K&K Pure Mini for Steel String Guitars
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The special K&K Pure Mini surface transducers transmit a significant portion of the soundboard because they are not as close to the strings as an under-saddle pickup. Each of the 3 or 4 transducers is designed to pick up a specific string pair, but also "listens" to the adjacent area around the bridge. The K&K Pure pickups are not under pressure and therefore do NOT sound percussive or harsh. The K&K Pure System reproduces all strings nicely balanced, a known problem with under-saddle pickups. The Pure System sounds great just in passive mode! Unlike under-saddle pickups which passively sound thin and trebled-only, the passive PURE system puts out a nicely balanced, warm, full range signal.
How safe is the K&K Pure System with feedback? Due to the K&K Pure System's location on the bridge plate under the bridge, feedback resistance is comparable to under-saddle transducers. Technically, a pickup installed in or on the bridge is a lot less likely to feedback than one which is attached to the open sound board. The 1/8" thin sound board can act like a diaphragm and vibrate along with loud sound-signals from speaker cabinets. This is the kind of feedback you experience on an acoustic guitar. The thicker bridge area is a lot harder to be set into vibration from an outside source simply because of its mass. In our tests with both, steel string and classic guitars equipped with an under-saddle pickup plus the Pure System, we were able to achieve about the same gain-before-feedback with both systems.
Frequently asked question: Do I need a preamp with my K&K Pure Mini pickup?
The K&K Pure Mini pickup has great volume and tone without a preamp, however, a preamp provides several advantages. The output impedance of the Pure Western is 1 mega ohm, K&K products, like the K&K Pure XLR, are specifically designed to match this impedance the result being a transparent acoustic quality with reduced risk of feedback.
Options such as volume, EQ and phase are very important for shaping the desired acoustic tone while keeping control in the hands of the musician. Preamps manufactured by other companies will still be useful to control volume and EQ, but have a definite coloration of tone.
Hear a sample of the K&K Pure Mini pickup