Author Topic: External preamp, need some advise please.  (Read 1010 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline batwoman

  • Stadium Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 1152
  • Good Vibes 82
External preamp, need some advise please.
« on: May 10, 2018, 06:12:48 am »
My new guitar has a pick up something like this. It has one control and that's for volume.


Pete the luthier told me that if I want or need to do more with the sound, I can buy an external preamp. He's mentioned a couple and I've been looking online. For Open Mics, which will be my first experience of being plugged in the guy at the desk will deal with whatever has to be done. Beyond that I'm going to need to be more independent, aiming for a local Fifteen Minutes of Fame gig next and there won't be a desk, so will need the external preamp.

There seems to be a wide range of prices. Fishman and LR Baggs seem to be recommended.
- Any recommendations?
- Are there brands I should avoid?
- Are there features I must have?
- Are there features that are a waste of time/money?
- What should I look for?
- What's easy to use?
- What would be a reasonable price range?

I need something that's simple to use, so please don't suggest some fancy thing that will send me into a spin  ;)

Thankyou  :)
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 06:31:25 am by batwoman »

Offline DarrellW

  • Stadium Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 2060
  • Good Vibes 84
  • What on earth was I going to do???
Re: External preamp, need some advise please.
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2018, 06:51:56 am »
If you don’t have an amplifier it’s an amplifier you need not a pre-amp, all a pre-amp does is give different signal and tone level options.
If you want the option to amplify the sound of your guitar then an acoustic amplifier is what’s needed, all you need to do if that’s the case is to find one that fits your budget and will meet your needs. There are quite a few normal guitar amps that have decent acoustic settings but they are not as good as a dedicated acoustic amp, acoustic amps have speakers that can reproduce a wider frequency range so can reproduce the sound more faithfully.
My singing sucks so I’m learning Guitar and Ukulele, it’s fun 🌟

Offline KasperFauerby

  • Arena Rocker
  • *****
  • Posts: 983
  • Good Vibes 100
    • Kaspers SoundCloud
Re: External preamp, need some advise please.
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2018, 06:59:16 am »
Darrell has a point - but at an "open mic" gig it could also easily be the case that the guitar can (and will) be plugged into the PA. In such a scenario it is indeed a pre-amp (or acoustic multi-fx board) that is needed.

For example:
https://www.fishman.com/products/series/aura/aura-spectrum-di-preamp/

This unit uses impulse responses to improve the overall tone of a piezo equipped acoustic guitar, and gives you a tuner, eq and compressor at the same time.

Offline batwoman

  • Stadium Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 1152
  • Good Vibes 82
Re: External preamp, need some advise please.
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2018, 07:18:53 am »
If you don’t have an amplifier it’s an amplifier you need not a pre-amp, all a pre-amp does is give different signal and tone level options.

Thanks Darrell. I'm hoping I don't have to buy an amp for quite a while yet. My first ventures into playing in public will be where there is a PA (thanks Kasper, didn't think of this word). Everything will be set up for me and my buddy Leonie when The Honeys make their debut.

Offline batwoman

  • Stadium Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 1152
  • Good Vibes 82
Re: External preamp, need some advise please.
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2018, 07:24:45 am »
Darrell has a point - but at an "open mic" gig it could also easily be the case that the guitar can (and will) be plugged into the PA. In such a scenario it is indeed a pre-amp (or acoustic multi-fx board) that is needed.

For example:
https://www.fishman.com/products/series/aura/aura-spectrum-di-preamp/

This unit uses impulse responses to improve the overall tone of a piezo equipped acoustic guitar, and gives you a tuner, eq and compressor at the same time.

Thanks a lot for this info Kasper,makes sense to me. I have so much to learn! As I've said in the previous post to Darrell, I'll be plugged into a PA and there is a guy who looks after the desk.  I looked at the Fishman you linked. It looks very fancy to my beginner eyes, but I'll consider it. Pete also told me I can have a preamp put into the guitar at a later date if I'm doing a lot of performances plugged in. Right now what I have suits my level of playing, which is 100% unplugged and at home. The pick up I have now gives me the option of plugging in to a PA. I need to start thinking about the next step though.

I appreciate your advise, thankyou.

The pick up I have has a volume control.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 08:00:48 am by batwoman »

Offline DarrellW

  • Stadium Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 2060
  • Good Vibes 84
  • What on earth was I going to do???
Re: External preamp, need some advise please.
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2018, 07:51:27 am »
Thanks Darrell. I'm hoping I don't have to buy an amp for quite a while yet. My first ventures into playing in public will be where there is a PA (thanks Kasper, didn't think of this word). Everything will be set up for me and my buddy Leonie when The Honeys make their debut.
OK, I understand - then what Kasper advises is pretty decent; shame, I was going to extol the virtues of this:
https://www.boss.info/us/products/acoustic_singer_pro/
Ideal for the times where there isn’t a PA but can also be used to go into the PA, however you don’t need to get one at the moment for your current situation.
My singing sucks so I’m learning Guitar and Ukulele, it’s fun 🌟

Offline batwoman

  • Stadium Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 1152
  • Good Vibes 82
Re: External preamp, need some advise please.
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2018, 07:58:14 am »
OK, I understand - then what Kasper advises is pretty decent; shame, I was going to extol the virtues of this:
https://www.boss.info/us/products/acoustic_singer_pro/
Ideal for the times where there isn’t a PA but can also be used to go into the PA, however you don’t need to get one at the moment for your current situation.


I've bookmarked this Darrell. To find one of my fave musicians - Lloyd Spiegel using one of them is solid recommendation. I'm seeing him in a few weeks. This looks good for sometime in the future. Really appreciate your help, thankyou  :)

Offline DarrellW

  • Stadium Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 2060
  • Good Vibes 84
  • What on earth was I going to do???
Re: External preamp, need some advise please.
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2018, 08:25:57 am »
I've bookmarked this Darrell. To find one of my fave musicians - Lloyd Spiegel using one of them is solid recommendation. I'm seeing him in a few weeks. This looks good for sometime in the future. Really appreciate your help, thankyou  :)
Thank you for pointing out Lloyd Spiegel, he is one badass blues player 👍👍👍
My singing sucks so I’m learning Guitar and Ukulele, it’s fun 🌟

Offline batwoman

  • Stadium Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 1152
  • Good Vibes 82
Re: External preamp, need some advise please.
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2018, 08:36:08 am »
Thank you for pointing out Lloyd Spiegel, he is one badass blues player 👍👍👍

I've seen him a couple of times and get more amazed and impressed each time. He's an engaging man, great stories and often very funny patter, and he's a genuinely decent human being. Just typing about him I feel excited about the four gigs I'm going to. Yes, I'm a bit of a fan!

He tours heaps, at the moment it's Australia and New Zealand till end of August. He does lots of touring in Europe. Highly recommended.

Offline KasperFauerby

  • Arena Rocker
  • *****
  • Posts: 983
  • Good Vibes 100
    • Kaspers SoundCloud
Re: External preamp, need some advise please.
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2018, 08:40:11 am »
To be honest, for a first gig I wouldn't start dealing with additional gear. Just leave it to the sound man to get the best possible tone from your piezo.

But going forward you might enjoy a pre-amp. Fishman has a range of products, some a bit simpler than the one I linked. That being said, it's not quite as complicated as it looks. The first thing to understand is that it's NOT an "emulation" pedal that can make your guitar sound like a bunch of different types of acoustic. One might get that idea looking at those middle controls. Instead the idea is that there will be one setting that'll make your particular instrument sound as good as possible. So you'll set those complicated controls once, and then leave them.

Once you realize that you'll see that what's left is pretty much a 3 band EQ (same as you would get if you installed a pre-amp into your guitar), a tuner display (useful) and a one-knob compressor. Pretty simply actually ;)

Online Joerfe

  • Stadium Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 2899
  • Good Vibes 106
Re: External preamp, need some advise please.
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2018, 12:19:31 pm »
It’s a very nice pickup. I have one installed as well.
Jest for claryfication, it is not a piezo but an ust pickup (under saddle transducer) which responds to the vibrations of the guitar top.

It is passive so I would recommend you look around for that pre-amp. I’d recommend Fishman based on hear-say, but it all comes down to your own preferences. I have a Behringer M200 (I think it’s called), but over the last couple of years I’ve used my Katana amp for gigs as I also play electric.
If you find the need for an amp along the way, you could just get a powered monitor to connect to the pre-amp.
/Jesper

Sigma SOMR28H, Fender Classic '50s Tele, Fender Std Stratocaster, Gibson lpj '14, BOSS Katana 100-212 amp.
Me on da Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/jesper-j-rgensen-11

Offline batwoman

  • Stadium Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 1152
  • Good Vibes 82
Re: External preamp, need some advise please.
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2018, 03:17:43 am »
To be honest, for a first gig I wouldn't start dealing with additional gear. Just leave it to the sound man to get the best possible tone from your piezo.

But going forward you might enjoy a pre-amp. Fishman has a range of products, some a bit simpler than the one I linked. That being said, it's not quite as complicated as it looks. The first thing to understand is that it's NOT an "emulation" pedal that can make your guitar sound like a bunch of different types of acoustic. One might get that idea looking at those middle controls. Instead the idea is that there will be one setting that'll make your particular instrument sound as good as possible. So you'll set those complicated controls once, and then leave them.

Once you realize that you'll see that what's left is pretty much a 3 band EQ (same as you would get if you installed a pre-amp into your guitar), a tuner display (useful) and a one-knob compressor. Pretty simply actually ;)

Thanks again Kasper, this is really helpful info and advise. I agree with you that I'd be best to let the sound guy sort things out for my first gig.  Pete the luthier who made my guitar will also be at the Open Mic so between him and the sound guy I should be sorted.

Offline batwoman

  • Stadium Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 1152
  • Good Vibes 82
Re: External preamp, need some advise please.
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2018, 03:18:41 am »
It’s a very nice pickup. I have one installed as well.
Jest for claryfication, it is not a piezo but an ust pickup (under saddle transducer) which responds to the vibrations of the guitar top.

It is passive so I would recommend you look around for that pre-amp. I’d recommend Fishman based on hear-say, but it all comes down to your own preferences. I have a Behringer M200 (I think it’s called), but over the last couple of years I’ve used my Katana amp for gigs as I also play electric.
If you find the need for an amp along the way, you could just get a powered monitor to connect to the pre-amp.

Thanks very much Jesper, really appreciate your help and advise.

Online Joerfe

  • Stadium Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 2899
  • Good Vibes 106
Re: External preamp, need some advise please.
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2018, 11:59:26 am »
Also, The KK pickup is prone to feedback particularly from a stage monitor or any sound source pointing towards the soundhole of your guitar.
Get yourself a feedback buster and keep it in your bag in case feedback is an issue when you hit a stage.
/Jesper

Sigma SOMR28H, Fender Classic '50s Tele, Fender Std Stratocaster, Gibson lpj '14, BOSS Katana 100-212 amp.
Me on da Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/jesper-j-rgensen-11

 

Get The Forum As A Mobile App