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About navigate40

  • Birthday 01/01/1957


  • Biography
    Semi retired scientist, former naval officer and Pharma industry director.
    Would not mind playing in a local band...


  • Location
    SE FL


  • Interests
    Electric and acoustic guitars. Building guitars. Motorcycles. Surf rock, classic rock, some country,


  • Occupation
    Semi-retired scientist. Now in education.

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  1. Update: Quick update on the new Duncan mag mic pup. Tried it on the AJ45ME, great (though the sound hole preamp gets in the way). Did a permanent install in the Martin DRS2. And LOVE it. Such great sound, makes the acoustic sound like an acoustic. Really like having the mic option, let’s you dial in a lot of acoustic sparkle and resonance. The adjustable poles are excellent…lets you balance the strings the way you want to. The install was simple and quick. I did not need to take out the battery box in the Martin, though I already had. The battery and output jack wires were soldered into the pickup, so, simply undid the output jack in the Martin batt box and replaced it with the Duncan one. Had ordered a 2.0mm JST connector....but...the connector was not compatible with the one from the Martin batt box, so, just cut those leads (Martin and Duncan) and soldered. Simple. Works great. Money well spent. Love the sound. Thanks for the advice. Best John [note: no feedback issues at living room volumes]
  2. Could do that, easily, though the Fishman battery leads have these small connectors. Might wire them up. Edit: I think I found them. JST 2 pin. have to measure and see if these are 2.0 or 1.25mm (between leads) ...anyone know? Updated update: They are 2.0mm Thanks
  3. I appears as though the battery and output jack leads just plug into the Sonicore preamp. So, simple to disconnect those. Will leave the Sonicore preamp....it is not affecting anything. The battery and output jack leads are soldered into the SD Mag Mic. So, will replace the Fishman output jack with the SD. The SD Mag mic battery lead is wired into a battery box. Looks similar to the one on the bottom side of the Martin. Have not looked, but my guess would be that I could just replace the box on the Martin, with the SD one. Has anyone done that? Would seem straight forward. Might have to take the unit off the wood....just 4 wood screws.
  4. Good point about the Fishman Ellipse. It would be replacing one Fishman UST with another. I am now thinking the Duncan Mag Mic is the best choice. Can try it out on the Martin, and other guitars, without having to install it. Install is simple, reversible, and could use it on other guitars, if it did not work out. Poles are adjustable, giving me more tone control than any other of this type Mic should be similar to the Fishman, since it is right in the sound hole. Reviews and sound samples are all very good If I *have* to EQ it, I can use the Baggs Gigpro….which is what I do for that guitar now...so....no change. [Or, the more I play one nice, small place and get to know the sound guy...the more I can ask him to make adjustments for me] Fishman has a similar pickup, but it is $100 more and no pole adjustments. Thanks!
  5. Hello Thank you for the help, I appreciate it. I plan to do any installs myself. Have worked on several guitars, both acoustic and electric. Now, thinking about the Duncan mag mic vs the Fishman Ellipsis Matrix. I would use the existing 9V batt with both the Duncan and Fishman. The Duncan would be an easier install, and I could try it in a couple different guitars. It apparently can be re-voiced slightly, by screwing the poles up and down. But, the mic can only be blended in, you cannot turn the mag pickup off or lower it. The video's of the Fishman system are impressive. The install would be a little more involved, have to change the UST, but not that big a deal. It would be a permanent install, no switching between guitars. With the Fishman, you can blend between the mic and pickup, all the way to 50-50 or just one or the other. That is nice. And....the mic is on a stalk, so that you can move it, position it, whereas the Duncan one is built into the pickup, and on the underside....but that would be in the middle of the sound hole. So...the Duncan, you can raise and lower the poles. The Fishman, you can blend in mic or pickup or both and the mic has some sort of 'trim' setting. The Duncan is just under $200 new, the Fishman can be had for that, used.
  6. Hello I have a Martin DRS2 that I really like the sound of, unplugged. Playing through the cheap Fishman Sonitone UST is not all that great. I CAN get it to sound acceptable, if I use an LR Baggs GigPro. And that might be the solution. But, I have been thinking about putting some money towards this in an effort to install a better onboard pickup system in it. This would just be for open mic night. I have two Breedlove's and an Epi AJ45ME Masterbilt, that are very good plugged in...and so use them, but it would be nice to play the Martin. Budget is under $200. I heard someone play an old Ovation with a new sound hole mag mic type pickup in it. Might have been a Fishman. Sounded amazing. Have looked at a number of pickups and am now thinking of a sound hole mounted magnetic, with a mic. The SD Mag Mic, seems very good. Not sure I want to go with a Baggs M1 or M80, even though they are very well reviewed....but think a mic that far into the body would sound boxy. Does anyone have any experience with these types of pickups, not just the SD? One issue....does not seem to be any EQ in any of these. Really do not want to have to EQ this with an external preamp or pedal...that would defeat the purpose (ease of use...jump up and play when called). Thanks! John [my playing is mostly strumming] Added: Thought the Fishman Ellipse Matrix was too expensive...but seeing it under 200, used. Would that be a better option than the SD Mag Mic? It blends an UST with a mic. Has *some* sound shaping (?? Mic trim?). One advantage of this system is that you can select EITHER the UST OR the MIC...or blend both, biased either way.
  7. Hello I was thinking about getting a very cheap LTD 256, to use as a donor, for the project. But...made the mistake of playing it and a PRS back and back . SO...now looking at PRS SE models. Stretches the budget for the project, but, in the end I would have a higher quality guitar. I don't gig either...so....none of these expenses are justified...especially with 8 other guitars. So....really not sure I even should. At any rate....most of the PRS models are HH. You can find a p90 245.....but not all the time. SO....it would be far easier to get an HH model and use HB sized P90's...thus the question.....is this really short changing myself on P90 tone?? [added: just to inform, looking for something in an LP form. Already have strats and tele's. 335/339 is not the size I am after. Gibson LP's are too expensive, Epi ones are too heavy.]
  8. Hello Thanks for the comments, I really appreciate them. I have an SD Phat cat and liked it a lot. BUT.... I don't have a true P90 soap bar to A/B it with. And....I ultimately took it out of the guitar I had it in to replace it with SD Alnico II Pro HB's. So...….that might tell me something...I don't know. Struggling with this. I have 4 electrics, 2 with HB's, 2 SC's. Love them all. Thinking about a P90 to round things out and give me something that fills a niche.
  9. I agree. Thinking of an LTD. The ones I have seen seem to be as good as better epi's. PRS is nice, but not sure I like their wide fat neck. The epi gold top is not weight relieved at all and is too heavy for my liking.
  10. Hello Planning my next project and want a P90 guitar again. I had one, a strat with Lindy Fralin's, loved it. This time, I am planning on getting an LP type and want P90's in it. Do not want a Gib LP because of the expense and weight. I have a model in mind, and it did have a soap bar P90 version, unfortunately, it is no longer available and impossible to find used. There are LOTS of HH LP type guitars available, many at big discounts. SO, the question: Are some of the better HB sized P90's significantly different in tone that soap bar P90's, or similar enough? Has anyone A/B'd both? Can find vids comparing P90's to HB's, but none comparing HB sized P90's to soap bars. A lot of players say that it is impossible to get a true P90 under an HB cover. Duncan and Fralin say that their HB sized P90's are true P90's. Specs (wire, magnet, DCR) of the Fralin HB sized P90 are identical to their soap bar P90. Would it be worth waiting to find this elusive soap bar model or not? Right now, the same guitar in HH is $100 off! Would it be worth routing the HB route to accommodate a P90, then using a pickup ring to mask (there are only a couple available)? Appreciate all inputs. Thanks
  11. Hi Phil Nice add to the reviews. I was looking for another acoustic that I could play out with. Had a couple dreads and always wanted a slope shoulder, lusting after the Gib J-45 (but could not afford or justify one). The Texan was on my list. I see that the PF one has some interesting differences from the standard Texan, most notably the LR Baggs Electronics. I played one (not the PF) and it was good. Then looked at and played the Epi Masterbilt AJ45ME (a J-45 clone). WOW...That was NICE. And $100 less than the PF Texan. About $200 more than the regular Texan. The AJ45ME has a 24.75 inch Gibson scale, which makes it really interesting to have in the stable, different from all my other acoustics. It is all solid tone woods and has a rosewood fingerboard, the PF Texan has pau ferro. Satin finish neck, whereas the PF Texan is gloss (I believe). The AJ45ME has Grover 18:1 tuners, which are good and smooth. The PF has upgraded tuners, as well, the regular Texan does not (epi 14:1). The PF Texan has LR Baggs electronics. I have another LR Baggs preamp in another acoustic and it performs very well, when amplified. The Shadow nanoflex in the AJ45ME is also very good....and has separate bass and treb controls...which are nice to have. One advantage of the Shadow system, is that...if you found it was needed, you could easily add their nanomag pickup to the guitar, replacing the nanoflex…..it looks like a simple plug in. [not sure the shadow preamps or pickups are compatible with others....different impedance] I have found a slope shoulder dread really great to have. I would encourage anyone interested in expanding their collection to consider one. Have had an Epi Masterbilt in the past...sorry I sold it....glad to have another. All the best John
  12. Yes, I do agree. Though....there must be some difference between the $20 Fishman Sonicore and the $120 Fishman Matrix Infinity. But, point taken...any UST piezo is going to have 'that' sound. Initially, when I started this, I thought a simple EQ would be the solution. It can get it to where I am more satisfied. The only issue with an external EQ pedal is that it is one more thing. A built in preamp with onboard EQ would just be simpler and easier. The main problem with the Sonicore is that the tone knob does very little. The Matrix Infinity tone knob is supposed to cut the mids in addition to dialing in more bass or treb (ad info). The LR Baggs Lyric system sounds as though it would transform the plugged in sound entirely. That would be much more worthwhile, than improving the piezo. I think the Martin's natural voice is worth that investment. Just a matter of time and budget. I appreciate the help and conversation....it helps a lot to be able to converse and reorient thinking.
  13. Added report: A cheap, 5 band EQ does not do much to improve the sound of a good acoustic guitar. Might even make a good guitar sound less good. 5 bands may just not be enough, or, a simple EQ just does not color the sound enough to improve it. A better, 6-10 band EQ might, but, might as well go with an aura, at that point. Still learning, but, it would seem, in my limited experience, that if you want to ….improve...the sound of an acoustic guitar, you need a different preamp. Not to criticize, but the Fishman Sonicore is a cheap preamp ($20?). It helps keep the price point of a guitar down and it does the job of amplifying it. The Fishman Matrix Infinity may be superior. The ad copy states that the single tone control cuts the mids, when moving up the treb or bass...hard to say how this would be done...but....at this point...not willing to spend over $100 to find out. $200 to greatly improve the amplified sound of the Martin DRS2 seems a good investment. If I do anything, the plan at present would be to do that. Might decide in a week or two. Will have to see. Really appreciate the advice and the conversation. John [btw, Freeman, you may recall that you helped me tremendously, in correcting the awful set up of my DRS2. It plays like a dream now and was a fantastic deal. Could not replace it.]
  14. An external EQ that I could clip to a belt might be OK. I did not realize that the Gigpro had separate bass and treb controls. I just picked up an inexpensive micro EQ pedal to try. I can use an all metal pedal board connector to connect it directly to the output jack on the guitar, and then plug into that. It is actually not too cumbersome and no chance of it scratching the body. Will be checking that out. But....still very intrigued with the LR Baggs Lyric system. Could make a wonderful guitar perfect for playing out. And if it was great, might try it in another guitar. Right now, I am using my Breedlove Stage dread (all solid tone woods, spruce top, EI rosewood back and sides). It has an LR Baggs preamp mounted on the side (2016 model) with a 3 band EQ that I am very happy with. It has a wonderful sound acoustically and plugged in (especially since I can EQ it). Even and balanced....so my voice does not have to compete with it (good thing). It would just be nice to be able to use different instruments at different times and for different genre's. Learn, expand, explore. I will try the cheap 5 band EQ more and let you know. My initial thoughts are that it makes it better, certainly useable...but....it still has that piezo sound. Initially, when I started this, I thought an EQ would be the answer....now.....I am very intrigued to get a mic on this guitar and bring its natural sound out. Thanks John [added: It is certainly possible to use an external preamp as suggested above. The venue does set up with a music stand that you could use to put one on. I just prefer not to. Want to jump up and get going with as little fuss as possible, fewer things to have to play with]
  15. Right! The fishman UST seems to be soldered into the preamp. So, no disconnecting it without cutting it. Might as well leave everything in place (except the jack and the battery box connector)….that way, can reverse and go back to the fishman. The Baggs is beginning to sound like the best plan. We shall see.
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