built for amplification advice

Please put your pickup/wiring discussions in the Electronics section; and put discussions about repair issues, including fixing errors in new instruments, in the Repairs section.
Post Reply
Layne Campbell
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:38 am

built for amplification advice

Post by Layne Campbell »

So I built a semi-hollow electric that I felt came out well, and now I am planning my first acoustic.

I know I want to design it for amplified performances, so I was looking for preamps and pickups at stumac and it seemed to me like everything they offer is designed to be added to an already complete guitar.

my girlfriend has an Ibanez and the preamp and battery compartment are in an inlay-ed mount on the sidewall, it seems very nice to me.

what are people using for a more custom application that does not look like it was added as an afterthought?

who supplies this sort of thing?


Thanks for the help

User avatar
Eddie McRae
Posts: 153
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:07 am
Location: Woodbury, GA USA
Contact:

Re: built for amplification advice

Post by Eddie McRae »

My personal preferences are the Fishman onboard systems. They have an economical line called "Presys" and a more expensive line called "Prefix". Both systems come with an onboard preamp along with the undersaddle piezo and the input jack. I've also used a few Artec onboard systems that performed quite well for the money. And I've heard good things about the LR Baggs systems but I've never used or tried them.

Steve Senseney
Posts: 673
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:45 pm

Re: built for amplification advice

Post by Steve Senseney »

I haven't built a lot of piezo instruments.

I recently did the Ashbory type bass--

http://www.mimf.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=409

The bass-uke that I did uses a relatively inexpensive preamp and piezo that I bought off of ebay.

This cost of the item was about 18-20 dollars. This was a pre-amp for a ukulele. There are similar inexpensive items for guitars also.

Layne Campbell
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:38 am

Re: built for amplification advice

Post by Layne Campbell »

I think I am going to go with the LR Baggs Anthem system.

they make a version of it called the stagepro that allows for some EQ and fading between the piezo and the internal mike, and also comes with a side-mount EQ/battery box.

After a lot of review reading, the second hand impression seems to be that the Fishman Prefix and the Anthem system are similar, but the Anthem is less prone to feedback issues and slightly cheeper, while the Fishman produces slightly more accurate sound in a steady volume range.

User avatar
Patrick DeGreve
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:19 pm

Re: built for amplification advice

Post by Patrick DeGreve »

Hi Layne; I am far from an expert (I have only been building for about a year and a half), but I can share some of my experience in this area. The Fishman Co. makes several onboard pre-amps systems, the Aura, the Prefix, and the Presys. They have different versions of each of these systems. For example the Presys comes as the Presys, the Presys+ (this one has more control no the pre-amp) and the Presys blend (this one has a built in mic and a blend control to mix the mic and undersadle pickup). I purchased the Presys blend system, but I haven't finished the guitar yet so I can't say how good it is. but I have heard good things about it. I know that Martin uses it in one of their guitars. Last year Kif Wood suggested (in this forum),that I try the K&K style (soundboard transducer) system in a 12 string I was building. It is a pure system, in that it does not have an amp, just the pad transducers (glued right on the soundboard) and an endpin jack. I put this on the 12 string and am very happy with it. It has a very natural sound to me. K&K also makes systems with pre-amps and onboard controls, but the one I ueed does not. I found (on Ebay) the JJB Electronic true pad transducer system. They say the transducers are the same as K&K's, but their system costs much less. I put one of their's in an OM I was building and I like it also. It has good volume and tone, and sounds very natural. My ear isn't that good, but I like both systems equally. My older brother is a professional musician, and collects guitars. He loves the Fishman Matrix system, and has had it installed in several of his guitars. I bought the Fishman Matrix system to put in a J200 I am building for him. I don't like the idea of a battery bag, velcroed in the guitar body, I like the idea of the battery box access on the Fishman onboard pre-amps, but I will have to wait and see what they sound like. I know you can use the Matrix transducer with some of the Fishman pre-amps. This might be the best way to go, though much more expensive. On the complete other side of the story, I found a Joyo system on Ebay that has the same pre-amp-battery box system as the Presys, very cheap, and bought it to try on the $100 challenge. It is the same size as the Presys, so if I don't like the sound (too cheap?) I can swap it out and install the Presys. Who knows? Worth a try. I know that there are quite a few other acoustic systems out there, I will be very interested in what other people have to say.

User avatar
Eddie McRae
Posts: 153
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:07 am
Location: Woodbury, GA USA
Contact:

Re: built for amplification advice

Post by Eddie McRae »

I've installed several K&K's but they were transducer only and were installed into mandolins. I haven't used any of their products on guitars. The one thing I noticed about the mandolins though was that the K&K made the tops super-sensitive. The transducers pick up the very slightest of touch to the top. They sound great otherwise though. As for Fishman, I actually ordered 2 Presys Blend systems last week that will go into 2 cutaway acoustics that I have in progress now....one of which is in the challenge. I won't install them though until after the challenge is complete. I would go over-budget otherwise.

Dave Gentner
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:25 pm

Re: built for amplification advice

Post by Dave Gentner »

I install the K&K Pure Mini's in all my acoustic builds. It's three little piezo transducers, each about the size of a dime, that you glue to the bridge plate, so you don't have to worry about proper saddle contact with the piezo strip. Also it's passive, so no battery to install, yet it's as loud as any Fishman with a preamp that I've seen. My customers have been really pleased with this pickup.

Post Reply