#1
I have a nice oval hole archtop that came with a Fishman archtop piezo pickup built into the floating bridge (Eastman El Rey ER0). The pickup is connected to a Fishman preamp with tone and volume controls under the sound hole. It has a very nice acoustic sound, but as a jazz player I want to add a floating magnetic pickup as well. I would like to keep the controls in the sound hole. Do any of you know if the Fishman Ellipse Matrix Blend (which comes with under saddle piezo and a soundhole mic) can be modified to remove the mic and wire in a magnetic pickup? For example I'm considering adding an EMG-91 active pickup. I really don't want a separate set of controls. Appreciate any advice you can offer, or if you recommend other products.
#2
I don't know of any such separate preamp . Any "mix & match" piezo/mag systems I've seen have custom preamps. Several of them are stereo anyway.

I expect the EMG would have too much output to be used with any preamp designed for a passive mag/piezo combination. Such 'dual point' after market systems would have the mag's impedance taken into consideration when balancing the potential relative outputs.

My suggestion would be to run the guitar in stereo, with a volume pedal on the EMG.

Noise wouldn't be a consideration due to the EMG's high output level. Long cables/intermediate cable and pedal shouldn't affect an active pickup. In this case the EMG is low impedance.

And stereo is pretty cool. You might set the piezo for average volume, and stomp the pedal to kick the mag in for more 'expressive passages'. Plus, the mag channel could house FX, perhaps even a touch of crunch, should that strike your fancy.

(Obviously, confined to a volume pedal you couldn't wander all over the stage, or climb on top of the PA. But seriously, how many jazz players do that)?

As to my 'crunch' suggestion, I did see s Bryan Adams video where he was using a pretty thick arch top to slam out "Summer of '69'.

I googled "EMG 91", and got a ton of results. You might try that for some other takes on this.
#3
Appreciate your feedback CaptainCranky. It would be safer to follow your advice leaving the existing piezo system unadulterated and simply run the magnetic pickup out as a separate stereo channel. It could be run through a Boss EQ pedal (or similar effect pedal) for tone and volume. Also reading more on the EMG-91 pickup I learned it already has a preamp built into the pickup, so running through a second preamp is sure to cause me more issues than it is worth. I may invest in a passive pickup instead (Kent Armstrong).
#4
You're quite welcome.
Quote by BossaBruce
Also reading more on the EMG-91 pickup I learned it already has a preamp built into the pickup, so running through a second preamp is sure to cause me more issues than it is worth. I may invest in a passive pickup instead (Kent Armstrong).
Those EMGs are quite popular with the 7 string set. Of course in those electrics, you have tone and volume directly at your disposal on the guitar body. Something which isn't possible on an acoustic without a whole lot of drilling, and possibly quite a bit of disdain for the guitar.

Passive magnetic pickups generally have sufficient output to tolerate reasonably long cable runs without ingesting too much noise. So, 10' or so to a volume pedal wouldn't be much of an issue.

I would strongly caution you to stay away from Mr. Armstrong's single coil pickups. I have one in a Crafter hybrid 12 string, (Taylor T-5 knockoff),. and it, combined with fairly low S/N ratio in one of my amps,v (Peavey eCoustic 208), causes me never to use it. (*)

My other Crafter hybrid 12 has a Kent Armstrong humbucker which IS tied into the the onboard preamp. That sounds quite a bit better than the SC "lipstick" model

(*) Although, the single coil guitar has phase switching built in to the preamp, which is pretty interesting when mixed 50/50 with the piezo.

I can't give too definitive an answer on the K.A.. humbucker. It sounds good, but I use bronze wound strings on these guitars, instead of the recommended steel nickel electric strings. Accordingly, the pickup only has the steel cores of the acoustic string sets to work with, which is likely reducing the output, along with throwing it out of balance across the string set.

The short answer is, you'll much likely have better results with nickle electric strings, or perhaps Martin's "Monel", which are acoustic strings, with a special nickel based alloy for the windings.

Let us know how you make out...
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 29, 2016,