I do alot of polyphonic things in my playing, and often go from fingerpicking to thumb slapping to flatpicking even in the same passage of a song. I also do alot of hammer on/pull off things inside of strummed chords....this is fine unplugged...but live I have noticed that it was getting lost in the sound at times, and I may as well just have been strumming normally, as the audience weren't hearing the embellishments anyway! Well this system appears to cover me for all that, and body percussion too. Add to this that it's active, doesn't require any external preamps, and weighs mere ounces plus only has minimal wiring in the guitar.
It also helps the enviroment, as it doesn't use batteries.....
Here's my original post;
I have been using (thanks to Eastwodo on this forum) a Mi-Si duo soundhole magnetic pickup for a while now, and swear by it....lightweight, full range, not prone to humming due to dimmers but still has a single coil sound. It's just a great pickup, that gives a buffered, active signal but is totally self contained with no need for batteries.
You plug in the jack charger and 60 seconds later you have 8 hours worth of playing time.
I had noticed that Mi-Si did an endjack preamp that uses the same capacitor technology, and thus gives an active signal to whatever it's mated to, but doesn't require a battery pack in the guitar anywhere. They sell their "Trio" system, which utilizes an LR Baggs UST pickup and the above mentioned jack preamp.....but I wondered if my choice of K&K sbt's could be buffered this way.
I emailed Mikhail at Mi-Si, who got back to me straight away with the answer yes, but it would need to be custom optimised for the K&K pickup, but if I wanted he would build me one, for a very fair price! He also detailed how to wire it in the opposite phase, in case it was out of phase with my Duo in the same guitar.
It arrived in the post Weds, I fitted it that day, and used it that night at a gig with about 120 people in a nice warm sounding room. WOW! What a great sound....it was in phase with the duo, and I ran both systems into their own channels (2 jacks in my guitar) straight to the soundcraft spirit desk....both eq's FLAT(!) and had two active JBL eons inline with me, and a small yamaha monitor to my left.
The sound was very full, and the headroom was incredible....the usual compression I had been getting seemed lessened...playing loud or quietly yielded completely different feels and tones, and I could really dig in once the gain was set with no clipping,thinning out or quacking at all.
I won't say it's 100% natural sounding, although it's much closer than I've been without a mic in the mix before....but it feels closer touch wise to the way the guitar reacts to my playing. I don't ever scoop my mids on my guitar, I like to be able to pull lines out of pedalled chords etc.
The actual preamp is tiny, and sit on the tailblock with the capacitor mounted on the PCB. I have the three shortened wires from the K&K's to the jack, and the one wire from the duo to the other jack....no batteries and if I took the whole system out of the guitar all parts of the dual source would weigh less than half of a Sunrise....and it's ACTIVE! I no longer need an external preamp. I will EQ/set gains and volumes on the desk, and get rid of any extra stages from now on.
So big thanks to Mi-Si, for saving me from batteries, preamps and extra cables, and preserving the acoustic sound of my beloved Avalon!
I am extremely happy with this set up, and I finally think it does my L32 some justice!