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Thread: Build in pick up/mic for Big Cittern

  1. #1

    Default Build in pick up/mic for Big Cittern

    Hello
    My first post.
    Mats Nordwall is building a Big Cittern for me (goes down do low C and has a mensur 645mm) and would like a build pick up/mic system.
    And although I have two acoustic guitars(a Martin with Fishmann and a Yamaha with..well I Don´t know) I really know nothing about the subject.
    I´ve been listening; youtubestuff but also Doug Young´s list on his website.
    I´ve been asking luthiers, CitternPlayers, shops that sells primarily acoustic instruments

    I got recommended Highlander, but it seems like it´s no longer produced?
    I also got LR. Baggs recommended, and for the Cittern the Element version

    When listening Highlander, L.R. Baggs, Trance Audio and Pickup the world sounds the best.

    I won´t be playing big stages with a loud band.

    I´ve noticed that there are both passive and active ("build in" preamp) systems.

    Any help is appreciated

    Best
    Søren Bendixen

  2. #2

    Default Re: Build in pick up/mic for Big Cittern

    Quote Originally Posted by SoerenBendixen View Post
    Hello


    ...I won´t be playing big stages with a loud band....


    Any help is appreciated

    Best
    Søren Bendixen
    I haven't found a pickup that isn't a compromise in sound. And the main reason to make that compromise is because you need to play big/loud stages with a loud band!

    Might want to take a look at DPA or Myers systems for a more natural sound although not as feedback resistant.
    https://www.dpamicrophones.com/instr...ent-microphone
    https://www.myerspickups.com/pickups/the-feather-series
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  3. #3
    Registered User meow-n-dolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build in pick up/mic for Big Cittern

    Quote Originally Posted by SoerenBendixen View Post
    Hello

    I also got LR. Baggs recommended, and for the Cittern the Element version

    When listening Highlander, L.R. Baggs, Trance Audio and Pickup the world sounds the best.

    I won´t be playing big stages with a loud band.

    I´ve noticed that there are both passive and active ("build in" preamp) systems.

    Any help is appreciated

    Best
    Søren Bendixen
    I have an Eastman 'cello, basically an L4 Gibson guitar set up as a mandocello . Fairly large body. I tried a couple of different approaches. I found the LR Baggs Anthem pickup to work very well. It is completely invisible, fairly feedback resistant, and works well through a powered speaker. and without much fussing around necessary to get good sound (basically using just tone controls on the pickup, which are easily accessible through the sound hole).

    Note: I played a short solo set on the 'cello in a small theater ( about 200 seats). I plugged the MC directly into the PA. No mess, no fuss, good sound.
    Last edited by meow-n-dolin; Apr-06-2021 at 11:42am.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Build in pick up/mic for Big Cittern

    Hi and thanks for replies
    Yes I can hear on every sound clip it’s not on par with the natural sound or a very good mic. But I might end up on a big stage again :-) or just play with some loud folks (I come from the rock world) but I also like to blend my acoustic guitars internal mics with a microphone or two.

    The anthem has a build in preamp but can I use it with an external preamp?
    In the studio I have a very good preamp and a friend of mine builds preamps for acoustic instruments so I would like to be able to use this opportunity
    Is it possible?

    Best
    Søren

  5. #5
    Registered User meow-n-dolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build in pick up/mic for Big Cittern

    Quote Originally Posted by SoerenBendixen View Post
    Hi and thanks for replies

    The anthem has a build in preamp but can I use it with an external preamp?
    In the studio I have a very good preamp and a friend of mine builds preamps for acoustic instruments so I would like to be able to use this opportunity
    Is it possible?

    Best
    Søren

    Blending is always a good idea, when practical.

    I imagine ANYTHING is possible. The Anthem uses one 9- volt battery with the usual type attachment. As far as being "practical," however, I would recommend talking to your friend, Note: while the anthem uses a nine-volt battery, I have no idea what actual operating voltage is. I am illiterate on things electronic, but certainly some kind of phantom power would be way cool
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Build in pick up/mic for Big Cittern

    Cool thanks, I’ll ask him
    Best
    Søren

  7. #7

    Default Re: Build in pick up/mic for Big Cittern

    I suggest you check into Ken Donnell's Mini-Flex systems. I sold and installed them many years in my Wichita shop. They have several versions with microphones and pickups.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Build in pick up/mic for Big Cittern

    Allright will check have never heard of them - wonder if you can get them in Europe. Thanks

  9. #9
    Registered User meow-n-dolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build in pick up/mic for Big Cittern

    Quote Originally Posted by NotMelloCello View Post
    I suggest you check into Ken Donnell's Mini-Flex systems. I sold and installed them many years in my Wichita shop. They have several versions with microphones and pickups.
    That looks similar to the Audio Technica AT35-type clip-on cardioid system. I came across a manufacturer in CA who uses something similar but with two mics and mounted internally. If so, I can attest to its sound quality!! I used the AT 35 on my previous 'cello because the f-holes precluded interior mounting. I still use it on my mandolin.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Build in pick up/mic for Big Cittern

    I have 3 AT pro35! I use them for percussion. Never thought of using for a cittern or my Mandolin. Well here we go

  11. #11
    Registered User meow-n-dolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build in pick up/mic for Big Cittern

    Quote Originally Posted by SoerenBendixen View Post
    I have 3 AT pro35! I use them for percussion. Never thought of using for a cittern or my Mandolin. Well here we go
    I have used them for all kinds of stringed instruments. Not terribly feedback-resistant, but pretty good sound. I have also recorded directly off the AT35, rather than my Shure, and they work pretty well even then. The biggest challenge is finding and out-of-the way area to place them. I find placing them right above the f-holes to work pretty well.
    Eastman 915 B Mando
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    Eastman MDO305 OM
    TC Bouzouki TM375 Zook
    Eastman MDC-804 'Cello
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Build in pick up/mic for Big Cittern

    I’ll try one on my Nordwall Mandolin.
    Couldn’t find a way to place it properly on my acoustic guitar. :-)
    They sound good with percussion.

    But As said in the beginning of this thread I have no big knowledge of build in stuff. I never really played my acoustic instruments with bands I toured with.
    (Been an very electric guitar player for most of my life) but next time I leave the studio for live performance I’ll bring my acoustic instruments too.
    In the studio I have a Brauner v1 and a lauten Horizon, and the Vm1 is just so Good.

    Best
    Søren

  13. #13
    Registered User meow-n-dolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build in pick up/mic for Big Cittern

    Quote Originally Posted by SoerenBendixen View Post
    I’ll try one on my Nordwall Mandolin.
    Couldn’t find a way to place it properly on my acoustic guitar. :-)

    Best
    Søren
    https://the2mic.com/store/

    As per NotMelloCello, you should check out Ken Donnell at https://the2mic.com/the2micpro-details/

    These are pricey, but they are very very good.

    Good luck to you in your search for the perfect sound!

    Al
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  14. #14
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build in pick up/mic for Big Cittern

    Quote Originally Posted by SoerenBendixen View Post
    I won´t be playing big stages with a loud band.
    This part is key. If you won't be playing on loud stages, then why not use a clip-on mini condenser mic instead of a built-in pickup? It allows flexibility, you don't build anything into the instrument and you can change it if something better comes along.

    A clip-on mini condenser mic will sound better than any internal pickup system. There is a slight drawback in lower headroom against feedback than a pickup, but it's still better than an external mic because it's so close to the instrument, and feedback is manageable if you're not playing on a loud stage. You just need phantom power from a mixer for the mic.

    I use a DPA 4099 on my octave mandolin, it's something of an industry standard for this kind of thing. The Audio-Technica ATM350 is also good for a bit less money, but the mounting system on the DPA 4099 is better. Get the guitar clip mount for a larger instrument like a mandocello or cittern, that's what I use on my octave mandolin. Here's a photo of the mic on my Weber octave mandolin:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #15

    Default Re: Build in pick up/mic for Big Cittern

    All right, so is it common knowledge that clip on mics is better sounding (if you have a good one)? This would make the decision easy. To be honest I never liked the idea of getting anything drilled or just put inside of a fine instrument. I know of Dpa (I’m danish!) and guess they are better than the AT’s. I use some “stick on” dpa’s some years ago recording a cello and a viola. Very good

    Best
    Søren

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Build in pick up/mic for Big Cittern

    I personally use and really enjoy the k and k products. I use either the big twin or twin fusion internal systems myself (I can’t remember which exactly. I’ll check later and edit in exactly which.)
    But if you want the best sound a clip on mic is great, just remember that it’ll be very sensitive and pick up some background noise occasionally. That might not be an issue for you though.

    Hope that helps
    -Ross

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Build in pick up/mic for Big Cittern

    You should also take a look at Myers Pickups, which is a small microphone that can be clipped on instruments in a variety of ways:

    https://www.myerspickups.com/products

    I have recently been using one on my mandolin -- it is very easy to use and sounds much better than anything else I have tried.

    Alan
    acinva

  18. #18

    Default Re: Build in pick up/mic for Big Cittern

    Want to say I really appreciate all the feedback I have recieved from you and also other professional players. If I find a Cittern Player I send him or her an email! :-)
    I haven´t made any decisions yet.
    If I go with an internal solution I would like to be able to use an external preamp, but what I prefer soundwise atm is all active systems like the L.R: Baggs Anthem.
    Although K&K Pure mini (passive) sounds pretty good. I´m not sure my Cittern will go with "pretty good"..

    So if anyone have an anthem or a lyric system using an external pre amp I would like to know about it.
    It seems like L.R. Baggs use these systemt in conjunction with their own preamps. Can´t figure this out.

    But with no touring plans or big stage dreams I tend to lean towards a clip on solution.

    Best
    Søren
    Last edited by SoerenBendixen; Apr-25-2021 at 2:53pm.

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