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CyrilGaffiero tbleen Sticconti

Bigtone piezo or K&K Pure Floating Bridge pickup?

hi everyone. i recently purchased a gypsy guitar, and i am looking for a way to amplify it. i already have an aer compact 60 so i am looking for something to work good with that. i have seen the bigtone piezo being recommended here, but i am also looking into the K&K Pure Floating Bridge pickup, which is similar, but is a pickup (?) instead of a piezo. so if anyone has experience with these two systems i 'd appreciate the help.

i also understand the bigtone system to come complete with the bridge (or is it something to be installed under your own bridge?)

Comments

  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,645
    One obvious issue with the K&K is the height of the pickup elements, which is 1.3 mm according to the documentation. This will have a dramatic effect on your action and will require adjustment to your bridge (or a new bridge) if you want to keep the action the same.

    And I believe it actually is a piezo.

    Shadow makes something similar. Our bass player loves his Shadow pickup, but I can't vouch for the Maccaferri one. Here it is for info purposes:
    http://www.shadow-electronics.com/viewpro.html?lang_id=&id=219

    I use Schatten passive pickups. They work for me, but some people hate them. If you get a chance to try different pickups on other people's guitars, you can judge for yourself. Otherwise, read all the advice, use your best judgment, and good luck.
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,815
    Feedback resistance is a big problem with any system that has piezo elements mounted under the feet of the bridge. You can't get as loud with the K&K pure as with the bigtone. Because the bigtone's element is INSIDE the bridge is protects it from feedback and allows for playing at much higher volumes. Also, any piezo that is mounted on the top (like the K&k pure) or under the top (like the Schatten or the other K&K systems) usually has a "wetter" sound. Meaning that it captures more of the natural reverberance of the instrument which can sometimes sound nice but usually clouds up your amplified sound, especially at high volumes. I've found that most players prefer a drier sound with little or no "wetness." Because the Bigtone is mounted right under the strings it is very dry and clear which usually results in a more practical amplified sound, especially at higher volumes. If it's too dry you can always add reverb...but the problem with the other systems is that you can't remove reverb. Once it's there, you're stuck with it and it can really muddy up your sound.

    Ultimately it's a personal choice and it a lot depends on the situations you play in and how loud you need to be. I think the bigtone is the winner for volume, but you may like the wetter sound of some of the other systems but keep in mind they can be problematic at higher volumes.

    Good luck!

    'm
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,645
    Michael's assessment is right on. I've got Schattens in my guitars because they can sound pretty good as far as delivering an acoustic tone, without the "edge" that a lot of piezos give you. But as Michael points out, they do pick up a lot of reverberances as well as just plain noise (any bumps to the body come through loud and clear). I augment it with an AT831b to get a little more naturalness to the overall sound.

    My most recent Dell'Arte had a Bigtone, which I eventually replaced with a Schatten. Didn't care for the Bigtone, which just seemed to be a little too "hot." However, Michael and others have said that the Dupont Bigtone is a very different beast and superior to others, including Dell'Arte's. I'd love to try one someday.

    In the end, there is no perfect solution to getting an acoustic sound, other than playing acoustically through a good microphone. Unfortunately, that usually means having a sound guy standing by, a luxury that my band does not have.

    Hey Michael, did you ever get a chance to try that Mateos bridge/pickup combo?
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • AlterAlter New
    Posts: 3
    thank you for your time and answers, they have been very helpful. the current band that i 'm using this guitar with is a violin/guitar/upright bass trio, and we mostly play bars and events, so the volume is loud, but not as loud as other acoustic gigs i 've had to do (with drums and electric bass in the band). i 'll do some searching here to see if i can demo something (i'm in greece)..

    thanks again
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,815
    klaatu wrote:
    However, Michael and others have said that the Dupont Bigtone is a very different beast and superior to others, including Dell'Arte's. I'd love to try one someday.

    Yes...many people have experienced "bigtone trauma" and swore to never use them again. But usually they were using a poorly constructed/installed one. The Duponts are the best I've tried...but even so the bigtone sound isn't for everyone. But it does seem to be the most overall practical solution as far as piezos go.



    Hey Michael, did you ever get a chance to try that Mateos bridge/pickup combo?

    I ordered a bunch of the Patrick Inghilleri pickups which are similar:

    http://www.djangostation.com/Micro-chev ... e,997.html


    Should be here next week!

    'm
  • constantineconstantine New York✭✭✭✭ Eastman DM2/v
    Posts: 391
    opa!! A greek gypsy jazz movement - Awesome

    Konstandinos
    in NY
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