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Multi source pickups (was Taylor expression)

 What Taylor is doing with their new expression pickup systems, though not
what I'd consider revolutionary, is addressing the issue of multi-source
pickups for guitar in a somewhat novel way. The practice of having multiple
pickups on the guitar to broaden the tonal spectrum ( and to a degree, mask
the individual pickup's weaknesses) has been around since before the late
great Michael Hedges started banging on a Martin with a Sunrise and a pair
of Frap piezo sensors. Taylor is doing it with small disc shaped magnetic
sensors embedded in the neck and the sound board just below the bridge. The
first one I tried had single coil hum (florescent light issues), but they
have corrected that problem, and indeed sound very good. In a similar vein
Rick Turner has been installing systems for people like David Crosby
Jackson Browne, and Jeff Pevar that utilize the new D-Tar Timbre-line 18
volt piezo system coupled with a Duncan Mag mic. This gives a three source
system of under saddle piezo, magnetc, and condenser mic. With a multi
source system you simply have a wider pallet of tone colors, however it
also requires more investment and a need for a mixer blender of some kind.
I think one reason why people who play very percussively and/or
aggressively on acoustic don't like under saddle pickups is most systems
are underpowered. Every 9 volt powered system I've ever owned( Fishman
matrix, takamine, ovation,b-band, highlander) has suffered the same
problems when driven hard. They simply crap out in the high frequencies and
sound tinny and compressed. The timbreline I had installed sounds fantastic
no matter how hard I drive it. That being said, for those who want more
body sound for percussive tapping either need to consider a multi-source
system, or perhaps peizo sensors mounted to the underside of the guitar top
(like Michael did with his Fraps).  On a related note Rick Turner, Kevin
Beller, and the design team at D-TAR have finally got a working model of
The Mama Bear (working title),a very intriguing acoustic guitar processor
that allows you to take an incoming acoustic pickup signal and apply
various acoustic models (for lack of a better term) to that signal. In
other words you can make your small body taylor sound like a dreadnaught,
a parlor guitar, or archtop jazz, or jango style jazz guitar, etc.. I am on
the list for beta testing so I may get a crack at one very soon. It will be
unveiled at the Healdsburg Guitar Festival on Saturday August 16, with
Lawrence Juber and Rick Turner, at the ungodly hour of 9 a.m. I'm gonna try
to make it, or as Jimi Hendrix once told Dick Cavet,
 " every morning, I try to get up"

Bill Walker