fiddle pickup and wireless setup - love it!
Hey, guys, long time no see. I know lots of us have posted about pickups and wireless setups in the past, so I thought someone might be interested in this. (And, of course, the standard disclaimer applies, I don’t have any financial interest, etc. etc. etc.)
This round of St. Pat’s performances, I really realized that I HATE dealing with mics on boom stands, etc., even though I don’t perform all THAT often, and decided to take the plunge into a pickup and wireless setup. I found the Electric Violin Shop online at http://www.ElectricViolinShop.com. The following is excerpted from the testimonial letter I just sent them.
Chris Guin was incredibly helpful, creative, and informative about my options. I gave him my budget restrictions (under $500) and he stayed within them. I believe he’s gotten me the best set up I could have gotten. I asked for ease of use, decent to good sound, a wireless setup, and to be kept within my budget. And if it was at all possible, I wanted to avoid having to be cabled anywhere on my person.
Chris suggested the new Kremona pickup (not even on the website yet!), custom installed by the EVS luthier onto a carpenter jack, then using the AKG Guitar Bug and receiver. Though EVS’s prices may be a couple of dollars higher than other online retailers, I have to say that I think EVS’s services more than justified those few pennies. I’d come back to you guys without any hesitation whatsoever.
The Kremona pickup took a bit of fiddling with different files to get the thing into the bridge, but it was relatively simple and Kevin’s tips (given by e-mail immediately when I appealed for help - and just after business hours, too) helped a lot.
It’s particularly handy that I was able to get the custom work done to install the Kremona into the carpenter jack; I believe that this has saved me real time and aggravation, making it possible to use the AKG Bug and receiver easily and with no fuss and NO cables on my person (I don’t always WEAR clothes with pockets onstage!). I’ve watched one too many fiddlers pull their fiddle off a stand or chair onto the floor with a forgotten cable attachment to want it to happen to my beloved fiddle.
Once Kevin showed eejit me how to shove that sucker far enough into the carpenter jack to actually connect properly, I’ve been very happy with the Bug. The only thing that troubles me is that occasionally the bug flops a bit onto the side of the bout if I’m moving around a lot, creating a small knocking noise. Is there a way to adjust the spring? I’ll take a look at the manual.
As for the sound…you were right, Chris! At only around $70, the Kremona is a STEAL. I was playing with another fiddler tonight who was on a good quality mic on a boom stand, and other musicians in the audience told me afterwards that it was very difficult to tell a difference in sound quality, with very few problems sounding "amplified." It made sound check an absolute breeze; I was able to go out front and check the sound while still playing. A simple adjustment of the volume on the receiver, then on the desk for balance, and I was ready to go.
If anyone else wants a relatively inexpensive pickup and wireless set up with comparatively excellent sound and incredible ease of use, I highly recommend this solution. Other than the bridge filing adjustments, it worked almost directly out of the box.