My Pickup Examples
People often ask me what pickups I use. I alway use dual source setups, usually a main pickup along with an internal mic. In all cases, my signal chain is a Sunnaudio MS2 preamp, sometimes with a ToneDexter in the effects loop to add an IR to the main pickup. My pedal board also has a UAD Golden Reverberator reverb and a Source Audio EQ2 programable EQ. The MS-2 creates a stereo signal from the 2 sources that can be used effectively in most situations, as long as the PA system supports stereo, and downgrades gracefully to mono as well. I have also been experimenting with the L.R. Baggs Voiceprint in place of the ToneDexter and Source Audio EQ, and adding a Boss DD-200 delay. The player on this page provides some samples of both combinations, all recorded directly out of my pedal board, with no additional EQ or effects.
While these examples are recorded directly from my pedal board, in my experience, this is reasonably representative of the sound I get in a good room thru a good PA system - although PA speakers tend to reduce some of the remaining "pickup" sound and smooth things out a bit. Of course, we know we don't always get the luxury of a good sound system, and clearly playing thru a lesser sound system or in a poor acoustics environment has a negative impact.
It's also important to note that I'm generally playing solo fingerstyle guitar, alone or in duet with another guitar. I'm not trying to be heard playing rhythm guitar thru a band, for example, nor usually playing to a noisy audience. So that impacts the sound I am going for.
Examples and details:
- 2000 Hamblin GC, Brazilian Rosewood and Engleman Spruce, with a Barbera Soloist + Audix L5O mic. Probably my #1 gigging guitar. The Barbera is fairly feedback-resistant. This recording includes ToneDexter on the Barbera.
- Martin OM LJB, Brazilian Rosewood and Adirondack Spruce with a pair of Dazzos, #52W (wood) with one transducer made of cocobolo, the other sassafrass, chosen and installed by Teddy Randazzo. The mic is a Bartlett. There is no ToneDexter or Voiceprint in the path for this recording (it's in bypass mode), I prefer the sound of the Dazzo without ToneDexter.
- A Lowden O50C, African Blackwood and Adirondack Spruce. A K&K Mini and an Audix L5O mic. ToneDexter is being used.
- A short "duet" with two guitars, both recorded with the same setup, directly into the recorder. The guitar - both, in this case - is a Ryan Mission Grand Concert, Koa and Cedar, with the Barbera Soloist pickup and Audix L5O Mic. The signal chain is slightly different here, I'm using the Sunnaudio MS-2 and the UAD Reverb, but I'm using an L.R. Baggs Voiceprint instead of the ToneDexter, and a Boss DD-200 digital delay in addition to the reverb.
LIVE Example, on the right. Here I have the Hamblin GC, Barbera Pickup+AUdix L5O, into a simpler setup, just the Sunnaudio MS-2 preamp with a Voiceprint in the effects loop, then going to the PA.