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Thread: Help with EQ'ing K&K mandolin pickup

  1. #1

    Default Help with EQ'ing K&K mandolin pickup

    I recently changed from a Fishman M-200 bridge mounted pickup to the K&K twin internal pickup. Very clean install by local tech and no problem with proper contact. When playing live I normally use a Fishman Loudbox Mini (unless in church where I mostly play electric guitar through a Helix and have a preset saved for mandolin, haven't got to that point yet with the K&K). With the K&K I can't seem to get rid of the midrange honk. There is the typical pick noise and body contact noise you would expect with a surface mounted pickup. I can minimize that and in a band context it's not so noticeable.

    I have a Baggs Para DI that I've tried. For these acoustic gigs I use a Boss GP-10 (don't laugh) that has decent EQ and minimal other effects that I occasionally use. It's mainly what that midrange honk that I just can't seem to overcome.

    I'm beginning to fear that I messed up changing out the pickup. Maybe I was just used to the nuances of the Fishman. I've searched and read but was hoping someone might have that little tip (short of spending more for a K&K preamp) that would help.

    Thanks so much for the help!
    Ron

  2. #2
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with EQ'ing K&K mandolin pickup

    Are you using the preamp EQs to boost or cut? I only use EQ for cuts, boosting seems to bring out the bad characteristics
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    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with EQ'ing K&K mandolin pickup

    The usual midrange excess is around 1.2K Hz. The Baggs Para DI has a good notch sweep for mids. Try adding some 300Hz along with a steep cut at 1200.
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    Default Re: Help with EQ'ing K&K mandolin pickup

    I have K&K's in 4 different instruments, including my main mandolin. I use their Pure XLR Preamp, and with the XLR output, I've been really pleased. I'm not real techy on the electronics and figured that if I got their preamp, I would be getting something that matched up well. It hasn't disappointed me.

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    Default Re: Help with EQ'ing K&K mandolin pickup

    Are you plugging into the Baggs Para first? I use a RedEye and it sounds great. Another thing the K&K preamp input is 1M just like the pickup. The RedEye is also 1M. The Baggs if I remember is 10M for it's input. In theory a factor of 10 is accepted, but in reality a match is better.
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    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with EQ'ing K&K mandolin pickup

    I have an old Fishman Platinum Pro EQ. I only cut. It has a 3 band eq plus the midrange section has an additional ability to select a frequency in that mid range band with a corresponding fader to boost or cut. I do not like bright mandos. I like it more mellow in tone. I am not an expert but here is what I do to get tone I like.

    1.Cut the bass band all the way.(helps with pick noise and not much mando down there anyway).
    2.Cut the treble all the way.
    3.In the mids band I select the highest frequencies of the mid range and cut them almost all the way.
    4.It also has a "presence" fader which I cut all the way down.
    5. This box also has a "smooth" knob which I turn UP a lot. Really helps. I cant remember what it does.
    6. My gain on the proEq box is at max (still doesnt clip) and so is volume and the output registering in my mixer is still not that high so relative to other inputs the gain on that channel in the mixer is up a bit and the volume inthat channel in the mixer is up high.

    So I guess I'm just left with the lowest 80% of the mid range frequencies in the neutral position and there is nothing that is boosted. Seems weird to me and aggressive but that's what I like with mine. Might be worth a try for you.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Help with EQ'ing K&K mandolin pickup

    Thanks all for the comments! I'm not using the Baggs Para DI, only the GP-10 EQ section. The GP-10 input impedance is 1M as is the K&K. I'm not using the amp simulations in the pedal, just a flat or natural setting. The EQ section has adjustments for the high and low gains/cuts and low and high mid frequency/Q range options. I had a Red Eye at one time, although a very impressive unit I just didn't get on with it. I may give the K&K preamp a try later.

    Thanks for the EQ settings tips. We have a gig tonite and I will have a few minutes before hand to tweak. I will admit I'm a little less dissatisfied this morning, maybe my ears are rested now, lol. Have a great weekend everyone! Thanks again.

    Ron

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    Default Re: Help with EQ'ing K&K mandolin pickup

    Is there an effects loop out/in on the Para DI? you can add a multi-band EQ in that loop..
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    Default Re: Help with EQ'ing K&K mandolin pickup

    I have an lr bags bridge pickup coupled with a k$k stereo endpin jack. I use the lr bags 60- 70% and bring up the K&k underneath. Stereo cord split to any dual preamp.

  10. #10
    fretboard roamer Paul Merlo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with EQ'ing K&K mandolin pickup

    I've got a K&K twin - and it works great with the K&K pre-amp. I know you'd rather not spend another $100, but adding that will save lots of hassle and be well worth it in the long run.
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    Default Re: Help with EQ'ing K&K mandolin pickup

    I'm a big fan and user of the K & K pickup. The key to achieving a good sound with this pickup is to make sure that whatever you plug your mandolin into, it has a 1 Megaohm input rating. That's the key. Once you have that, you'll get the sound you want.
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    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with EQ'ing K&K mandolin pickup

    I only have become happy with my pickup sound after getting a FireEye preamp.

    I know you don't want to spend money, and I know the K+K is cheaper ... but I wasn't that happy with the K+K pre. Oddly enough the FireEye lacks some of the EQ controls, but it also doesn't seem to need a lot of altering to sound good.

    I would also note the FireEye has an effects loop, so running an EQ there is definitely possible - I run a tuner and effects pedals in the effects loop [octave pedal, auto-wah, etc]

    Good luck.
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