K&K Pure Mini Installation/ Review

CirrusCirrus Frets: 4238
Last month I started doing open-mic nights, but had to borrow a mate's acoustic to perform, due to the lack of pickup in my GS-mini.

So, after a bit of research I decided to eschew the ES-GO even though the mount for it came pre-installed in the guitar - it got mixed reviews at best, and I knew from my old singer using a soundhole mounted magnetic pickup in his acoustic that I might not like the sound very much anyway.

So, settled on the K&K Pure Mini, which had the advantage of simplicity on its side - no worries about battery changes, no drilling, and also anything more expensive seemed a bit daft on a guitar that was £450 new.



Installation was pretty easy really, but it felt a bit high stakes as I maneuvered each of the 3 transducers in, laden with glue - you get three chances to mess it up!

Strung the guitar back up, and was pretty relieved when it worked. I'm really happy with the sound. One of the potential criticisms of the K&K is that it has lots of bass, and that's certainly true, but I think in the smaller guitar it's really well balanced and that extra low end gives it some much needed depth. Volume across the strings is good, there's a nice clarity to the pick attack without that naked, plinky/ spiky sound that some acoustic pickups give you. Plenty of output, too. I've used it direct into my computer, into my Line 6 Helix, and into a random acoustic amp at the open mic I did this week.

This is direct into my soundcard, no processing;

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtJ-YZTmXs48llbXpbovgS0ED6bm

You can hear that the low-mids are a little prominent, I found if I took down about 2dB around 450hz with a relatively wide filter it balanced them out. But that's well within the variables of whatever system I'd plug into, so I don't consider that a problem. And (whispers)... I quite like those body resonances on acoustic, though I know it's in vogue to scoop the mids right out of acoustic sounds.

I've heard this system is more prone to feedback than one that incorporates an under-saddle piezo or magnetic pickup style, but, in conjunction with a feedback stopper in the soundhole, I've not run into trouble yet.

So... in conclusion, very happy with the K&K, and I'd recommend it for anyone wanting a simple plug-and-play solution for amplifying their acoustic.
Captain Horizon (my old band);
Very (!) Occasional Blog
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Comments

  • Great review bud, they are really good pickups and mine has served me very well in the year or so that I've had it. TPS did a great couple of videos about getting good sounds out of an acoustic and they had a guitar with a K&K in it, and though they said it needed some good eq'ing, it certainly sounded very good once they had.

    I've just picked up an LR Baggs anthem and so will be moving the K&K on, but for the price they cost they are head and shoulders above a lot of pickups

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 36907
    I'd always far rather a pickup with too much bass than one with too little - it's much easier to remove excess bass than it is to add more to a sound which doesn't have enough without causing feedback issues.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson
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  • preston61 said:

    Great review bud, they are really good pickups and mine has served me very well in the year or so that I've had it. TPS did a great couple of videos about getting good sounds out of an acoustic and they had a guitar with a K&K in it, and though they said it needed some good eq'ing, it certainly sounded very good once they had.

    I've just picked up an LR Baggs anthem and so will be moving the K&K on, but for the price they cost they are head and shoulders above a lot of pickups

    I'd like to know what you think of the anthem as I'm thinking about getting one as well? Are you fitting it or getting a tech to do it? 
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  • Nice review.  I've installed a few of these Pure Mini pickups over the last year.  The sound never fails to impress and they come at a great price too.
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  • GTCGTC Frets: 7
    Good review. I've recently put one of these in my handmade BSG A-Pro lefty and it works very well. It gives a really good, even acoustic sound and I really like the simlpicity

    If I was doing it again I'd be tempted to make my own installation template to accommodate all three transducers so they could all be positioned and installed simultaneously. 
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  • GTCGTC Frets: 7
    GTC said:
    Good review. I've recently put one of these in my handmade BSG A-Pro lefty and it works very well. It gives a really good, even acoustic sound and I really like the simlpicity

    If I was doing it again I'd be tempted to make my own installation template to accommodate all three transducers so they could all be positioned and installed simultaneously. 
    I was down at the Brook workshop in Devon today. Regarding my idea positioning and installing all three transducers simultaneously - Andy said been there, done that, better to do it one-by-one 
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  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 4238
    edited January 29
    I wonder if doing all 3 at once would make it harder to push each one firmly against the surface it's being stuck to, in the case of the underside of the bridge having an uneven surface?


    Incidentally, still very happy with this pickup, which I've used at several open mics now, and last week plugged it straight into my L6 Helix to do some looping stuff.
    Captain Horizon (my old band);
    Very (!) Occasional Blog
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  • SnagsSnags Frets: 1294
    Does it work fine without any additional out-board pre-amp?

    I wasn't aware of these gizmos when I got my Furch, and whilst I like the sounds and features on the Fishman Matrix Blend I had fitted, changing the battery is a complete PITA if it starts to die at a point where you're not going to do a full string change too. Having found out about the K&K mini I'm seriously considering going that route if I get another pure acoustic, as I'll always need to plug-in, and the idea of no on-board battery is very appealing, even if it means an off-board preamp/EQ pedal.
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  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 4238
    Yeah, I've had no problem plugging it into mixing desks, interface DIs & Helix guitar in. Yes, it needs a little gain but the sound is fine and it actually says in the manual there's no need for a very high impedance input like there is with a piezo - iirc it says 500k is fine.
    Captain Horizon (my old band);
    Very (!) Occasional Blog
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  • SnagsSnags Frets: 1294
    Really wishing I'd had one of those in the Furch :)
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  • LewyLewy Frets: 837
    edited January 31
    Cirrus said:
     it actually says in the manual there's no need for a very high impedance input like there is with a piezo - iirc it says 500k is fine.
    Preferable actually, otherwise you can end up with excessive bass which isn’t always easy to dial out. 9/10 when people complain their K&Ks sound muddy or are feedback prone, they haven’t paid attention to this. 
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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 1340
    I've got a couple of guitars with K&Ks. They work well with PAs and acoustic amps just plugged in, but not so good straight in to my PreSonus iTwo audio interface. Sounded very lifeless. I picked up a cheap, 2nd hand K&K preamp XLR from eBay and that is much better. Just a possible a DI box would have been as good, too. 
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