Acoustic preamps

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by tonedreamer, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. tonedreamer

    tonedreamer Tele-Holic

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    I have a Taylor 214ce, and it sounds great unplugged, but sounds thin and terrible plugged in. I'm thinking about changing the preamp inside, but don't know which brand to choose. Or, another option is to buy a completely different acoustic with a better system in it already. Any suggestions? Thanks
     
  2. CC Ryan

    CC Ryan Tele-Meister

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    Please forgive any unintended misinformation, but I'll do my best to add a cent or two. I believe Taylor updated the electrics to its Expression system. I think it's in the 214ce DLX. So that might be worth an upgrade. The system, not the guitar. Although if you had the money, then maybe.

    I have just recently had the LR Baggs Session VTC system fitted to my acoustic and it sounds wonderful. I haven't played a gig with it yet, but I'm pretty confident it will ace that test as well. About $200.

    I also use a Fishman Platinum Pro floor preamp/DI (for loads of gigs). It has a mute, boost, tuner, compressor, phase selection (to kill feedback) and a wide array of tone controls from low damp to brilliance and points in between. Oh, and an effects loop which I never use. Jack and XLR outputs. If you felt you needed something like this anyway, it might be worth buying it before doing anything else and you could EQ your way into a more pleasing sound. About $250.

    Good luck with the quest.
     
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  3. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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  4. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    PS -

    It's just a matter of taste, but to me, most unplugged Taylors sound too thin to me.

    So what other kinds of guitars have you tried? The usual suspects - Guild, Gibson, and Martin - all sound warmer and more 3D to my ears.

    What's your experience been with them?

    I've also found that all acoustics sound pretty much the same once they've been run through a preamp. That makes me wonder: How are you amplifying it?
     
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  5. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Tele-Meister

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    if you have an older Taylor with the Fishman piezo pickup (not the newer Expression system) then you could use a Fishman Aura pedal. These pedals will make your amplified sound a lot more like the sound you hear when you play acoustically. It eliminates that quacky, nasal piezo sound.

    Now the current models are pretty expensive but you can pick up one of the older models (Dreadnought, Concert, Jumbo, Nylon, Orchestra or 12 String) and for $30 update the software in the pedal so that it can accept the hundreds of images from the Aura Gallery software (there are Taylor 210 and Taylor 314 images in the library).

    If you are patient and you watch out on Reverb, Ebay or your local used listings, you can find these pedals for $50 or $60 on a very good day.

    I have used this pedal with my Taylor acoustic as well as with my Godin Nylon ACS, my Godin Acoustibass and my electric violin.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2017
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  6. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

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    If your Taylor has the Expression system, that pickup is designed to plug direct into a sound board - the output is low impedance, balanced. I usually pack a TRS male stereo -> XLR adapter in my goodie box for when someone brings a Taylor to a jam session just for that reason. They sound bigger and fuller when you get the whole signal.
     
  7. tonedreamer

    tonedreamer Tele-Holic

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    I've tried several different acoustics when I bought this one, it sounds good unplugged, a little brighter than my Martin.
    I'm running it into a delay, chorus, then straight into the sound system
     
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  8. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you call that straight into the sound system!
     
  9. Alcohen

    Alcohen Tele-Meister

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    I've been looking at the Session VTC system. As I understand it, this has some amount of compression as well as eq built into the onboard preamp (and it's an active pickup). Does it still need help from a preamp/DI for most applications?


     
  10. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Good question.
     
  11. CC Ryan

    CC Ryan Tele-Meister

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    Well, this is embarrassing. Sorry for the massive delay in replying. You've probably found out by other means, but the VTC can work fine by going straight into the PA. I just use my preamp more as a mute/tuner thing than anything else.
     
  12. Random1643

    Random1643 Tele-Afflicted

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    Hope this'll help. I've got a Taylor 150e 12-string equipped with the Expression2 System. It sounds awesome as others suggest plugged straight into a sound system. Balanced, clear, full, dynamic. But when I play out solo or duo these days I run every instrument through the same rig to simplify my life = A/B Switch >> Fishman Pro EQ Analog Preamp/Tuner/Compressor/Feedback Mgmt >> a couple of effect pedals >> Mixer then Sound System or (solo) to the Sound System. The 150e is too rich of a broth via this rig so I keep the onboard Treble & Bass controls flat with preamp EQ also flat, and crank up the compression. This works great for fingerpicking or strumming. Takes just a touch of onboard volume to be heard in small- to mid-sized venues.
     
  13. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Tone dreamer I don't think you need a new guitar.

    Forgive me if this is a bit basic but...
    What sound system? Big PA or what??
    Make sure your guitar has a fresh hot battery.
    Dime the volume on the guitar.
    Bass at 8
    Treble at 4
    Run your guitar channel volume/gain on the mixer about 3/4 wide open and adjust the channel eq to 12 o'clock.
    Tweak from there.
     
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