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  • Preamp Suggestions?

    I've played a few gigs with my JJB-equipped Seagull S12 and while it sounds good, it's always been missing something. I run the signal into my EQ, which I'm using as a makeshift preamp, but it's not quite cutting the mustard. I just can't get a good setting nailed down, which isn't a problem I've had with any of my other guitars.

    Thus, I've concluded that I really ought to get a dedicated preamp of some sort. The JJB is a passive pickup too, so that's even more reason to get one. I'm thinking about getting a Prestige for my S6 as well, so I'd be able to use the preamp with more than one guitar as well.

    So...any good preamps out there? I don't want to drop $150 on one, but I don't want to go bargain basement either. Something small and inconspicuous would definitely be a plus as well, though I suppose I could go the route of a preamp/DI box combo if that's the best option.
    Guitars: Seagull S6+CW, Epiphone LP Standard, Ovation CU247, Gretsch G5120, Seagull S12 (w/ JJB Prestige 330), Martin GPCPA3 Mandolins: Mid-Missouri M-2, WWII-era Octave MandolinAmps: Fender Princeton Chorus, Marshall AVT50H/AVT412, Crate VC120HEffects: EBow > AKG Wireless > Boss TU-2 > Boss PH-3 > EHX Doctor Q > Dunlop 535 Wah > Boss OS-2 > Boss EQ-20 > Boss CH-1 > Boss NS-2 > Boss RV-3
    LHGCC Participant ~ Jimmy Caper

  • #2
    The JJB transducers, are from reading their literature, all Piezo devices. These are active, not passive devices, having a high impedance and therefore needing a preamp to both lower the output impedance, and to boost the signal. Either an onboard, or outboard preamp will sound much better. Such as a Baggs DI.

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    • #3
      The JJB transducers, are from reading their literature, all Piezo devices. These are active, not passive devices, having a high impedance and therefore needing a preamp to both lower the output impedance, and to boost the signal. Either an onboard, or outboard preamp will sound much better. Such as a Baggs DI.


      I was under the impression that active pickup systems require some sort of power (e.g. a 9V battery), but if you say so, I'll take your word for it.

      In any case, I've looked at the LR Baggs DI/preamp combos and they're a little pricey. If there was something small enough to toss into my guitar case, I'd really go for that. It'd make my acoustic setup relatively portable.
      Guitars: Seagull S6+CW, Epiphone LP Standard, Ovation CU247, Gretsch G5120, Seagull S12 (w/ JJB Prestige 330), Martin GPCPA3 Mandolins: Mid-Missouri M-2, WWII-era Octave MandolinAmps: Fender Princeton Chorus, Marshall AVT50H/AVT412, Crate VC120HEffects: EBow > AKG Wireless > Boss TU-2 > Boss PH-3 > EHX Doctor Q > Dunlop 535 Wah > Boss OS-2 > Boss EQ-20 > Boss CH-1 > Boss NS-2 > Boss RV-3
      LHGCC Participant ~ Jimmy Caper

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      • #4
        You are absolutely correct, in that any preamp needs power, either 9, 18 V or phantom power. The Baggs DI uses either 9V or phantom power.

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        • #5
          LR Baggs PARA DI

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          • #6
            A passive system, is a single coil, or humbucker type pickup, putting out approx 100 MV rms to 1 V rms, needing no buffer or boost in the signal, or change in impedance.

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            • #7
              LR Baggs PARA DI


              Thanks Stack, the proper name escaped me.

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              • #8
                That LR Baggs DI is nice...but it costs almost as much as the guitar I'm planning on using it with .

                What about this? Not as fancy, but it's cheaper and a lot more portable. I usually play with a wireless setup, and I think it would be pretty simple to clip a Gigpro onto my strap, run the guitar into it, then run it to my wireless pack.

                What say ye?
                Guitars: Seagull S6+CW, Epiphone LP Standard, Ovation CU247, Gretsch G5120, Seagull S12 (w/ JJB Prestige 330), Martin GPCPA3 Mandolins: Mid-Missouri M-2, WWII-era Octave MandolinAmps: Fender Princeton Chorus, Marshall AVT50H/AVT412, Crate VC120HEffects: EBow > AKG Wireless > Boss TU-2 > Boss PH-3 > EHX Doctor Q > Dunlop 535 Wah > Boss OS-2 > Boss EQ-20 > Boss CH-1 > Boss NS-2 > Boss RV-3
                LHGCC Participant ~ Jimmy Caper

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                • #9
                  That LR Baggs DI is nice...but it costs almost as much as the guitar I'm planning on using it with .

                  What about this? Not as fancy, but it's cheaper and a lot more portable. I usually play with a wireless setup, and I think it would be pretty simple to clip a Gigpro onto my strap, run the guitar into it, then run it to my wireless pack.

                  What say ye?


                  That will work!

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                  • #10
                    I think you may be running into a problem, in that you installed the transducers behind the bridgepins.

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                    • #11
                      Along the lines of small and inconspicuous, I've always been amazed at these.
                      http://www.kksound.com/purepreamp.html

                      I use it with my Moon mando. It doesn't do as much as my PADI, but I don't think the PADI sounds any better. Nice to have the volume control handy too.

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                      • #12
                        I think you may be running into a problem, in that you installed the transducers behind the bridgepins.


                        Perhaps, but perhaps not.

                        I sent an E-mail to Jessie and he said that the pickup placement probably wouldn't have a drastic effect on the sound. He went on to say that while he would replace the pickups for free if I damaged them, it probably wouldn't be worth the risk to try taking them off and reattaching them on the opposite side of the bridge pins.

                        I think the main problem is likely the impedance mismatch that Guitar_stringer mentioned. The pickups are piezos and because of that, there really should be a preamp somewhere in the signal chain.

                        Perhaps Rob (rhancox) will chime in. I know that he has a JJB Prestige installed on one of his guitars, and it would be interesting to see what kind of preamp (if any) he uses in conjunction with his pickup.
                        Guitars: Seagull S6+CW, Epiphone LP Standard, Ovation CU247, Gretsch G5120, Seagull S12 (w/ JJB Prestige 330), Martin GPCPA3 Mandolins: Mid-Missouri M-2, WWII-era Octave MandolinAmps: Fender Princeton Chorus, Marshall AVT50H/AVT412, Crate VC120HEffects: EBow > AKG Wireless > Boss TU-2 > Boss PH-3 > EHX Doctor Q > Dunlop 535 Wah > Boss OS-2 > Boss EQ-20 > Boss CH-1 > Boss NS-2 > Boss RV-3
                        LHGCC Participant ~ Jimmy Caper

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                        • #13
                          The JJB you have will be passive if it does not have a battery so will sound a bit weak and "tinny" unless you use an external preamp to boost the signal. That little LR Baggs should do the job fine - you might even find something cheaper if you shop around.
                          Howard

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                          • #14
                            That little LR Baggs should do the job fine - you might even find something cheaper if you shop around.


                            Any suggestions ?
                            Guitars: Seagull S6+CW, Epiphone LP Standard, Ovation CU247, Gretsch G5120, Seagull S12 (w/ JJB Prestige 330), Martin GPCPA3 Mandolins: Mid-Missouri M-2, WWII-era Octave MandolinAmps: Fender Princeton Chorus, Marshall AVT50H/AVT412, Crate VC120HEffects: EBow > AKG Wireless > Boss TU-2 > Boss PH-3 > EHX Doctor Q > Dunlop 535 Wah > Boss OS-2 > Boss EQ-20 > Boss CH-1 > Boss NS-2 > Boss RV-3
                            LHGCC Participant ~ Jimmy Caper

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                            • #15
                              I've used the LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI and the K&K XLR preamp. I think that both of these go for around $150. They both really help the tone of my amplified acoustic but the LR Baggs does a lot more in that it's also a very effective feedback control device. I initially consulted a good guitar tech who told me to always use a preamp with any acoustic setup.
                              Larrivee L-03R & Larrivee D-031974 Yairi YW-100 Dreadnought (Sada Yairi)SWR California Blonde

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