I've been working on my setup, and trying to track down an annoying issue with my sound. I've noticed when I really dig into my open G, or sometimes also low notes on the G string, I get this robot buzz coming out of my pickup like something is clipping. I can't find anyone having this issue, and I'm mostly certain the buzz is coming from the pickup. Acoustically the instrument sounds fine. It's manageable as long as I don't dig into to the low notes too hard, but I would like to get it fixed. Has anyone ever seen something like this? Are you all able to play as hard as you can with no pickup issues?
I wouldn't say it buzzes, but my G string seems easy to overdrive. I have incorporated a pre-amp. This seems to balance the tone across all strings. I started with an A.R.T. pre-amp with a tube. Then I found a little mike mixer with a simple solid-state circuit. Seems a bit better.
You might put a piece of putty on your bass side bridge, for an experiment. Move it around or from side to side. I can't imagine it would have an invisible crack, but where the wire is connected is very delicate. If the bridge falls on the wire side, the bridge is toast.
Piezo pickups like the Baggs are not meant to be connected to a mic preamp. They have a very high impedance and need to be connected to a preamp with an input impedance of at least 1 MegOhm, preferabljy higher. Like the Baggs Gigpro or ParaDI, or the RedEye. Or a high quality active DI like the Countryman Type 85. An electric guitar amp input is closer, but still not really high enough. If you connect it to a lower impedance input like a mic input, the bass will be rolled off. This maybe isn't so noticeable with a fiddle, but it certainly is with a guitar or bass.
This probably doesn't have anything to do with you problem, Jonah. I'd look for something loose or cracked, or consult the manufacturer, or a local shop.
jonah - I was thinking of mechanical issues, but you say the instrument sounds fine acoustically, so maybe its electronic. If it sounds like clipping maybe that's really what it is. You didn't describe your setup, and its often hard to determine the actual levels, but maybe you should look at the gain structure in your signal path.
Also, is this happening with a new system you're developing, or did it suddenly start happening in an existing setup?
I have experienced lows distorting; but generally not issue with the PU itself. Could be few different things.
It could be mechanical. Something might not notice acoustically or at low volume; but as you amplify, turn up it can highlight that mechanical noise. As well mechanical can come from the amp, speaker, the cabinet; or even in the room... something is free to vibrate, and is perfect frequency range, for that vibration that gets resonated once enough volume. With enough volume can find all sorts of mechanical buzzes in an environment. Can try see goes away in another room, or position, or amp/speaker. (loose screw/nut on amp/cab/speaker/baffle can often be culprit)
That said, I agree with others it is more often distortion; too much input for some gain stage; or not enough head room; clipping the signal. Often the issue is just resolved by turning down the first in the chain, (preamp, pedal) and make it up later in the chain. Worth playing with that first.
Don't overlook the tone bank, EQ. Don't assume that EQ doesn't need to be adjusted for your setup. Esp as mentioned it's low end. This can be a little more difficult explain; and some things are might be bit un-intuitive; how it can change with volume. Or the actual offending frequency is not what you expect, and might be higher overtones (maybe need to adjust more mid-tone).
One other thing might mention, (though this is more issue with guitar)... the amp and/or speaker is just too weak for low end. Very noticeable on small practice amps, with inexpensive 6" or 8" speaker. Might handle highs and upper mids fine, but lows take a lot of energy, and so will notice lows start to crap out at certain overall volume.
Edited by - alaskafiddler on 07/22/2023 14:45:47
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