K&K vs. Journeytek passive? Suggestions on PU for acoustic

F30

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I've used the K&K for years and I 'm sure everyone has their own opinion on those but they have been quite good to me.
I stumbled on the Journeytek pickup that looks, quite frankly, like the K&K.
Always open to others experience with respect to Acoustic pickups.
3 point and passive just like the K&K.
I haven't tried the Journytek but it is half the price.................just wondering if any of you have had a chance to check these out?
Open ear to any suggestions for another acoustic pickup to try.
 

Br1ck

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I put JJB pickups in my cheapo archtop. Like them. I use Dazzos in everything else.
 

Rich Cohen

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As you say, it's a personal opinion regarding pups. I like the idea of installing less expensive pu's on less expensive guitars. Just one thought: the K&K mini is a passive pup for which you're going to be dependent on your amp to control and modify the output. If the amp is being controlled by someone else, say at an open mic, then you'll have to accept whatever h/she sets it at.
 

Br1ck

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RE open mic: what you say is true. If you show up with a K&K or any other piezo pickup. and no impedance matching devise, your tone will most likely suck. Not knowing any better, most will not know. It finally got to the point where I got so tired of hearing $4k guitars sound bad, I got SunnAudio to build me a custom DI box for the open mic I help run. Now at least it rids us of that icepicky harshness. But the K&K needs heaping helpings of EQ, not the least rolling all the low end off with a pre of some sort. But I'm not going to EQ anyone at the board of an open mic, unless asked to, a very uncommon occurrence. We happen to be tone freaks and have invested in good monitors and great QSC speakers, but we have our limits. But you would be wise to take responsibility for your own sound.

One more note on piezo SBT pickups. The piezo disks are pretty much identical. I built a cigar box guitar using a doorbell buzzer piezo. Superglued it to the top, then hot glued over it. It's not rocket science. K&Ks cost twice as much because of dealer markup and marketing costs. JJB and others sell direct. People who have had both (not me) say they can't tell a difference.
 
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Rich Cohen

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RE open mic: what you say is true. If you show up with a K&K or any other piezo pickup. and no impedance matching devise, your tone will most likely suck. Not knowing any better, most will not know. It finally got to the point where I got so tired of hearing $4k guitars sound bad, I got SunnAudio to build me a custom DI box for the open mic I help run. Now at least it rids us of that icepicky harshness. But the K&K needs heaping helpings of EQ, not the least rolling all the low end off with a pre of some sort. But I'm not going to EQ anyone at the board of an open mic, unless asked to, a very uncommon occurrence. We happen to be tone freaks and have invested in good monitors and great QSC speakers, but we have our limits. But you would be wise to take responsibility for your own sound.

One more note on piezo SBT pickups. The piezo disks are pretty much identical. I built a cigar box guitar using a doorbell buzzer piezo. Superglued it to the top, then hot glued over it. It's not rocket science. K&Ks cost twice as much because of dealer markup and marketing costs. JJB and others sell direct. People who have had both (not me) say they can't tell a difference.
Lots of wisdom in your post. Where do you run open mics?
 

F30

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Thanks for the reply's.
I currently use a Fishman ToneDEQ between my guitar (K&K equipped) and the board.
It has been working pretty good but I'm always open to new ideas and methods when it comes to amplification of acoustics.
 

Br1ck

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Lots of wisdom in your post. Where do you run open mics?
Untill last March, Auri's open mic at Cameron's in Half Moon Bay, Ca. This has been going on for 18 years. Every Thursday night except holidays. Right now we continue uninterrupted on Zoom. It sucks, but what can you do? Auri passed before my time but was a guy I would have liked, and we try to live up to his standard of encouragement to all.

The amplification of acoustics is a vortex for time and money that just sucks you in. I've reached an as good as I need for what I do solution with Dazzo pickups and SunnAudio Stage DI. Simple, effective, and great tone. But I can hand any sound guy a signal and say set the EQ flat, which is how my pre is set.
 

dreadnut

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How about just using a good condenser mic?
 

MLBob

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RE open mic: what you say is true. If you show up with a K&K or any other piezo pickup. and no impedance matching devise, your tone will most likely suck..... you would be wise to take responsibility for your own sound.
That's exaxctly why I have small, acoustic pedalboards already set up with my own pre-amp boxes & effects, with the capability to send XLR to the house mixer. For situations involving open mic's that provide a house system, I've found that the Red Eye pre-amps have always done the job for me.

One thing I have found with K&K is that I can e mail them a question about how to best utilize their products, and have a detailed response within the hour. In addition, if you've ever dealt with Darren at Fire Eye (Red Eye) it's always refreshing to know he'll pick up the phone whenever you call and help you work out any scenario.
 

Westerly Wood

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I have been using K&K passives in my Guild dreads since 2007. And K&Ks generally since 2004. They reproduce acoustic sound very well, even without a preamp and I like not having to deal with a battery etc. You can always get a cheap preamp that works well or boost your sound in the PA. Or an acoustic amp. Either way, K&K is a good deal for $100 installed. Hard to beat, IMHO.

...so long as the 3 sensors are placed right...
 

dreadnut

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I'm wondering if Journeytech can actually offer a comparable product to the K&K for half the price...but I'm a skeptic..at least I think I am, can't be 100% sure about that.
 

Br1ck

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When I bought my Martin D 35 Custom, it came with K&K pickups installed by Brian Kimsey, who has put hundreds of them in guitars. I thought good, I won't have to pop for a sixth set of Dazzos. Here is what I found. Heaping amounts of low end mud and a harsh high mid peak. Thinking something was amiss, I took my guitar down to Gryphon and asked their staff if I had a problem. They put them into a Fishman mini, and without even playing the guitar, they rolled ALL the bass off the amp's bass control. Then they fiddled with the midrange and got a passably decent tone, and stating that you could get a better tone out of a preamp like a Grace Alex. The pickup was not defective.

You must understand that I came from the perspective of pretty much ignoring the EQ section of any downstream devise, using a RedEye before moving on to SunnAudio, so I was not about to go back. I will be the first to admit the challenge of getting the right set of Dazzos, and I can have Teddy himself put them in. I got the very first set of 50s put in my Martin. I have everything in between including a set of 100s in my parlor.

Not only do I think they sound better, but they never fail to sound good with the EQ set flat on any amp or PA or recording interface.

Any piezo needs a 1meg input to sound good. I suppose good is subjective, but I've heard enough K&Ks into an 800 ohm board to have formed my opinion. I do not consider myself to be searching for the holy grail black hole, but just a pleasing easy to use pickup system. I have also come to the realization of how many people really don't know or care. I fault guitar techs who don't educate their customers. They don't want to tell people they really need to spend around $300 to get plugged in.

I have heard plenty of K&Ks well used with a proper pre with powerful EQ sections, it's just not what I want. One should also note that SBT pickups are not for a loud band, witch is why Anthems with their USTs are popular. And lets not forget the Taylor systems, which to me never sound really great, but can handle any situation. I can't use Dazzos in a band with a drummer, it'd just not the right tool.

Now I have Dazzo 70s in my Guild D 35, witch is right down the middle of the Dazzo range. It is a testament to the guitar's even response, and I suspect K&Ks would work better in that guitar than my Martin.
 
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F30

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Thanks Br1ck
I greatly appreciate the informative rundown with respect to your experience.
Since you've had a bit of experience with the Dazzos any recommendations for an Guild F30?
 

Br1ck

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By now Teddy Randazzo has worked with most guitars, so I would call him. He is a one man shop and answers his phone. He will also talk to any tech you might have installing them, and if the set turns out to be too bassy, will swap out his pickups until you find the set that works. Just for reference, out of six guitars, three were first guesses. Four or five would have been except he is extremely picky. Probably the most challenging was my Texan, which had bolts an such to work around. On that one I watched him cut up a set to make a hybrid set to compensate for the bass side pickup not being in the usual spot. The other issue is people not wanting to use the correct glue, or wanting to use tape. I've seen Teddy remove his pickups several times. So you need to go all in with Dazzos. While I'm at it, a plug for SunnAudio. They work hand in hand with Dazzo and the SunnAudio stuff is tailor made for Dazzos. I switched after A/Bing with a RedEye. Better tone, and I loved my RedEye.

To be fair, K&Ks would probably be better for an F 30 than a dread.
 
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I use K&K in both my F50Rs and in one of my JF 30s. I’ve been performing onstage since the late 70s and have tried many different pickups systems over the decades. The K&K mini is the best I’ve encountered because it amplifies the sounds of the guitar, not just the strings. But you have to use one of their preamps to get the most out of it! I have the little pure preamp and it comes with a belt clip, it would be great to use at open mics !!! I just sit it on top of my amp.
 

ClaytonS15

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I have no experience with other acoustic guitar pickups. However, I’ve been really happy with my K&K passive in my GV-52 into a PA or even my electric guitar tube amp.
 
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