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Ranking my guitars for LIVE


Salfromchatham

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1) D15 with Baggs M80

 

2) J50 with K&K

 

3) Farida OT22 with Baggs M1a

 

4) Hummingbird with Baggs VTC

 

 

That's the order of sound quality.

 

I go through a Baggs Venue DI. The D15 dials in awesome. The J50 is almost there, and I think would be even better if I added a boss tuner in front, which would match the impedance. That's what I have heard. I just bought a used tuner, so we'll see. The Farida is dang nice as well through the Venue.

The dog? The Baggs VTC is so dang quacky with a crazy untamable low end. I have tried for the past hour and I can't dial it in. Maybe it's an uneven UST. Maybe it's the rain. I'm going to bring the Bird with me to the beach tomorrow, and drop it off at RUSSO's to put in a K&k.

 

But dang. The Bird sounds fantastic unplugged, and absolutely unlistenable (to me) plugged in.

Comments? Advice for use through the Venue into the Fish? If u fail me, I spend $200 for the k&k and a setup. Or you can save me...

 

Anyways... hate to sound cliche, but it's been a tough week... so TGIF!

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I think the basic tonality of the Baggs is what's not working for you, Sal. They do have a very specific tone which is nothing like any of your other pickups.

 

I think a K&K would be just the ticket. Incidentally I use the K&K Pure preamp with my J45 which breathes so much life into the pickup...if you have a K&K in more than one guitar it's VERY much worth investing in one.

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Any of my four guitars with Dazzo pickups sound great. Guitar through a RedEye to board or amp.

 

Why? Each guitar was matched to the correct pickup frequency response. No EQ necessary.

 

If I had to rank them it would be:

 

65 Epiphone Texan with a 60/70 Dazzo pickup set

 

70 Guild D35 with a 70/70 set

 

Martin 00 15 custom 12 fret with an 80/70 set

 

Pono OP 30 with a 90 set

 

Pono OP12-30 with a 90/80 set

 

100=bassiest 70 least bassy

 

The Ponos are parlors so get the hyped bass pickups.

 

I mic my Martin M36 with the Lyric. Horrible pickup in comparison.

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Any of my four guitars with Dazzo pickups sound great. Guitar through a RedEye to board or amp.

 

Why? Each guitar was matched to the correct pickup frequency response. No EQ necessary.

 

If I had to rank them it would be:

 

65 Epiphone Texan with a 60/70 Dazzo pickup set

 

70 Guild D35 with a 70/70 set

 

Martin 00 15 custom 12 fret with an 80/70 set

 

Pono OP 30 with a 90 set

 

Pono OP12-30 with a 90/80 set

 

100=bassiest 70 least bassy

 

The Ponos are parlors so get the hyped bass pickups.

 

I mic my Martin M36 with the Lyric. Horrible pickup in comparison.

 

At LAST!! Someone with hands-on experience with Dazzo pickups!! Please give us a review of what you think, pros and cons, tone, easiness of use/installation and all the rest, if it's not too much to ask. I've been interested in these pickups for years!!

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From the K&K Pure install manual: The Pure sounds best with input impedance like 500 k to 1 meg.

From Fire Eye's Red Eye Preamp manual: Input: high-impedance, 1 million ohms (1Meg)

 

The Red Eye is right on the money for the K&K........didn't you have one of these? The Baggs VTC in the J-45 12 fret was absolutely horrible at last Sunday's OM and it's sporting a K&K now. Been pretty happy with the K&K/Red Eye setup using the 45 14 fret with a few notable exceptions (poor PA system with an inattentive operator). K&K's Pure Preamp has the same 1Meg input impedance but has EQ controls onboard.

 

Sorry the Hummingbird is not rockin' with a good live sound but I'd wager a K&K would change everything.......

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Buc, I have heard that the key is the impedance match is key. So... Fire-eye, k&k ultra... or...

Boss tuner (has the impedance match) into Baggs Venue... which supposedly gives me the right k&k tone, and allows me to EQ with the Venue, if needed, and use the Boost... which is needed.

 

Yes... I had a fire eye, and sold it. Bought the Baggs Venue. Started gigging with the M soundhole pups. They are so easy to dial right.

Now I just want to again be able to choose the J50 or any k&k equipped guitar I may have. I'm thinking the Venue alone for the M80, and th Venue plus Boss tuner for the K&k.

 

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Run it past me again why you don't like the Fishman Aura system?

 

My J45 with the older Element battery powered thing sounds like cardboard tearing plugged direct to my mixer, but add the Aura with J45 sound image and it becomes....just stunning!

 

And the Dazzo site is very confusing, hope their pickups are better than there spiel! And the playing in that video?

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Ah. So you want to have EQ control before the signal hits the PA with the Venue pedal. Ok, but to my thinking that's stacking the Venue EQ on top of the PA system EQ......need both?

 

As for a pedal tuner, I highly recommend the SR Turbo Tuner, especially if you're not using a powered pedal board. A very accurate chromatic strobe tuner with an incredibly bright display. But perhaps it's best feature is battery life: battery power is not switched on until you hit the switch to use the tuner.......battery lasts just short of forever.

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1501897304[/url]' post='1873202']

Ah. So you want to have EQ control before the signal hits the PA with the Venue pedal. Ok, but to my thinking that's stacking the Venue EQ on top of the PA system EQ......need both?

 

As for a pedal tuner, I highly recommend the SR Turbo Tuner, especially if you're not using a powered pedal board. A very accurate chromatic strobe tuner with an incredibly bright display. But perhaps it's best feature is battery life: battery power is not switched on until you hit the switch to use the tuner.......battery lasts just short of forever.

 

Buc... the EQ is less important to me with a k&k than the boost button. Need the boost button.

The Venue is fantastic with the M80.

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If I was to rank my guitars for live, it'd look something like this:

 

1) '41 Reissue SJ100 (Fishman Matrix Infinity)

2) '90 Hummingbird (Fishman Rare Earth HB, soon to be Infinity)

3) '15 SJ200 Standard (Matrix Infinity)

4) '67 J45 (K&K Pure Mini with Pure preamp)

5) Takamine EAN20C (Tak CT4BII pre with Tak Palathetic pickup)

6) '16 Epiphone IB64 Texan (Shadow Nanoflex)

7) '11 Dove (Baggs Element)

8) '02 Epiphone EL-00 (Fishman Rare Earth HB)

 

All go into my Aura 16 apart from the K&Ks and the Tak. The Aura sounds great with the Matrix Infinity and the Shadow, and smooths out a lot of the rubbery mids in the Rare Earth HB, making it a very useable pickup. Having said that, my good lady often comes to my live shows and said that the Matrix Infinity fitted guitars sound warm and full through the Aura and the REHB sounds thin and tinny out front.

 

I've yet to try the K&K through the Aura but I will at some point.

 

I don't like the Element in the Dove. They sound good to my ears in Mahogany guitars but in Maple I really think they don't suit. Had a few in Maple instruments and have always gone with a Fishman of some sort as they sound and respond better to Maple in my experience.

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I hate to spoil the party, but regarding which of my guitars sound best live...the tone is actually in the hands, not the guitar.

 

With that said, lately I am primarily an instrumentalist and the guitars I am favoring this year for my outdoor and indoor gigs are my 2016 Epiphone Masterbilt Olympic which has a stock Sonic HD preamp and a Shadow Nanoflex HD undersaddle pickup in it and my 1994 Gibson Gospel Reissue with a Fishman Rare Earth Humbucker soundhole pick up on...both run with a LPB1 Linear Power Booster before my amp. (Except in my occasional gigs where I bring my full/large PA system and don't need the LPB1.)

 

Last year, however, at my outdoor gigs I primarily favored my 2006 J45 1964 Reissue and my 1955 Epiphone F79 (pre-Texan), both with a Fishman Rare Earth Humbucker sound hole pickup.

 

Howevet, when I am not gigging, but playing live acoustically at a jam or a Songcircle, my go to non-amped guitars are usually my Gospel or my 72 Gibson SJD because of their acoustic volume. Or, occasionally my 1936 Epiphone Zenith because it's acoustic EQ is different than other guitars in the room.

 

But, I maintain that the guitars I favor live are based more on my mood to choose them at any given time when playing live and that the tone is actually in my playing and not the guitar.,,as all of guitars sound quite good.

 

Just my experience.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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My honest advise:

 

1) Stop using anthing by Baggs: i honestly find their products to be inferior to their competitors.

 

2) Retire the Hummingbird from live duty

 

3) Consider the Matrix Infinity / Aura Spectrum combo.

 

4) Keep mids all way down in the EQ

 

And since we all joned the game and i had to rank my gigging guitar, it would be like this (i.e the ones that have a pickup installed)

 

1) J-150

2) Dove

3) Furch

4) Southern Jumbo

5) Cort

6) Hummingbird TV

7) AJ

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I hate to spoil the party, but regarding which of my guitars sound best live...the tone is actually in the hands, not the guitar.

 

With that said, lately I am primarily an instrumentalist and the guitars I am favoring this year for my outdoor and indoor gigs are my 2016 Epiphone Masterbilt Olympic which has a stock Sonic HD preamp and a Shadow Nanoflex HD undersaddle pickup in it and my 1994 Gibson Gospel Reissue with a Fishman Rare Earth Humbucker soundhole pick up on...both run with a LPB1 Linear Power Booster before my amp. (Except in my occasional gigs where I bring my full/large PA system and don't need the LPB1.)

 

Last year, however, at my outdoor gigs I primarily favored my 2006 J45 1964 Reissue and my 1955 Epiphone F79 (pre-Texan), both with a Fishman Rare Earth Humbucker sound hole pickup.

 

Howevet, when I am not gigging, but playing live acoustically at a jam or a Songcircle, my go to non-amped guitars are usually my Gospel or my 72 Gibson SJD because of their acoustic volume. Or, occasionally my 1936 Epiphone Zenith because it's acoustic EQ is different than other guitars in the room.

 

But, I maintain that the guitars I favor live are based more on my mood to choose them at any given time when playing live and that the tone is actually in my playing and not the guitar.,,as all of guitars sound quite good.

 

Just my experience.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

 

Jeff, I'm intrigued by the Epi Masterbilt archtops, I've had my eye on one for my blues stuff. Are you pleased with yours?

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Jeff, I'm intrigued by the Epi Masterbilt archtops, I've had my eye on one for my blues stuff. Are you pleased with yours?

 

I have the honeyburst Olympic in the series with the optional pickguard that comes with it attached! I am extremely pleased with it and this year it has jumped to being my primary gigging guitar. Not only does it play exceptionally well for my instrumental music, but it's also extremely comfortable because of its size and fretboard. Some will say the neck is bigger than average, and it is, but its shape is super comfortable to me. It sounds great through my amp, but I have found it works and sounds best with a power booster gain pedal between the guitar and the amp. (I use a Linear Power Booster, LPB1). This is, however typical for a modern day Epi I have found. Asian Epi's can be great guitars, but thei electronics in them always have less output to them than stuff in Gibsons. The LPB1 between the guitar and the amp serves to boost that power and it does. It sounds great with it in use. So so without it. It only cost $40 so no biggie for what it does to boost the guitar's output to an amp. The guitar has a lotta charisma to it. People stop and stare at it all the time, take pictures of it, and always ask me how old it is. I always tell them the truth that it is a reissue of a 30's Olympic and made in 2016. Acoustically, it sounds like an authentic archtop with its midrange sound bouncing off the top. Especially with medium acoustic strings or medium light bronze (not phosphor bronze) strings (if I can find them.

 

It is really great for lead and instrumental playing. It's EQis made for that in my opinion.

 

Quite reasonably priced too for the high quality and coolness of it. And, fun to play if you are into archtops and the sounds they can produce.

 

I do find on my amp, I have to turn the bass way up and the treble way down to balance its sound. But, so be it and no prob. It's become routine now to do with it.

 

Hope this is helpful.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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I have the honeyburst Olympic in the series with the optional pickguard that comes with it attached! I am extremely pleased with it and this year it has jumped to being my primary gigging guitar. Not only does it play exceptionally well for my instrumental music, but it's also extremely comfortable because of its size and fretboard. Some will say the neck is bigger than average, and it is, but its shape is super comfortable to me. It sounds great through my amp, but I have found it works and sounds best with a power booster gain pedal between the guitar and the amp. (I use a Linear Power Booster, LPB1). This is, however typical for a modern day Epi I have found. Asian Epi's can be great guitars, but thei electronics in them always have less output to them than stuff in Gibsons. The LPB1 between the guitar and the amp serves to boost that power and it does. It sounds great with it in use. So so without it. It only cost $40 so no biggie for what it does to boost the guitar's output to an amp. The guitar has a lotta charisma to it. People stop and stare at it all the time, take pictures of it, and always ask me how old it is. I always tell them the truth that it is a reissue of a 30's Olympic and made in 2016. Acoustically, it sounds like an authentic archtop with its midrange sound bouncing off the top. Especially with medium acoustic strings or medium light bronze (not phosphor bronze) strings (if I can find them.

 

It is really great for lead and instrumental playing. It's EQis made for that in my opinion.

 

Quite reasonably priced too for the high quality and coolness of it. And, fun to play if you are into archtops and the sounds they can produce.

 

I do find on my amp, I have to turn the bass way up and the treble way down to balance its sound. But, so be it and no prob. It's become routine now to do with it.

 

Hope this is helpful.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

 

Super helpful, thanks QM!

 

Weirdly enough, I'm in Italy at the moment on some tour management work, and the chap I'm TMing for has an Olympic. I mentioned our chat about it and how much you like yours, and he said he'd lend me his for a couple of weeks so I could see how I got on with it and work out if they are for me or not. What a gent!

 

I have been looking at the Deluxe and the Zephyr as I'm a big guy and like big guitars, but the Olympic is certainly intriguing.

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Greetings from Lavallette NJ...

Yesterday I dropped off the Bird at RUSSO's, and they are taking out the Baggs and putting in a K&K, shim or replace saddle, and set it up. So I have the Farida this week...

By the way... I asked them about the K&K impedance match thing. They said for a passive pup it's important. One can use a preamp with a 1ohm input... or any stomp box with that input will also do, provided it's not bypassed. So in other words a Boss Tu-3W, or an old Tu3, is not only a great stage tuner, but a great thing to connect to before ...say a Baggs Venue DI. Or even straight into the FishStick...

I'll test it next week.

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Super helpful, thanks QM!

 

Weirdly enough, I'm in Italy at the moment on some tour management work, and the chap I'm TMing for has an Olympic. I mentioned our chat about it and how much you like yours, and he said he'd lend me his for a couple of weeks so I could see how I got on with it and work out if they are for me or not. What a gent!

 

I have been looking at the Deluxe and the Zephyr as I'm a big guy and like big guitars, but the Olympic is certainly intriguing.

 

Good synchronicity/serandipity! Very cool!

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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Mine ranked for their plugged in sound:

 

1. Godin Multiac Duet Nylon

2. LaPatrie Hybrid

3. Gibson J45 Standard, J35, Songwriter Deluxe Studio

4. 70s Gibson SJ Deluxe

 

I prefer a microphone any day for a steel string acoustic guitar, pickups just sound terrible especially when compared to the unplugged tone.

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Not playing anywhere, so no help in that department, but plugged in sound to my mixer is won hands down by my Martin D18E Retro with the Aura inbuilt!

 

 

Next up is to use my recent purchase, Irig Acoustic Stage, which just attaches to the soundhole of any acoustic guitar I have (my Lowdens have thicker reinforced soundholes so I put a strip of gaffa tape to hold the iRig in the spot...)

 

I went to the shop to buy after watching this video:

 

 

 

https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/ik-multimedia-irig-acoustic-stage-review/

 

More details on the iRig Acoustic Stage:

 

 

 

 

 

Next up would be any guitar I have with undersaddle pickup through my Aura Spectrum DI......

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Plugged in - the CF-100E with the P-90. But the P-90 was always my favorite Gibson pickup.

 

After that it does not really matter as I own three Dearmond 210 pickups and one Kent WC-18 (which is a really good Dearmond knockoff) and slap them across the soundhole of whatever I am in the mood to play. One of these days those I will come into the 21st century and buy me a Sunrise pickup which of the modern ones I have tried I liked the best.

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