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Re: Schatten HFN Artist Plus 2 Pickup-Preamp and Shure SM-81 Mic Comparison In A 2016 Martin D-18
Edited by KenL on 4/7/2019, 2:13 pm
The mic is the standard to which a pickup is judged for those looking for as natural an amplified tone as possible. I prefer the tone of the Shure SM-81 Mic in my recorded comparison as it sounds, well, more like the acoustic tone of the Martin D-18. The recording is with all EQ set flat which means the signals are being recorded without any tonal enhancement. The Schatten HFN Artist Plus 2 System's signal sounds quite a bit better than my flat-EQ recording when it's EQ'ed by a preamp or mixer and dispersed through a PA or acoustic-guitar amp. My purpose for recording direct-to-computer is so folks can get an idea of the "raw" unadorned tone that a pickup has. The goal of most acoustic-pickup manufacturers is generally to try to get the tone of their pickup design sounding as close as possible to the "Holy Grail" tone of a mic before any external EQ or effects are applied. Some will ask, "Why not just use a mic when playing live?" The reasons are that a mic is generally much more prone to feedback and limits a player's stage movement to one location. I am going to do these pickup and mic recorded comparisons for every onboard pickup/preamp system I have. More to come ...
Ken, they both sound good but there is a definite difference in the two. One seems "warmer" than the other but, as is often the case with me, I can't make up my mind which I like best.
I just made some quick recordings of my vocal accompaniment guitar part for Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" without the Drop-D Tuning. These two tracks were made simultaneously with one channel recording with the Schatten HFN Artist Plus 2 and the other channel recording the Shure SM-81 that is about 8" inches away from the guitar at the 14th-fret, neck and body interface with the mic capsule pointed between the neck-joint and soundhole. These are direct-to-computer recordings using a PreSonus Studio 192 Interface. The tracks are rendered with FLAT EQ and NO EFFECTS, except Normalization, and picked with a Guitar Moose .80mm Classic Flatpick. Please excuse any slightly mis-fretted notes as I have carpal tunnel in both hands, especially in my fretting hand. Please click the link at the bottom of this message to go to Acoustic Guitar Forum to hear my comparison results. Thanks and your comments are Welcome here!