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1970 Martin D-28 fitted with passive iBeam driving me crazy - Help!

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  • 1970 Martin D-28 fitted with passive iBeam driving me crazy - Help!

    Hello LRB people, please can you help me before I make a costly mistake?

    I've just purchased a 1970 Martin D28 that was already fitted with a passive iBeam; I love the guitars rich sustain and resonance but I'm not sure the iBeam feels the same way about it.

    I play Celtic and Folk music in a loud band environment & feedback has just become a major issue for me. For the past few years I have been using a mid-range Takamine 'workhorse' with regular Fishman active piezo system and have never once had any issues with feedback. The sound though was not to my liking so having always wanted a Martin dread and constantly hearing people praise the natural sound of the LRB iBeam I thought I'd struck lucky when I discovered my D28....plugged it into our rack d.i at the next gig and it was just unusable; thin sounding, the D28 spruce top was hyper-sensitive and very prone to low frequency feedback. No amount of EQ or repositioning of my RCF monitor helped. I'm sadly back to the Takamine while I address the problem.

    I've got a para DI on order as I figured it'll help no matter what I choose and I've also just tried a Fishman rare earth humbucker on the D28 but I really dislike soundhole pickups and the 'A' note frequency with the rare earth seems to drive the D28 crazy too.

    I'd really like to work with the passive iBeam if I can but I'm slowly gathering that they are not ideal for loud band situations.
    My ideal solution would be something that will.....
    1) sound good in a loud celtic-rock setting without worry of feedback
    2) be visibly discrete and allow me to use a feedback buster in the soundhole if I need to
    3) preferably interact well with the para DI and maybe even combine with the passive iBeam too

    Sorry for the long first post!

  • #2
    Hi Majordude,

    It does sound, unfortunately, as though your intended playing situation is just outside the iBeam's comfort level. It is certainly harder to maintain feedback resistance at higher volumes and the iBeam's response is not as immediate and crisp as that of most undersaddle pickup so it can have difficulty cutting through a band mix at higher performance volumes.

    The iBeam by itself is best-suited for anything from solo performances to moderate size amplified acoustic ensembles.

    Furthermore, Martin dreadnoughts are notoriously bass-heavy and can reduce the ability of the iBeam to resist feedback at performance volumes.

    I most highly recommend you consider the standard Anthem system - - and never mind the Feedback Buster. The Anthem system is most like your guitar only louder and with high feedback resistance that should prevent you from needing the soundhole plug.