Chat about Equipment Info
 #162641  by playingdead
 Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:07 pm
Anyone who tries to play acoustic guitar live onstage knows that feedback is an issue when you're turned up loud. For years, Weir used both an undersaddle pickup and a small microphone in his Alvarez guitars, running them into (I think Pendulum) separate preamps, then using high pass/low pass filters to mix the two signals to get it sounding like he wanted without having feedback issues. It worked, apparently, judging by his use of acoustic guitars onstage with the Dead in the 90s, as well as Ratdog, etc.

He got together with the folks at Pigtronix to put this idea into a stomp box, with two sweepable filters. You can use it either with two inputs -- undersaddle and mic -- or just a single input -- like an undersaddle -- and then adjust the levels and sweeps of the two filters to get the guitar loud and eliminate feedback.

Or, at least, that's the idea. :shock:

I got one and, as far as I can tell, it does nothing at all. I tried it with a Martin OMCPA-1, a Blackbird Lucky 13 and a Gibson L-00, all with undersaddle pickups, and was rewarded with howls of feedback when the guitar was turned up, and lackluster sound when it was turned down low enough where it wouldn't feed back. It didn't matter how much I played with the levels, sweeps, phase, etc. ... the guitar was unplayable. I was running it into a full-range floor wedge like you would encounter at a gig. Running the same guitars into an LR Baggs Venue preamp, the notch filter was easily able to dial out the feedback and the guitars were perfectly usable. And yes, I was setting the controls as recommended, and also set them as not recommended, no dice.

Pretty disappointing ... perhaps it works better with a two-source setup, but I have my doubts. I was doing a rare solo acoustic gig, and really wanted to use the Martin with this preamp. Luckily, Sweetwater screwed up the shipping and it came the day after the gig, because had I tried to use it on the fly, it would have been a disaster.

I wound up playing a Rick Turner Renaissance RS-6 guitar direct, and it was fine, that guitar will not feedback no matter how loud the monitors are, preamp or no preamp. That, I can recommend. The Real Deal ... not such a great deal. Curious to hear if anyone else tried it out, couple of other bad reviews online.

As always, YMMV -- your mileage may vary.

Image
 #162642  by playingdead
 Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:11 pm
Just for fun, here's the RS6 live. I am a Rick Turner dealer, and I can get these guitars for anyone -- righty or lefty 8)

ac4468, MattMan, brianb and 1 others liked this
 #162652  by strumminsix
 Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:27 pm
Honestly, I think the use case for this is really fucking limited. And Pigtronix will hope that a bunch of deadheads will purchase.

All that said, my main acoustic is my AY WY1 which I now have Fishman Rare earth blend that uses humbucker and internal microphone with an internal pot to control each. This system sounds amazing! Best I've heard under many thousands of dollars with high end mics and unmonitored stages. https://www.fishman.com/products/series ... le-pickup/

And I will audition this pedal one day out of curiosity.

I spoke with Pigtronix and asked about the cross over. And they said at the cross over point 100% signal goes one way or the other. And while I get the intention for volume before feedback and use the best of each type, blah, blah. I'm concerned that the hard cutover will take away from the beauty of the pickup system. And it's stupid not to DI out. WTF.
 #162654  by playingdead
 Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:12 pm
Thanks for the kind words ... the Turner S6 is what Lindsey Buckingham plays live, it certainly has some Alembic-like tweaking to the electronics, with some impedance magic happening with the Timberline preamp in it.

Regarding the Pigtronix ... they did a demo at NAMM where they had a guy playing an undersaddle guitar through a QSC K12 or something ... the demo was him turning off the pedal, accompanied by a blast of feedback from the monitor. Obviously, they were able to dial it in to do that, but I found it unusable with all my guitars. The feedback rejection was a big point of sale for me, and it failed miserably at that test. I have several thin-line guitars with no soundholes that have no feedback issues -- Turner RS6, Anderson Crowdster, Taylor T-5S. But it does not "feel" the same playing a thinline, at least to me. The Martin has complicated Fishman F1 electronics, but suffers from feedback issues all the same on its own.

The theory behind Weir's rack system was sound, it was separate amplification for the internal mic and undersaddle pickup, and the ability to use the undersaddle for the low end and the mic for the high end, and infinitely adjust them. I don't think the pedal does that.

I've been a bit frustrated with Pigtronix before ... they make a terrific looper with some really great features, including being able to save loops to an SD card ... but when I was working with it using a drum machine to sync changes on the beat so you didn't always have to hit the footswitch at the precise second, I found it would start to drift after 15 measures or so, so it wound up out of sync with the MIDI device it was slaved to. They said they would look into fixing that on the firmware but I don't think they ever did -- I gave up on it and use a Boomerang which works flawlessly -- but doesn't save loops.
 #162655  by ski_rick
 Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:30 pm
Thanks for the review Vic, I was seriously considering the Real Deal. I'm an AX8 user, largely based on all the info you've posted, and would like to use channel two on my powered speaker for an acoustic. Thought/hoped this pedal would be the answer, but it sounds like not!
playingdead liked this
 #163138  by zambiland
 Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:52 pm
strumminsix wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:59 am
zambiland wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:03 pm
I would suggest that people check out the Grace Design Felix. A true audio swiss army knife.

It's a little pricey, but the quality is second to none.

http://www.gracedesign.com/products/felix/felix.htm
That looks amazing!!!
They make the best stuff! I have serial #4 and I was just at the factory getting a pot I mashed replaced and #3 was also there, getting a modification (which they do!). If you don't need the two channels, the Alix is very nice and even the Bix sounds really great.

I know, I sound like a salesman, but their gear is really top notch. I used their channel strip as a bass preamp for a while and it was without a doubt the best sounding bass preamp ever. It's direct coupled all the way through, so there's no phase shift at all. The Felix is the same except for the output transformers on the DIs. You can use the tuner out as a direct coupled out, though.
 #163142  by strumminsix
 Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:05 pm
zambiland wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:52 pm
strumminsix wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:59 am
zambiland wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:03 pm
I would suggest that people check out the Grace Design Felix. A true audio swiss army knife.

It's a little pricey, but the quality is second to none.

http://www.gracedesign.com/products/felix/felix.htm
That looks amazing!!!
They make the best stuff! I have serial #4 and I was just at the factory getting a pot I mashed replaced and #3 was also there, getting a modification (which they do!). If you don't need the two channels, the Alix is very nice and even the Bix sounds really great.

I know, I sound like a salesman, but their gear is really top notch. I used their channel strip as a bass preamp for a while and it was without a doubt the best sounding bass preamp ever. It's direct coupled all the way through, so there's no phase shift at all. The Felix is the same except for the output transformers on the DIs. You can use the tuner out as a direct coupled out, though.
Highly pricy, but it serves a need of mine. My acoustic rig is the fishman rare earth with both a magnetic pickup and internal microphone. Sounds amazing but I'd like more control of the channels. Think this pedal would do it perfectly.