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Jan 18, 2022 - 4:24:43 PM

kjb

USA

748 posts since 6/8/2013

is it wrong to assume that using an acoustic instrument with a piezo pickup will get too much feedback in a low level stage environment?
if I take a strarfish bridge pickup and put it on my 5 string playing through and amp will I be able to be in front of it like I normally do?
I realize there are lots of variables here, for those of you who do play an electrified instrument what are your experiences, I am going to be playing through a helix lite effects box. which now in the practice room I am getting feedback on some choices which makes sense , I am not using a mic on the violin so not too surprising.
Am I better off just buying $700 5 string , or buying a $400 pickup and putting it on my 5 sting .. let me know your ideas if you don't mind.. thanks kevin

Jan 18, 2022 - 8:50 PM
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2962 posts since 9/13/2009

is it wrong to assume that using an acoustic instrument with a piezo pickup will get too much feedback in a low level stage environment?

Not sure how defining low level? Most microphones; with a good sound understanding and set up work great. That said, an acoustic instrument with piezo pickup, as most acoustic-electric guitars use (and fiddles); should give much more gain before feedback; typically get pretty loud before feedback.

Part of this is question of how loud do you need it on stage? The acoustic properties of the instrument, the resonance chamber of the body, and vibrating top, acts as extension of the pickup... essentially microphonic effect. Enough sound coming from speakers to vibrate the top or resonant chamber; it will go thru the pickup and back thru the speakers. So if playing with as loud as metal band level... (or poor sound setup...  going to start running into feedback. Solid body instruments and magnetic pickups are a way to get it much louder... perhaps ear damaging loud. (might consider turning stage volume down)

Of course the other part of the equation is sound out of speakers, and minimizing that coming back in to the mic/pickup. Good room set-up, placement, amp speakers, monitors, mains, pattern selection, and frequency management.  As well, a popular option that solves a lot of issues is using good "in ear monitors"... which if planning to play a lot in these environments, probably worth the investment.

Am I better off just buying $700 5 string , or buying a $400 pickup and putting it on my 5 sting

I personally would base decision on overall sound quality; not which can make louder. Mostly, I like good sound management, and not a fan of loud stage sound (for many reasons). Again, IEM might be a better bang for buck.

Jan 19, 2022 - 3:56 AM

kjb

USA

748 posts since 6/8/2013

yes a lot of variables , thanks for the reply

Jan 20, 2022 - 8:10:55 PM

2601 posts since 10/22/2007

I use an acoustic violin with a bridge pickup, because it sounds more like an acoustic. My solid body violin more equates to a solid body guitar. I would have to run it through some filter to fake an acoustic tone. Both are vulnerable to feedback. I think the solution would be a more quiet stage, but it's not going to happen with the band I play for. I use hand dampening. Also block the wave with my body. Floor wedges plus a low ceiling is the worst. I actually like it better without monitors.

Jan 21, 2022 - 3:05:15 AM

kjb

USA

748 posts since 6/8/2013

thanks

Jan 21, 2022 - 10:43:40 AM
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79 posts since 5/1/2010

Starting in 1975, I played fiddle and harmonica in bar bands for thirty years. Over the years I went through every type of violin pickup out there. Back in the '70's, the only choices were pretty much Barcus-Berry and D'Armand(sp?). Then came the Fishman and various others. What I was aiming for was a natural violin tone, but loud enough to be heard above the electric instruments and drums of my bandmates. This was seldom achieved without feedback. Then in 1983 I had a solid-body electric custom-built for me. Eureka! As long as I could use MY amp, where I had complete control of the tone settings, the thing sounded like a Strad! But, if I was sitting in with another band and playing through their amps or PA, it sounded screechy and miserable, no matter how many knobs you turned!
Nowadays, pretty much retired and away from the loud bar scene, I use "The Band" by Headway with my acoustic fiddle when I have to plug into anything. It sounds very natural and loud enough for my present applications.

Jan 21, 2022 - 3:52:06 PM
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2601 posts since 10/22/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Fiddleharp

Starting in 1975, I played fiddle and harmonica in bar bands for thirty years. Over the years I went through every type of violin pickup out there. Back in the '70's, the only choices were pretty much Barcus-Berry and D'Armand(sp?). Then came the Fishman and various others. What I was aiming for was a natural violin tone, but loud enough to be heard above the electric instruments and drums of my bandmates. This was seldom achieved without feedback. Then in 1983 I had a solid-body electric custom-built for me. Eureka! As long as I could use MY amp, where I had complete control of the tone settings, the thing sounded like a Strad! But, if I was sitting in with another band and playing through their amps or PA, it sounded screechy and miserable, no matter how many knobs you turned!
Nowadays, pretty much retired and away from the loud bar scene, I use "The Band" by Headway with my acoustic fiddle when I have to plug into anything. It sounds very natural and loud enough for my present applications.


I would be interested in what type and brand of amp you were using? Plus, if you were using an equalizer, preamp, or any other devices in line, between your amp and instrument. 

Jan 22, 2022 - 12:13:10 AM
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79 posts since 5/1/2010

Back in the 1970's I had a pre-CBS blackface Fender Super Reverb. When that was stolen in 1980, I replaced it with a Fender Twin. At first I use a small graphic equalizer, but then just started plugging straight into the amp. I don't use any effects pedals, preferring to maintain that natural "fiddle" sound.
By the way, I still have that Twin. If a thief tries to carry this one away, I hope he gets a hernia, because now, at the age of 70, I can't recall that thing being so heavy back in the day!

Jan 22, 2022 - 4:22:43 AM

kjb

USA

748 posts since 6/8/2013

after looking around I went with the barbera twin hybrid transducer 5 string I will start out using it on my acoustic and see what happens , if that does not work I will make one. thanks

Jan 22, 2022 - 10:48:20 AM

5804 posts since 9/26/2008

Do you use one of those modeling preamps (Aphex? Can't recall brand) that acoustic guitars use?

I'm with George on this one, the quieter the stage the better. What I do when needing louder (like at a bar gig) is use the pickup at a manageable level for general sound and ride the mic when I take a break.

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Jan 22, 2022 - 2:20:16 PM

79 posts since 5/1/2010

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

Do you use one of those modeling preamps (Aphex? Can't recall brand) that acoustic guitars use?

I'm with George on this one, the quieter the stage the better. What I do when needing louder (like at a bar gig) is use the pickup at a manageable level for general sound and ride the mic when I take a break.

Who are you addressing?


Jan 22, 2022 - 5:23:36 PM
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5804 posts since 9/26/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Fiddleharp
quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

Do you use one of those modeling preamps (Aphex? Can't recall brand) that acoustic guitars use?

I'm with George on this one, the quieter the stage the better. What I do when needing louder (like at a bar gig) is use the pickup at a manageable level for general sound and ride the mic when I take a break.

Who are you addressing?


 


Original poster.

However, I am familiar with the Fender Twin and agree if one were to steal it, may they throw thier back out for the effort! 

Jan 22, 2022 - 7:00:30 PM
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2601 posts since 10/22/2007

NFN in an interview with Billy Gibbons' technician said the ZZ-Top stage environment was quiet enough for conversation without raising one's voice. This was a revelation to me. I understand, this happens in rerified air of a top grade stadium tour band. I can't trust the sound guy, when there is one, to not loose me in the mix. I'll leave it at that. If and when I run my own ten truck tour, I'll have the toys then. You betcha!

Jan 24, 2022 - 8:19:28 AM
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5677 posts since 7/1/2007

I have two full-time pro clients in Branson who play in large bands in large venues with barcus-berry bridge pickups and have reported no problems in the last few years. I also have a few clients who play in bar bands in really loud venues, who also use bridge pickups of various brands. As long as they are careful with monitor levels and where they stand relative to speakers, they don't have feedback problems. Modern sound equipment gives you pretty good control over feedback frequencies.

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