K&K pure maccaferri/unico question

icyhoticyhot Los Angeles✭✭✭
I have a K&K pure maccaferri pickup installed in my Manouche Latcho Drom guitar that I run into a Schertler Unico amp. I run it into the Stat Channel which is an unbalanced high input impedance 1/4" jack. When I do this I like the sound but I get feedback at high volumes. However, the K&K pure is a passive pickup, and the unico manuals says:

"Through this input [Stat], it is also possible to connect all passive piezoelectric sources using
the “Active Driver Cable” (which you will find in our product list) – simply by pressing the 10 V button."

When I press the 10V button (without the active driver cable) I can turn up really loud without feedback but the tone gets harsh and I had to turn the highs all the way down on my last gig and the tone was still brittle.

Should I get the active driver cable to help this? However it is $90, which seems kind of a ridiculous for Schertler to charge for a cable.

Or should I get a K&K preamp to run into the Schertler?

I think that Bigtones are passive and I know some guys use BTs into the unico. What settings do you BT users use? (do you have the 10v switch engaged?)

What amps work well with the K&K pure maccaferri?

Thanks for your help!


  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,913
    I'd say the problem is the pickup....generally any pickup that is top mounted or exposed in any way is far more prone to feedback. The K&Ks generally have this problem and aren't favored by players who want a lot of volume. That's why the bigtone is so popular....because the piezo element is IN the bridge itself, it is far more resistant to feedback and can get many times louder than other pickups. The only thing louder is a magnetic pickup (Stimer, Krivo, or Peche a la Mouche) can really crank with those.

  • Tele295Tele295 San Buenaventura (Latcho Drom), CA✭✭✭ Gitane DG300, D500
    Posts: 629
    I really like the sound of my K&K Pure Maccaferri pickup without the preamp, plugged into the passive input of the amp. I don't have the same feedback issues as I do when I use the preamp, and frankly, the natural EQ of the pickup is better.
    Jill Martini Soiree - Gypsy Swing & Cocktail Jazz
  • icyhoticyhot Los Angeles✭✭✭
    Posts: 25
    Thank you for your input. After experimenting for a while, I've found that if I turn on the low-cut button on the Unico that I get much less feedback and it still sounds good. Also sitting to the side of amp helps a lot too. And Chris from Schertler USA told me that I should turn the master and channel volume's all the way up, and then slowly increase the gain on each channel. Before I had the gain set pretty high. This has helped also.

    One of the guys at K&K told me he didn't think the Unico is a great amp for the K&K pure maccaferri. He said it sounds somewhat like a megaphone. I'm not sure I really agree, but has anyone found other amps that work well with this pickup?
  • bopsterbopster St. Louis, MOProdigy Altamira M30, Wide Sky PL-1, 1940? French mystery guitar
    Posts: 496
    I use the K & K with a Fishman Loudbox 100. I don't need a preamp. Sounds full, and as long as the amp is on a chair (off of the floor) there are no low freqency feedback issues. Even in loud venues.
  • HCQHCQ Northeast NJ✭✭✭
    Posts: 220
    I don't have too many problems with the K&K/Fishman combination either. Once I had gotten my settings, I only have to make very little adjustment for the room I play in. Still, nothing sounds as good as the guitar unamplified.
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