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Thread: LR Baggs radius?

  1. #1

    Default LR Baggs radius?

    Playing with a drummer so I need to amplify louder. Using audio-technical Pro clip on but it feeds back way too much as the volume goes up. I use a LR Baggs on my fiddle and it is fantastic. Anyone with any experience with their mando pickup? I play an Ellis A and it has great dark tone so I don't want to lose that but I need better amplification. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: LR Baggs radius?

    No experience with them (though I have a ton of experience with various Baggs acoustic pickups and love them).

    I put a K&K Twin Fusion in one of my Breedlove American mandos a couple of years ago and it was great. I may put one in my incoming Eastman MD515.

  3. #3

    Default Re: LR Baggs radius?

    I had one on my Kentucky KM-1000 and really didn't like it. It sounded "phasey" and picked up too much top/body noise, no matter where I placed it. It was also feedback city in high volume situations. I would take the K & K twin over it. But my favorite right now is the Fishman M300 Nashville pickup bridge. Closest thing to the Baggs bridge on a fiddle (which I use almost exclusively, being mainly a fiddler) that you can get for mandolin. Very natural and feedback-free sound. But pricey!

  4. #4
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Bozeman, MT

    Default Re: LR Baggs radius?

    I have the Radius on both my mandolins. It needs a high impedance pre, like 10 mega favorite $100 pre is the Triton Big Amp(piezo).
    The best d.i. , imo, for the Radius, and any other piezoelectric pickup is AudioSprokets ToneDexter. That is a custom patch mic modeling device that translates piezo pickups into mic sound.
    Check out my recent recordings to hear this setup in action.

    The Tonedexter has adjustable notch filter and feedback filter and I have little trouble n very loud settings.
    On a feed back side note...always invert your phase as a first set to fighting the squeal.
    2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
    2017 Ratliff R5 Custom #1148
    Several nice old Fiddles
    2007 Martin 000-15S 12 fret Auditorium-slot head
    Deering Classic Open Back
    Too many microphones

  5. #5
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Leesburg, VA

    Default Re: LR Baggs radius?

    Search the thread for eq'ing the Radius. Cut out freqs under open G, and all the body resonance noise goes away.
    Axes: Rigel A Natural #1774 w/mods, Andrew Jerman Irwin-style 5 string electric "Stealie", Eastman 515, Shiro F-5, Crafter M85E, Dillion 335 style, Grandmom's solid-mahogany teens bent-top, Baglamas 002
    Boards: Acoustic Electric
    Amps: Fishman Loudbox 100; Rivera Clubster Royale Recording Head; Laney Cub 10 & Cab, Peavey Studio Pro

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  7. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Helena, MT

    Default Re: LR Baggs radius?

    I own a radius and have never liked it. Difficult to get a natural sound without a lot of eq. For years I was playing with a Pava A style using a small condenser mic on a gooseneck placed over the lower F-hole. The sound was far better than the radius and worked well for most gigs except for exceceptionlly noisey bar gig, but our group is a gypsy swing band and we don’t have a drummer. Now I’m using an internal pickup on my new mandolin plus the Tone Dexter DI. This is best combination so far for live sound in my experiments. Tone Dexters are expensive but are a fantastic DI.

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  9. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    charlottesville, VA

    Default Re: LR Baggs radius?

    I messed around with a Radius for a while, but could never get a sound from it that I liked. Lots of handling noise and "knocking" that I couldn't manage to EQ out. Ended up buying a Northfield that had been equipped with a K&K Twin, the sound was much better even without a preamp, but really exceptional with a FireEye RedEye. That said, I still prefer a clip-on condenser because it really sounds like my instrument, and I don't tend to play in noisy stage environments.
    Mitch Russell

  10. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: LR Baggs radius?

    I have been using a Baggs for a few gigs lately. I agree some of the above comments, re: top noise (I'll try Dave Greenspoon's suggestion about eq'ing), sounds phasey. Overall, it's OK and gets the job done but we're always looking for something better, right? Schertler's sound promising from their promotional material. Does anyone have experience with those?

  11. #9
    Dave Sheets
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Buffalo NY Area

    Default Re: LR Baggs radius?

    I have the Baggs radius on one mandolin, the K&K twin on another. I like the K&K better, it seems to produce a hotter and cleaner output, pretty close to the sound of the mandolin acoustically, though it loses a bit of warmth. I have played the K&K equipped mando with a a country rock band without feedback problems. In quieter bands, both pickups work fine.

    I used the Radial PZ-pro or the Boss AD-10 preamps, depending on the situation. The AD-10 has compression and reverb on it as well as the usual eq, boost function, tuner and XLR line out. The compression and reverb help playing with loud bands and uncertain PAs. A pre-amp really does a lot for you in terms of preserving your tone, by impedance matching and allowing you to do the basic eq-ing of the instrument. Mute and boost functions are also handy in many situations. Many amps made for acoustic instruments have the right input impedance, so you don't need the preamp with them.
    Last edited by Dave Sheets; May-06-2019 at 10:57am. Reason: pre-amp comments
    Flatiron A
    Way too many other instruments

  12. #10

    Default Re: LR Baggs radius?

    You should not have to EQ the heck out of a pickup to get a good sound. In addition, in a situation with drums and other loud instruments, a contact pickup, be it the Radius or even the K&K, are going to pick up vibrations of OTHER instruments, through the top of your instrument, thus causing havoc and increasing the likelihood of feedback. My only solution was to use the Fishman M300 Nashville pickup bridge, and I never looked back.

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