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Thread: LR Baggs Radius is too hot - alternatives?

  1. #1

    Default LR Baggs Radius is too hot - alternatives?

    Fine Forum Folks,

    Here's my rig:
    Kentucky KM1000 -> LR Baggs Radius -> Baggs Para-acoustic DI -> 30w 1x15" Peavy Delta Blues amp.

    I was at a gig where the PA was pretty loud. Soundman had difficulties with the mandolin because the mic'd snare was coming through the pickup. I ended up bypassing the DI and went straight to the amp, which helped.

    Also, I have feedback issues in close proximity to the amp, even after dialing back the preamp output, notching the feedback frequency, inverting the signal, etc. Sometimes I don't have the luxury of being 10-15 ft away from the amp (rehearsal space, small stages, etc.).

    I've looked at some of the Radius threads on the forum, and while the piezo pickup satisfies many in the tone department (including myself), it is too sensitive for my needs. Is there a better pickup for loud stages? Maybe a K&K? I think I'd like another passive pickup so I can use the Para DI to shape and control the signal. I've seen clip-on mics but those may be prone to feedback as well? I'd prefer to not modify the instrument permanently and getting an electric mando is plain out of the question.

    On behalf of my bandmates, future soundmen, and myself - thanks in advance for any help!
    Patriot

    PS If you've read to the bottom of this too-long post, might as well see if there are any good cable suggestions. I'm using Monster Rock cables (due to lifetime warranty) but don't like the cable stiffness. I'm think George L's (0.155 so not as stiff). Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: LR Baggs Radius is too hot - alternatives?

    As far as the piezo problem, you did a good job explaining the whole signal path so someone with better knowledge than I can help you more. I have an old Peavey 130 amp that I sometimes play through and it has not usually been a problem with my JJB pu's and K&K Pure preamp. I also will get feedback thru the Peavey if I face it directly within say 4 or 5 feet.

    For cords, IMHO Monster cables deliver a great amount of hype. I buy or make a lot of cables out of standard guitar cable. Very flexible, and I pick unusual colors so there's no guessing what belongs to whom at the end of the night...

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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: LR Baggs Radius is too hot - alternatives?

    The Radius is not particularly high output. There are two 'level' controls on the Para DI: the small input 'gain' trim between the FX loop and input jacks, and the master 'Vol' knob on the top right. Normally, you should not have (or need) the gain trim at either extreme, and in most cases, the 'vol' is likely to be in the 11-1 o'clock region. If you are using settings much outside this, it suggests the gain staging further down the line (on the desk) is wrong.

    The Radius is (in my experience) quite microphonic, however, and much more susceptible to bumps, thuds, pick noise and general 'mechanical' sensitivity than I like to see. If you have a 'sensitive' mandolin with a top that responds easily to the sound vibrations in the air (from the monitors, say), then this will also add to the problem. This is why electric guitars are solid!

    We have discussed the causes of feedback numerous times. Basic physics and acoustics.

    Some questions.

    How loud do you play? With drums? Electric instruments?

    What is your monitoring arrangement?

    What kind of mandolin are you using?

    Save some money on the 'Monster' cables and their ilk, by the way..... they do nothing for you any normal, standard, pro-level cable won't do at a fraction of the cost.
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: LR Baggs Radius is too hot - alternatives?

    Seems like the normal issue with attaching a Pickup to a responsive soundboard .

    you have made your mandolin into a Microphone with a big spruce diaphragm.

    perhaps Its time to acquire a Solid body Electric Mandolin for those loud stage environment Gigs ..
    writing about music
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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: LR Baggs Radius is too hot - alternatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot View Post
    Fine Forum Folks,

    Here's my rig:
    Kentucky KM1000 -> LR Baggs Radius -> Baggs Para-acoustic DI -> 30w 1x15" Peavy Delta Blues amp.
    One other thought...the outputs on the Baggs Para DI are are quite 'hot' (in voltage terms) themselves.

    The Delta Blues does not have a line level input. Only high gain inputs designed for magnetic pickups, so that is certainly part of the problem. You would need to insert an attenuator. I assume you are going from the 1/4" jack output....

    I hope your sound person was plugging the output (either jack or balanced XLR )into a line level input on the desk too, by the way - and not something at mic level, as that would also cause problems as described. Not all desks have XLRs that can be trimmed down to accept higher voltage signals as put out by the Para DI. It could easily over-drive a 'fixed' mic level input.
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: LR Baggs Radius is too hot - alternatives?

    Yea, you can buy an impedance matching transformer , and use the PADI XLR out put for that ,
    With an XLR cable .

    the Transformers let you plug a dynamic mic into a guitar amp ,

    and the DI output
    from the Pre amp & direct input combination box.. you own,

    includes the DI with the out put to plug into a Mixer's Mic low impedance, channel.

    so a better match ..

    added bonus .. XLR cables are better at RFI rejection , because the Ground /shield
    Is separated from the - cold return circuit ,

    that is combined in a TR 2 conductor 1/4" instrument cable .

    IDK the amp, probably the sound guy has to Mic the speaker on the amp to put it into the House Mix.

    You may not like the dry signal bypassing the Tube amp .

    and using the Line output from the PADI direct to the board , & the DI output to the amp .

    But, I expect both can be used at the same time.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
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  7. #7

    Default Re: LR Baggs Radius is too hot - alternatives?

    Thanks for your input.

    Almeria - The gain trim is dialed back to zero. The master vol resides between 11-12 o'clock. We don't typically play really loud except the venue had a large PA. The soundman was knowledgable and I doubt the problem stemmed from anything on his end.

    Madroid - An elec. mandolin is out of the question. Do you really think an impedance matching transformer is the answer? I was using the XLR output of the DI to the desk when I was having the feedback issues.

    Are there pickups that generally perform better in loud environments?

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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: LR Baggs Radius is too hot - alternatives?

    You could try the K&K, but they have a considerably higher output than the Radius.

    It still sounds to me like you have a post-Para DI gain staging problem. To give an example, on the PADI I have here, and also connecting a Radius, the 'Gain' control is set just past mid-way, and the main output control at 1 o'clock. That then runs into the mixer XLR set to line, not mic level. I would test your system and setup if possible with some instruments that have passive transducers installed, just to compare how they behave.
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

  9. #9

    Default Re: LR Baggs Radius is too hot - alternatives?

    It sounds like your pickup attaches to the top of the mandolin, I wonder if you would have better luck in cutting back on feedback if you tried a bridge piezo? Something like a Fishman M100/200. I don't play with a drummer or through an amp, so I can't speak from experience, but it seems like it might be less susceptible to feedback. A bridge pickup may not sound as good as your current pickup, but if it gets you enough additional gain before feedback it might be worth it.

    A clip on mic would almost surely make things worse in your case.

    You may have already tried this, but I figured I would throw it out there just in case. I have seen mandolin players block the F holes of the mandolin, using either using foam or tape, when playing just through a pickup in a feedback prone environment.

  10. #10
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: LR Baggs Radius is too hot - alternatives?

    the nature of a nice resonant Spruce top once you attach a pickup to it ..
    can hear monitors and bounce back from the mains, off the back wall ..

    and there you have the feed back loop ..its a mechanical loop.. as the speakers sound waves,
    are ringing the top.

    May need a narrow band EQ, in an EFX loop on your channel of the board,

    so you can cut the frequencies that feed back the most.

    Are there pickups that generally perform better in loud environments?
    Yes , Magnetic coil pickups that are sensing the Ferrous string, vibrating in the magnetic field
    created by the permanent magnet core/poles in the pickup , under those strings.

    then you can stuff the sound holes as the pickup is just sensing the trifle of resonance
    of the bridge sitting on an acoustic top, Rather than a Solid one.

    the use of the impedance matching transformer was to plug into your Guitar amp
    which is made to work with a High Z input that the magnetic pickup I described above Has .

    like any electric Guitar.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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