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Noob help on guitar pickup/pre-amp/di/etc


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I recently purchased a classic guitar in hopes of being able to play it someday. I understand that I am very late in the game (since I am already 40yrs+ old) but heck, I have some spare time and I have the desire to push through so what the hell.


Anyway, I need some help to understand some stuff.


My Ibanez G200ece-nt guitar which I bought for around $260 here in the Philippines has a pickup/preamp installed in it but when I tried inserting it in my allen&heath zed10fx mixer going to a QSC K10 speaker, the sound wasn't as good as I expected. I understand that my guitar is not that good hence the cheap price but i'm just starting out and if i do well, then i'd invest in a much better guitar. Until then, I just wish to upgrade either the pre-amp/pickup or whatever to get a better sound.


I have read around and I am willing to try out the Radial JDI Direct Box due to its good reviews. Aside from this, what would you upgrade? Should I upgrade my pre-amp? the pickup? etc?


Note: The reason I am getting a Radial JDI is because I will be changing my Zed10fx (with internal DI) to a Presonus 16.0.2 mixer (which does not have an internal DI).


The Pick-up is a B-Band Uder Saddle Transducer UST as per the manual but I don't know what it looks like.


This is a pic of my guitar:





This is a pic of the pre-amp: (Ibanez SRTn)





The thing where you connect the wire (not sure what this is called)



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Welcome aboard joms! I would suggest that you do not change a thing on the electronics. Make sure you have a good battery and the guitar is in tune. I would use the xlr jack into one of the mic inputs on your mixer (that's the one on the left). I would use the 1/4" jack (that's the one on the right) to go to a guitar amp or to the instrument line in on the mixer. You don't need a direct-in box when using an acoustic guitar on a PA mixer. I would carry both a mic chord and a regular guitar chord with you so you'll have the option available, and I would only use one of them at a time unless the specs say otherwise.


If you don't think the sound is all that good on your set up, take the guitar down to one or more music stores like GC and try it out on an acoustic amp and on another PA. If the salesman knows his stuff, he can dial in a sound for you that you will like. I have two nylon guitars and they both sound great when plugged in. I highly recommend a touch of reverb as it really makes them come alive. I would start with your guitar settings for bass mid and treble at the mid point settings with the volume less than half and go from there. On the mixer, I back the high off just a touch, run the mid at high noon, and add just a touch on the low...good luck and have fun with it. It looks like a very cool guitar!

Take care, Larryz
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from the pic, it looks like the volume on the guitar preamp might be turned up too high, resulting in overdrive or distortion as it goes into the PA channel. You want that signal low to get a more natural sound from the guitar.


You have to adjust your expectations when using acoustic guitar pickups. They don't sound as good as the natural, unplugged sound of the guitar because they are using a different approach to derive the sound.


Would the application you're using the guitar for allow you to mic it instead of using the pickup?

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for acoustic pickups I like the old Fishman 1s, not too hot of output and almost passive (the newer Fishman IIs are too hot), just a battery to power them (though my fave pickups don't even have that...) and straight to the jack... I usually use a D-Tar Mama Bear, so I cheat with some degree of modeling mixed in, but they sound natural enough straight away for me to live with when I just have to plug and bear it.
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