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Akustik Gitarre 01/1998

From the Article: Short test

By Peter Finger, Akustik Gitarre #1/98

"I have probably never played such a good and naturally sounding individual pickup"

EMF B-BAND

I admit that I was somewhat skeptical. Another new pickup system. Again a pickup under the bridge insert. And several months before I had already tried to install this pickup by the Finnish firm EMF into my guitar after a tour in Finland - but had to give up the experiment at some point since I couldn't quite manage to balance the strings in a somewhat even way, despite hours of trying. And now, as a second attempt, I got a test instrument with the completely installed B-Band Pickup to try out. So, I unpacked it and first took a very critical look at everything. Then plugged it in, played it, and ... to my astonishment: all the strings were equally loud (I will never again try to install a pickup myself)! The optimal balance between the strings should naturally always be a precondition for a good pickup system.

Then came the practical test. After the first check, I believe I could say that I have probably never played such a good and naturally sounding individual pickup. There are certain to be some systems in which the combination of the pickup and a mike achieve similar sound qualities. However, the B-Band is "just" a pickup combined with a preamp that has sound control. Instead of a piezo system, this is based more on the electret technique. This means that many wafer-thin pretreated plastic strips are glued together - creating such a flat pickup that the bridge doesn't need to be sandpapered (I must warn against installing it yourself - it's better to take it to a guitar-maker!).

With the optionally available preamp, the sound enhancer "New Frontier", which is mounted in the side, the volume, bass, and treble can be adjusted. A pickup naturally is and remains exactly that - it has a characteristic sound, particular when installed into the bridge. This is noticeable in the somewhat harder attack. In the process, the bulk of the energy is directed to the bridge and the pickup reacts with particular sensitivity to the attack since it ultimately gets to feel the entire energy before it distributes on the soundboard.

I would also wish for an additional mike for the B-Band system (which naturally makes the whole thing less reasonably priced). And EMF is currently looking for an optimal supplementary mike. The EMF B-Band Pickup - even now very much worth recommending as purely a pickup - could set new standards with the new mike combination and immediately catapult itself into the upper class of pickup systems for acoustic guitars. The systems can be purchased individually and most recently are available in Germany through the A.M.I. distribution firm (Martin Guitars). The recommended sales price is about DM 398.

Peter Finger

© Copyright 1998 Peter Finger / Akustik Gitarre