Pickup Question

Does anyone know what type of pickup Bierli uses on the Live DVD? I know absolutely nothing about pickups, amps, and the like, but I do like the sound his pickup gets.

Reject the null hypothesis.


  • chapchap ✭✭✭
    Posts: 40
    I have been asking that question as well. No one seems to know definitevely. My best guess is that it is something along the lines of this: ... id/481531/
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,155
    People ask me this every day....

    I'm not exactly sure what it is....but it's obviously some sort of clip on mic. It does sound great...however you have to take into account that world class players like Bireli pretty much always play in concert halls with excellent sound systems and sound men to run them. So feedback is not a problem.

    Most of us play in our local bar, coffee house, or whatever and have to play super loud to be heard over crowd noise. Additionally, we usually have no PA or sound man and have to sit a few feet from our amp. In situations like this, clip on mics are way too feedback prone. You simply won't be able to get loud enough. That's why we all resort to pickups....

  • nwilkinsnwilkins New
    Posts: 431
    Bireli is most likely playing with a Shure 98 since I think that is what's in his technical rider. He seems ot be mixing that with a mic in front of the guitar. Given where the 98 is placed, I would imagine he is using that mainly for volume and mixing in the other mic for tone.

    I have been thinking about getting one of these or a similar mic until I can afford a Schertler - if the tone doesn't suffer too much from having it placed near the soundhole then it should work pretty well since you won't need the mic up too high to pick up the guitar sound, thus reducing feedback.

    Edit: I should mention that I always use a PA system.
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,752

    I apologize for the length of all this cut and paste, but it seems like it could help. This is all from the Yahoo group:

    1)does anyone know what kind of lapel/lavaliere microphones they are using on the Bireli DVD?

    2)When I saw Bireli two years ago in NY, I asked the sound guy about the mics. [If I recall correctly,] He said that they were Shure Beta condenser mics that they got in Europe. The sound guy made clips out of hair pins. I think that they're the same mics that Bireli is using in the video, but I haven't watched it in a while.

    3)The model is shure beta98. After seeing Bireli and talking with Philipe I copied his setup and it works tremendously. The downsides are the patience it takes to bend the hairpin, feed the mic cable through the heat shrink that needs to cover the hairpin, and resolder the miniature connector. Also dialing in the sound could be difficult without having a elaborate eq setup. I chose the Beta98 into an art tubepreamp to supply phantom power into a DTAR equinox model equalizer into an AER alpha. I blend the slightly eq'ued mic channel with piezo elements from radio shack mounted underneath the bridgefeet. The description seems Frankensteinish but its actually looks very discreet and sounds great. The prices for the gear are-shure mic $200-art preamp $50-dtar eq $250. Maybe I'll upload close up photos showing the construction of the hairpin setup. Let me know if you have any questions, I was lucky to have Philipe actually take the mic off of Hono's guitar and let me hold it to see the construction. So any chance to help someone else isawesome.

    4) From Nick Lehr:
    I'm glad it's working for you. Philipe told me the only thing he uses his little invention for is the onstage monitors. For the house sound he uses good microphones (Neumanns). According to Phillipe, 'those little condensers sound like little condensers and being so close in they don't really allow the sound any space to breath'. So, unlees you plan on playing 800 seat house where you need a lot of monitor separation I think you are better offdoing what all the great players do, play in front of a good microphone.

    For my money a good microphone is better way to go and will produce
    superior sound

  • zavzav Geneve, SwissNew
    Posts: 94
    To little bit clear the talk

    - all this is about that "scotch" mic around the soundhole?

    But Birelli (and many others) used also some tailpiece-connector-pickup and a mic in front. Is there any info about in-front mics (are their dynamic ones?) I will be glad to know.

    And some words about the total Vienne installations (as I was at that stage this year)

    - of course the sound of recording IS superb;
    - but more important (and more difficult) is to get the right LIVE sound. This Vienne stage (as you could get from the video) is an ancient Rome amphitheatre (so if you don't have anything with you, you have to sit on stones all the way :wink: ), and it's used for jazz concerts for about 30 years already. The amphitheatre was chosen for it's very good acoustic, but in any case- it's all of stone. So, the place is very special, but in compensation - sound guys do have a lot of practise of organising good sound there.

    Have fun,
  • nwilkinsnwilkins New
    Posts: 431

    I know you were asking about this on the hotclub forum as well - I have found a relatively cheap way to amplify my guitar for live gigs - just tried it last night and it worked beautifully. My tone was fantastic and there were no feedback issues at all (with normal condensers setup in front of the guitar we usually have tons of feedback problems). I was using a mini condenser microphone (through a PA) - an Apex 165 which is less than half the price of a Shure 98. We compared both the Apex and Shure side by side at sound check and the Apex actually sounded quite a bit better for guitar mic'ing. I found it worked best about 1.5cm from the strings on the treble side, halfway between the soundhole and the bridge, and I just attached it with putty and some packing tape (didn't need to worry about damaging the guitar top because it was on the pickguard. Anyway, you should check this mic out because at $135 CDN it is much cheaper than most optinos out there and it sounds wonderful :)

  • joefjoef Wales, U.K.New
    Posts: 35
    zav wrote:

    But Birelli (and many others) used also some tailpiece-connector-pickup and a mic in front. Is there any info about in-front mics (are their dynamic ones?) I will be glad to know.

    The mics on stands in front are Neumann KM184 small diaphragm condensers. Excellent mics for acoustic guitar, but quite expensive.
    I use an AKG 451 with great results.
    Other alternatives are the Rode equivalents which come as a matched pair but are much cheaper and sound nearly as good as the Neumann.
    Or if you are in Russia can you get Oktava condensers for a good price? :-)

  • Colin PerryColin Perry Montreal, QCNew
    Posts: 115
    joef wrote:
    I use an AKG 451 with great results.

    I use an AKG 451 also. While it doesn't really cut with my band in a noisy environment, (We have a piano, bass, and snare drum) for duo and trio gigs it is great. It can get pretty hot before it feeds, and tonally it seems to be a great match for guitar.
  • chapchap ✭✭✭
    Posts: 40
    GHS is now producing a cheap soundhole mic with an externally mounted mini preamp. They are pushing it in Acoustic Guitar magazine. It is listed in the what's new section of the GHS website but no pricing info.

    Update: Here is a link to the elderly instruments page where these are being sold in the $70 range:
  • ClayClay Tulsa, OkNew
    Posts: 50
    audiotechnica makes a mic that i recelntly bought , its nothing short of a miracle. Its a clip on mic , and it gets the most amazing sound with such simplicity. I never have feedback problems , and it was just slightly over 100 bucks or so. Im pretty sure they have it for sell at elderly instruments , if i can find the link ill post it , i strongly reccoment it!!
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