I am a 33 year old from Philadelphia ! I play with elixir medium lights because I like the feel of them.

 

mr Gibbs - so glad you answered! the trinity was what I was really considering but I do not know the difference sadly. will that be an upgrade on the fishman (factory installed on the l130). what I want is the amazing natural acoustic sound of my 130 to stand out. I'm assuming my fishman is a piezo? it sounds good just not great. ya know?

I am a 53 year old from Sofia-Bulgaria-The Other Side Of This World.

I play AE guitars since I don't know when...

I have never loved a piezo sound because these things produce "clapping" sounds out of great acoustics and these things are situated under the saddle of the guitar. I don't love to have nothing under my saddle, but my guitar!

With all of my respects to Fishman company - I don't like them much... Their piezos are good, but they are not for me and for my guitars because I don't like how they sound.

With all my respects to L.R.Baggs company - I simply hate their AE pickups and will never install one, and will throw them out from all the instrument I possess, because I REALLY DON'T LIKE the sound they produce and the places where this company suggests to install them into the guitar (they simply violate the acoustic sound of my guitars)

Mark well here that I speak only for me and for my guitars. I don't want to offend nobody, but only to abnegate pickups.

I love the K&K Triniti Mini System because it gives me the most acoustic sound when I plug in my guitar. (it is not perfect, but I don't know better)

I have this system installed in 4 of my instruments.

Gibson J200

Gibson J35

Guild D55

Martin HD28 (this guitar I purchased a month ago and it went immediately to my luthier's atelier for much repairs, and will be in my home thursday morning)

There is not a perfect AE pickup system. We only search for perfection.

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mr Gib! it's amazing how people are spread out across the globe all helping the same exact thing and loving the same instrument that is amazing. I have one question about the trinity will that make the pickup on the guitar sound too hot and give me feedback compared to the fishman installed now? does it have eq or is it a simply passive pickup? finally, if I don't hate my fishman in the l-130 would I benefit from a lr baggs venue pedal to shape the tone or would installing a trinity be way above that as far as getting a better acoustic sound!? ryan in Philadelphia

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I tried many systems until I finished with the K&K Triniti Mini.

I tried L.R.Baggs M1 active on my Gibson J200. After 3 years of using it I trew it out... I needed some time to realise that thing sounds not good to me (like on the phone some way) and it makes the sound hole of my Gibson J200 a bit "amateur"... And installed the K&K Triniti Mini.

On my custom replica of a Martin 00028 (Cedar/Indian RW) made for me by my friend luthier Galin Penev I installed first an L.R.Baggs i Beam active. I threw it out after four years of using it - stopped to love the sound... Matter of fact after uninstalling that thing out of the guitar this instrument started to sound better unplugged. Because of the fact that the L.R.Baggs i Beam has to be glued on a specific place on the bridge from the inside and that thing prevents the good vibrations of the top of the guitar. But my luthier found that fact after he uninstalled the L.R.Baggs and he had no way to know what that pickup causes to the guitar sound, because that was his first (and last till now) L.R.Baggs i Beam for instalation.

After I purchased the J35 in the summer of 2013 I did not like the piezo sound of the L.R. Baggs installed inside by Gibson Montana and purchased a Fishman Aura DI to improve my acoustic sound when I play plugged in. Used it for several months and again therw out the L.R.Baggs from inside of the J35, changed the plastic parts with bone ones, installed a K&K Triniti Mini and forgot where I putted that Fishman Aura DI (may be it is somewhere in the attic...)

This is my experience.

And it always ends with some K&K Triniti Mini system.

The last gitar I purchased from www.dreamguitars.com turned out to be a "bad dream" guitar. A Martin HD28, presented by All Peteway here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gtp3wHa78us

 

Sounds good? Yeah? OK - this guitar came to me fretted with very unusual frets, protruding high above the fretboard (yesterday my luthier told me they were even all GLUED on the fretboard with some plastic glue!!!), the nut and the saddle were PLASTIC when it came to me and the guitar and the case smelled, no, not smelled - they stank mold...

And inside there was an undersaddle Fishman piezo pickup sounding ugly... Sounding cheep...

This is a Martin HD28 in the end........ and, man - all these "small" things (including the undersaddle Fishman piezo) just DOESN'T SUIT a Martin HD28 made in USA in 1990. And moreover - THESE THINGS DON'T SUIT ME !!!

So after I had the guitar in my hands I found all these failures for ten minutes and the guitar left for the luthier's atelier (and it comes back after tomorrow)

My luthier slowed down the repairs because he wanted to check out some pickups he was trying to build on his own with some chinese microphones and non undersaddle piezos, but in the end he realised that what he is doing is not good....... And he installed a K&K Trinity Mini inside the Martin HD28.

My humble personal opinion is that K&K Triniti Mini system is ways better than any piezo pickup AE system. Because this is another level and because te piezo is not undersaddle and because there is a condenser microphone inside the guitar. And there is the possibility to tune lows, mids, highs and volume for each of the both channels of the system from the inside of the preamp.

If you want my advise - get a K&K Triniti Mini System, install it in your guitar and forget any other pickup (especially the undersaddle ones!)

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wow the trinity mini seems perfect and with the preamp included I love how you can blend the sound just right. it's going to be between the trinity mini or keeping as is and getting the lr baggs venue to help the tone. if I install any new pickup it will hands down be the trinity. what's the diffwrence between the mini and the solo trinity?

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RCM, I play almost completely un-amplified acoustics. One minor, oft overlooked, but in-expensive item is the pick. Some are twangy and some are mellow. So, I have two I use - depending on what sound I want to produce. Of course, the electronics will have 100% more impact on volume and tone. But, as Milod said, some of us old school players learned to pay attention to some of the basic things. G'Luck!

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incredible point fortyears .. in fact, just last week I accidently bought the darker gray Dunlop .88 picks instead of the ones I usually get and I realized that I loved it so much more. My issue is I play with a pick about 20 percent of my Set and the rest fingerpicking. you're exactly right about how the pick can change the tone immensely!

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And ditto how you pick... whether a flatpick of some sort, thumb and/or fingerpicks, or bare fingers and thumb.

 

Mother Maybelle Carter used a thumb and fingerpicks and played humongous strings on her old Gibson acoustic archtop. She played as though it were an autoharp which she also played the same way.

 

When I was a kid starting at guitar some of the jazzers used felt flatpicks.

 

Is the flatpick technique straight on parallel to the string or at an angle...

 

etc.

 

m

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  • 3 weeks later...

thanks for all who helped me with this. sorry if. I have not gotten back to you I was out of the country for a couple weeks. I still am wondering if I should upgrade my electronics or buy a preamp because I am not enjoying the acoustic sound of my guitar when plugged in it sounds very thin and nothing like the guitar when it's played acoustically :)

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Well...

 

I dunno. The fancy Bose unit to attach to your pa should work. it should work better than a $50-100 unpowered mixer, but a lot more cash.

 

I'd doubt that a preamp would do that much without other controls. A mixer would let you turn up the Bose and do whatever with the mixer for volume/tone, whatever.

 

Frankly I don't understand why the guitar would seem "thin" from the Bose either.

 

m

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Well...

 

I dunno. The fancy Bose unit to attach to your pa should work. it should work better than a $50-100 unpowered mixer, but a lot more cash.

 

I'd doubt that a preamp would do that much without other controls. A mixer would let you turn up the Bose and do whatever with the mixer for volume/tone, whatever.

 

Frankly I don't understand why the guitar would seem "thin" from the Bose either.

 

m

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think a more descriptive term would be "tinny", not thin. I don't see this acoustic changing it's sound unless that original Fishman piezo undersaddle is replaced with a K&K or another system.

 

 

 

 

 

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thanks to you both and yes tinny! exactly the word I was looking for. and I truly feel you are right vacamartin. I can only assume The reason my guitars not being replicated one plugged in to such a expensive system as the Bose is because my preamp is crap. is it really as easy as buying the K and K and installing it in place of the Fishman and I should get a more natural sound? is the Trinity what I want??

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