Profile for taming an acoustic guitar bridge piezo pickup?

  • I found myself in a position this week where I might need to reach for an acoustic on occasion (classic rock covers, e.g. Wanted Dead or Alive, etc.).


    I haven't gigged with an acoustic in decades and the only electrified type critter I have is an inexpensive Washburn shallow body with the piezo bridge pickup. These things have always sounded less like an acoustic guitar than like pointing a microphone at the tail end of an unplugged Strat, but that's what I have to work with at the moment. Not sure if I'm going to work with these guys or not so I'm not ready to shell out for a better quality acoustic just yet.


    I know I can slap an EQ on a clean profile to minimize at least some of the harshness, but I kinda suck at tone shaping and I figured there must be others who run this type of acoustic pickup into the Kemper. Anyone have recommendations on profiles you've used that do a good job for this type of application?

  • Try Bert Meulendijk’s acoustic pack. Its profiles of various acoustic preamps and Dis as well as classic mic preamps. I use it with a Parker Fly piezo and PRS P2w piezo. Nobody is going to mistake it for a Martin with a pair of nice condensers but it sounds good enough to use.

    Thanks, Alan. I'll give 'em a look.


    And trust me, nobody's going to mistake this guitar for a Martin either. :)


  • When I quit working, I spent many years as a part of a monthly guitar in the round / songwriter's night with a rotating cast of friends. Drinks were spilled.


    I seem to be somewhat aggressive in my approach to acoustic guitar and was wearing down the wood on the sound hole. One night I mentioned that maybe a strip of electrical tape would slow down the wear. A friend looked at me and said, "Man, your guitar doesn't need tape. It needs Band Aids."


    Put them on that night and they've been there ever since. :)

  • I found myself in a position this week where I might need to reach for an acoustic on occasion (classic rock covers, e.g. Wanted Dead or Alive, etc.).


    I haven't gigged with an acoustic in decades and the only electrified type critter I have is an inexpensive Washburn shallow body with the piezo bridge pickup. These things have always sounded less like an acoustic guitar than like pointing a microphone at the tail end of an unplugged Strat, but that's what I have to work with at the moment. Not sure if I'm going to work with these guys or not so I'm not ready to shell out for a better quality acoustic just yet.


    I know I can slap an EQ on a clean profile to minimize at least some of the harshness, but I kinda suck at tone shaping and I figured there must be others who run this type of acoustic pickup into the Kemper. Anyone have recommendations on profiles you've used that do a good job for this type of application?

    Kemper isn't set up as well for dual guitars mag/piezo as some other gear


    Here is what I would do in your situation


    Try to either get a good acoustic impulse and use that as a cab OR do a match eq of your guitar against a great sounding mic'd acoustic and your guitar and convert that to a IR/Cabmaker


    If possible use parallel chain (like bass players use) so its a mix of both the pickup and the IR


    then delay/reverb (comp at start of chain)


    You can get some pretty damn crazy quality sounds this way with at least other gear I've done it with,.....no doubt the same with the kemper

  • Thanks, man. I actually ended up not far from what you suggested as I played with things last night.


    This guitar isn't even a dual pickup system, it's nothing but the piezo on the bridge. It has a particular nasal honkiness around the open A & D frequencies, and efforts to EQ it just seemed to make things worse.


    A friend sent some profiles to try and recommended the parallel approach you suggest. I slapped the new large plate on the end and with a bit more tweaking it was something I can get away with in a rehearsal. Not good, mind you (nothing is going to make this guitar sound good plugged in), but enough of the bad masked that it's not a distraction.


    If it turns out that I do end up working with this band, adding a quality acoustic with a good pickup system would be in order but at the moment I think I can call this, "close enough for rock and roll."

  • I was playing around with both my way and the method in the video last night. Both sounded great. They offer slightly different functionality so I might end up using both depending on the situation. Never noticed any change in the sound but maybe I just never triggered the exact set of circumstances that Sam was referring to.

  • I had the idea to use a return path of a loop as well, last night and it seems to work well.


    An alternative would be to use a Lehle 1at3 SGOS and switch between megnatic and piezo using the midi out from the KPA.


    I also have an Arduino nano and a solid state relay for that lying around and wanted to assemble my own MIDI-A/B switcher for that. ;) But... "so much gear, so little time". ;)

  • CamperBollie I have tried similar with an RJM PBC acting as the midi controlled A/B/Y switcher. It is just more gear for the same or not as good a result.


    Not as good if you run two separate signals from the guitar into the Lehle and a single output on the Lehle into the front of the Kemper as you only have one signal path so the Piezo and Mag pickups get the same amp profile.


    As good if you run two outputs from the Lehle into the Front and Direct inputs on the KPA as you can select either or both via midi but that has added another piece of gear which requires, space, cables, power and midi control to achieve something that you can easily do within the KPA itself.


    I think there are ways that the Kemper could be improved to handle dual output guitars but the two ways in this thread seem to be the best options so far.