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Thread: K&K Pure preamp issues advice needed

  1. #1
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    Default K&K Pure preamp issues advice needed

    Hi,
    I have a K&K Mandolin twin in my Eastman. Nice little passive pickup and very practical for the kind of busking/outdoor gigs I do. I also got a K&K sound pure preamp box (belt clip, 9v battery, basic eq type thing) because research suggests this is the right thing to do.
    The boost is useful and itís maybe a bit clearer. However I get a LOT more pick/handling noise and a slightly less wholesome tone.

    Is this just highlighting flaws in my technique or is it a budget product issue?

    The build quality feels more like a good college project than a pro audio product. I thought I had got to the end of gear buying for a while!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: K&K Pure preamp issues advice needed

    I used the K&K mandolin twin pickup paired with the K&K preamp for quite a while. Sound was good, but the pickup appears to be quite sensitive to handling noise and pick noise which is no surprise due to its placement. I had to rework my right hand technique to playing with closed hand to avoid touching the top with my middle and ring finger. That helped a lot. Another recommendation is to use a high pass filter set somewhere near 150 to 200 Hz if available. You could try cutting the bass on your preamp EQ as far as possible without sacrificing amplified tone.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: K&K Pure preamp issues advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by rumpystumpy View Post
    Hi,
    I have a K&K Mandolin twin in my Eastman. Nice little passive pickup and very practical for the kind of busking/outdoor gigs I do. I also got a K&K sound pure preamp box (belt clip, 9v battery, basic eq type thing) because research suggests this is the right thing to do.
    The boost is useful and it’s maybe a bit clearer. However I get a LOT more pick/handling noise and a slightly less wholesome tone.

    Is this just highlighting flaws in my technique or is it a budget product issue?

    The build quality feels more like a good college project than a pro audio product. I thought I had got to the end of gear buying for a while!!
    ".....LOT more pick/handling noise and a slightly less wholesome tone...." compared to no preamp, your old preamp or just when using the K&K Pure without the boost?

    I still have an old K&K Pure - no boost, no XLR input or output. It always worked well for me. I really like have volume and eq pots right there on my belt. But I got a RedEye a few years back and it is si pler, sounds better, has an effects loop, XLR output and phantom power.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: K&K Pure preamp issues advice needed

    Most preamps are designed for guitar. A more popular instrument I guess??? So yes, as mando-bob says, dump the bass. It usually is around 80hz and you don't need that for mandolin.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: K&K Pure preamp issues advice needed

    I've used a Tone Bone DI with my guitars that have K&K mini's and that combination has worked great.

  6. #6
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: K&K Pure preamp issues advice needed

    This is what transducers do. If it forces the player to improve their technique that's a good thing but it is what transducers do. Plus it's not the natural tone the mandolin produces.

    I like the Myers grip "pickup". They call it a pickup but it's actually a mic. Scroll down and see the "The Grip/Clamp Micro Gooseneck." I have been very satisfied with this product.

    I have been very happy with a Shure KSM137 small diaphragm condenser mic but due to hearing issues I can't use it.

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  7. #7

    Default Re: K&K Pure preamp issues advice needed

    K&K is a hot pickup and mandolins are already very sensitive and percussive so yes, it's going to pick-up any extraneous noises from contact with the top. It's part of why I prefer a small diameter condenser mic I can move and out on. The Red Eye gets a lot of love for it's mating with K&Ks. Two possible solutions I can think of would be a volume pedal or at least a tuner pedal in the chain for muting when not playing. The Red Eye has an effects loop that works well for those purposes.

    Ideal would be to have a graphic equalizer where you can cut all frequencies below the low G and above the highest note you play on the mandolin, this would cut out all the unwanted, nonmusic noises. I would also opt for a small amount of reverb or digital delay to soften things up and put a little envelope around the notes to make it sound more natural. Trying to make pickups sound natural can be a costly and complicated endeavor.

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  9. #8

    Default Re: K&K Pure preamp issues advice needed

    ToneDexter solved my problems.

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