Vintage Paul Brett signature 12 string guitar - a niggle

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Oldbones
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Vintage Paul Brett signature 12 string guitar - a niggle

Postby Oldbones » Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:47 pm

As I have described elsewhere, after a lot of research, I eventually bought the VE8000 Paul Brett 12 string which is a stunning instrument. But there is one feature about it which I'm not at all keen about and I wondered if anyone else in the forum has got or played one of these instruments and, if so, have they any useful comments to make... ?

It's the battery bag which holds the PP3 battery and which can be held in place with Velcro. I really do not like this as accessing the bag is definitely not easy without having to loosen the strings and edging them aside so as to be able to reach inside the guitar. PP3's are quite bulky and any situation which means you have to loosen the strings and then retune a 12 string is to be avoided unless absolutely essential!

I'm soon going to restring the guitar and wondered if anyone has any advice about where to best attach the bag?

On a slightly different tack, I'm also about to restring my Crafter MD50 12 string but before I get that far, I'll be installing an active Shadow pickup. At some time in the moderately near future I hope to make a new upload for Youtube which will compare the PB12 and the Crafter both 'live' and then via their respective pickups.
It isn't how fast you can play that counts - it's that you only play as fast as you need to play that is important.
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Re: Vintage Paul Brett signature 12 string guitar - a niggle

Postby GORDON » Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:05 pm

Yep. That battery bag is a rubbish design and Paul and I hate it.

Best.

G.

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Oldbones
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Re: Vintage Paul Brett signature 12 string guitar - a niggle

Postby Oldbones » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:11 pm

In that case, I'm surprised Paul didn't veto the idea or design.

I read somewhere that the installed pickup was chosen so as to not impinge on the integrity of the body --- yet your own GG12 has that sort of feature without any harm whatsoever.

I'm looking at ways to get round the problem so I suspect I'll come up with a Heath Robinson solution or I'll just abandon the idea of using the pickup itself and switch to using my John Pearse transducer which can be attached and removed as necessary.

IF I succeed in coming up with some strange but workable way around the problem, I'll post a message and may even let rip with yet another Youtube upload.

Thanks for responding, Gordon.

Peace and respect.

Alan.
It isn't how fast you can play that counts - it's that you only play as fast as you need to play that is important.
Silence can be as eloquent as sound.

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Oldbones
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Re: Vintage Paul Brett signature 12 string guitar - a niggle

Postby Oldbones » Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:11 pm

Since postting my original comment, I've trawled the internet and have found these three links which deal specifically with the issue of batteries fitted INSIDE acoustic guitars.

Of two Youtube uploads which demonstrate the idea using Martin and Gibson guitars, the first is the best. The problem of PP3s in battery bags is illustrated at 1.36 in this demo ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mxuY64aG8

An almost identical demo - but not quite as well produced, is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Gk1GnW_MVs

For a truly extreme solution (which WAS one I originally considered by way of installing an externally-accessed battery box), there is this illustrated article ...

http://www.computerchemist.com/wordpres ... -a-budget/

Meanwhile, I'll put on my Lateral Thinker's Hat and after removing the strings from the PB12, I'll take some time to consider options.

Watch this space .... unless someone else has a suggestion or solution to offer.
It isn't how fast you can play that counts - it's that you only play as fast as you need to play that is important.
Silence can be as eloquent as sound.

blackgold1963
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Re: Vintage Paul Brett signature 12 string guitar - a niggle

Postby blackgold1963 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:31 pm

Hi yes understand your comments re the battery holder.
I got the six string version after buying the GG 12 string and being really impressed with the Vintage stuff.
My guitar arrived with the holder totally loose and the mounting plate had come right away from the guitar.
The action was also very poor - I should have returned it I guess . Anyway, I got it on the bench and set to mounting the battery holder and working on the bridge saddle and nut - the action is now really nice and plays easily. I then noticed some buzzing when on the heavy strings - checked the action and not an issue . Traced to the Fishman pickup controls which are inside the sound hole and was rattling like a good un !!
The upside to all this , is the guitar I have , has a lovely tone with surprising depth in the bass for a small guitar and now plays wonderfully.
I hope my guitar issues were a one off , as when set properly these are fab guitars for the money.
Best to All
Phil

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Oldbones
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Re: Vintage Paul Brett signature 12 string guitar - a niggle

Postby Oldbones » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:04 pm

Wow - very unusual for Vintage guitars to arrive so badly set up.


Am really stumped with what to do about the battery bag. There's no way to gain access to anything without loosening quite a few strings - this really is a stupid system and completely works against easy access. The solution seems to be one of three options:

1) Forget using the electro side of things altogether ... why don't JHS issue an acoustic-only version or opt for a system like on the GG12? With an acoustic-only version you could easily fit an across-the-soundhole pickup if you wanted to. At present the Fishman contols make that impossible.

2) Find a way to bring the battery connection OUTSIDE the guitar or of fitting a battery box (which would entail cutting the body).

3) Stick with it and just curse JHS whenever you need to change the battery.
It isn't how fast you can play that counts - it's that you only play as fast as you need to play that is important.
Silence can be as eloquent as sound.

Trevor Raggatt
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Re: Vintage Paul Brett signature 12 string guitar - a niggle

Postby Trevor Raggatt » Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:02 pm

Oldbones, I would definitely vote for option 3 as the way forward. I certainly wouldn’t start hacking into the side of the guitar (even if you hired a professional to do so) and bits of wire hanging out of the sound hole will be much more of a longer term hassle and annoyance factor than string slackening ever will (even on a 12-er). If you develop good habits around not leaving the guitar plugged in when not using the pick-up output the battery for a modern active system like the PB’s Fishman Acoustic Matrix should last for ages. That means that the battery changing, while being a royal pain in the proverbial will be a rare and infrequent pain in the proverbial. All my acoustic guitars and basses have active preamps so this has very much become second nature for me. It’s a really good habit for anyone who plays with active instruments to get into.

Even with fairly regular amplified usage it is likely that the battery for such a pickup system should last several months – if unplugged when not in use. That leaves you with a couple of courses of action for changing batteries. First, when changing batteries slacken down the strings sufficiently to allow your hand access to the sound hole without removing the strings from the tuning posts. Granted, this will be more of a pain with 12 strings and with a slot headed headstock than on a six string with a flat headstock but it should be eminently doable. The need for an emergency battery change should be infrequent enough that the hassle factor is bearable. Secondly, habitually change your battery whenever changing string sets. This will also lessen the likelihood of impromptu battery changes. Also, dependent on your string changing technique you will have either slackened or removed all your strings anyway, negating the problem of access to the soundhole.

Anyway, just my ha’porth…

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Re: Vintage Paul Brett signature 12 string guitar - a niggle

Postby Oldbones » Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:35 pm

Hi Trevor

Much as it really annoys me, I've pretty well come to the same conclusion as you. I'm also about to install an across-the-soundhole Shadow pickup into my Crafter 12. The 'coin' battery will be easier to access and replace. I'll almost certainly install at least one PP3 into the PB12 just so that I can compare both once when they're being played 'electro'. After that .... who knows. I'll just go with the flow.

Thanks again ... this really is a friendly and supportive forum.
It isn't how fast you can play that counts - it's that you only play as fast as you need to play that is important.
Silence can be as eloquent as sound.


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