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fiddler59

New Violin Pickup by G & Fills Reviewed

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I received a new violin pickup to try out yesterday and I thought I would give you my thoughts and impressions. It is made by G & Fills, a company that is in Barcelona Spain. First and foremost it needs a high impedance preamp, Red Eye (my favorite), LR Baggs Para-Acoustic DI works well as does the Baggs Stage venue DI. The output is very clean and accurate. It sounds closer to a well micd fiddle than any other piezo type pickup I have ever used and is extremely feedback resistant and noise free. I installed it in the bass side of the bridge in between the wing slot. It is not recommended by the manufacturer to have too much pressure. Just enough for a nice fit so it will hold the position. I am extremely impressed with the tone as it sounds like a violin instead of a saxophone which I always had to work around with excessive eqing. String to string balance is excellent. Even the C string on my Dudley 5 and my Kogut 5 sound accurate and as it should. With Baggs, Gage, Fishman and Bradivarius pickups I always had to roll a lot of bottom end off to get the C string to balance with the rest of the strings and that caused other problems.. I think Barry Dudley, the distributer for the US, will be selling these for around $250 or so. He will be receiving a payment from me for the pickup. No funny business here. It might seem a little pricey but it is well worth it to me. Barry is a good friend of mine but I have paid for every instrument he has built for me. I am only reviewing this because i think it is an option worth pursuing. I make my living playing the fiddle and sound can make you or break you. The pickup has a mounting system that is easily installed with one allen screw. The assembly is made from either ebony or rosewood with cork to protect the instrument. One thing I really like about this system is how easy it is to move to other violins if you decide you want to play a different fiddle you might be liking better that day.


Barry's contact info for USA sales:

Barry Dudley
Dudley Violins
770-266-0237 shop
barry@dudleyviolins.com
www.dudleyviolins.com

 

David Blackmon

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This type of piezo completely inhibits bridge movement, so it's no good for someone who also needs to use the fiddle unamplified, or who relies heavily on the acoustic output even when playing with amplification.

If you want to turn a regular violin into an electric fiddle, it's a cheap(ish) and quick way to do it ... but I can't see any advantage over the many other excellent systems already available.

The mounting is pretty ...

I have one sitting around doing nothing - open to offers!

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Martin:

Good points. Thank you.

Fiddler59 in his review from last year, is saying it sounds more natural than all the other competing peizo pickups. Did it sound that way to you?

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The problem I've found with these types of pickups that are wedged into the cutouts of the bridge is that they are very sensitive to position. The bridge cutout opening and the pressure applied against the pickup by the bridge surface will also greatly change the quality of sound reproduced by the pickup.

 

All these variables can make or break a decent end result, and repositioning the pickup in any kind of repeatable manner is very difficult. Even when I glued it in place with a small spot of glue to prevent it from moving, the sound would vary, probably due to the bridge / pickup pressure changing with relative humidity.

 

I gave up on my Fishman years ago for these reasons; I never knew what the instrument would sound like from one day to the next. I replaced it with an LR Baggs and I have no desire to revisit the Fishman style of transducer.

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Bill,

I think these actually screw tighten onto the bridge, they are not the spring clip type you are referring to. Thanks for response though.

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I can't tell by the photos or the website links. I assumed it was a pressure fit from the text in the initial post where he mentions it's installed in the wing slot and the manufacturer recommends not too much pressure.

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It's a pressure fit, with a small amount of "give" in the copper element.

I'm with Bill, the LR Baggs is so successful while incorporating a really good acoustic bridge, for me there's no appeal in any other system.

Most of the time I use a DPA for front of house sound and the LR Baggs in the monitors - it's pretty much impossible to get feedback-free performance from a great sounding onboard condenser mike if you're playing with a loud band. When I'm playing with a more acoustic set-up I just use the DPA, and I don't have to remove a pick-up to get natural sound. Playing with a loud band in a difficult small venue I just use the LR Baggs.

LR Baggs are slightly hazardous to fit, and very expensive to throw in the bin if you f*** it up - you have to remember which way round the blank is going to sit (should be a piece of cake but somehow no), and you can only work one surface of the bridge. Practice would surely make perfect ...!

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Thank you Martin and Bill,

From the description it sounded like it was screw attached but clearly it's not. My bad. Both of your descriptions match my recollection of Fishman clip in pickups and the inherent variability in sound.

Thanks for taking the time to respond and now I think we can lay this topic to rest.

Best,

Rick

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