checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

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checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

Wayne DePrince Jr.-3
ahoy all,

i have been testing out a Zoom H5 which (along w/ the H6 for that matter) is advertised as NOT supporting passive instrument connections on the TRS inputs.  to quote the manual: "Direct input of passive guitars and basses is not supported."  thus i assumed that i would need a DI box/effect box/etc. to record well any directly connected passive electric guitar or bass.

however, when i connect my electric guitar (Lace Sensors and Alumitone pickups) and electric bass, both passive, to the TRS connections on inputs 1 & 2 of the H5 with gain only at 5 of 10, i get a good sound and strong signal, seemingly the same as when they are connected to an interface (in this case a Zoom U-44) that supports Hi-Z connections.

i first contacted Zoom support and they replied:

"There is no issue connecting a passive guitar to the 1/4" input on the H5.
There may only be an issue with level or noise, but if you are satisfied with the audio quality then there is no problem."

now while i do not yet have a good understanding of Lo vs. Hi-Z, i have read various posts about it. they seem to indicate that the passive guitar signal would lose some frequencies with this kind of connection and thus this setup is undesirable.

but again as it "sounds the same", i had some questions before investing in a DI box or getting a different interface:
  • would the fact that the pickups are Lace Sensors and Alumintones have anything to do with the passive signal being picked up fairly well by the non Hi-Z input?
  • is there a way to check (preferably in software) if frequencies are actually missing or if the signal quality is indeed reduced when compared to one from a Hi-Z input?
  • is it possible that the H5 has good enough preamps/whatever that the gain on the inputs is enough to make the passive signal OK?


so to summarize: is this an acceptable solution for recording a directly connected passive instrument (in this case an electric guitar and bass) even though the H5 does not officially support it?

thanks, w

PS: for those wondering the H5 works great w/ GNU+Linux as an audio interface

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Re: checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

Tim-2



On 05/18/2017 07:15 PM, Wayne DePrince Jr. wrote:
ahoy all,

i have been testing out a Zoom H5 which (along w/ the H6 for that matter) is advertised as NOT supporting passive instrument connections on the TRS inputs.  to quote the manual: "Direct input of passive guitars and basses is not supported."  thus i assumed that i would need a DI box/effect box/etc. to record well any directly connected passive electric guitar or bass.

however, when i connect my electric guitar (Lace Sensors and Alumitone pickups) and electric bass, both passive, to the TRS connections on inputs 1 & 2 of the H5 with gain only at 5 of 10, i get a good sound and strong signal, seemingly the same as when they are connected to an interface (in this case a Zoom U-44) that supports Hi-Z connections.

i first contacted Zoom support and they replied:

"There is no issue connecting a passive guitar to the 1/4" input on the H5.
There may only be an issue with level or noise, but if you are satisfied with the audio quality then there is no problem."

now while i do not yet have a good understanding of Lo vs. Hi-Z, i have read various posts about it. they seem to indicate that the passive guitar signal would lose some frequencies with this kind of connection and thus this setup is undesirable.

but again as it "sounds the same", i had some questions before investing in a DI box or getting a different interface:
  • would the fact that the pickups are Lace Sensors and Alumintones have anything to do with the passive signal being picked up fairly well by the non Hi-Z input?
  • is there a way to check (preferably in software) if frequencies are actually missing or if the signal quality is indeed reduced when compared to one from a Hi-Z input?
  • is it possible that the H5 has good enough preamps/whatever that the gain on the inputs is enough to make the passive signal OK?


so to summarize: is this an acceptable solution for recording a directly connected passive instrument (in this case an electric guitar and bass) even though the H5 does not officially support it?

thanks, w

PS: for those wondering the H5 works great w/ GNU+Linux as an audio interface


Hi. According to the Zoom HS specs, the input impedance on Mic/Line In is
 2 Kilo Ohms or more while Inputs 1/2 are 1.8 Kilo Ohms or more.

This is terrible for a guitar pickup.

The pickup's coil and the input impedance of the device it is plugged into
 form a low-pass filter. The higher the input impedance the better.
That's why guitar inputs are always 1 Mega Ohm or more.

But it is bad for another reason as well:
Most guitar pickups have between 6 and 12 Kilo Ohms resistance.
When fed into your 1.8 Kilo Ohms input, it forms a voltage divider
 which will severely lower the overall output of your pickup.

Get a DI box.
If you want the maximum possible frequency response and you
 want the most out of your pickups, get an active DI box.
It may introduce a bit more noise due to the active circuit.

On the other hand, if you want convenience of no batteries
 and just plug and go, get a passive DI box.
It may introduce a bit of noise due to non-linearity of the
 passive transformer, and the frequency response may not
 be as full or flat as an active DI box.
Mine is a Radial Engineering DI box. I am happy with it.
Even though the sound is slightly coloured by the
 passive transformer, it is far better than no DI box at all.

As for measuring the differences, that's a tough one.
I was able to see clearly a difference simply by using
 my oscilloscope and plucking strings.
With the guitar plugged into a 10 Kilo Ohm mixer input,
 I could clearly see less high frequency content (harmonics etc.)
 than with the guitar-to-scope alone. (The scope probe has
 1 Mega Ohm input impedance.)

A more scientific method might involve simultaneously
 recording the un-loaded pickup signal and the loaded
 signal and then comparing with software.

Tim.

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Re: checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

Len Ovens
  On 05/18/2017 07:15 PM, Wayne DePrince Jr. wrote:

> however, when i connect my electric guitar (Lace Sensors and Alumitone
> pickups) and electric bass, both passive, to the TRS connections on inputs
> 1 & 2 of the H5 with gain only at 5 of 10, i get a good sound and strong
> signal, seemingly the same as when they are connected to an interface (in
> this case a Zoom U-44) that supports Hi-Z connections.

> now while i do not yet have a good understanding of Lo vs. Hi-Z, i have
> read various posts about it. they seem to indicate that the passive guitar
> signal would lose some frequencies with this kind of connection and thus
> this setup is undesirable.

A Di guitar sound is an effect if it is through a Di box or not. If you
like the effect, good stuff. (use your ears is always good advice)

Personally, I have found that I like the sound of an electric guitar
better if there is a speaker somewhere in the chain.  Even for clean
sound. Amp emulations can be quite good at rebuilding sound to sound like
an amp, but then I add a speaker to the chain (even with a solid state
amp) and there is some difference that I like the sound of.

In the same way, there will be a difference in sound from one preamp to
any other. Either you like the sound or you don't.

However, electric guitars and electric guitar amps were designed together.
There was no recording or Di, it was all live performance. The guitar does
not have an impedance that is a number, it may have a DC resistance or 5k
to to 15k or so, but it also has an inductance and capacitance (and the
cable changes that too) and the matching amp has it's own input
resistance, inductance and capacitance as well. The same guitar through
any two amps will sound different because of this even if they have the
same dc impedance. The inductance and capacitance will change the
impedance with frequency. So any guitar/amp compination will already
provide some filtering before the sound gets to the preamp.

The amp itself further changes the sound from input to output and of
course the speaker/cabinet is tuned in the same way the body of an
acoustic guitar is tuned. So the guitar/amp/speaker/cabinet combination
providss a complete sound. The Di can't give the same sound though some
modeling comes close.

This why I say, if you like the sound nothing else matters. Guitars and
basses are different too, a Di is much more common for recording a bass
than a guitar where high frequencies are in general not wanted, though as
a bass player myself, I like the sound of at least some high end on a
fretless as it accents some of the glides.

Piezo pickups are different again. I use them on both acoustic guitar and
manolin. They sound just bad into my mixer or just about any Di box for
that matter. 1 Meg is not enough. That is why so many of them have built
in preamps.

I have used electric guitar plugged direct into a mixer and been happy
with the result when looking for a "clean" sound. For anything with a bit
of roughness or more, I prefer an amp.

--
Len Ovens
www.ovenwerks.net

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Re: checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

Ralf Mardorf
On Sat, 20 May 2017 14:43:30 -0700 (PDT), Len Ovens wrote:
>This why I say, if you like the sound nothing else matters.

Full ACK!

Forget what Tim mentioned, you just would wasted money! If the
sound is ok, than it is ok! You can not measure how a guitar does sound.
Usually all direct inputs, if made for guitar or not, don't provide the
full mids and bass provided by a guitar amp and guitar speaker. Guitar
frequencies are all low to mid range. Hi frequencies are an issue, but
more problematic is the missing mid and low fullness provided by a real
amp and speaker. A good guitar amp and speaker bias the guitars sound a
lot, they don't provide a neutral sound. This is wanted, not bad design!
However, if the sound does not satisfy you, then get a guitar preamp
and not a DI box! maybe a Hughes & Kettner tube thingy (not a
speaker/amp simulation, just a guitar preamp). If you anyway use stomp
boxes, at least too low output level could be compensated by a stomp
box, but it unlikely provides the sound enhancement you get with a
guitar pre-amp.
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Re: checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

Tim Goetze
[Ralf Mardorf]
>On Sat, 20 May 2017 14:43:30 -0700 (PDT), Len Ovens wrote:
>>This why I say, if you like the sound nothing else matters.
>
>Full ACK!

Obviously, yes.

>Usually all direct inputs, if made for guitar or not, don't provide the
>full mids and bass provided by a guitar amp and guitar speaker.

I'm not sure what "full mids" are supposed to be; in any case a
passive guitar pickup connected to a low-Z input is a low-pass filter
with reduced cutoff frequency and resonance.  It loses treble and what
I would call "bite" or "sheen" or "character" if I wore my audiophile
hat today.

Tim (Active DI user.)
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Re: checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

Ralf Mardorf
On Sun, 21 May 2017 15:05:57 +0200 (CEST), Tim Goetze wrote:
>>Usually all direct inputs, if made for guitar or not, don't provide
>>the full mids and bass provided by a guitar amp and guitar speaker.  
>
>I'm not sure what "full mids" are supposed to be; in any case a
>passive guitar pickup connected to a low-Z input is a low-pass filter
>with reduced cutoff frequency and resonance.  It loses treble and what
>I would call "bite" or "sheen" or "character" if I wore my audiophile
>hat today.

It should be for "powerful middle frequencies and powerful bass
frequencies". In my more than 30 years recording electric guitars by a
mixing console, it more likely becomes an issue that high frequencies
sound too harsh. This doesn't mean that there might be no loss of high
frequencies, just that it does sound not "powerful" when recording a
guitar by line inputs or microphone inputs and even not when using
special guitar inputs, while the high frequencies aren't the real issue.
A guitar amp and 12" speaker for guitars bias the sound as well and
doesn't provide the neutral high frequencies. Usually, if you like the
guitar sound without "power" (punch), then just noise and/or the level
are an issue, not the frequency response. If noise and/or the level
should be an issue, than a DI box might help, but the same is provided
when connecting a stomp box between guitar and mixing console, resp.
audio interface, but often noise and/or level aren't really an issue. If
you really want to get closer to the sound of an amp with a 12" speaker,
only using a good guitar pre-amp does the job (even if you additionally
should use an amp and/or speaker simulation). Just using a special
guitar input or a DI box doesn't solve the underlying issue, that mixer
inputs and audio interface inputs can't compare to the bias caused by
an amp and a 12" speaker. A parametric EQ helps a lot, but can't do all
of the typically bias caused by a real amp and a real 12" speaker. If
possible, I even use a cheap transistor guitar amp with a guitar
speaker at low volume and a cheap dynamic microphone to record in a
rental flat. This still doesn't sound like a good guitar amp played at
reasonable volume, but still better than any direct recording without
guitar amp and guitar speaker. However, often even this would be too
loud, so recording directly connected to the mixer or audio interface
is required. YMMV!

Regards,
Ralf
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Re: checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

Ralf Mardorf
In reply to this post by Tim Goetze
PS:

"powerful" might be a less good word. Perhaps "thick", "voluminous",
"full-bodied" fits better. Also "pressure", "punch", "a fast
response"are missing.

IMO the "muddy" sound you described isn't (much) related to a filter
effect for frequencies for what frequency range ever. The complete
chain of a guitar amp makes the sound, especially the pre-amp and the
12" speaker/s. That's why Len mentioned to use a speaker and I
mentioned to use a real guitar pre-amp, since using a speaker isn't
always possible, e.g. in a rental flat.
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Re: checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

Tim-2
In reply to this post by Ralf Mardorf


On 05/21/2017 07:19 AM, Ralf Mardorf wrote:
> On Sat, 20 May 2017 14:43:30 -0700 (PDT), Len Ovens wrote:
>> This why I say, if you like the sound nothing else matters.
> Full ACK!
>
> Forget what Tim mentioned,
Don't step on my expert advice, dude!
I took time from my busy schedule to answer this question
  because I know about it. Trust me.

Have you ever heard the expression "You don't know what you're missing"?
One never knows what one is missing until shown how good it could be.

Good? No, how about just freakin' proper from the start.
Some of the Lace pickups Wayne mentioned are 20K resistance.
You know what's going to happen when that guitar coil
  meets that Zoom's 1.8K input impedance?

The audible result of all that loss was put so expertly by Mr. Goetze:
  "bite" or "sheen" or "character", in this case quite a lot.

DI box, stomp box, effect box. Yeah it's all the same. Low impedance
  output. Wayne knows that and he knows what I meant.

Cheers. Tim.
The MusE Sequencer Project.
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Re: checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

Ralf Mardorf
We don't need to dispute each others expertise. I suspect most
guitarists own stomp boxes. Some of them use an electronic
bypass, so the OP simply could use a stomp box to compare the sound of
adjusted impedance with non adjusted impedance. Period. My forecast is
that if it should make a difference, than neither to the good, nor to
the bad, it always sounds less good, than when using a guitar pre-amp
connected to the mixer, let alone a guitar amp with speaker recorded
with a mic. This means the OP just needs different EQ
settings, in the end the sound with or without adjusted impedance for
several usages isn't as good as the sound when using just a guitar
pre-amp or much better an amp with speaker.

Your advice was "Get a DI box." My advice shortened to what's important
in the context of this dispute was, that a stomp box most guitarists
own, for this purpose does the same job as a DI box. So why recommending
to pay for additional gear that gains absolutely nothing?

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Re: checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

Ralf Mardorf
In reply to this post by Tim-2
"Some of them use an electronic bypass, so the OP simply could use a
stomp box to compare the sound of adjusted impedance with non adjusted
impedance."

I should explain this ;).

It's much likely close to a DI box when in bypass mode, so that no
effect affects the sound, as well as when using the stomp boxes effect.
To compare the signal, the OP needs to connect and disconnect the stomp
box to/from the signal chain ;).
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Re: checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

Wayne DePrince Jr.-3
In reply to this post by Tim-2
ahoy all,

        first, thanks for all the informative and detailed replies.  this list
as always is a valuable resource.

        one quick follow up question as i digest all this: since it seems
whether i use a DI box, preamp or effect pedal (one of which i actually do not
currently have), the overall sentiment seems to suggest using something in the
passive electric/bass guitar signal chain before directly inputing into an
interface/mixer.  however, as i mentioned, some of these interfaces i am also
testing out (e.g. Edirol FA-66, Zoom U-44) have a Hi-Z button on an input
which supposedly allows direct inputing of a passive signal.  is this Hi-Z
button just enabling some internal DI box or preamp?  are there drawbacks to
using it instead of using an actual DI box, preamp, etc?  seems like just
another way to match that signal to something expected by the input, but again
i am still wading my way through all this.

        OK, thanks again for all your advice and help.

peace, w

--
http://waynedpj.ingiro.xyz

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Re: checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

Tim-2


On 05/26/2017 09:30 PM, Wayne DePrince Jr. wrote:

> ahoy all,
>
> first, thanks for all the informative and detailed replies.  this list
> as always is a valuable resource.
>
> one quick follow up question as i digest all this: since it seems
> whether i use a DI box, preamp or effect pedal (one of which i actually do not
> currently have), the overall sentiment seems to suggest using something in the
> passive electric/bass guitar signal chain before directly inputing into an
> interface/mixer.  however, as i mentioned, some of these interfaces i am also
> testing out (e.g. Edirol FA-66, Zoom U-44) have a Hi-Z button on an input
> which supposedly allows direct inputing of a passive signal.  is this Hi-Z
> button just enabling some internal DI box or preamp?  are there drawbacks to
> using it instead of using an actual DI box, preamp, etc?  seems like just
> another way to match that signal to something expected by the input, but again
> i am still wading my way through all this.
>
> OK, thanks again for all your advice and help.
>
> peace, w
>
Hi, if your interface has hi-z input, it's preferable to using something
external.
The internal circuit is tightly designed and integrated properly around
that input.
Minus one power supply for external active DI or effect box (unless
phantom-powered).
Minus one patch cord.
(Never discount either causing trouble, eh?)

I use my DI box for plugging in to line-level lower impedance inputs
like stereos,
  sound cards, or PA systems. Or, with my DI model I can split the
signal and
  record at low impedance while playing through the guitar amp's high
impedance.
Awesome feature.

Tim.
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Re: checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

Ralf Mardorf
On Fri, 26 May 2017 22:21:17 -0400, Tim wrote:
>On 05/26/2017 09:30 PM, Wayne DePrince Jr. wrote:
>> are there drawbacks to using it instead of using an actual DI box,
>> preamp, etc?
>Hi, if your interface has hi-z input, it's preferable to using
>something external.
>The internal circuit is tightly designed and integrated properly
>around that input.

Hi,

usually those inputs are just designed to fit the impedance, they are
not designed to sound good. Such an input does replace an impedance
converter, such as a DI box or a workaround using a stomp box, but never
ever those inputs are able to replace a good guitar tube pre-amp. I
might be wrong, but AFAIK those inputs are only provided by pro-sumer
interfaces and not by professional interfaces, so don't expect
first-class input amplifiers at all. However, the line in and
mic amplifiers are much likely good enough for most tasks,
but the hi-z instrument input is much likely missing the
characteristics of a guitar amp input.

Before we start another dispute:

"The only rule is that there is no rule....... It always depend on the
sound you want." - https://www.gearslutz.com/board/4241684-post5.html

I don't own a good guitar pre-amp myself, but I used a 19" Hughes &
Kettner guitar tube thingy of a friend. They seem not to sell those 19"
guitar tube thingies anymore, but at least they still provide a stomp
box tube thingy with a red box ;),
http://hughes-and-kettner.com/products/tubetools/tubeman/ . I don't
know if this stomp box is good, too. The 19" guitar tube thingy I used
improved the sound a lot.

Regards,
Ralf
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Re: checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

Fons Adriaensen-3
On Sat, May 27, 2017 at 07:28:08AM +0200, Ralf Mardorf wrote:

> usually those inputs are just designed to fit the impedance,

which is really all that is required. Anything else (EQ, non-
linearity) can be done later in software.

There are different ways to provide a high-Z input. Provided
no signal attenuation is involved things should be OK.

> they are
> not designed to sound good. Such an input does replace an impedance
> converter, such as a DI box or a workaround using a stomp box, but never
> ever those inputs are able to replace a good guitar tube pre-amp.

Quality varies, but guitar preamps are not designed to 'perfect'
(in a technical sense) either. Most will not have a flat response,
add distortion, etc., all that to make the guitar 'sound good'.
Whatever specific frequency response a real guitar preamp will
provide (e.g. due to input capacitance combined with the inductance
of the pickup resulting in some resonance) can be had by classic
EQ as well.

> I might be wrong, but AFAIK those inputs are only provided by pro-sumer
> interfaces and not by professional interfaces, so don't expect
> first-class input amplifiers at all.

Pros will just use a DI-box. Combined with a normal mic preamp
that will provide exactly the same result as a typical high-Z
input - a clean sound without any guitar-specific processing.

Ciao,

--
FA

A world of exhaustive, reliable metadata would be an utopia.
It's also a pipe-dream, founded on self-delusion, nerd hubris
and hysterically inflated market opportunities. (Cory Doctorow)

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Re: checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

Ralf Mardorf
On Sat, 27 May 2017 09:39:37 +0000, Fons Adriaensen wrote:
>guitar preamps are not designed to 'perfect'
>(in a technical sense) either. Most will not have a flat response,
>add distortion, etc., all that to make the guitar 'sound good'.
>Whatever specific frequency response a real guitar preamp will
>provide (e.g. due to input capacitance combined with the inductance
>of the pickup resulting in some resonance) can be had by classic
>EQ as well.

It's the whole point of a guitar pre-amp to bias the sound and no, an
EQ can't do the the same as a guitar pre-amp could do. There are
saturation effects, you at least would need a compressor, too and much
likely a good overdrive, even for seemingly clean guitar sounds. Some
guitar pre-amps provide a hybride of real guitar pre-amp and digital
virtualisation. I prefer a tube pre-amp over a virtualisation. Let's
ignore the the quality of the virtualisation and simply assume it's
very good, but then it still would add additional latency to the audio
interfaces latency and that isn't good. Don't get me wrong, I did most
of my recordings without a guitar pre-amp and often it's impossible to
notice this in the mix, but you notice it when playing the guitar. It's
more fun, to play using a guitar pre-amp. It's the same for good
virtual synth. Some emulations are amazing, but if you own the
emulation and the original synth, it usually makes more fun to play the
synth. It becomes audible that something is missing without a guitar
pre-amp as well as when comparing a very good synth emulation with the
original synth.

Regards,
Ralf
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Re: checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

Ralf Mardorf
In reply to this post by Fons Adriaensen-3
PS:

SICR, before I got the Focusrite 18i20 for my iPad, I (not really) used
http://line6.com/mobilein/features#studioquality
http://line6.com/mobilein/specs/
http://line6.com/support/manuals/mobilein/

When I played guitar by this 5cm*5cm*1.1cm thingy via the iPad 2
"speaker" the neighbour living above me listend through the ceiling and
liked my guitar playing.

I seriously doubt that any guitarist or concert audience would like
the sound. We could play nice tunes, rocking riffs etc. by even the
crappiest devices and we could play in an ungifted way using the most
pleasant guitar amplifiers as well. The more we a trained, the better we
could cover odd sound and even if we are unable to cover the odd sound,
a nice tune still remains a nice tune, if the sound is bad.

Beginners playing guitar easily could play fast heavy metal solos with
an overdose of overdrive, because unclean playing isn't much
noticeable. There is a similar effect when a good guitarist plays clean
jazz solos by a warm tube amp with a 12" speaker. It doesn't cover
unclean playing, but adds something pleasant to the sound.

Just something that fits the impedance not necessarily provides
an e.guitar sound we like. Len mentions that he at least use a speaker
and a mic, IIUC even when not using a guitar amp. Most important for a
pleasant guitar sound are a guitar pre-amp and a guitar speaker,
usually 12".

An optimized impedance doesn't grant anything, it's important what
follows. Even a good amp and speaker emulation can't be pleasant, if
the input circuit is crap, unsuitable for e.guitar pickups.

The OP noticed that when using a device that doesn't provide the
optimal impedance, it's still possible to get a pleasant guitar sound.
Yes, this is possible, sometimes we have good luck.

In my decades of experiences the impedance is not the only relevant
aspect. It's even not the most important aspect. It's a chain of things
that is important.
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Re: checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

Ralf Mardorf
In reply to this post by Fons Adriaensen-3
My apologies, a last PS:

If I play clean single coil bottleneck (a short metal bottleneck, not a
long bottleneck made of glass) via the mixing console's mic pre-amps,
I'm using a "BOSS Compressor Sustainer CS-3" stomp box. Sustain is very
important for all kinds of guitar playing, not only when using a slowly
played bottleneck with an e.guitar, in a "Ry Cooder Paris, Texas"
style (IIRC it's played on an acoustic resonator guitar, I only
want to describe the style). I would use the same to play tappings
(different, but leant on a Stanley Jordan style). The "BOSS Compressor
Sustainer CS-3" is still useful when playing a good tube guitar amp,
but it isn't that much needed. It's not a simple compressor. It also
does amplify at some level. The chain of guitar sound is very, very
long. Used wood, used guitar design, used cable length, input impedance,
response characteristic of the amp and speaker, used strings ... not
only sustain, but sustain and warmth are much related to this chain.
The saturation of a guitar amp (as well as of old elCheapo consumer
tube gear, not of "good" and expensive old tube gear) is completely
different to other audio gear.

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Re: checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

Tim Goetze
In reply to this post by Wayne DePrince Jr.-3
[Wayne DePrince Jr.]
>however, as i mentioned, some of these interfaces i am also
>testing out (e.g. Edirol FA-66, Zoom U-44) have a Hi-Z button on an input
>which supposedly allows direct inputing of a passive signal.

High-quality DI employs an audio transformer, a relatively large and
heavy item.  It's very unlikely you'll find one in a general-purpose
audio interface built to sell in numbers.

To connect an electric guitar via USB, I'd choose an interface that
supplies phantom power and an active DI box.  Many people seem to be
happy with simpler solutions though.

Cheers, Tim
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Re: checking passive input frequencies on non Hi-Z connection

Dominique Michel-3
In reply to this post by Wayne DePrince Jr.-3
Le Fri, 26 May 2017 21:30:59 -0400,
"Wayne DePrince Jr." <[hidden email]> a écrit :

> ahoy all,
>
> however, as
> i mentioned, some of these interfaces i am also testing out (e.g.
> Edirol FA-66, Zoom U-44) have a Hi-Z button on an input which
> supposedly allows direct inputing of a passive signal.  is this Hi-Z
> button just enabling some internal DI box or preamp?  are there
> drawbacks to using it instead of using an actual DI box, preamp,
> etc?  seems like just another way to match that signal to something
> expected by the input, but again i am still wading my way through all
> this.

It depend how it is done in the hardware. A typical guitar amp input
have an impedance around 1MEG ohms and a very high sensibility (1.2
to 1.5 mV for full output at full volume).

The high sensibility give the ability to saturate all the stages in the
guitar amp, but when using a computer, you will make that saturation in
software. A typical passive guitar microphone can output peaks around 1
volt, some will goes up to 2 volts peak. This imply the input of your
device must not only have an high impedance, but must also be able to
handle such peaks. For the impedance, a typical passive guitar
microphone impedance range between 10 to 15 k ohms, sometime less,
sometime more (higher impedance implies more turns in the microphone's
coil, which imply more signal amplitude). The input stage impedance must
be at least 10 times more than the microphone impedance. As a good
guitar mic is around 15 k ohms or more, the input impedance must be 150
k ohms or more.

Cheers,
Dominique

>
> OK, thanks again for all your advice and help.
>
> peace, w
>
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