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Installation of Lyric, with sharing of battery with existing preamp-tuner

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  • Installation of Lyric, with sharing of battery with existing preamp-tuner

    In a few days I expect to install the Lyric in my Martin OMC-1E. Wanted to get your inputs/opinions on my installation plan ...

    This guitar has its original undersaddle pickup and side-mounted preamp. I totally dislike the sound of undersaddle pickups, but plan to retain the pickup and preamp in the guitar just so I may use the tuner function on the preamp. I plan to keep the undersaddle pickup in place and connected to the existing preamp, but will disconnect the preamp from the endpin jack (I will just be using the endpin jack that comes wired with the Lyric; and having endpin jack disconnected from existing preamp also ensures that it remains turned off). Now since the existing preamp provides convenient barn-door access to a 9V battery, I am considering having this be the only battery in the guitar. I can connect this battery to power the Lyric's preamp in parallel with the existing preamp. I figure that the existing preamp should only draw current whenever I turn on its tuner function and should not draw current at other times; So I believe this should not diminish battery life or limit the availability of current to the Lyric, except during those brief times when I turn on the tuner.

    Do you think I may be overlooking any critical factors in my plan? Have any of you gone this route before? Am I better off simply having the Lyric connected to its own battery? Looking forward to your inputs ...

  • #2
    very nice post i like this forum


    • #3
      That is a pretty involved question.

      The short answer is that it would probably work. However, engaging the tuner would likely cause a pop and added noise in the Lyric signal, the battery life could be cut down substantially, and you would void the LR Baggs warranty by modifying the Lyric battery leads.

      So while it might be possible, I personally think that the better option would be to use separate batteries. Of course, the choice is yours.


      • #4
        Thanks, Caleb. I trust your view on this and will install the Lyric with its own battery. It might work fine the other way, but I don't have the time to be experimenting with my alternate plan. I may also take out the existing preamp and pickup which can fetch a few bucks on auction - at least enough to buy me one of those planet waves mini tuners that stay unobtrusively clipped to the headstock, and keep me from missing the current preamp's onboard tuner. Will post back next week after I install the Lyric.

        BTW, in an email exchange some months ago, you mentioned the possibility that Baggs may supply or sell a 'plate' of some sort to help nicely patch up the cut-outs on the sides of guitars that have had side-mounted preamps. Is that now closer to reality? I'm also eagerly looking forward to the possibility of Baggs releasing a nylon-string version of the Lyric. Thanks!


        • #5
          No new developments for a side-mount cover, unfortunately. The idea still hasn't really taken root over here.

          As far as the Planet Waves Mini Tuner, I use one, and it's amazing. I'm considering getting two more, just to have for various guitars. The nice thing is that you can get 3 or 4 for the price of a decent stompbox tuner.


          • #6
            The installation itself was pretty straight forward. I had a couple of non-typical factors that I suspect may be affecting my results. Firstly, on my Martin OMC-1E I already have a Mitchel's PlateMate which reduces the space available to the Lyric on the bridge plate. Secondly, since I did not take out the existing undersaddle pickup, its lead still comes out under the bass side of the saddle - so the Lyric was installed slightly to the treble side to accommodate this lead. I've tried to show the resulting installation in a jpeg image (but having errors trying to upload it here). To describe it - the pickup is at the edge of the bridge plate slightly to the treble side, but I don't think there is any overhang of the active area of the pickup (the circle at its center) over the edge of the bridge plate.

            To hear the Lyric, I plugged it directly into a Loudbox 100 (with efx turned to zero), and listened through a pair of closed headphones. Output of the Lyric is adequately hot. Tone has some issues. With presence control fully up (i.e fully clockwise), it does sound like a nice mic except that it easily picks up finger squeaks and even the sound of my pick touching the strings. As I turn down the presence control, these squeaks and pick sounds go away, but however the overall tone becomes hollow and lacks definition. It is still somewhat okay for single notes, but when playing chords it is now harder to hear their character (like min7 vs dom7 vs m7b5). I'm unable to find a useful middle setting for the presence control.

            Let me know any inputs for how I may improve my installation. Do you think my problem stems from the Lyric being too close to the edge of the bridge plate, or from its proximity to this brass platemate? I would prefer to keep the platemate in my guitar. And if you think this situation is not ideal for the Lyric, then I am happy to go back to using magnetic pickups like the M-1 or M-80. I used to have an M-1 in another guitar, and was perfectly happy but just got greedy for something better/different when the Lyric came out!


            • #7
              The Lyric is a microphone, so naturally it will pick up more body and string noise compared to a Magnetic Pickup. It may be a little difficult to adjust to, but the results are much more natural than any other pickup.

              So you may need to have the presence control set on the high side, and try to adjust the tone from there on your amp. The placement sounds like it is sufficient, although trying a few other options is always a good idea. If you need some more mic adhesives, I would be happy to send you some. I just want to ensure that you are getting the most out of the Lyric. It really is an excellent system.


              • #8
                Caleb, Thanks for the reply. I can experiment with placement and would appreciate any extra mic adhesives you can send me. Will email my address to the baggs support email ID. Like you say, I could probably improve the current tone I'm getting (with Lyric's presence control set high) with the EQ on my amp or my para acoustic DI (which I did not use in the previous test). But I think I should still try to get to the best possible placement of the Lyric mic. I will do away with the undersaddle transducer and also consider taking out the PlateMate, both of which seem to limit the installation area available to the Lyric microphone. Thanks for your inputs.


                • #9
                  I am now getting much better results after I redid the placement of the Lyric mic using the extra set of adhesive pads that came with the unit. Basically I moved the mic away from the edge of the bridge plate (towards the bridge pins) and more centered within the spread of the six strings. Previously I thought my PlateMate and transducer lead were coming in the way, but I learned that there was still plenty of space for the relatively small mic and I was stumbling because of my own ability to position it with only tactile feedback from my hands. An installation jig like what is provided with the iBeam would have been cool, but it is still easy enough even without such a jig.

                  Tone is now very real like a mic, and I seem to have a wider range of useable settings on the presence control than with my first installation. It is more real and well balanced across the tonal range and across the strings than any other pickup I've tried before. And I also note that if I send the Lyric's output through my para acoustic DI instead of directly to the Loudbox 100, then there is some additional smoothness/sweetness to the tone. This is even with all the PADI's EQ knobs set flat.

                  So overall, I'm highly impressed with the Lyric. I've used various Baggs pickups starting with the dual source some 14 years ago, and can't believe how the company has so relentlessly and successfully raised the bar so many times over the years.

                  Also, I confirmed that my Keith McMillen battery tester works with the Lyric (because there are some battery-powered units that it does not work with) - this may be useful reference for other readers who are also looking for a convenient way to monitor remaining battery life on their Lyric. Caleb, please still proceed with sending me the extra mic adhesives. Thanks for all your inputs!


                  • #10
                    I sent the adhesives out yesterday.

                    Thanks for the note on the battery tester too. That's great information.

                    Thanks for the response.