help! my Lyric sounds pretty bad
I just got a Lyric and a Venue DI.
Actually i can't get a decent sound from my Lyric.
I had it installed by a pro luthier on a Larrivee P09, a parlor guitar, pretty small beatiful instrument.
I'm even thinking that the combination Parlor Guitar / Lyric is no good. Is that possible?
The mic sounds quite the opposite as what it says it should. Very weak bass, cavernous and harsh mids and too brite highs.
There's also something about the compression the mic has that doesn't feel good. Feedback is hard to manage. But primarly the sound is my main concern.
I tried it direct to my mixing console and trough the Venue. Same results.
Even tweeking hard with the Venue EQ didn't get it better.
To compare i plugged an Epiphone EL-00 with a Fishman Rare Earth Blend that sounded just great right away through the Venue with almost flat EQ.
I've seen many reviews and tests. Some of them sounding pretty good, and some sounding pretty bad.
So far i'm on the bad side unfortunately.
I do believe in Baggs's hi quality reputation. I also have a Five.0 on my tenor Ukulele since two years ago, wich i really love.
I hope the Lyric will end sounding good. I live in Argentina and there's no chance to send it back to Guitar Center.
Is there any chance that the mic is defective?
Changing the position of the mic inside the guitar could change the sound drastically for better?
I'd really appreciate to get your comments about this and get some... help!
Last edited by mono morello; 05-21-2014 at 09:23 AM.
Thanks for asking about this.
From what you've said so far, it sounds like a few factors are combining to produce a disappointing result. The small body of the parlor guitar surely doesn't produce the same bass that a larger body would which can add to a thinner plugged-in sound.
The Lyric's low frequency compression is meant to keep the bass under control but not conceal it. However, a few players have found the compressed bass to be lacking relative to the fixed mid-range and adjustable treble, especially when compared to pickups(sources that are not microphones).
Do you have room to move the microphone fixture around? If so, I'm happy to send additional adhesives for testing different placement options.
Lastly, based on that last factor, it can be useful and informative if you can install that Lyric into another guitar for an A/B comparison of that part of the equation.
If you ultimately feel there may be a defect in the Lyric mic or preamp circuit, we are more than willing to receive it from you for testing and repair or replacement if needed.
Please let me know what you find or if I can send any materials that can help dial the sound or reveal a defect.
Last edited by Bryan McManus; 05-28-2014 at 07:51 AM.
Thanks for your fast reply!
I mostly agree with the points you made.
The comparision is not fare, the Fishman rare earth Blend do have a soundhole pickup and a condenser mic inside wich is located under the soundhole. In combination with the pickup (70% condenser 30 % pickup) it produces a very natural and pleasant sound. The best of what i heard so far on amplified acoustic guitars.
After some more testing and trying things out, i would say:
Even though i tried hardly to listen to the good stuff the Lyric is trying to deliver (and sometimes i feel it might be ok) ...
1- The lyric doesn't work well with Parlors (even though my Larrivee is a very nice, good sounding and expensive parlor guitar)
It might sound better on a dread.
2- This is my main point. I don't like the native Compression and EQ on the preamp. I guess it might sound good on a Dread, not sure on a 000 or OM.
There's a problem on the 250 hz / 1.5 khz frecuency zone.
I would had leave some bass response and cut some on that low mid / mid zone. It's just unpleasant to listen to. Cavernous sound.
3 - Would be great to try to locate the Lyric mic on different spots of the parlor soundtop. Do you think this could make noticeable changes on the sound?
Would you recomend trying to put it somewhere near the sounhole?
As live in Argentina and the lyric isn't available around here, would you send to me by mail some adhesives for testing positions and guitars? how can i give you my adress info? is there a private message zone here?
4- Anyway, after playing around i'm finally thinking ''well, this might be it and it's not that bad''...
But...I'm gonna try the Rare Earth Blend on my Larrivee Parlor an will put the Lyric on my Tacoma dread and see if it sounds better. i guess the inherent eq balance of the dread would fit better to the lyric fixed eq & compression preamp.
Finally i don't think the mic may have a defect in the circuit. I hope it doesn't but how to know that.
What i read on other forums is that being the Lyric in it's first stages of developement/evolution, for sure the Lyric's next generation will have some improvements. I can assure it's gonna have a tweek on the compress/eq department.
Bryan, thank you so much for your time and your goodwill. Please let me know how can i get those adhesives or if i can use any other adhesives wich i can bought here in Argentina. What would be the specs for that adhesive?
Bryan, what would be the lowest frecuency that the Lyric can express? i mean the frecuency range.
I also am very unhappy with the lyric in my parlor guitar. Mine is a loud instrument with good bass. It was rebraced in the 70's to make it a classical guitar. It is very balanced. Here's the sound with a good external mike: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m130iH0w0mo I have been very happy with having a lyric installed in my flamenco and another handmade full size classical. This is my 3rd lyric and the only one that yields a very poor sound. It sounds very harsh and almost overdriven- yes I did turn the volume down- still poor tone. With other mikes or no mike this parlor has a very pleasing and balanced sound. I tried having my installer move the mike more towards the treble as the sound is an uncontrolled and somewhat bassy sound. This did not help at all. If I use the pre amp and really do vodoo which then makes it sound dead I can get a more normal but lifeless sound. I tried installing a sound post to restrict the top and moved it to many locations. The sound is always harsh- very different from the sound I get with the lyric in my full sized classical. I have done every possible adjustment but one. When I try to use the plastic tool to turn the small presence knob the tip bends because it's hard to turn the knob with this fragile plastic tip. I bought some metal tools from Harbor Freight that would work but do not want to try this until I know why the plastic one that comes seems not able to stand up to being used to turn the adjustment knob either direction. By greatly reducing the volume knob and doing serious adjustments with the notch filter to decrease the volume of the g and d strings and by reducing those frequencies I get a dead but balanced resulting sound. Note: my parlor instrument was, of course, originally a steel string and was rebraced lighter but sounds fine with a mike- go to my link above. What should I do and why does the plastic prescence wand not have enough rigdity to be used? Please help as I love the lyric in the other guitars.
Originally Posted by Bryan McManus
Last edited by BollesGtr; 06-09-2015 at 09:18 PM.
I am sorry that you are having some tone issues with your parlor/lyric setup.
Are you using the Lyric Classical in the parlor? Also, what are you playing your guitar through? (ie PA, Amp, Recording rig, etc.)
The "harsh" sound that you are getting can be caused by having too much of the presence mixed in. As far as the presence adjustment goes, the pot can become a little stiff from being left in one spot for a long period of time (like from the factory, or sitting on a retail shelf for a while). I would suggest turning it back and forth a few times to help loosen the pot. The tool that we send out with the Lyric is strong enough to make the adjustments needed. Once you are able to get the higher frequency sounds from the presence control dialed in to represent that of your unplugged sound, you will be able to dial in any needed EQ or alternate mic placement much more effectively without killing your tone.
Thanks for your reply. I believe you're taking a good approach to this.
Please send your address information to [email protected]
I'll send the adhesives needed to install the Lyric into another guitar. Once you do, please comment on the result.
I've edited my original reply to remove statements that were open to misinterpretation. I'd like to focus on a factor that can have a huge impact on the tone of the Lyric system.
It came to my attention that I didn't refer to the presence trim control. That control should have been my go-to first answer regarding the brightness and mid-range in your Lyric signal. In a majority of installs, the presence control setting is the difference between a balanced tone and excessive(or diminished) treble and mid-range relative to the fixed bass response. Bo, our General Manager who has done more pickup and/or mic installs than anyone I know has seen cases in which properly adjusting the presence control tames both the treble and the upper mid-range and, by contrast, allow the bass response to be warmer and more apparent.
If it has not been done as of yet, I highly recommend you spend some time carefully adjusting that control.
Placement of the mic fixture can have some detectable influence over the tone but the presence control has a far greater impact.
I experimented with the presence trim control. It certainly changes the caracter of the sound in the high and mid high frecuencies. But you never get the low end that i assume it was cut on the fixed eq on the preamp. And mids are always harsh.
Could my unit be defective?
I tried also through the Venue all possible eq settings. Venue to the computer, Venue to the acoustic guitar amp...
Well, i did record a sound test so you can listen to what i'm listening.
I recorded through an AKG Perception 200 to have reference of the real thing. Then the Lyric (presence trim almost in the middle) and i also mounted the Fishman Rare Earth Blend.
So there are three different sound sources. The recording was direct to my computer, no eq, no preamps, no effects.
Here's the link to the test:
Thanks for the follow-up and for linking that A/B/C comparison. I'll admit the Lyric in your comparison video sounds much as you described. I'd like to explore some possible remedies.
More than analyzing the comparison, I'd like to zero in on things that can get the sound you're looking for from your Lyric and I'm confident we can help you achieve a satisfying result.
Presence trim - Now that you've adjusted your Lyric's presence control, let's move on to other factors.
Placement - Location of the mic can be critical, particularly on a small body guitar like a parlor model. I don't recall if we discussed the specific location(s) you've tried in your guitar. The default or recommended location may not work well in this case and, if so, locating the "sweet spot" would be most important as the Lyric's mic is very directional and sensitive.
You mentioned in your post that you've tried all possible EQ settings but we never got to specifics. Therefor I'd like to make an EQ setting recommendation to you based on what we heard from the Lyric in your recording.
Use the two mid-range adjusters with the frequency selectors in the following way:
Adjust the high-mid frequency selector full counter-clockwise which is 500Hz and use the cut/boost control above it to cut it all the way. If you find that cuts too much from that frequency, cut a little less.
Then adjust the low-mid frequency selector full counter-clockwise which is 100Hz and boost a little using the cut/boost control above it. That should make the bass more apparent.
Based on what we heard in your recording, it actually doesn't sound like there is an issue with the Lyric's microphone or preamp but rather a group of factors contributing to the current result. If you are unable to get an amplified sound much closer to that of the unplugged guitar by the methods we've suggested so far, we are more than willing to receive it from you for testing.
Last edited by Bryan McManus; 05-30-2014 at 04:16 PM.
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