Thoughts: K&K Pure Macaferri or Audio Technica PRO70

forresttforrestt San Luis Obispo, CA✭✭ Gitane DG-500 & 1957 Gibson ES-125
My cheap lapel mic blew up on my gig last night (at our freaking CD Release party of all days! playing with a sm58 pointed at your guitar is not recommended!!!) and I don't have the budget for much more than this. I've pretty much narrowed it down to these two options. We're assuming here that I am also ready to purchase a pre-amp and I've been looking at the LRBaggs stuff lately.

So, for a group that plays fairly loud and mostly runs our guitars through the pa system with decent results, which system do you think would be better?
I'm leaning right now towards the PRO70, as thats the style of miking that i saw Gonzalo using live, as well at Jorgenson and Kevin Nolan live, with fabulous results. Mr. Jorgenson spoke very highly about the PRO70 to us backstage.

I also have a K&K installed on my upright and I very much like the sound. I think they do great work for really inexpensive stuff. And the thought of not having microphone feedback is appealing to me.

I have scoured these forums for users comments and I'm still very torn.

Any feedback, er, comments rather, would be extremely helpful! Thanks!


The TIpsy GYpsies


  • I'm not clear on your venue requirements however I have had great success for guitar and reso with a Marshall MXL 603 in a nearfield configuration. Depending on your guitar, the room and the sound you want somewhere around 9-12" from the soundhole of the guitar and play with the angle and distance to get the sound you want. It's a small cap condenser mic and needs phantom power. They cost about US$60 and are a phenomenal sound for the bucks. Definitely worth checking out. One thing for sure you will be amazed at the sound for the buck.

    For gig work I pair mine with an ART Tube MP preamp which has phantom power and runs about $60 as well. Some acoustic amps have an XLR outlet with phantom which will do the trick as well.

    They were recommended to me by a recording engineer in Texas, who like me loves, to find a cheap deal that sounds great. I have a pair and use them for both live play and recording. I have more expensive mics in the box but really like the sound on acoustic guitar. Not much use beyond that.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Dr. HallDr. Hall Green Bay, WisconsinNew
    Posts: 65
    We have discussed both the K&K and Pro-70 numerous times on this forum. It's easy to do a topic search of this forum, then if you still have questions post something. For instance, just back in October, here was a thread:

  • forresttforrestt San Luis Obispo, CA✭✭ Gitane DG-500 & 1957 Gibson ES-125
    Posts: 10
    I have been looking at the forum and did extensive searches, as mentioned in my post. I've also already read the post you linked. There's lots of great information there, but as i said, I'm still torn.

    I suppose I should have been more clear. I'm really still looking for anyone who might know which system has less feedback. I'm looking for volume more than anything. I'm thinking I'll be able to adjust a little tone with the preamp?

    I like the Marshall MXL 603 mic, I've used it before and it sounds great. I'm skeptical of using it for loud situations.


    The TIpsy GYpsies
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,379
    Consider a Bigtone then. You can get really loud and still retain the essence of the acoustic sound. I've been able to play with loud drummers with no problems getting heard, at all.
    I like to describe it as 70% acoustic and 30% electric, a cross between a mic and a Stimer.
    The sound is not as natural as a mic but it's really consistent. If volume and reliability are what you're after a BT is a great choice.
    That's what I use, it takes me 2 minutes to set up and be ready to play and though I admit to wanting a less artificial sound it has served me well, never having problems with feedback or volume. A decent enough tone with zero hassles.
    If you get one make sure to go for the better, road-tested ones, mine's a Dupont and I have no complaints.
    The main advantages are that it is plug and play, light and portable, consistent, loud and clear and you can concentrate just on playing and be sure that you're getting heard instead of constantly going to the controls and adjusting the volume and EQ, not being relaxed as a consequence and having people cover their ears when your amp feedbacks, then telling you after the gig that they couldn't hear you all that well, that your tone didn't cut through the rhythm section and all your efforts went unnoticed because no one could clearly hear you. That happened to me and it sucks, the cure for me was the Bigtone and I'm happy even with the "side effects".
    The BT goes great with the AER compact 60.

    I hear good things about the Schatten HFN 2, especially if you use a preamp,Though I've also heard it's not as fat sounding as the BT and more feedback prone.
    There's always a compromise.

    A Schertler Unico and Basik or DYN pickup is another option, a middle ground between the PA/mic and BT/AER.
    More natural sound than the latter but less gig-friendly, much lower gain before feedback and not as cutting it seems.

    Unfortunately, I've found that mics are only an option for rhythm players that don't need too much volume, or those lucky few lead players that only play on large stages with reliable soundmen, and attentive crowds or those that don't need more than living room volume. For the rest of us, mics just don't work as well, at least not as the main source of amplification.
    Sad but that has been my experience so far.

    Good luck!
  • kimmokimmo Helsinki, Finland✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 169
    Consider a Bigtone then. You can get really loud and still retain the essence of the acoustic sound. -- If volume and reliability are what you're after a BT is a great choice. -- The main advantages are that it is plug and play, light and portable, consistent, loud and clear and you can concentrate just on playing and be sure that you're getting heard -- The BT goes great with the AER compact 60.

    All valid points, except IMHO still retain the essence of the acoustic sound. Although you can make Bigtone's sound more guitar-like with a decent preamp or (especially) the AER, the thing that I hate the most in BT is the inherent compression when you pluck louder strokes. It's in my opinion nowhere near acoustic guitar sound. To me it sounds like the guitar's top was made from plastic and strings from rubber (I'm of course exaggerating just to pinpoint my disappointment in BT).

    As I've said before, K&K doesn't do such vast compression. If you pluck louder, you really sound louder. The expence of the increase in dynamics, however, is its sensitivity to feedback. I have totally got over it with L.R.Baggs ParaDI-preamp, and I'm quite happy with the sound. I haven't tested my setup in really loud situations (ie. rock band with drums), but I have gigged outdoors and indoors on fairly big events with no problems.

    Still, if your main concern is volume, I'm sure Enrique is right: BT is reliable, easy to use and feedback-resistant.
  • TimmyHawkenTimmyHawken Lansing,MINew
    Posts: 118
    Are you playing lead or rhythm, or both?

    I use a AT831b and a Schatten through a PA most of the time and find that the AT831b sounds the best. It's probably the best mic I've used in for a live setting vs. having very few feedback problems; however, it isn't impervious to feedback issues. I have found that you still have to be quite concious of PA speaker placement and have little or sometimes no monitor at all. Another concern, and probably biggest consideration is what type of volume you need in comparison to the rest of the band. I find that the AT831b is best for rhythm, but not for lead.

    I use my Schatten, on a seporate channel on the PA, going through a Boss EQ and an Ultrasound pre-amp set at a louder volume for lead. I just tap the Boss' on/off foot switch for when I need to boost my sound for lead. It's a really great set up for our band because I play both lead and rhythm.

    So my advise (taken w/ a grain of salt because I've never played the K&K or the Pro70) is to go w/ the Pro70 if your primarily a rhythm player or look at a piezo style if your a lead player and can't afford both.
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,665
    I recently tried a combination of AT831b and Schertler Basik, running both through a D-TAR Solstice multichannel preamp. The preamp provides 15V phantom power, enough for most clip-on condensers, and allows you to mix the signals from up to four inputs. Also has a 20db pad, which can be useful for mikes. This setup seemed to work very well, with the mike helping to expand the rather thin sound of the Basik somewhat.

    "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
  • Tele295Tele295 San Buenaventura (Latcho Drom), CA✭✭✭ Gitane DG300, D500
    Posts: 629
    I have just dropped off my Gitane to Jorgenson's tech (Tracy Longo) to have the K&K Trinity Maccaferri system installed. I should have it back next week, and will post results soon.
    Jill Martini Soiree - Gypsy Swing & Cocktail Jazz
  • RicardoRicardo Cornwall UKNew
    Posts: 41
    I mix a Pro 70 with Bigtone and have been happy with the sound. More acoustic than the Bigtone alone.
    Bigtones seem to sound different on different guitars, probably due to how they have been installed. I am about to have the Bigtone refitted on a guitar which I have just purchased, as it has been installed badly and hardly picks up. The Pro 70 also works well by itself for low to medium volumes, however feedback is an issue in some rooms.
    Not now dear, I have a terrible Djangover.
  • Jeff MooreJeff Moore Minneapolis✭✭✭✭ Lebreton 2
    Posts: 476
    I've used a K&K for years and a pro 70 as well. Because the K&K was always adequate tone and volume wise, I quit using the pro 70 a long time ago for guitar and use it only for voice. Both these have worked terrifically for me in many many situations. The caveats: I play solo, and I've never used the other equipment mentioned so have no reference.
    The K&K is not a perfect acoustic representation, but close enough and not electric - coil sounding at all. It's 90-95% accurate and mimics the dynamics and timbre (loud - soft) well. It puts out a whopping signal; stronger than my coils. This is without preamp, just mainlined - straight in the amp.
    I like the sound of the pro 70, but working nearly always without a soundman, I need the plug and play virtues of the K&K yet the vocal and guitar sound of the pro 70 is better than my ability to discriminate. It seems to me to be totally transparent, and very feedback resistant when used fro vocals. However, I modified and tested extensively to eliminate the very significant problem with wind noise and P-pops. The little foam cover it comes with took care of about 20% of the wind noise, LOTS of wind noise, and popping sounds from consonants like close gun fire.

    Though I've never experienced the other options other people have responded with, I did try many products, and now have years with the ones you asked about and I think you'll be happy with them.

    You don't seem like your ready to make much compromise on sound quality. However without a good soundman and first rate equipment, I think you will have to trade some sound quality for reasonable ease of use, expense, and volume.
    As someone seemed to say before, worrying about your sound and playing with all you've got are almost mutually exclusive. I have to believe the sound is good so as to focus where I really want to focus. If every gig becomes forum for research, testing, and development for sound quality, you really need a soundman to free you up, or should become one if that is a constant priority.
    "We need a radical redistribution of wealth and power" MLK
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