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Old 05-14-2016, 06:38 AM   #1
nikolaaa
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Plugging acoustic-electric guitar to a PA system

First of all, I should tell you that I'm playing in a duo band - it's me on the guitar + a female vocal. Thus, I really have no problem with the feedback/interference with the minimal equipment on stage, and I never got myself a DI box for that matter.

I'm playing Yamaha CPX500II with its original pickup, and I also have no problem with the signal level when I plug it straight to the mixer, and there's no noise. Again, no need for a DI Box. So, what I did so far is plugging a guitar straight to the mix, or plugging it the effect pedals/processor, and then to the mix. I'm also playing in a quality Dynacord mix and FBT speakers, but I'm still not satisfied with the sound I'm getting (I don't know how to explain, it's a "raw", sharp, not quite pleasant color of tone, not "warm" enough). I'm fairly new with this live gig thing, always played at home, and just wanna check if I'm missing something, and if I can get an advice from the experienced fellow musicians - where do you think I should invest money to raise it to a next level?
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Old 05-14-2016, 07:04 AM   #2
Captaincranky
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I think the "recommended way" would be to use the mixing board's ""effects send & return loop". Obviously, if the board has one.

A lot of people think piezo pickups, "quack", which perhaps explains cold & brittle sound you're getting. You might try rolling off the higest band of the board's EQ on the guitar channel. That should kill a bit of the "presense", which in turn will, (hopefully) mellow out the perceived sound of the pickup. I usually roll off the guitar's high band EQ as well, along with the amp's high band, but I'm playing at home. You obviously have to make allowances for high frequency loss in the larger, noisier room.

I'd argue you should practice with a goodly amount of high frequency cut, and roll it back in as necessary as the room fills up. Methinks, a too bright EQ on the guitar, is going to step all over where the young ladies vocals are supposed to go anyway. But that's a, "you gotta be there", sort of judgement call.

I know some A/E guitars have XLR outputs. They're supposed to be better, (cleaner maybe ?), than using the 1/4"cabling.

FWIW, that's why the sound guy is always way back in the room. That's so the music can be made to sound its best for the audience. You the musician, actually get less say in the matter.

Generally though, "active pickups" such an your onboard piezo & preamp have enough signal strength to overcome fairly long cable runs without ingesting too much noise.

Assuming all the jacks are clean and tight, the biggest noise generators are going to be the effects themselves..

At this point, you get into a big stumbling block over whether analog or digital effects are a better choice.

I think digital is likely better for acoustic use because they're cleaner. Analog stomp boxes are "warmer" because of the harmonic distortion inherent in that type of circuitry, but they're also noisier. That pretty much gets lost in the distortion when playing an electric with some gain. It may not sit as well with the clean sound most people are trying to get from an acoustic.

I have an old Boss BF-2 analog flanger. I think it's the worst brittle sounding piece of crap imaginable. Obviously, your results may vary.

I'd say some experimentation is in order, along the lines I've laid out. Have fun and make music. That's the whole point, I think.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 05-14-2016 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 05-14-2016, 11:29 AM   #3
psp742
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mic an acoustic guitar amp.. Fishman loudbox is very good.. my friend owns the mini which has 60watts of head room... i own a Peavey Ecoustic 208 (has hum in super quiet room but doesn't seem be noticeable in larger venue) 30watts, might not seem like much but it is quite loud and sounds nice.. (just don't use the chorus, not very good.. hmm the reverb is ok..) i tend to plug my guitar into Polara reverb which is in front of amp.
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