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peche a la mouche pick up review

roch@rochlockyer.comroch@rochlockyer.com new mexico (current)✭✭
edited May 2015 in Welcome Posts: 91
I feel compelled to post a couple of clips of this pick-up since it is hard to find very many real world examples when struggling with amplification& these things aren't cheap :). Like many I have tried a bunch of options for live sound reinforcement. I personally am attracted to this style because of the sound of the guitars and the technique & learning curve required to make the instruments sing. My first choice for pickups is NONE :).....Next is a sound hole mic dpas are great..audio tech is also quite good and a lot less. the pickups I swore to never use are the Stimer types. I've tried several & the Peche is the shit...no not an acoustic sound, but technique still counts much more than on an archtop. It might not be acoustic but it's still bad ass. Two real world clips..one rhythm & one lead the amp is a fishman mini.
Rhythm sound
Lead sound
MichaelHorowitzAppel
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Comments

  • AmundLauritzenAmundLauritzen ✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 236
    I invested in one of these, and I also own a Stimer which I purhased at an earlier time. The sound and responsiveness is very good! IMO It sings the best with a tube amp, like the peche a la mouche which I use it with, but I've also tried it with my Peavey Studio Pro 112 transistor amp and even then, the sound is good. It was actually very interesting to try it with a somewhat "dead" transistor amp that does not color the sound very much, unlike tube amps. I use transistor amps with archtops because I like a simple guitar-centric tone without too much extra "coating" or "dressing" so to speak. Trying my Eimers antique with the peche and transistor amp actually made a softer, simpler sound that still retained some of the classic character. It was an interesting result!

    Here's a good clip of Stochelo using the pickup:




    Appel
  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    edited May 2015 Posts: 1,082
    Hey Roch, great to see your face again! Nice playing man

    I've got the Peche too and I love it. I tried the Stimer (Dupont) and the Guzz (series 2), and the Peche blows them both away imo. Don't play them through an AER though :) way tooooo clean, blehh

    Mr Peche if you are reading this - there is room for improvement: the cord is annoying, it feels cheap and thin and get's all kinked up real quick. It should be detachable from the pickup. From always bending at the joint, I can just tell it's gonna start to crackle and crap out in a couple of years. Also the white volume know looks naff, how about some choice of colours? Otherwise - kickass product !
    Appel
  • roch@rochlockyer.comroch@rochlockyer.com new mexico (current)✭✭
    edited May 2015 Posts: 91
    Hey Wim! Thanx...yea, I tried the same 3 pickups all at the same gig...the Peche wins hands down...I have a sweet class a Kenny burell model tube amp on the mainland that may sound cool with it...agree about the chord...Emmett & I were commenting on that last week...what are your summer plans?
    B well bro
  • AppelAppel ✭✭✭
    Posts: 78
    This is definitely a hot topic, and any contribution is appreciated. I abolutely value the time that roch has spent thinking about this, selecting and uploading the videos - very nice sounding clips, by the way - and making the post and Amund's and Wim's additions, too.

    And it's interesting to know that those who've spoken so far have all chosen the Peche a la Mouche, but it would be really helpful if any of you have a bit more time to give to the topic and explain what qualities the Peche had that the others lacked. Was it something about the sound? Touch response? Signal-to-noise? Feedback resistance? Output level? Something else? Roch, you state that technique counts more with the Peche than the other pickups you've tried; care to elaborate?

    My own brief encounter with a Peche a la Mouche pickup, and then a Guzz II, both tried with the same guitar, and plugged into the same small tube amp, and on a guitar with the typical silvered steel strings, Argentines I expect, went like this - and many thanks to Michael for creating the opportunity for me to try these pickups. I thought the Peche had a wonderful warmth to it, but I found the string-to-string balance just too different from plain to wound - and to me, the response on the wound strings felt a bit damped. It was my first time trying this type of pickup; I've read that the Peche has improved string-to-string balance with respect to a typical Stimer-style pickup, and was surprised - and disappointed! - at how uneven it felt. If other kinds of Stimer-style magnetic pickups are worse on this point, wow .... Whereas the Guzz was quite good for string balance - a little lower in output than the Peche, and perhaps a bit clearer; I thought the Peche might be more likely to sound a bit smoother into a pushed tube amp, and I'm guessing here but because of what seemed to me to be a little bit higher output overall, the Peche might have a better signal-to-noise ratio than the Guzz in some situations. But the Guzz seemed to catch the qualities of the guitar a bit more, and its clarity and evenness were just immediately nicer to my ear. And the Guzz "felt" more active and accurate to me than the Peche, seemed to catch more of the quirks and nuances (for better or worse) of my playing. In a "loud" performance situation, that kind of "activity" is not necessarily a good thing, could be hard to control; but I sure liked it in the minute or two that I gave to trying it.

    But I've definitely never tried either in a performance situation as you folks have ... so I'm kinda dying to hear more details about your reasons. I thank you in advance for any further comments you might care to contribute.
  • AmundLauritzenAmundLauritzen ✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 236
    In regards to your question about comparing the Peche to other pickups, I only have the Stimer to compare with. According to the manufacturer, the pickup is supposed to have no difference in volume between strings, where other pickups supposedly fall short. I wouldn't know all about that since I can only compare to the Stimer, but the Peche does seem more balanced. The sound is also cleaner and clearer, but that can be positive or negative. Stimer sounds a bit more saturated and warm, but the Peche played with a good guitar hooked up to a tube amp still sounds wonderful IMO.

    In regards to how the Peche appealed to me, here are some points I feel are relevant:

    In danger of being Captain Obvious, I feel the Peche, and magnetic pickups in general, allow for a lighter right hand technique. That is, you can strike the strings with less force and still have great volume, obviously, because of amplification. It IS a pro, because you can play above your abilities that way. But then again it also gives the illusion of having better technique as the electric sound masks mistakes more.

    Because of this, I never practice with a magnetic pickup. I want to know my real technique and not get false confidence from the help the pickup provides.
    Instead, I use it every now and then when I need fresh inspiration and need a break from the acoustic sound. It is also great to have if you're going to a jam where they have a decent amp, because the Peche will work pretty good with any amp that has a decent clean sound. As I said, I had great results with a pretty dull sounding transistor amp.

    The Stimer feels less responsive but actually, I like the sound more in most cases. The downside is the unbalanced sound across the strings. It's also more old fashioned in design and is attached with this green putty which tends to stick to the guitar and needs to be cleaned off.
    The Peche sounds more gentle in a way. Perhaps it colors the sound less than the Stimer(?).

    In that regard, the Peche is very "out of the box" practical in that it's plug and play and just works very well. I've tried it with the Peche a la mouche tube amp, the Peavey Studio Pro 112 and the Roland Cube. It jives best with the Peche amp, and thus I assume, also other tube amps, but gives decent results with all amps I tested it with.

    As for feedback and noise, I have not experienced any of those. But then again I usually only play it at home and have not tested in a situation where I would crank up the volume very much.

    Appel
  • roch@rochlockyer.comroch@rochlockyer.com new mexico (current)✭✭
    Posts: 91
    Hey Appel...yea, all questions I've had. So not to be redundant but as Amund stated the any of these pickups round out your sound and compensate for a weak right hand. This is what pisses me off about them because the more I've worked on the right hand the more I want the subtleties & dynamics heard & there is no way to do that perfectly with a magnetic pickup but in many real world rooms the alternative is to sound like shit and not be heard, and struggle with feedback and be even more of a afterthought in the corner of the room. Of course 2 years ago when I was just getting started Michael told me after I tried every option I would probably get a stimer type like most peeps do...he was right & I would have saved $ if I listened then :)
    WIth that in mind when i first played the guzz2 in a controlled environment it wins hands down...for me it was the most transparent acoustic/even sounding pickup of the 3 I played..The Stimer was the most uneven and overdriven..a super distinct sound that many will prefer..electric Django! In the bar/live room I could almost get the same volume with a mic as i could with the Guzz. in this case I will always go with the mic. The Guzz when maxed also has a ton of buzz like single coils on a strat...At a lower volumes it is absolutely beautiful. Now the Stimer had a TON of volume but for me it is Django through a marshall stack.
    IMO the Peche splits the difference. I can get a pretty nice rhythm sound and the lead notes pop and respond to the dynamics of my right hand when asked to. The rounding out is not as bad as an archtop.. I am a longtime fingerstyle player and own a couple of high end archtops and I would equate the technique translation of these pickups to the difference between playing a nylon/classical guitar fingerstyle acoustically/w a mic to playing an archtop fingerstyle...The Selmer style guitar w a magnetic is still much truer to acoustic sound/form than a full archtop/electric sound.
    The peche sounds great plugged straight in to a cheap fishman amp with all levels flat. It is completely buzz free and has about as much overhead as the stimer but much cleaner to my ear. At first the sound freaked me out a bit, and it took a couple of sets to get used to but now I think it's a great sound.
    MichaelHorowitzAppel
  • AppelAppel ✭✭✭
    edited May 2015 Posts: 78
    Gentlemen - now we're getting somewhere. @AmundLauritzen, I appreciate your comparisons of the response of the pickups, and the details about the mounting are important for anyone. @roch, you've described my brief experience with the Guzz II - just way, way better, in a controlled environment. But playing out is hardly a controlled environment!

    And the Peche is significantly less expensive ...

    Very interesting that the Peche is quieter at higher volumes ... there are times when that is more important than anything else. There are ways to manage noise ... has anyone encountered a pedal made by Electro-Harmonix called the Hum Debugger? I tried one once on a vintage archtop with a P-90 into an equally ancient Fender Tweed Deluxe - all the single-coil noise was completely gone. I tried to make it hum - pinned the amp, held the guitar every which way - could not do it! There may have been some very slight coloration of the sound, but ... I dunno, if there's so much noise you have trouble controlling the instrument, it's a workable trade-off. Something a pro player might want to have in his or her bag of tricks, ready for use in a poorly grounded rooms.
  • kevingcoxkevingcox Nova Scotia✭✭✭✭ Dupont MD50
    Posts: 298
    I have used the hum debugger to good effect in the past.

    I found the Guzz II a little too finicky in the placement for my low-maintenance needs. It had to be absolutely perfectly placed or certain strings would go in and out. That said, when it was working it sounded much better than the Peche.

    I have settled on the Peche for now when I have no other choice, but I prefer my ingelheri mic whenever possible.
    Appel
  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    Posts: 1,082
    My experience with the Guzz was a significantly lower output level (yes using same amp, same volume, same day, same gig!), but more troubling it was extremely sensitive to placement. So if you were off by one millimetre vertically, the high E string would almost disappear completely from the output. Super annoying.

    My experience with the Stimer (dupont) was that the volume was not very uniform over the strings (and good balance was an advertised feature!!?) and also it just generally sounded a bit rubbish.

    A guy here did a blind test, with several pickups, and people voted on the ones they liked the sound most then later he revealed which was which. That was cool. The Peche smoked the lot of them.

    That thread's here ->

    http://www.djangobooks.com/forum/discussion/12811/original-stimer-dupont-stimer-peche-a-la-mouche-pick-up-blind-test/p1
    Appel
  • Al WatskyAl Watsky New JerseyVirtuoso
    edited May 2015 Posts: 440
    I have had several of the electro mag pickups. Sold em' all except the Peche.
    It won the race.
    It sounds good.
    Not too noisy.
    Nothing is going to be perfect.
    In the practice room you can notice little things that seem important that mean nothing when your on the gig.
    The Peche works for me.
    Appel
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