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K&K Pro Mini - 5th install
#3047297 06/03/20 09:12 PM
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Disclaimer, no affiliation with K&K, Everything has been paid for.

Recently, I worked a deal with a friend to install 2 K&K systems in a couple of her guitars. She bought 3 pickups and the 3rd one is mine.

For those not familar, the K&K Pro Mini is three small pickups that are glued to the bottom side of the bridge plate, inside the guitar. They go directly to the output jack and no battery is needed.

My Rainsong OM1000 came with an LR Baggs Element pickup and I've always disliked it. The B string is way too loud and overall the transient response is harsh, classic "quack" that everybody complains about.
A battery is required and there is a preamp system with adjustments for tone but they didn't even add a tuner. So, foof...

I'll spare the details unless somebody asks but WOW!!!! The first thing I noticed was that removing the undersaddle pickup and cutting a new saddle that touches the bottom of the saddle slot instead of resting on a sheilded piece of crap, made a huge difference in the tone, the sustain, etc. This was a fantastic sounding guitar acoustically before but it is hugely improved - amazing.

I never really second guessed my decision a few years back to sell my 1970 Martin D-35 but now I have something it simple cannot compare to, and it was one of the good ones. I hope the new owner loves it, I got mine right here.

Plugged into my Fishman Loudbox Performer and EQ set flat there is simply nothing to complain about, jaw dropping tone. I've never had an acoustic electric guitar in my hands that sounded this good plugged or unplugged.

Happy Camper, right here!!!! Cheers, Kuru


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Re: K&K Pro Mini - 5th install
KuruPrionz #3047396 06/04/20 01:20 PM
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Martin Bluegrass guys love the K&K. I put the Fishman Matrix system in my Martin because I play in loud situations. The Achilles heel of the K&K is when you have to play too damn loud but otherwise it gives you a more natural sound that is true to the guitar. And as a bonus it is a lot cheaper than something like the Fishman Matrix.

Last edited by CEB; 06/04/20 01:21 PM.

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Re: K&K Pro Mini - 5th install
CEB #3047413 06/04/20 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by CEB
Martin Bluegrass guys love the K&K. I put the Fishman Matrix system in my Martin because I play in loud situations. The Achilles heel of the K&K is when you have to play too damn loud but otherwise it gives you a more natural sound that is true to the guitar. And as a bonus it is a lot cheaper than something like the Fishman Matrix.

Feedback is always a consideration, especially with a dreadnaught sized guitar. With any pickup in it, it is literally a "microphone", although a rather unusual one. My duo partner always plays a full bodied dreadnaught or jumbo guitar. He prefers the tone of the K&K pickups and has them in two of his three guitars. I suspect I'll have the 3rd one on my bench soon.

My Rainsong WS-3000 12 string has a Fishman Prefix Stereo Blender pickup in it and I do hugely prefer that to the LR Baggs that I pulled out of the OM-1000. The B string does not leap out at you for one thing.
It also has a blend control to add the built in condenser microphone although a little of that goes a long ways. Still, a nice option to have!

As I mentioned above, there is a notable improvement in the tone of the OM as an acoustic guitar from removing the undersaddle pickup and putting the saddle in direct contact with the bottom of the saddle slot.
I noticed this with the Martin all mahogany dreadnaught that I installed a K&K in for my friend, it had a Fishman system in it and once the full bone saddle was in place the guitar simply sounded more clear, defined and a small increase in volume Her husband is my duo partner and he noticed it as well.

I have a Fishman Loudbox Performer and it can get very loud without feedback problems if properly adjusted. It also has a "kickstand", easy to put it behind you (which reduces feedback) and turn it up as much as you need. The EQ section is a great design and there are 3 DI on the back. One for each channell (pre EQ) and one mix DI (post EQ). Depending on the gig, you could send the PA a dry signal or EQ'd with effects and mix the volumes of the guitars onstage, reducing the back and forth with the sound engineer. We use it as our entire PA system for many gigs we play, one of the clearest, fullest vocal tones I've ever had and surprisingly loud if needed (I usually play electric guitar for our duo gigs).

K&K and others do make preamps for the Pro Mini system, the pickup is part of the system but not the entire setup. Adding the preamp would probably help the bluegrass players immensely and take the price up a few noches. I don't see a reason for it considering the results I get from the Loudbox.


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Re: K&K Pro Mini - 5th install
KuruPrionz #3047488 06/04/20 10:01 PM
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Did a final action adjustment, lowering the saddle a smidge.
Probably went a tiny bit too far but it will be ok.

Just a slight bit of buzz if I play too hard with heavy pick well up the neck.


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Re: K&K Pro Mini - 5th install
CEB #3049923 06/20/20 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by CEB
Martin Bluegrass guys love the K&K. I put the Fishman Matrix system in my Martin because I play in loud situations. The Achilles heel of the K&K is when you have to play too damn loud but otherwise it gives you a more natural sound that is true to the guitar. And as a bonus it is a lot cheaper than something like the Fishman Matrix.


I forgot to mention that I have a Fishman Loudbox Performer and the anti-feedback controls on that are exceptional. It is truly one of the best pieces of gear that I own, in all respects.

I guess a bluegrass player would draw the line at something like that. I am not a bluegrass player, not against it but not it either.


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