#1
Please forgive me if this isn't the right forum...

I'm looking to add an LR Baggs Element pickup to my Tacoma DR14, but I'm questioning if not I should rethink this. Since the Element is an active pickup and since I'll be running it through a DI should I opt out for a passive pickup instead? I'm still not all that familiar with the Paracoustic DI's other then the fact that it really cleaned up my sound on my Tacoma DM14 with the LR Baggs Miratone which is also an active pickup. However, the sound with the DM14 is still a little harsh out times and seems as if it wants to distort. This may just be due to my inexperience with the DI, but then again...that's why I'm asking you guys the questions. So...any input or advice would be extremely helpful!
Thanks!!!
Jason in Fresno
#2
OK, to be honest, I've never heard the Baggs Element, but I've a similar system on my Taylor 412K, consisting of an undersaddle piezo blended with a condenser mounted inside the guitar body. It was pretty much the state of the art 15 years ago. It sounds OK, but it's not easy to get the right blend and eq, and often the undersaddle piezo quacks through and it just doesn't cut it.

Flash forward to about a year ago...I put a K&K Pure Western passive bridgeplate transducer into my Larrivee L03. This is also a piezo, however, since it is under no pressure from the saddle compressing the transducers (which, with a piezo undersaddle type, generates voltage before you even play, accounting for the overdriven quack sound) it generates no "quack" at all. It only reproduces the vibrations of the bridge plate and the top of the guitar. The system its totally passive, so no batteries, no onboard controls, nothing at all to fuss with, and you can't even tell it's on the guitar.

The K&K Pure Western sounds way the HELL better than the Fishman undersaddle/condenser system on my Taylor. It puts out a LOT of level for a passive transducer, so in many cases an external pre-amp is not required. I run mine through an inexpensive small mixer that has mic preamps...also allows me to blend FX through the aux buses on the board. The K&K is the warmest and most natural sounding acoustic PU I've heard. The LR Baggs I-Beam is also quite good, and the preamp for it is inside the end-pin jack so its also low profile. I also like the B-Band soundboard condenser, but in terms of sound, bang for the buck and low-hassle, low-profile, I'll take the K&K over the rest of these (which I DID) any day. Check out the reviews on Harmony Central.com

The K&K is slightly tricky to install, but a handy guy can do it fairly easily, saving the cost of pro installation. The PUs can be had online for about $86, which has to be the deal of the century. Here is one place to get 'em...

http://www.shorelinemusic.com/amplification/kk.shtml

There are several others...Guitar Adoptions.com is another on that always has good deals on these.
#3
LR Baggs is a good guitar. If you put on the iBeam there is a volume control so you can set it wherever you want. I wouldn't worry about whether it's active or not.