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Author Topic: A 25 Year Old Fishman Pickup Gets a New Lease on Life  (Read 291 times)

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Offline Benzflieger

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A 25 Year Old Fishman Pickup Gets a New Lease on Life
« on: Jan 12, 2020, 10:29:08 PM »
Last week, my new Guarneri style chin rest with an integrated 1/4" jack arrived. I purchased it from Ithaca Stringed Instruments (Eric Aceto) who provided great service. This new chinrest was to become an upgrade for my LR Baggs pickup by having it replace the LR Baggs' stock carpenter jack. The purpose was twofold: 1. clean up the appearance of my nicer 4-string acoustic instrument. 2. Gain some marginal acoustic volume by reducing the mass clamped to the edges of the sound box. This upgrade of the LR Baggs pickup left me with an extra carpenter jack (cut off from the LR Baggs PU) that begged to be put to use...

It occurred to me that I had a 25 year old Fishman V-100 pickup stuffed away in an old violin case. This pickup was one that my Dad had bought me (and one just like it for my brother) when we all played together as family. It had the annoying 1/8" jack didn't sound very good back then, and every time I'd brought it out since then, I wanted to run out of the room after hearing it due to the shrill, tinny tone it output. Even after running it through nice high impedance preamps and EQ-ing it to death. Despite all this, I kept it squirrelled away - probably for nostalgic reasons. Last week however, I thought I'd give it another look and experiment with it on the chin cello or some other instrument. Since I had the free carpenter jack, I decided to cut off the Fishman's 1/8" jack re-soldered it to the 1/4" jack. This effectively turned the shrill, tinny V-100 into a shrill, tinny V-200 - A huge improvment on the jack but that's about it.

Looking for an instrument on which to install this "new" pickup, I decided on my 5-string Romanian acoustic (from Nashville Violins) that that had recently worked well for a christmas concert but didn't have a way to "plug in" other than using my DPA 4099. After a little sanding of it's bridge to provide the recommended 0.070" wing clearance, I inserted to Fishman pickup and plugged it in to my Loudbox Artist acoustic amp... Not surprised I almost ran out of the room. It still sounded shrill and tinny and like a broken kazoo.

Next, I plugged it into my ToneDexter preamp and threw on the DPA 4099 mic and started up a WaveMap training process to see if the TD would give any better results. To my complete surprise, the results were astounding. The shrill, tinny treble was tamed and the mid range piezo "kazoo buzz" was gone - the output was actually quite nice. Since then, I've run through a dozen or so Wavemap training sessions while fiddling with the mic position. Ultimately, I settled on the same mic position that gave me the best results on my 4-string acoustic (see pictures). So far, I've been very pleased with the results and even played this "new" 5-string instrument exclusively at the church service this morning and received some good feedback on tone. I'm sure I'll continue to fiddle with settings and such but am thrilled to have the extended range fiddle able to "plug in" to my Boss WL-50 wireless system and to do it with a pickup I had written off...

« Last Edit: Jan 12, 2020, 10:49:52 PM by Benzflieger »

Offline Benzflieger

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A 25 Year Old Fishman Pickup Gets a New Lease on Life
« Reply #1 on: Jan 12, 2020, 10:36:02 PM »
Photos of the mic placement for training the ToneDexter with the new pickup installation.




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« Last Edit: Jan 12, 2020, 10:51:46 PM by Benzflieger »

 




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