Contributor - Level 2

Electric / Acoustic guitar pickup into Hi-Z or not?

Hi!

I've been running an electric/acoustic guitar with a Taylor Expression System (v1) pickup https://www.taylorguitars.com/guitars/acoustic/features/electronics/expression-system%C2%AE into the Hi-Z input of the XR12.

Sound-level wise this works okay, but I have to keep the pickup-volume-control low (about 25% of maximum), and the gain needs to be watched to avoid feedback. As you can see on the link provided, the Taylor ES pickup is supposed to be pretty foolproof at avoiding feedback, but I seem to have to be pretty careful with it. I don't believe my column-style PA placement and performance location (basically side by side, 2m separation) should be problematic.

I noticed in reading the one-page PDF on the Taylor ES today that the pickup includes a preamp and emits a low impedance signal, and I was wondering two things:
a) is it possible that using a Hi-Z input on the XR12 with a low-impedance signal could be contributing to my feedback problems?
b) is it possible that that I've damaged the Hi-Z inputs on the XR12 by connecting a low impedance instrument source?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
MikoVerstappen Contributor - Level 2 2017-08-18

2017-08-18

Electric / Acoustic guitar pickup into Hi-Z or not?

Hi!

I've been running an electric/acoustic guitar with a Taylor Expression System (v1) pickup https://www.taylorguitars.com/guitars/acoustic/features/electronics/expression-system%C2%AE into the Hi-Z input of the XR12.

Sound-level wise this works okay, but I have to keep the pickup-volume-control low (about 25% of maximum), and the gain needs to be watched to avoid feedback. As you can see on the link provided, the Taylor ES pickup is supposed to be pretty foolproof at avoiding feedback, but I seem to have to be pretty careful with it. I don't believe my column-style PA placement and performance location (basically side by side, 2m separation) should be problematic.

I noticed in reading the one-page PDF on the Taylor ES today that the pickup includes a preamp and emits a low impedance signal, and I was wondering two things:
a) is it possible that using a Hi-Z input on the XR12 with a low-impedance signal could be contributing to my feedback problems?
b) is it possible that that I've damaged the Hi-Z inputs on the XR12 by connecting a low impedance instrument source?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

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Highlighted
Rock Star - Level 2

Re: Electric / Acoustic guitar pickup into Hi-Z or not?

Miko Verstappen;129812 wrote:
Hi!

I've been running an electric/acoustic guitar with a Taylor Expression System (v1) pickup https://www.taylorguitars.com/guitars/acoustic/features/electronics/expression-system%C2%AE into the Hi-Z input of the XR12.

Sound-level wise this works okay, but I have to keep the pickup-volume-control low (about 25% of maximum), and the gain needs to be watched to avoid feedback. As you can see on the link provided, the Taylor ES pickup is supposed to be pretty foolproof at avoiding feedback, but I seem to have to be pretty careful with it. I don't believe my column-style PA placement and performance location (basically side by side, 2m separation) should be problematic.

I noticed in reading the one-page PDF on the Taylor ES today that the pickup includes a preamp and emits a low impedance signal, and I was wondering two things:
a) is it possible that using a Hi-Z input on the XR12 with a low-impedance signal could be contributing to my feedback problems?
b) is it possible that that I've damaged the Hi-Z inputs on the XR12 by connecting a low impedance instrument source?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Miko,

From what I can tell, the Taylor ES is designed to be plugged directly into a guitar amp, so, yes, it should be plugged into one of the Hi-Z inputs. It sounds like you may have your input gain on the channel too high. I'd start by setting all three of the knobs on the guitar to center. I think there's even a groove at that point. Mute the channel strip and turn your input gain all of the way down. As you start to play some notes slowly turn up the gain on the channel until the signal just starts to hit yellow. Now you can unmute the channel and adjust the channel level up. Finally, you can use the knobs on the guitar itself to fine tune to your liking.

Just for good measure, and if possible, I'd position your line arrays about 1 ft in front of your position. This shouldn't be necessary with the ES but is a good practice none the less.

Let us know if this helps.
Ken
If you want "Loud", then run a piece of sheet metal through a table saw. --Ivan Beaver
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Volunteer Moderator

Re: Electric / Acoustic guitar pickup into Hi-Z or not?

This is what I've found:
Connections
The Taylor ES is designed to be plugged-in using a standard quarter-inch guitar cable, which will work in every circumstance: with an acoustic guitar amplifier, a standard direct box, or any other guitar-ready application.

The ES also is designed to be “Pro Ready", which means it can be plugged directly into a “balanced line level input” such as an input on a mixer using a TRS to XLR cable. The result is a higher signal level, which translates into the ability to drive long cable distances without any frequency loss, due to the low impedance of the system. With this application, you can plug directly into a stage snake or recording/mixing console without the use of a direct box.
Robert Lofgren | Did you find my post helpful? Give kudos and/or mark it as a solution!
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Contributor - Level 3

Re: Electric / Acoustic guitar pickup into Hi-Z or not?

Since the Taylor system appears to have a built in preamp it should be OK to drive any of the inputs on the XR12. The HiZ inputs are really meant for the direct connection from unamplified guitar pickups. I would try feeding one of the other line input jacks instead and see if that makes any difference. But as Ken says you really need to check what the input levels of the channel that the guitar is plugged into is set at.
Highlighted
Contributor - Level 2

Re: Electric / Acoustic guitar pickup into Hi-Z or not?

Miko Verstappen;129812 wrote:
Hi!

I've been running an electric/acoustic guitar with a Taylor Expression System (v1) pickup https://www.taylorguitars.com/guitars/acoustic/features/electronics/expression-system%C2%AE into the Hi-Z input of the XR12.

Sound-level wise this works okay, but I have to keep the pickup-volume-control low (about 25% of maximum), and the gain needs to be watched to avoid feedback. As you can see on the link provided, the Taylor ES pickup is supposed to be pretty foolproof at avoiding feedback, but I seem to have to be pretty careful with it. I don't believe my column-style PA placement and performance location (basically side by side, 2m separation) should be problematic.

I noticed in reading the one-page PDF on the Taylor ES today that the pickup includes a preamp and emits a low impedance signal, and I was wondering two things:
a) is it possible that using a Hi-Z input on the XR12 with a low-impedance signal could be contributing to my feedback problems?
b) is it possible that that I've damaged the Hi-Z inputs on the XR12 by connecting a low impedance instrument source?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.


For my Taylor ES active pickup I use an balanced TRS cable into the XR-18 channel 3.

Same for my Steinberger bass active pickup use balanced TRS output to ch 3.

My Gibson Les Paul has the usual passive pickup unbalanced
output use TS cable to XR-18 channel 1 & 2 high impedance inputs.
Highlighted
Contributor - Level 2

Re: Electric / Acoustic guitar pickup into Hi-Z or not?

Steve Walker;129842 wrote:
For my Taylor ES active pickup I use an balanced TRS cable into the XR-18 channel 3.

Same for my Steinberger bass active pickup use balanced TRS output to ch 3.

My Gibson Les Paul has the usual passive pickup unbalanced
output use TS cable to XR-18 channel 1 & 2 high impedance inputs.


Thanks Steve, and everyone else who replied. I experimented today using an unbalanced TS cable from the Taylor ES to XR12 input 6, and this seems to have solved the feedback problem. I can now turn the on-instrument volume way up, while having the column-array PA pointed directly at the soundhole, and I don't get any feedback.

Does anyone know why using the Hi-Z inputs with the Taylor ES output (impedance mismatch) was producing feedback? I'm just interested now.

The last part of my question was whether there would be any damage to the Hi-Z circuitry on the XR12 as a result of me previously using the Taylor ES connected to it?

Many thanks again
Miko
Highlighted
Volunteer Moderator

Re: Electric / Acoustic guitar pickup into Hi-Z or not?

Use a trs-trs or trs-xlr cable. This will give you the best option...
Robert Lofgren | Did you find my post helpful? Give kudos and/or mark it as a solution!
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Rock Star - Level 2

Re: Electric / Acoustic guitar pickup into Hi-Z or not?

I'm intrigued by the electronics of how the ES works. It appears that it can be plugged into either an amp directly or into a mixer. Does it somehow auto-detect Hi-Z/Lo-Z or is there a switch on the ES itself or is it whether or not you use a TS vs. TRS cable?

Thanks for any details.

Ken
If you want "Loud", then run a piece of sheet metal through a table saw. --Ivan Beaver
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Contributor - Level 2

Re: Electric / Acoustic guitar pickup into Hi-Z or not?

I'd be willing to bet that the guitar's preamp is buffered making the impedance (mostly) irrelevant. Since balanced cables carry the signal on 2 wires inverted and then flip and sum them at the mixer input using a TS cable would simply short one of the signals to ground which won't hurt anything, it just will give you a lower level signal than if they were summed. You would also lose the noise cancelling that balanced cables provide.
Highlighted
Volunteer Moderator

Re: Electric / Acoustic guitar pickup into Hi-Z or not?

The guitar probably autodetects if you have a TS or TSR connected to properly connect to an amp or mixer.
Robert Lofgren | Did you find my post helpful? Give kudos and/or mark it as a solution!