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View Full Version : Para Acoustic DI vs. my stubborn piezo



Kirk Lawler
12-19-2011, 05:20 PM
Some owners have reported that the Para has enabled them to eliminate the unpleasant artificial sound of the
built-in piezo pickup in their acoustic guitar, but I have had no such luck so far. I have a Takamine CD132SC
Classical with the bass set at +5 (on a five point scale), mid at +4 and the treble at +3, with the exciter set
at 8 (on a 10 point scale) run through the tube channel of a Fender Superchamp XD with gain at 5 (on a 10
point scale), bass at 8, treble at 5 and reverb off for testing purposes. There is no mid range control on this
amp. As the pickup is active, I have the gain on the Para at 11:00. Notch is at 12:00, low at 5:00, mid at
10:00 and treb at 1:00. Despite lots of fiddling with settings, I still hear that trademark electronic buzz noise
that piezos produce the first split second of contact between finger tips and the wound strings, and would not
describe the over-all sound as "warm". I can confirm that the amp and Para are working just fine, getting great
results fine-tuning the tone from my Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin II, which has twin P90s. Suggestions? Thanks!

Christian
12-28-2011, 03:45 PM
Hi Kirk,
The "quack" you are experiencing is typical with piezo pickups and while the Para DI can be useful in reducing the sound, it most likely will not eliminate it. Typically a mid scoop around 1k will help.

In our Anthem system we use a crossover circuit to keep the piezo pickup out of the quack range and instead uses a microphone to capture more of your guitar's sound. I included a link below to sound samples of the steel string version of the Anthem. Unfortunately we do not have classical recordings available yet, but I think the recording is a good example of how the crossover does not allow any quack.

http://www.lrbaggs.com/anthem/#experienceit

I hope this helped. If you have any more questions you could give me a call here at the shop. 805-929-3545

-Christian

Kirk Lawler
12-31-2011, 01:00 PM
A guitar repair tech told me the same thing this week, that the sound that bothers me with the Takamine
is what you get with all piezos regardless of brand or price point. He recommended installing a Baggs M1A
in my new Breedlove steel string, so at least that guitar will be quack free. BTW, I'm new to the electronics
side of the business - what did you mean by a "mid scoop around 1k"? Thanks again for your help. - Kirk

Christian
01-03-2012, 09:50 AM
Kirk,
By "mid scoop" i mean to cut the mids.

You can boost the mids on the Para DI (knob C) and use the tune knob to sweep the frequencies. When you find a sound that is particularly unpleasant you can cut that frequency. Again, this will help but not eliminate quack.

The M1A is a nice sounding pickup. Here's a video of Richard Gilewitz using it on his Breedlove.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXI0JyoET3c

You can find LOTS of sound samples of the M1A on youtube.

-Christian

lpjr
02-02-2012, 06:08 AM
So how do you cut the mids? How do you can cut that frequency. Is it the notch knob,the ABCD knob or the KHZ knob or ????
I see this mid cut comment often for around 1.5 but do not understand.
Thank you

Kirk,
By "mid scoop" i mean to cut the mids.

You can boost the mids on the Para DI (knob C) and use the tune knob to sweep the frequencies. When you find a sound that is particularly unpleasant you can cut that frequency. Again, this will help but not eliminate quack.

Christian
02-02-2012, 09:32 AM
Hi lpjr,
Welcome to the forum! When I referred to Knob C I am talking about the knob labeled "MID" on the unit. It allows you to boost or cut a selected freq. Use the knob which is connected to "MID" to select the frequency you need to attack. The tunable knob is directly above the "on" LED and is labeled with ".4, .8, 1.2, 1.6." To cut a selected frequency, turn "MID" counter clockwise towards the minus.

-Christian

Kirk Lawler
02-18-2012, 01:16 PM
After wasting hours trying to make the piezo pickup in my classical and the one that came free in my new
Breedlove six string sound natural by feeding the signal through the Para and switching from using the
tube channel of my Fender Superchamp XD to using a new Fishman Loudbox Mini Acoustic Amp, I have given
up. No matter what combination of settings I try, I cannot make a piezo sound warm and appealing. In
contrast, the Baggs M1A in my Seagull Maritime twelve string combined with the Para and the Loudbox delivers
what every acoustic player wants: "It sounds just like my unamplified guitar, only louder." I will never buy a
guitar with a piezo again!

PS Thanks again, Christian, for your help.

Christian
02-21-2012, 11:26 AM
Kirk,
I wanted to suggest another pickup to you based on M1A praise... The M80 is our newest magnetic and is even more natural sounding than the M1A. I'll include a couple links for reference.

www.lrbaggs.com/m80

Demo:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4gOO_C30zQ -this video explains the new pickup very well. At 6:05 you can hear the M80 in action. It is important to note this is a direct recording plugged straight from the mixer to the camera.

-Christian

Christian
02-21-2012, 11:26 AM
ps. The M80 will be available early April