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Red-eye pre-amp, matching gear, and GAS

jimvencejimvence Austin, TX✭✭
So, I'm a gear head with frequent GAS attacks!

(GAS = Guitar Acquisition Syndrome, or Gear Acquisition Syndrome. A condition in which one frequently buys, sells, and trades guitar gear.)

When I gave up other styles of playing to focus on Gypsy Jazz, I figured my GAS would be cured.
All I need is a Maccaferri style archtop and a good set of strings. But I never figured on that quest to get that sound accurately amplified. So in the course of that task, I’ve picked up a few acoustic amps and pre-amps over the years.

Having recently picked up a Bigtone equipped US Dell Arte Hommage, I decided to check out the Red Eye pre-amp. The Red Eye is not a particularly well known product; I learned of it because it is made in my town (Austin, TX). I am thrilled with this unit! The Red Eye, with the Bigtone Dell Arte plugging into my Fishman Loudbox, is providing a sound in the ballpark of a microphone set-up. By comparison, my Headway or Para DI pre-amps with the Bigtone/DA and the Loudbox do not compare.

So, I’d definitely encourage you to check out the Red Eye if you are in the market for a pre-amp, particularly if you use a Fishman amp. After testing this setup with my Loudbox, I then tested it through my Schertler David (did I mention my GAS attacks? <g>). After all, if the Red Eye and my Dell Arte/Bigtone sounded so good with the Loudbox, it should sound even better with the Schertler, right? But I could not dial in that microphone quality sound with the Red Eye/Schertler as I could with the Red Eye/Fishman.

Will Ray, a known country/rock guitarist and gear collector, was quoted as saying that he finds his ideal sound as the right matching of guitar and amplifier – it is not the case that your best sounding guitar plus your best sounding amp equals your best sounding set-up. While he was referring to electric guitar I suppose it is applicable as well to matching a pre-amp and amplifier for acoustic amplification.

PS: You may notice I changed my user-id, I am no longer using my old “jovation” handle, though I still have my Ovation acoustic. GAS is a terrible thing! ;0)

Comments

  • ElliotElliot Madison, WisconsinNew
    Posts: 551
    Where have you been - Harmony Central?

    That's all right, we know where you've been....
  • StevearenoSteveareno ✭✭✭
    Posts: 349
    You're right. Sometimes the gear all seems to match up to produce the tone you're after. I used to fool around with blues harmonica...having difficulty with feedback and finding the right tone with an Astatic mic thru a Bassman reissue amp (all the "correct" gear). My friend (a very experienced player) was getting a better tone with a little Sony tape recorder mic (from the 60s) thru an old Harmony amp. He said it was about finding a mic that worked "in conert" with the amp. Some matches just seem to work while others don't, even though logically they should...ie: all the right brands and models, etc. (you'll all be relieved to know I hung up the harp).
    Swang on, :wink:
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