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Gain Staging: Gigpro/Mixpro & Para DI

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  • Gain Staging: Gigpro/Mixpro & Para DI

    Hi All,

    I recently acquired the Pick-up the World #54 and anyone who has one knows they are low power and need preamplification early in the chain. I was planning on using the Gigpro to preamp it and feed it to my Para DI for any detailed EQ before sending it to the PA. I assumed I wouldn't need to use as much gain on the PADI if I boosted it at the belt clip initially, but I was advised that I should use a passive DI instead of the Para as I was risking having too many gain stages and just ruining everything. Does anyone have any insight to this? Anyone successfully use the Gigpro and the PADI and have any tips?

    I'm also considering adding the LB6 to the mix if I find the PUTW a little to quiet or feedback prone. My solution was to wire the LB6 to its endpin in stereo and use the MixPro to dial it in before feeding it to the PADI. Again, any thoughts on that or experience with similar setups?
    Last edited by MrErikJ; 11-03-2016, 09:00 AM.

  • #2
    Hey MrErikJ,
    That setup should be fine as long as you optimize your gain at the Gigpro/Mixpro before going into the Para DI. The Para DI can then be set to a minimum gain level to keep the noise floor down and give you the EQ function that you need.

    Since all of those preamps have low noise levels, you shouldn't have any trouble "double-amping" your signal. It's pretty much the same theory as running an active system like the Element or Anthem into the Para DI, which people do all the time.

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    • #3
      Thanks! Do you know if the LB6 will work in stereo with a SBT in this situation? They both require a 10 megaohm preamp, so I can't imagine there being any issue wiring these in stereo and blending them with the MixPro. I know people have used the LB6 in dual source settings for a long time, but I wasn't sure if there were any issues to watch out for.

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      • #4
        The Mixpro should work perfectly with that setup. The LB6 should give you punch and strength, while the PUTW will probably give you the warmth and softness of the guitar.

        It should be a really nice setup.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Caleb_Elling View Post
          The Mixpro should work perfectly with that setup. The LB6 should give you punch and strength, while the PUTW will probably give you the warmth and softness of the guitar.

          It should be a really nice setup.
          I was hoping for that. The PUTW sounds good and is minimally invasive, but I don't want to count on it for all applications. I prefer the sound and acoustic properties of an intra-saddle pickup like the LB6 to a standard UST as they are a little less "quacky" and produce more output. I was considering the M1 passive, but I think I'd prefer the more "acoustic" string sensing of the LB6 to the "magnetic" M1 sensing. As a fingerpicker who may do larger and smaller settings, I think this is a pretty ideal passive setup.

          I'll post an update when I get it all pulled together.

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          • #6
            Sounds good, Erik!

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            • #7
              Update

              Thought I'd share an update on how this combination worked out for me.

              I had my local luthier, Greg of Dogwood Guitars, install the LB6 and PUTW #54 and wire them to a single jack in stereo. The #54 came supplied with a jack, so we wired the LB6 to the secondary input as my hope had been to use the 54 as the primary pickup and the LB6 as needed. However, after plugging into my MixPro and running it to my Loudbox mini, it was clear that the 54 needed two things: more gain and consequently, more levels of bass cut. I often wonder why more people don't use the PUTW as it's amazingly natural, but when you see how quiet it is, I kinda get it. We switched the leads and tried again.

              The MixPro offers a pretty brilliant level of control for dual inputs and the several stages of bass cut were much appreciated for a SBT that's natural to a fault. To get a solid balance between the two, I set the LB6 gain to 0, the #54 gain to 12 or 3 o'clock, and engaged the bass cut switch and dialed in the additional cut to about 10 o'clock. If I cranked the grain an further on the PUTW, it would require even more bass cut to be feedback free and would start to lose its warmth. The LB6 laughed at the notion that it needed any additional gain. I topped it off by playing with the relative phase switch until I found the setting that sounded best.

              Despite all the fiddling involved, I'm very happy with the combination. The LB6 brings a great presence to the 54 when blended together and while it definitely over powers the 54, setting the dial to 75% PUTW allows for an ideal blend of the two that is both natural but adequately powerful. My cedar/mahogany Alavarez is very mellow and bassy and the PUTW takes that sound and makes it louder, which lands up not being as ideal as one would hope. The LB6 brings some presence and clarity to the sound. Changing strings also helped with that.

              In the end, I'm glad I selected the LB6 over the Element as the LB6 is the ultimate passive pickup. In the event I don't have my blender, PADI, or Loudbox Mini, I know I can plug my guitar into a house DI and have plenty of signal and a very workable sound. The LB6 isn't quite as natural as the Element, but the intra-saddle design does seem to have more output, clean headroom, and less quack. Combining it with a good, passive, SBT has allowed me to have a great passive setup that allows for a great number of applications per situation. Thanks again to Lloyd for getting it right with the first pickup!

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              • #8
                That's great, MrErikJ!

                Thanks for sharing your experience.

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