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Thread: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

  1. #1

    Default Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    Recently got a Fishman pickup. When I use it with my amp, it is really loud. Volume is between 0 and 1 on the amp, no room for volume control. I know there is some technical stuff with the amplification I know nothing about. Im sure a preamp will help the situation. Any advice?

    Anybody have any experience with any of these?

    LR Baggs Gigpro
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Gigpro

    Fishman Platinum Stage
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PlatinumStage

    LR Baggs ParaDI
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ParaDI

    LR Baggs Venue DI
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/VenueDI

  2. #2
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    1. Which Fishman pickup is it?
    2. What amp are you plugging it into?
    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.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    if you can afford a fishman amp loudbox that is a good way to go.

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    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    A pre-amp typically is used to boost a signal and/or help with impedance matching. That doesn't seem to be called for in your situation. You could put a volume pedal in line between the pickup and the amp.

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    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevin View Post
    A pre-amp typically is used to boost a signal and/or help with impedance matching. That doesn't seem to be called for in your situation. You could put a volume pedal in line between the pickup and the amp.
    You are correct about an impedance match, but the preamp is more of a buffer to the signal rather than a boost. Turning down the volume on a preamp I think would solve the OP's problem.
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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    You are correct about an impedance match, but the preamp is more of a buffer to the signal rather than a boost. Turning down the volume on a preamp I think would solve the OP's problem.
    Maybe, but without knowing what the amplifier is we can't say. We really need to know which model of transducer this is, and the make/model of amplifier so we can look at the specifications and determine exactly why this is happening.
    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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    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    You are correct about an impedance match, but the preamp is more of a buffer to the signal rather than a boost. Turning down the volume on a preamp I think would solve the OP's problem.
    I agree a pre-amp may well do the job but it also sounds like it could be more than the OP needs. The problem is stated as too much volume. There is no complaint about sound quality indicating a buffer is needed. I am suggesting that am inexpensive volume pedal ( you can get a decent one for under $50) may be all that is required. I agree that knowing more about the setup would be useful.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
    1. Which Fishman pickup is it?
    2. What amp are you plugging it into?
    1. Fishman Nashville Series Flat Top Mandolin Pickup

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/fishman-nashville-series-flat-top-mandolin-replacement-rosewood-bridge-pickup?cntry=us&source=3WWRWXGP&gclid=CKio3bL9x9IC FdCCswodYu8Kzg&kwid=productads-adid^156403583515-device^c-plaid^142913429061-sku^309404000000000@ADL4MF-adType^PLA

    2. Fender Champion 110 (probably bought in '96)

    https://reverb.com/item/2466922-fend...odsu0K5g&pla=1


    I also realize it might be time for a new amp. Anyone have any good suggestions on something quality thats not too expensive?

    Thanks for your help!

  9. #9
    Registered User Chanmandolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    I've used the LR Baggs Venue DI among many others. Never used a fishman preamp. The LR Baggs was awesome. I was a big fan of the mute/tune function which I'm sure most have by now.
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    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    The Baggs Para D.I. is a fine piece, and especially for the sweepable midrange control. It has two bass choices, and two high frequency choices. It can really change the character of your tone, making up for your amp's inherent tone. No pickup has a natural tone, and all can use some fine adjustment. (I like to cut 1200 Hz.) It is a bit dear, at around $190.

    Equally useful, and much less expensive, you would benefit (with or without preamp) from a Taylor V-cable, with its built-in passive volume control ($45). This will let your gain be better matched in the amp, and rolling off the volume this way usually mellows the high end, too. I would recommend starting with this item. Next would be the Para D.I.
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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    Lots of prior posts on that , (Nobody looks first)


    My Roland AC 60 has a input switch, piezo /magnetic . it works. adequately.

    buying a fishman amp should work too..
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  12. #12
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    Right. The Champ is the problem here. First, it has an input sensitivity that is suited to low output MAGNETIC pickups as used on electric guitars. Your bridge piezo is generating far higher voltages. That's why you can barely get past '1' on the input. It is overloading it. In fact the input impedance on these is fine (circa 1M) - so that is not your problem and adding a preamp as such would not solve the issue - in fact, it would make it worse in most cases as it would overload the input stage even more.

    What you really need is an input attenuator.... the problem here is that your pickup is passive, and items such as the Taylor V-Cable are intended for use with active pickup systems. They present a variable (too low) input impedance for a passive transducer. They will cut the level, but will also change the sound substantially (they do not affect the tonal quality when used as intended).

    The second problem is that the amp is not suited to acoustic instrument amplification by virtue of the speaker it uses. It will never sound 'natural'. Acoustic amps use a special, dual, speaker configuration and tuned enclosure closer to a hi-fi system than an electric guitar amp. You will get sound from them - but never 'natural' sound, because that is just not how they are designed to sound.

    Rather than get a preamp, in this case, I think you would be far better off getting a real acoustic instrument amplifier. This will not only have the right speakers installed, the input stage will be correct, and the 'tone' controls will be set up to offer the ranges you need. Even a lower cost acoustic amp will sound far better than the Fender you have right now.

    The ideal small acoustic amp for your purpose would be something like the Fishman Loudbox Mini.

    If on a smaller budget, however, there are many very good performers to choose from. The Fender Acoustasonic range are fine with mandolins and would suit your transducer well. These start at $99. That is the route I would go rather than spending far more than that on a preamp that would not solve all the issues here anyway.
    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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  14. #13

    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    The Mfg recommends an impedance matched pre-amp for that model. Sounds like a new amp more suited to the type of output provided by this pickup would be the simplest solution.

  15. #14
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    The recommended input impedance for that transducer is circa 1M (which in fact the Champion already has), but it is the levels (sensitivity) that is the problem here. Definitely a more suitable amp is the answer.
    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.

  16. #15

    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    One thing to consider with the Fishman M series is the quality of your reverb effect, whether on the pre amp or the amp. My old Trace Acoustic is non reverb, so is the Ashdown preamp pedal for straight into the PA. The Fishman was loud, clear but lacked depth. I now use a Mooer Woodverb before both inputs. Vastly better.

  17. #16
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    Eoin



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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by Beanzy View Post
    Those are a nice amp. My wife has one. Very good with mandolin, uke... dulcimer. Good price there... not so easy to source in the US, though.
    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.

  19. #18

    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    Peavey eCoustic amps are a good choice also, at a reasonable cost.

    Almeriastrings, I learn a lot from your obviously knowledgable technical posts, so I am interested in your assertion that acoustic amps all have a dual speaker configuration. Do you mean that to meet your criteria it has to have two side-by-side identical speakers, or a special design of speaker, or a "speaker system" as described for an Acoustic Image Chorus R Series III (10" woofer, 5" midrange, 1" tweeter), high end stuff.
    I'm still using a 15-yr-old Peavey eCoustic 112 which has a fairly conventional seeming design with single 12" speaker and fairly large open-back cab--it's a good amp (and paid for) but I recognize you can get much better, for less money, nowadays. Which is certainly tempting--the 112 is awful heavy and bulky by modern standards.

  20. #19
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    Typically, an 'acoustic' amplifier will have a dual configuration. A 'woofer', plus a 'tweeter' fed via a passive X-over network. Pretty much as you'd find in a PA speaker. Some do have 3-way configurations, yes.

    Your Peavey is, in fact, a dual system, using a co-axial pattern 12" woofer/tweeter speaker - similar to the Tannoy co-axial designs. The 'tweeter' in this case is buried in the very center of the 12" LF driver
    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.

  21. #20

    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    OK, thank you. It was great in 2002, nowadays I use it only if I need some amplification for a small-room or outdoor gig and dont wish to haul my full PA around. It sounds good but is twice as large and heavy as equal or better amps you can get for less than half what I paid back in the day--including the current model Ecoustics. I suspect I will eventually get a Loudbox because: 1. I've never heard an Acoustasonic that didnt sound tinny to me 2. A shop tech I deal with regularly told me he handles a lot of returns on problematic Laney amps 3. Acoustic Image=too damn pricey although tempting 4. The current Ecoustics are designed as practice amps and dont have line-out, effects loop etc features.

  22. #21
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    One reason why so many of the current amps are way lighter and more powerful for their size than they used to be is that they now nearly all use switch-mode power supplies (no heavy transformer needed) and many also employ direct-coupled Class-D power output stages - again - no transformer, very little heat dissipation, so need for heavy/bulky heatsinking either. This has made a huge difference to what is possible. You can now pick up a 2kW power amplifier with one hand.....incredible compared to what was available 20 years ago.
    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.

  23. #22
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    The Champ may be useful with a Magnetic pickup, since that what electric guitars are fitted with.
    and likewise solid body mandolins..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  24. #23

    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    [QUOTE=Bob Cat;1558409]Recently got a Fishman pickup. When I use it with my amp, it is really loud. Volume is between 0 and 1 on the amp, no room for volume control. I know there is some technical stuff with the amplification I know nothing about. Im sure a preamp will help the situation. Any advice?

    Anybody have any experience with any of these?

    LR Baggs Gigpro
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Gigpro

    Fishman Platinum Stage
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PlatinumStage

    LR Baggs ParaDI
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ParaDI

    LR Baggs Venue DI
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/VenueDI[/QUOT


    Thanks everyone for the great advice. I think it is time to retire the old champ and enter the 21st century. I am going to get the Fishman Loudbox Mini! Thanks for all the tips.

    Happy Picking!

  25. #24
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preamp needed for Fishman Pickup

    The Loudbox range are excellent. Can't go wrong there.
    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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