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Little Demo of my D18E - Warning: Martin Content


BluesKing777
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I was talking about my 2015 Martin D18E with inbuilt Aura F1+ pickup system in another thread....I recorded this little test for another amplification forum, but some here may be interested.

As mentioned in the other thread, Martin and Fishman went to a lot of trouble to get some good sounds from this pickup system, including recording an old 1938 Martin D18 at a top Nashville studio with vintage mics of the era, to get the 'sound images' for the Aura onboard system.

So in the track below, I just plug direct to my Boss VE8, add a bit of reverb, that's all - run to my Mac to record - I just used Image #1 in the aura system on full, for those that need to know. There are no microphones anywhere in sight, just plugged and meanwhile outside is Bedlam with lawn mowers and kids playing and people drilling and hacking and slashing gardens and bouncing basketballs etc,etc, etc..................enemies of microphones!:

 

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

P.S. - photo!

Front - 2015 Martin D18E, back - 2006 Martin HD28V:

 

sRnv4n8h.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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On 4/27/2020 at 11:25 PM, BluesKing777 said:

 

I was talking about my 2015 Martin D18E with inbuilt Aura F1+ pickup system in another thread....I recorded this little test for another amplification forum, but some here may be interested.

As mentioned in the other thread, Martin and Fishman went to a lot of trouble to get some good sounds from this pickup system, including recording an old 1938 Martin D18 at a top Nashville studio with vintage mics of the era, to get the 'sound images' for the Aura onboard system.

So in the track below, I just plug direct to my Boss VE8, add a bit of reverb, that's all - run to my Mac to record - I just used Image #1 in the aura system on full, for those that need to know. There are no microphones anywhere in sight, just plugged and meanwhile outside is Bedlam with lawn mowers and kids playing and people drilling and hacking and slashing gardens and bouncing basketballs etc,etc, etc..................enemies of microphones!:

 

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

P.S. - photo!

Front - 2015 Martin D18E, back - 2006 Martin HD28V:

 

sRnv4n8h.jpg

 

 

 

Killer axes.

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Thanks!

On later reflection a couple of days later, I probably should have turned the headphone volume up while I was recording the track - I 'played' with the 'real' sound I was hearing from the guitar, not the 'recording' sound of the pickup. If that makes sense? I use my best SennH headphones and while they are 'noise reducing', they are not a 'noise reduction' model. So I could still hear the D18 thunder even though I wasn't playing that hard.....

It would be good to try an internal mic like the one in the Maton AP5-Pro which makes the sounds very 'live', with the Aura F1+ system, just to give it some of that 'live'. Same goes for my Taylor 717E BE with the ES2...just a bit more 'air'. And hopefully, no feedback!😒 The Matons sound like you are playing at a bar - the Martin with Aura sounds like you are playing in a recording studio.

 

BluesKing777.

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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Here is a similar kind of tune played on my black Maton 808 with the fabulous Maton Ap5-Pro pickup system for comparison to the Martin Aura pickup above - plugged direct to my Boss VE8 and recorded to my Mac:

 

 

 

 

 

 

And while I was at it fighting off the Better Half talking on the phone all day for work at home and the drummer out the back doing what could only be a fitness calisthenics regime on his drum kit.... here is little blues picking, also on the black Maton:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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29 minutes ago, Jinder said:

The Martin sounds nice, but the Maton is absolutely stellar as an amplified acoustic...wow!!

 

Thanks Jinder!

They both sound better through a PA than recorded. I don’t really like them in my 60 watt acoustic Genz Benz, but give them both a few thousand watts and, what’s the song? “Set the controls for the heart of the......” etc.

They both also sound better through an EQ preamp/DI with some of the quoinks and furries cut to remove the ‘glassiness’.

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

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Night and day difference. Just as an example, the little burst of a riff at :22 would have done awful things to the sound on the Martin system. I've heard that martin system online before in Martin demos. Seems like it's right on the edge of being overloaded even when played with light touches. Overall sound is nice, but has defects galore in the lows and low mids.

This maton system is great. No questions at all. Just great.

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Thanks PB and KC!

A bit later today, I intend to do the same (sort of) tunes on my 2005 Gibson Dove with the  (full version) Baggs Anthem. First, there is the small matter of loosening the strings and changing the battery in the bag at the neck block - I like the pickup but changing batteries is a nuisance. The Martin D18e has the battery compartment like a camera - press the tab, lid opens, slide battery out and slide new one in! So easy. The Matons (newer versions) have similar but on the control module on the upper bout of the guitar - it uses 2 AA batteries instead of the square 9v, because 2 batteries supposedly give more power. The 2  AAs seem to last a very long while - the D18e Aura battery only lasts what seems to be a minute and the Anthem battery I have changed twice since November....

 

BluesKing777.

 

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1 hour ago, PatriotsBiker said:

What's the sound system in the Maton?

The Taylor battery is easy replacement, but that end pin makes it impossible for a decent strap lock. Never seems to be a perfect thing.

 

Really? What happens?

Well, the Martin D18e battery compartment is alarmingly similar to the Taylor of recent times... I don't use a strap normally at home unless it is a heavy guitar like the Nationals, but I was thinking of using a strap on my Taylor 717E BE as it has a new 'Silent Satin Finish' which does what the names says but is slippery on my lap when wearing track pants. (good news with that finish is that after a year, I have no arm marks AT ALL on the side of the guitar! When the Apocalypse is over, there will only be cockroaches, Keef and the Taylor Silent Satin Finish standing up on its own with no wood or guitar left......like a guitar ghost. But anyway, the battery compartment is far more convenient for people playing out, instead of loosening strings mid gig to lean a hand in the soundhole! Or worse, asking the audience for a person with small hands to come and pull the damn battery out!😠 And do they have a spare battery on them? Thanks!

The Maton AP5-Pro pickup system has the controls on the side of the guitar - 3 Volumes (mic, piezo undersaddle, master), bass, treble, and a sweepable mid (one of the keys to getting rid of ploinky mids!) and the battery compartment is behind the Maton logo. Pull the latch and open the hatch (probably the first thing to break on the road  followed by the input jack, I have been told):

FMgBjJ5h.jpg

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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OK, as promised earlier - a couple of short tracks for comparison with the 2005 Gibson Dove plugged direct to Boss VE8 > Mac via the onboard Baggs Anthem pickup. No EQ or anything - just plugged direct as used by millions.

 

First up - a similar style of playing to the first track - similar I say because while the dove has a nice beefy neck and nut, the bridge spacing is quite narrow and a bit harder to fingerpick than the Martin above....

 

 

And a short blues - same setup:

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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I like your Dove recordings, too. the second one is especially more transparent for whatever reason. Both exhibit nice piezo blends. Again, the second one being better IMO.

On the Taylor strap part of our chat, the bottom strap button has limited space for a strap of any thickness to fit. It's nothing like the strap button on my other acoustics. It's built into the input jack system. I cannot unscrew, and therefore, replaced. The medium-low thickness straps do the best for me, while the thinnest ones with the slits seem to come right off. At last check, nobody made a reasonable strap lock for it. My Taylor is a 2015. Perhaps they've improved that aspect. I've not looked.

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Thanks very much livemusic and PB!

Of course, they all sound different in a PA or amp. One of the advantages of the Boss VE8 is you can practice away at home with a sound like the recordings, hit the road with a commitment to wearing in-ear monitors or even some lightweight Sennies and then tell the soundperson to turn your monitor OFF, right off. And then run 2 xlr cables out of the Boss VE8 for stereo in the mixer out front and Voila! No feedback. This is assuming the apocalypse ends and there are gigs and blues nights and open mics instead of sitting here!

Straps.....ironic that everyone seems to give me a strap with a guitar....Taylor special one - not tried it. Pawn shop guitars Dove and J50 both had straps in the case and bag. Maton Messiah 808 came with a custom leather Maton strap. And I bought one each to keep with my Nationals or they just slide off my leg ...(I put a strip of Velcro on the point my leg touches guitar, this helps a lot).  I say it is ironic because the strap I had for years and years playing in bands was just a disgrace while I saved the Fender strap that came gratis with my Tele for what? Providence!😎

 

BluesKing777.

Edited by BluesKing777
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3 hours ago, PatriotsBiker said:

I like your Dove recordings, too. the second one is especially more transparent for whatever reason. Both exhibit nice piezo blends. Again, the second one being better IMO.

On the Taylor strap part of our chat, the bottom strap button has limited space for a strap of any thickness to fit. It's nothing like the strap button on my other acoustics. It's built into the input jack system. I cannot unscrew, and therefore, replaced. The medium-low thickness straps do the best for me, while the thinnest ones with the slits seem to come right off. At last check, nobody made a reasonable strap lock for it. My Taylor is a 2015. Perhaps they've improved that aspect. I've not looked.

My 2001 j 45 was stripped of its pick-up long before I bought it, but the female input jack in the bottom of the guitar remains. Its strap flange is so small and thin that the strap was constantly slipping off. To avoid a catastrophe, I made a mold in a candle and cast an epoxy mushroom-shaped button whose shaft was pressure-fitted with a tape shim into the jack. The buton head is large enough to keep the strap safely in place, and the only other modification required was to the guitar case to accommodate the button head.

Works like a champion.

RBSinTo

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You can buy replacement end pins for guitars that have had a 1/4” pickup jack removed and ripped out and yelled at.....StewMac and others.....

My 2002 J50 is at the shop getting some work, a nice new fat bone nut and saddle and endpin for the existing pickup jack he is taking out gently? I may have woken in the night a couple of times thinking about how lonely the poor guitar is sitting in the cold workshop, no blanket, no TV, no case, no humidipak, no strings, no love.

But soon it will be back in a much more playable condition - luthier said he was surprised to see how I played chords at THAT 12th fret! I have been truly spoiled over the years playing guitars he has setup exactly for ME, my style, fingerpicking, that’s it......kind of like driving some exotic sports cars while poor old J50 with 1/2” action at the 12th is like reverting to my childhood and driving a rattly old Ford!

I asked him to revert it to full acoustic, no pickup, no undersaddle stuff remaining....no shims! I will hear what it really sounds like, play it for a while and then.......take it back for a pickup if the world restarts!

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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48 minutes ago, BluesKing777 said:

 

You can buy replacement end pins for guitars that have had a 1/4” pickup jack removed and ripped out and yelled at.....StewMac and others.....

My 2002 J50 is at the shop getting some work, a nice new fat bone nut and saddle and endpin for the existing pickup jack he is taking out gently? I may have woken in the night a couple of times thinking about how lonely the poor guitar is sitting in the cold workshop, no blanket, no TV, no case, no humidipak, no strings, no love.

But soon it will be back in a much more playable condition - luthier said he was surprised to see how I played chords at THAT 12th fret! I have been truly spoiled over the years playing guitars he has setup exactly for ME, my style, fingerpicking, that’s it......kind of like driving some exotic sports cars while poor old J50 with 1/2” action at the 12th is like reverting to my childhood and driving a rattly old Ford!

I asked him to revert it to full acoustic, no pickup, no undersaddle stuff remaining....no shims! I will hear what it really sounds like, play it for a while and then.......take it back for a pickup if the world restarts!

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

There was no need to go to Stewmac, as it took very little time to make my button-headed plug for the female jack. I like to make and fix mechanical things, so this was a fun project.

RBSinTo

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Well, we have veered off the path now in to the world of Tonedexter! (preamp/DI for improving quacky tone pickups). I have looked how to change the heading of my thread but even though we used to do that in the old web page, I can't seem to find a 'heading edit button'...On we go though.

So here is a track on my Taylor 717e Builder's Edition with the famous ES2 pickup system (the guitar is Taylor's new version of a slope shoulder dread but with V bracing). Billions buy these guitars for plug and play, and I find it pretty good, really. Plugged direct though? To a PA? Never! Not me! Very good in an acoustic amp though...

I made 2 different files for the Taylor pickup in my Tonedexter. I think the better the mic you use to 'train' Tonedexter, the better result you get...

BUT being a lunatic, I wanted to do some with a plain old Shure SM57 that I have owned since Noah was in short pants. It got used on my metal body Dobro live in solo sets - it was perfect for a resonator sound. So ages ago, I experimented with making a Tonedexter file for the same Dobro loaded with some kind of passive (quacky) reso pickup on the cone which in its natural state is truly a shocker. And I was really happy with the results, mainly because of the emotional attachment to the poor old SM57...😏

Moving ahead to recently, here is a similar sort of playing as on the first track of this thread on the Martin. (I say similar, because it has been a week since, it is early morning now and probably playing exactly the same is not in my nature.) - this time I ran the guitar to Tonedexter, then to my A&H mixer, added only some reverb and recorded to my Mac via USB to Garageband.

Chordy thing:

 

 

 

And the bonus blues track of same settings:

 

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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