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  1. #1

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    I have an L-5 1934 historic reissue arriving this week and was thinking of maybe doing solo jazz guitar gigs with it and thought that using a condenser mic might work.

    While researching I found clip on gooseneck condensers that are designed for horns but wondered if it would work for archtops since they have a pickguard to clip on to and can point the mic at the treble side f hole or at the 12th fret. But after more research I found a forum post on the acoustic guitar forum about Julian lage doing a similar thing but had it clipped to the tail piece which is much better as it would not get in the way like it would on the pickguard.

    Anybody else tried a similar approach? which mic did you use?

    Here is a pic from the AGF post.

    Goose neck condenser for archtop-archtop-mic-jpg

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  3. #2

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    Lots of coverage of this on Campus 5's swing blog. Do yourself a favor and spend a couple of hours there. I suspect he'll probably stop by this thread and give you the short version, but that should not stop you from taking in the whole blog.

  4. #3

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    Check out AMT mikes and the DPA4099. A cheap solution is a lavalier clipped to the pickguard.

  5. #4

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    I have a DPA 4099. It sounds fantastic and feedback is within reason (but still easy to run into). I did have trouble placing it correctly though. I basically got nothing when placed over the 12th fret as recommended. Over the lower f-hole (as apparently Julian Lage does it) it sounded good but I did not have a good way of attaching the mic. I am still looking for a good solution - would be grateful for pointers and tips.

    I found the sound together with my Heritage golden eagle quite pleasing, way better than a piezo and much more acoustic sounding than the magnetic pickup. For louder applications one probably will still need to mix the signal of the mic with a piezo or magnetic pickup signal.

    Should note in passing that I liked the dpa much better than a Schertler contact mic. The dpa sounds more natural and has less feedback.

  6. #5
    destinytot Guest
    I've been using one of these since reading Campus 5's great blog post AKG C 519 M Miniature Condenser Clip-On Microphone.

  7. #6

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    Final Edge Mic String anyone? Looks like it would be easy to clamp to the f-hole.
    Finhol Edge Mic String

  8. #7

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    I'm a big fan of the clip-on lavalier mic for acoustic archtops. Here's my set up:
    Audio Technica AT831b mic
    Audio Technica AT8418 Gooseneck (sold separately)
    Rolls MS111 Mic Switch (latching on/off)

    If I'm going direct into the board, and there are extra channels, I'll also add a Radial ABo line switcher, and then set the board/monitors for a lead level on one channel and a rhythm level on the other. It's so helpful, because when you only have an 8 bar solo in the middle of something, the sound guy can almost never react fast enough.

    If I'm plugging into a speaker on stage, using a powered PA speaker as an "amp", then I'll go into an ART Mic pre so I have a volume knob within reach, and then into a Mackie SRM350 powered speaker. I've just picked up a Mackie 402-VLZ3 mixer, which could go in place of the mic pre, and allow me to do the channel switching thing.

    I'm pretty consistently amazed with the quality of sound I get out of the AT831b and this basic system. I've used it with my own archtops, and on the road with stuff as nice as a Triggs NY'er or a late '40's L-7, or even a simple Loar LH-600, and it's always been way better than any alternative I've tried or seen. (As an aside, I friend put a K&K in his Loar, and when I was stilling using a mic on a stand, I was impressed with the power and relative feedback resistance at decently high volumes, plus it didn't sound terrible. However, I sat in with him last night, and now that I'm used to hearing what the lav mic combo can deliver, the K&K didn't sound nearly as good.)

    When using a monitor, the best placement has been to my left, basically on-axis with the guitar neck. When using the powered speaker as an "amp", I've found putting it behind my to me left the best. Basically, either way, my body is acting as a gobo, blocking the bass frequencies from resonating the guitar body too much.

    I point the mic down at the top just behind the bridge, between the bridge and the lower f-hole. I consciously avoid the f-holes because it only really gives you bass. You have to dial it in, but there's a nice sweet spot where the proximity effect gives you fullness, but there's still "air" to the sound. I'm usually 1/2" to 1" off the top. The gooseneck can be a little annoying if it gets droopy, as they sometimes do. Don't be afraid to take it off the guitar, bend it around a bit, and then bend it back to what you need. Sometimes the friction joints get loose, it won't hold an exact spot as well.

    Here's my rig from a sideman gig the other day. The Mackie SRM350 is just out of view, just to the right of the bass drum, and about that far back.
    Goose neck condenser for archtop-russwilsongig-jpg

    By comparison, I had a K&K pickup installed in my National Style 1 Tricone, and no matter I did, it just sounded terrible. The "resonator expert" at very good acoustic music store highly recommended the K&K over the Highlander, and I'm guessing I should have just gone with the highlander. But, after a bit of experimentation, I was able to get a great sound using the same AT831b aimed at the cones (never the sound holes). Finding a place to clamp it on that would stay out of the way of my picking hand took some doing. So, I bought another AT831b on ebay, and another gooseneck, that way I can have one on each guitar. I sold the preamp I bought to use with the K&K, and I'm guessing, I'll probably never plug the thing in again.

    Lastly, another guy I know bought a DPA4099, and was using the guitar gooseneck that it comes with. He had a hard time with the gooseneck being droopy, and it kept sagging through out the gig. I'd love to experiment with the DPA, but I've been able to pickup the AT's used for pretty cheap, and so I haven't been able to rationalize dropping $500 for an upgrade. My friend Tak, from the Sweet Hollywiians from Japan, uses a a DPA into a Joe Meek mic-pre with 3 channel eq into an AER on stage, and sending a line to the house from either the mic-pre or the AER. His was the best acoustic archtop sound I've ever heard from the audience. So, that should say something. Of course, I can't remember what he used to mount it, but I don't think it was the DPA guitar mount.
    Last edited by campusfive; 08-17-2015 at 11:19 AM.

  9. #8

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    Looking at a couple picks on facebook, it looks like Tak is using the Cello-mount attached to the tailpiece, and then pointing the mic more or less where I was suggesting. From this pick, he's a bit further off the top than I am.

    Goose neck condenser for archtop-tak-mic-jpg

  10. #9

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    I'd like to bump up this thread because I just discovered this: Bartlett Guitar Mic - Bartlett Audio .

    For 7-string use, consider the Cello Mic: Bartlett Cello Mic - Bartlett Audio

    Bruce Bartlett sells spare Sound-hole Clips which are not reflected on the website. Just send him an email.

  11. #10

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    On a related note, does anyone make one of these things with a little volume knob on it?

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    On a related note, does anyone make one of these things with a little volume knob on it?
    Or maybe something like this but sized for guitar/cello (this is for violin):

    http://www.schattendesign.com/SJA_Jacks.htm

    Goose neck condenser for archtop-sjaplus600-jpg

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    Check out AMT mikes and the DPA4099. A cheap solution is a lavalier clipped to the pickguard.

    DPA's are great and last I checked they can handle the highest SPL so don't break up as easy as less expensive lavaliers. Also want to check the mic pattern many are super cardiod, I would go with just cardiod and omni tends to feedback easier.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    On a related note, does anyone make one of these things with a little volume knob on it?
    Bruce Bartlett recommends this: Taylor V-Cable - 250k 10-feet | Sweetwater.com

  15. #14

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  16. #15

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    Re: volume knob. Unfortunately both of those are designed to plug into end-pin jacks, not to plug a clip-on mic into.

  17. #16

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    I was 1st introduced to DPA mics when I was recording orchestral concerts; they were then made by B&K, who were famous for their instrumentation microphones. I realize that generalizations are not very accurate, but I think that DPAs are about the finest mics available. I don't have any direct experience with the 4090(?) line of instrument mics, but I do own several of their other models. I'd take a serious look at anything made by DPA...

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by steves3972
    I have an L-5 1934 historic reissue arriving this week and was thinking of maybe doing solo jazz guitar gigs with it and thought that using a condenser mic might work.

    While researching I found clip on gooseneck condensers that are designed for horns but wondered if it would work for archtops since they have a pickguard to clip on to and can point the mic at the treble side f hole or at the 12th fret. But after more research I found a forum post on the acoustic guitar forum about Julian lage doing a similar thing but had it clipped to the tail piece which is much better as it would not get in the way like it would on the pickguard.

    Anybody else tried a similar approach? which mic did you use?

    Here is a pic from the AGF post.
    I used the same mic as in your pic for recording before i bought a schoeps for that purpose. It's a audio-technica ATM350 and as far as i remember there were two types available, one for stringed instruments and one for horns, with slightly different characteristics. Placement and distance from the top are very important for the sound, which can be round and nice if you find the right spot.
    Last edited by JazzNote; 06-23-2016 at 11:40 AM.

  19. #18

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    I'm thinking that a DPA 4099 could be attached to the strings (behind the bridge) with this clip - Clamp Mount for d:vote? 4099 Instrument Microphones
    and be pretty much out of the way and allow for some experimenting w/placement. I don't know the exact measurements of the clip; I plan to contact DPA for that info.

    On the subject of using a lavalier mic on an archtop - it's a viable idea for recording, but would probably present some feedback problems in a live/sound reinforcement setting. Lavs are omni directional mics, as opposed to the 4099, which has a supercardioid polar pattern, making it far less prone to feedback. Here's a photo of a DPA lav mounted on a Campellone archtop using a rubber DPA cello mount.
    Attached Images Attached Images Goose neck condenser for archtop-p1040269-1024x768-jpg 
    Last edited by mercosound; 06-23-2016 at 07:05 AM. Reason: need to addinfo

  20. #19

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    d:vote? 4099U Universal Instrument Microphone

    It could go around the strings behind the bridge (damping them too in the bargain) or go around the tailpiece.

    As for the rubber clamps, there are 3 sizes: violin, cello, bass.

    You could also jury-rig a yellow 3M sponge or foam rubber sponge, cut it up into pieces, run the gooseneck of the DPA 4900 through and wedge pieces of the 3M sponge between the strings to hold them. Guess we are only limited by our ingenuity.

    The only thing going against the DPA 4099 is the price: $600. The Bartlett Mic is $200.
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 06-23-2016 at 11:36 AM.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by mercosound
    On the subject of using a lavalier mic on an archtop - it's a viable idea for recording, but would probably present some feedback problems in a live/sound reinforcement setting. Lavs are omni directional mics, as opposed to the 4099, which has a supercardioid polar pattern, making it far less prone to feedback. Here's a photo of a DPA lav mounted on a Campellone archtop using a rubber DPA cello mount.
    Most of the Audio Technica mics mentioned (ATM350, or the Pro35 or Pro70), including the AT831b I've been using, are either cardioid or super cardioid. The DPA cello mount is the way to go, but I'm I believe it also comes with a gooseneck to allow better positioning.

    I almost never have trouble using it, as long as my monitor is to my left, and pointed in-line with the neck. I have the gooseneck pointed down toward the top with about 1" of clearance.

  22. #21

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    Here's the gooseneck with the cello mount: http://www.dpamicrophones.com/DPA/me...L.jpg?ext=.jpg

  23. #22

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    That looks like the way to go...

  24. #23

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    Bump - so I did pick up a DPA4099, and the cello mount/gooseneck combo is by far a better choice than the Audio Technica clip on gooseneck. I say that because, although I had no trouble clipping the AT to my Eastman and my 1932 Epiphone Deluxe, the lower tailpiece angle on my '35 L-12 and '32 L-5 made it far less stable - I actually put a couple small scratches in the top from the AT gooseneck, which was heart stopping.

    Also, the quality of sound is a huge step up. It's impressive to hear my guitar back in the monitors sounding that good. Paired with something like an AER Compact 60, which provides phantom power, it's the best acoustic archtop amplified rig I've heard. Into a PA system with monitors, it's even better.

    Still, for $600+, the DPA is a LOT more expensive than the AT combo I'd been using, and whether it is "worth it" in the end is up for debate. In the context of an ensemble you may not be able to hear the nuances that make the DPA sound better, and for the money, it may not be worth it. Still, the upgrade in mounting and sound is pretty great. (Thankfully, I found it used for $450, so I didn't have to pay full price).

    By the way, just for the sake of argument, here's a new clip of the AT from last year, showing just how totally workable the sound is in context. Unlike previous clips, this time they recorded everything multitrack and mixed it down later, rather than taking a feed of the FOH mix off the board. I'm pretty friggin' proud of this particular performance, so I hope you enjoy it.


  25. #24

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    Old thread.

    I just got a really good buy on a new AT831b. Anyone know if this gooseneck will work with/ fit it?

    Amazon.com: Audio Technica Unimount Microphone Instrument Mount: Musical Instruments

    AT8418

    They mention several mic models, but not the AT831b.

    Goose neck condenser for archtop-at831b-jpg
    Goose neck condenser for archtop-gooseneck-jpg

  26. #25

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    Yes, that's the one. Works great.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by campusfive
    Yes, that's the one. Works great.
    Thanks C5, you mentioned back somewhere that the clip on is sort of tenuous. Do you know if it can be adapted to the DPA cello mount?

  28. #27

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    I wouldn't say the clip is "tenuous", it works fine.
    I just found the geometry on my '32 L-5 was less ideal than all of the other guitars I'd tried it on.
    I never had any problems with it on my Eastman 805, '35 L-12 or '32 Deluxe, or for that matter on my Sel-mac, and although I only have it as a backup, it works fine on my 1939 L-5.

    For the DPA system, I love the cello mount for a trapeze style tailpiece. That said, I ended up using the "sax" mount for the solid 1939 L-5 tailpiece. There's a lot less string length between the bridge and tailpiece since the tailpiece is so massive on the 1939.

    As for compatibility, no dice. That said, you can clip the AT8418 to the cello mount if there's a not a great anchor point on your tailpiece.

  29. #28

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    I have realized that the Unimount does not “grab” the strings behind the bridge of my Loar all that well. It will sort of move and the mount might end up rattling against the top. Found no reliable attachement on the trapeze. But I’ve found another trick.

    I usually have a DeArmond on a Monkey on a stick on my Loar, and so I attach the clip of my AT microphone to the metal “tab” between the volume control and the “master clamp”.

    If you don’t use a DeArmond, this advice is useless and will self-destruct in 3-2-1…

  30. #29

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    This is the position that I use. For me It gives me the best results.Goose neck condenser for archtop-dsc_0018-b-jpg

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Thanks C5, you mentioned back somewhere that the clip on is sort of tenuous. Do you know if it can be adapted to the DPA cello mount?
    Woody Sound: what kind of guitar do you intend to use it on?

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzNote
    Woody Sound: what kind of guitar do you intend to use it on?
    Just don't laugh (because it's not a carved top). A Sadowsky.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBGuitar
    This is the position that I use. For me It gives me the best results.Goose neck condenser for archtop-dsc_0018-b-jpg
    Thanks BB, that looks doable.

  34. #33

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    That's the area that gives the best sound, and where I usually aim for.

    Quote Originally Posted by BBGuitar
    This is the position that I use. For me It gives me the best results.Goose neck condenser for archtop-dsc_0018-b-jpg

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Just don't laugh (because it's not a carved top). A Sadowsky.
    don't underestimate my intelligence, i only laugh when it's funny ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by campusfive
    That's the area that gives the best sound, and where I usually aim for.
    same here ......

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Just don't laugh (because it's not a carved top). A Sadowsky.
    So here's the situation. I work in a big band that does a huge variety of styles, anywhere from 40's dance things, to Basie things with 4-to-the-bar FG stuff, to some 70's things (TJ/ML etc) to some pretty wild modern compositions. The amplified guitar just does not have that "zing" of an acoustic archtop for the early stuff. Rather than switch guitars all night, I'd like to try the mic on the Sadowsky, and arrange a switching sytem so I can change back and forth for different tunes. I don't really know how the mic will sound on the Sadowsky, but I'm hoping ok. It should at least sound more appropriate for certain charts than the built-in mag pu. The Sadowsy has a pretty nice acoustic tone when played without an amp, just much, much *quieter* than a real acoustic archtop, so I'm hoping this will work.
    Last edited by Woody Sound; 10-11-2018 at 02:39 PM.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    So here's the situation. I work in a big band that does a huge variety of styles, anywhere from 40's dance things, to Basie things with 4-to-the-bar FG stuff, to some 70's things (TJ/ML etc) to some pretty wild modern compositions. The amplified guitar just does not have that "zing" of an acoustic archtop for the early stuff. Rather than switch guitars all night, I'd like to try the mic on the Sadowsky, and arrange a switching sytem so I can change back and forth for different tunes. I don't really know how the mic will sound on the Sadowsky, but I'm hoping ok. It should at least sound more appropriate for certain charts than the built-in mag pu. The Sadowsy has a pretty nice acoustic tone when played without an amp, just much, much *quieter* than a real acoustic archtop, so I'm hoping this will work.
    First night, need to experiment more, but so far it seems to sound best here. Closer to the bridge is too brittle, closer to the f-hole too woofy. Maybe it has something to do with the lam top as opposed to a carved graduated top. But I am thrilled to finally get a real nice 4-to-the-bar rhythm tone out of the amp.

    Goose neck condenser for archtop-mic-jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images Goose neck condenser for archtop-mic-jpg 

  38. #37

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    I have revived this thread because I think that I have found a good alternative method for mounting the mike.

    I have an old L7 and an AT pro 35. The problem is that these mikes were designed for horns and drums, not archtops. None of the obvious clip positions work well for me.

    Here's what I tried yesterday:

    Goose neck condenser for archtop-mvimg_20200224_133856-jpg

    You'll notice that it is not clipped on; it is just held on by the strings and gravity, but does not budge while playing (you slide it toward the tailpiece until the strings hold it lightly in place). This is a picture I took before going to band practice, but when I hooked it up, I did not bother to wrap the wire around the strings.

    I had some feedback issues at practice that I solved by sliding my handkerchief under the clip/gooseneck (perhaps better for the guitar top, too, although the amount of string pressure holding it in place is negligible). In the future I'll probably use a bit of felt instead of the handkerchief.

    Since about half of the gooseneck is flush to the top of the guitar, there was no droop the entire night; in fact, I made it work sort of like a volume control by pushing or pulling the mike to or away from the guitar top.

  39. #38

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    Oh what a nice thread!

    90% of my gigs require me playing acoustic archtop.
    I also did a lot of research on Jonathans Swing-guitar blog, and can olny agree with anything he says on there.
    There's just one other (and really cheap) mic that I really want to recommend:
    the t.bone Ovid System CC 100

    the t.bone Ovid System CC 100 – Musikhaus Thomann
    (Probably only an option within Europe, but damn good for 50€)

    I've been using mine for the last 5 years, and I've never had any problem with it. To me it seems to be pretty close to the DPA, and that's also what many audio engineers have been telling me.
    I've also been asking almost every sound-guy I've been working with about their opinion on the sound, and all of them were really surprised of how much you get with that thing for only 50€

    They also have a lot of clip Options available (including the Cello Mount)

    I just really wanted to recommend this one, because you'll definetly be getting your moneys worth!

    I also never had any Problems with Feedback, but I never have the guitar signal on my monitor anyway. Acoustic Volume usually is enough for me

    Paul

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by nopedals
    I have revived this thread because I think that I have found a good alternative method for mounting the mike.

    I have an old L7 and an AT pro 35. The problem is that these mikes were designed for horns and drums, not archtops. None of the obvious clip positions work well for me.

    Here's what I tried yesterday:

    Goose neck condenser for archtop-mvimg_20200224_133856-jpg

    You'll notice that it is not clipped on; it is just held on by the strings and gravity, but does not budge while playing (you slide it toward the tailpiece until the strings hold it lightly in place). This is a picture I took before going to band practice, but when I hooked it up, I did not bother to wrap the wire around the strings.

    I had some feedback issues at practice that I solved by sliding my handkerchief under the clip/gooseneck (perhaps better for the guitar top, too, although the amount of string pressure holding it in place is negligible). In the future I'll probably use a bit of felt instead of the handkerchief.

    Since about half of the gooseneck is flush to the top of the guitar, there was no droop the entire night; in fact, I made it work sort of like a volume control by pushing or pulling the mike to or away from the guitar top.
    For the AT clip - you need a larger angle of the trapeze off the top - but that's one of the reasons I prefer the DPA, since it's not a "clip".

    I would say you could probably add another 1/2" of height off the top and it might cut down on woofy-ness (i.e. proximity effect) which will cut some of the low frequencies that tend to feed back. Lastly, I really can't say enough that monitor positioning in relation to the mic (i.e. positioning the monitor so that the output is to reflecting back into the mic) is the most important thing to making this kind of thing work.

    And Webby, I should totally check out that t.bone Ovid System. I'm playing in Amsterdam in May and I suppose I could have a friend order one for me.

  41. #40

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    One thing to remember about the AT is that the adaptor has a switch on it that cuts the low end.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Webby
    Oh what a nice thread!

    90% of my gigs require me playing acoustic archtop.
    I also did a lot of research on Jonathans Swing-guitar blog, and can olny agree with anything he says on there.
    There's just one other (and really cheap) mic that I really want to recommend:
    the t.bone Ovid System CC 100

    the t.bone Ovid System CC 100 – Musikhaus Thomann
    (Probably only an option within Europe, but damn good for 50€)

    I've been using mine for the last 5 years, and I've never had any problem with it. To me it seems to be pretty close to the DPA, and that's also what many audio engineers have been telling me.
    I've also been asking almost every sound-guy I've been working with about their opinion on the sound, and all of them were really surprised of how much you get with that thing for only 50€

    They also have a lot of clip Options available (including the Cello Mount)

    I just really wanted to recommend this one, because you'll definetly be getting your moneys worth!

    I also never had any Problems with Feedback, but I never have the guitar signal on my monitor anyway. Acoustic Volume usually is enough for me

    Paul
    I viewed the link, and I do not understand that mic, what are the two devices in both end of the chord, and how to mount it? Could anyone please explain it?

  43. #42

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    Here's real man's hardware for a real mic.


  44. #43

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    Get a DPA

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor
    I viewed the link, and I do not understand that mic, what are the two devices in both end of the chord, and how to mount it? Could anyone please explain it?
    At the end of the cable is a miniature XLR plug which can be used with some wireless devices. But they deliver the mic with an adapter so a standard size XLR plug fits aswell.
    For mounting the mic you're supposed to get a mounting Clip. They offer several ones for different applications, and I think the original dpa clips fit aswell.
    I ordered mine with the guitar Clip, but that one doesn't really hold on an archtop, because the top isn't flat, so the Clip pushes itself outward.
    I play an eastman guitar with that wooden tailpiece and Most of the time i just wedge the gooseneck between the strings and the wooden tailpiece cover. That way it's not in the way, stays in Place, and I can point it directly to the sweet Spot as pointed out earlier in this thread.

    Paul

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Get a DPA
    The pro-35 is $150 with gooseneck and power module; I think that a DPA would be triple that.

    Figured out another way to mount it. The gooseneck has a couple of rubber pieces on it that have (hard to see) slits that allow you to attach the gooseneck to the the tailpiece:

    Goose neck condenser for archtop-img_20200228_130128-jpg

  47. #46

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    Does the clip on the end come off? If so, that would probably be better - less weight and possibility of scratching or vibrating against the guitar top. But if not, it should still be fine.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    Does the clip on the end come off? If so, that would probably be better - less weight and possibility of scratching or vibrating against the guitar top. But if not, it should still be fine.
    Great thought; in fact, it does. There is a tiny philips screw holding it on, and you have to give it a bit of a tug after removing the screw, but here is what you end up with:

    Goose neck condenser for archtop-temp-jpg

  49. #48

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    Another thing to consider is something my friend, Vic Wong, has been making: a simple 3D printed clip that holds the actual microphone capsule from a AT831b without the gooseneck and mounts it to the strings between the bridge and tailpiece.

    Project: Custom Audio Technica Microphone Mounts | Panique Jazz Project: Custom Audio Technica Microphone Mounts | Guitarist Vic Wong – Music and Projects

    A bunch of my friends in the bay area (where Vic lives) have adopted this method with great effect. I've not tried it, and A/B'd the tonal results of placement, versus where I used to aim mine.... but it's cheap, easy, and a bunch of people I know and respect seem to think it sounds good, so there's that.