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  • Lyric classical not sounding so good.

    Wednesday I picked up my Lyric Classical and installed it in my Cordoba c10 (solid spruce top, solid rosewood back and sides), replacing a Miniflex Model 1 internal microphone system. Before I removed the Miniflex I recorded a song (my arrangement of Thad Jones' A Child Is Born) straight to Garageband through my Focusrite Scarlett i2i interface. Then after pulling out the Miniflex and installing the Lyric (and dialing in the presence control), I recorded the same song in the same way. This was for the purposes of doing a YouTube video review of the Lyric in comparison to the Miniflex. After watching some sample videos of the Lyric Classical and reading some reviews in the Classical Guitar Forum, I had high hopes that the Lyric would be an upgrade from the Miniflex, but to my great disappointment, in my recorded examples the Lyrics sounds much inferior to the Miniflex, much less warmth and air and, especially unsettling, some of the "quacky" tonal characteristics of an undersaddle transducer. The benefit to the Lyric is that it's lighter, has onboard volume control, and seems as though it might be more resistant to feedback. My one hope is that perhaps with a different placement of the mic it will improve the tone. In the installation diagram a tradition Torres 5 fanned braced guitar top is shown with the mic placed to the bass side of the center brace. My Cordoba varies from this in that it has 6 very small braces with 3 braces each straddling the center of the top. So, taking my cue from the steel string Lyric placement, I put the mic right in that center space in front of the bridge. So my question is, would I be better off moving the mic to the next space between the braces toward the bass side or the treble side? I presume the bass side, but I don't want to take anything for granted at this point.

    I am presently at work, but when I get home I can post the sound clips comparing the two if you wish.

  • #2
    I've always had the best results from mounting the mic towards the treble side of the center brace. So if you wanted to try moving it further toward the treble side, I think that your results may improve.

    Did you experiment with the Presence control after the installation? That can make a big difference in the "air" that the Lyric has. Setting that control correctly is VERY important.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Caleb_Elling View Post
      I've always had the best results from mounting the mic towards the treble side of the center brace. So if you wanted to try moving it further toward the treble side, I think that your results may improve.

      Did you experiment with the Presence control after the installation? That can make a big difference in the "air" that the Lyric has. Setting that control correctly is VERY important.
      Yes, I experimented quite a bit with the presence control. At this point I have quite a bit of presence, just down a bit from full on. When I turned it down, in the hopes that the piezo-like "quack" would go away and warm up the sound, it just seemed to get really dull and kind of muddy, but retains that quack in a different frequency. Putting the mic towards the treble side seems counter-intuitive to warming up the sound, since the main sense that I get is it's too harsh and brittle now, but if that's been your experience, I'll give it a try. I presume I'll need to change out the double-stick adhesive pads with the extra set that came in the box. If I'm not satisfied and want to try another placement after that, how can I get more of those adhesive pads?

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      • #4
        If you want to send me your address at [email protected], I can get you some more adhesives as soon as possible.

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        • #5
          Caleb, I have moved the mic over to the treble side and did see *some* improvement in the tone, but it still suffers greatly in comparison to the Miniflex which was previously installed. After looking again inside I see my guitar does have a bridge plate (albeit a very thin one) so I'm wondering if I would get better results by putting it on the bridge plate itself as I've seen pictures of the steel string Lyric installation. Also I contacted Kevin Loh who posted a YouTube video of his guitar after installing the Lyric with very natural sound, and asked him where his installer placed the mic. He said "below the bridge plate". But I'm not sure if that means on the tail block side or the sound hole side. My placement has been on the sound hole side...unless he means parallel to the bridge plate but below it toward the lower bout side of the guitar. Another thing I'm wondering about is the battery bag. I glued it to the underside of the top next to the side hole opposite the volume/presence control, but I'm thinking that may be dampening the top movement and perhaps contributing to the lousy tone I'm getting.

          I have posted my YouTube review video so you can hear what I'm talking about with regard to the disappointing sound, especially in comparison to the Miniflex. You can watch it here: http://youtu.be/v18wF1qLn1U

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          • #6
            Placing the mic toward the treble side usually has more effect on the mid range overtones- probably in the quality that you said sounded like "quack". Changing the placement will probably not add additional bass. However, since the Lyric was designed for LIVE performance, the bass is already a little bit "pre-tamed", but in a way where the bass warmth can easily be added back in with some basic EQ. It's much more difficult to reduce bass from a live pickup and maintain feedback stability, as I'm sure you've encountered with the Mini-Flex.

            From the video, it sounds like the Mini-Flex is pretty bass heavy and maybe even a little "tubby". It definitely has some nice qualities though. I would guess that it would require some pretty heavy EQ to make it work in a louder live situation. Do you use much EQ live or for recording?

            As far as the battery placement, I usually place the bag on the back of the inside of the guitar, in the upper bout on the bass side. Placing the battery on the top is not something that I would recommend for any guitar. The Lyric mic is extremely light, but the battery is very heavy in comparison. So it's best to place it where it will have the least influence on the movement of the top.

            I was able to add an additional battery bag adhesive to the mic adhesives that I sent out. So you can re-position the battery too.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Caleb_Elling View Post
              Placing the mic toward the treble side usually has more effect on the mid range overtones- probably in the quality that you said sounded like "quack". Changing the placement will probably not add additional bass. However, since the Lyric was designed for LIVE performance, the bass is already a little bit "pre-tamed", but in a way where the bass warmth can easily be added back in with some basic EQ. It's much more difficult to reduce bass from a live pickup and maintain feedback stability, as I'm sure you've encountered with the Mini-Flex.

              From the video, it sounds like the Mini-Flex is pretty bass heavy and maybe even a little "tubby". It definitely has some nice qualities though. I would guess that it would require some pretty heavy EQ to make it work in a louder live situation. Do you use much EQ live or for recording?

              As far as the battery placement, I usually place the bag on the back of the inside of the guitar, in the upper bout on the bass side. Placing the battery on the top is not something that I would recommend for any guitar. The Lyric mic is extremely light, but the battery is very heavy in comparison. So it's best to place it where it will have the least influence on the movement of the top.

              I was able to add an additional battery bag adhesive to the mic adhesives that I sent out. So you can re-position the battery too.
              Thanks. That makes sense. I will definitely reposition the battery, and also move the mic more to the treble side as soon as I get the adhesives.
              As for EQ it all depends on the room and especially how much ambient noise there is. If there's a lot of chatter going on I sometimes have to brighten my sound up just to cut through so I can hear myself. But since I'm a solo performer, I like to keep as rich a bass as I possibly can for a nice fat sound, since I have no bass player backing me up for that bottom end. So typically I leave everything pretty flat. I will say that the midrange seems to be the problem here. Leaving the bass an treble flat, but doing a midrange cut in my mixer when I was playing through my QSC this weekend did improve the sound.

              Thanks for your help.

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              • #8
                Lyric Classical review part 2

                Here's part 2 of my video review of the Lyric Classical. In addition to the Miniflex Model 1, I compare the Lyric with itself placed in 3 different places under the top: 1st just to the bass side of the center fan brace just in front of the bridge plate, 2nd to the treble side of the center brace, and 3rd in the next space over to the treble side. Finally I finish with one more recording for comparison, this time with an external medium diaphragm condenser mic, an older Sure BG5.1.
                Here's the link to the video: http://youtu.be/7V_OWTYHMgk

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                • #9
                  Sounding better

                  I just wanted to let everyone know, upon receiving the adhesive strips that Caleb very quickly sent me, I have re-positioned the Lyric mic to the place he recommended--the space between the center fan brace and the next one over on the treble side and just to the front of the bridge plate--and have had time to experiment with EQ settings through my QSC K8. I'm feeling much better about the Lyric than I initially did. While a much brighter and somewhat brittle sound in comparison to the Miniflex Model 1 I had previously installed, the Lyric is much more resistant to feedback which will be a big benefit in playing live on the gig, especially when sitting in with other musicians. For my solo work I have found what a believe to be a happy compromise. I will be adding a small diaphragm condenser mic pointed at the 12th fret to blend with the Lyric signal. This seems to give me the best of both: the Lyric carries the brunt of the signal, resistant to feedback, but the external condenser blended in adds both warmth and clarity to the sound. When I get the chance I will make a 3rd video of the results I'm getting with this setup. The bottom line is I no longer regret making the switch to the Lyric. Special thanks to Caleb for his very quick attention to my concerns.

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                  • #10
                    That's great to hear! I'm glad that I was able to help you get it all figured out.

                    Thanks for working with me.

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                    • #11
                      Lyric Classical Review part 3

                      I've made one last review video, this time blending the Lyric with 3 different external microphones: a small diaphragm condenser (Octava), a medium diaphragm condenser (a Sure BG5.1), and a Beyerdynamic M01 (a dynamic vocal mic). I have an upcoming corporate solo gig in which I will try playing this way. The blending in of the external mic signal seems to really warm up and clarify the sound, yet retain the increased feedback resistance of the Lyric as opposed to the external mic alone. Here's a link to the video: http://youtu.be/Pzb3Vlk3WpU

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for posting your experience. I'm sure it will be helpful to players who are looking to add feedback resistance to their live setups.

                        All the best!

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