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What's needed for electric acoustics to connect to a PA?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by rockymtnguitar, Feb 24, 2021.

  1. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    There's a lot of good responses here, I often forget about the sound hole cover. I've got one with an adjustable port, that really works. You can open or close it, and find the sweet spot where it sounds realistic unplugged, and also offers feedback resistance plugged. There's also the O-Port soundhole device. Longer cable lengths is also an issue that can drive the need for a pre-amp, "DI" is a generic term that covers several different devices, some amps have a high enough input impedance to not need an additional pre-amp, some don't, and so on. Like I said, lots of options, maybe too many options, hence the wide-spread, plausible confusion.
     
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  2. drewg

    drewg Tele-Meister

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    Do you have the SB-1 or SB-2? (The SB-1 is pictured). I’ve been curious about whether the SB-1 (active) would be a good match for a K&K (passive) pickup. What specific pickup do you have?

    OP- I don’t have a lot of personal experience with these, but over on the acousticguitarforum.com many say that the specific impedance match is important. For example, for a K&K the impedance is 1 meg Ohm, so many over there recommended for the K&K is an Ultrasound DI Plus because of its matching 1 meg impedance, while some say the Para DI, while highly regarded, isn’t a great match for the K&K. (Many over there also like the Redeye).
    Point being, OP, research the right DI for your specific pickup. Which do you have?
     
  3. OlRedNeckHippy

    OlRedNeckHippy Friend of Leo's

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    Yea, thats a typo, I have the one pictured. The SB-1. The Blue one.
    My guitar is a 1983 Guild D35, that I bought new, and soon after installed a Barcus-Berry undersaddle pickup. I did the install myself.
    Amazingly, it still works great to this day!
    The pickup is very much like this one:
    https://reverb.com/item/30192637-ba...-Shop_unpaid&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google
     
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  4. drewg

    drewg Tele-Meister

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    I'd love to have a Guild D-35. Missed my opportunity a few years back... I could ask, 'How do you like it?', but I think I know the answer already...

    [Edit- I've heard those Barcus Berrys are good ones.]
     
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  5. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    An active DI will present the correct high input impedance to the acoustic guitar's pickup. You'll get a fuller sound, and may stand a fighting chance of getting some guitar fundamentals past the piezo "quack".
     
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  6. muudcat

    muudcat Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    get a good pre amp, I've used PZ Pre and now have a Grace Alex, but even just a Boss EQ will do, EQ control is important for a good acoustic tone
     
  7. GoneTomorrow

    GoneTomorrow TDPRI Member

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    FOH Engineer here and sometimes strummer, so let me try to help you out as there are a lot of variables and every venue is different. Before I get started, just let me say that if you show up at my venue, I am going to have a couple of DI boxes waiting for you on stage. Not everyone does that, so you need to be prepared.

    The two most critical factors you are dealing with are the type signal your guitar is putting out and how far you are from the mixing board. The first you can control, the second you can't, but you can stack the "tone" odds in your favor.

    First, it may help you to understand your options at the FOH. If you hand the "sound guy" a 1/4" cable, he is going to put you into a "line in" on the board which most likely does not have a preamp and is expecting to see a relatively strong signal. To have any chance of success at this, you must have a preamp on your guitar that generates enough signal at the board, otherwise the sound guy will crank the gain on your signal which means your signal-to-noise ratio is going to go up. If you are any distance away at all, you will sound hissy and have a general loss of tone.

    If you go thru a DI, then you are going to go into a balanced mic input at the board. It will likely have an onboard preamp as it is expecting a much weaker signal. If you also have a preamp, whether on your guitar or in an active DI box, you are going to have more than enough signal over even the longest runs. My stage is 200' away. Never have a problem this way and the guitars almost always sound amazing. However, even if you are sending a weaker signal, say from a passive DI box, that is not a problem since that's what that input was intended for anyway.

    So, importantly, you need to understand your guitar signal. Are you putting out a high impedance signal or low? Do you have a preamp on your guitar, or no? If you have a preamp already, then get a passive DI and you are all set. If not, get an active DI as you are likely going to need it.

    I will always recommend a DI no matter what if your tone an S/N ratio matter to you, and to reduce as many variables as you can come "game night". You can get by without a DI if you already have a preamp on your guitar and you are not far from the mixing board, but the last thing I want to think about when playing out is "how is my signal at the mixing board?". I have a hard enough time remembering my progressions Lol.
     
  8. RockerDuck

    RockerDuck Friend of Leo's

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    I've used radial di's, Aura spectrum, Fishman platinum, and every LR baggs Di made. I now use a Fishman mini, or Artist and use the DI out. It actually sounds the best. I've A/B 'd my DI's with the mini, and the mini sounded noticeably better.
     
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