Help me help Mr. Potato

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iomegaman

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Dec 21, 2008
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Tucson, Az
Lol...sorry for the odd title just an attention grabbing thread banner and apparently it worked until now.

So here's the backstory...I play acoustic guitar and have for 40 years, its how I unwind, I doodle with cut capos and open tunings and its the best meditation I do all week, but I'm kind of a sound freak so the guitar MUST be perfectly in tune and needs to have a rather full tone...so I search and scrounge and discover...Craigslist just about every week...recently I bought a "Mr. Potato" guitar here in Tucson, second owner latino family bought it from a foreign exchange student here from Korea...

Solid Spruce top, a little dusty and slightly dinged, the pick guard was missing but not in bad shape really...took it home, cleaned it up restrung it put a little TLC into it and it has now become my favorite guitar...it beat out my high end Taylor, my Martin and my Breedlove...it's incredibly playable, stays in tune, solid wood no laminates, but the neck is obviously not one piece of wood and its clear whoever made it was a good craftsman with limited resources, very solid and hand made...research led me to a "Mr. Potato" shop in Korea and he is no longer around but some of his guitars are really impressive...Mr. Potato apparently does not mean in Korean what we think in english, it has a different more aesthetic meaning there...

Here's where I want help...I like the sound of this guitar and want to record it, no biggie throw a mic on it and any of the numerous preamps I have built thanks to this forum...but often I just want to record a quick doodle, some turn of phrase and I don't want to set up mics and place them what I want is a pickup on this thing that I can run into the Behringer Uphoria 404HD (which by the way is a stunning piece of gear for $99)...but poor Mr. Potato he has nothing...built in the 70's  probably before built in acoustic pickups were common..(I paid $150 for this guitar and that was a steal)...

What I'd like is advice on a combo transducer/regular mic that is small and I can build myself based on a simple preamp with a 9v battery...I could go out and buy something but I think I'd prefer to build something and try it myself...I'd like to use a decent transducer with a slider to let me blend between that and a small omni to go inside...

Anyone willing to offer advice or ideas or even piss on this idea?

It seems a simple opamp like a NE5532 or even something discrete (if laid out smartly) would be sufficient to do what I want, but I am a noob on transducers and what they require...

My Martin has an under saddle transducer that seems pretty accurate for what it does, of course the Taylor has their stuff and the Breedlove actually uses the Polysynth outboard box because it has the roland GK2 built into it...but I was hoping for something simple and clean and don't exactly need the transducer its just I like the idea of blending vibration based with air movement mic based...

Any comments are welcome because its the brewery...thanks!
 

abbey road d enfer

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Marcelland
I have bought this, thinking for the price I wasn't taking any risks
https://www.ebay.com/p/Neewer-5pack-Piezo-Contact-Microphone-Pickups-for-Guitar-Violin-Banjo-Oud-More/1763210368?iid=191816714527
I have been pleasantly surprised. I use them on guitar, mandolin, piano, double bass. The results are nice, I wouldn't say it's recording quality but it's good enough for rehearsals.
They don't sound as crisp as undersaddle types, but in fact many people prefer the sound of these contact pick-ups. Now, any kind of reasonably high-impedance (which rules out passive) DI circuit works with them. Undersaddle p-u's require at least 1 Meg input impedance, these work quite well with only 100k.
 

Seeker

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Feb 8, 2010
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324
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Orlando, Fl
Some clip on lav type mics can sound really good... With a good one ( + a lill EQ ) you can get a completely usable sound.  In my experience omni's work best but cardoids can work as well.  You could diy up a solution with a Panasonic wm61 or another similar electret capsule.  If you are in need of an electret capsule I have quite a few lying around, cardoid and omnis....


Also, are these guitars still around?  I've never heard of them before this post, so now I'm curious, and there isn't a ton of info on the web about them....  I have developed a fascination for underrated guitars...

 

iomegaman

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Dec 21, 2008
Messages
656
Location
Tucson, Az
Seeker said:
Also, are these guitars still around?  I've never heard of them before this post, so now I'm curious, and there isn't a ton of info on the web about them....  I have developed a fascination for underrated guitars...


You know I kind of stumbled upon this one, I always watch Craigslist for older "vintage" kind of gear and have researched enough about some of the knock-offs from the "Pre-CBS" days etc...acoustics are a different beast though...you actually have to go inspect the thing which can be a pita...I saw it on CL and googled it and I think the original guy stopped making them years ago...so your best bet is to watch CL in places where there are University students from Korea or servicemen "dads" who's kids might be selling them...
 

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Seeker

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Feb 8, 2010
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Orlando, Fl
Cool! It looks like a well made instrument. Ive found a few good ones from craigslist over the years, I had to make myself stop checking though... i have to sell at least one guitar before I can buy more...  :D

I have one of the new chinese made sigma's that is absolutely kiler, it did need a real setup though, some minor fret leveling, and intonating, etc, but I have my own tools, so it just cost me the time.... 
 

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