diagnosing failing(?) Fishman electronics on MK Dragonfly?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by doublehorn, Feb 7, 2014.


  1. doublehorn

    doublehorn

    Feb 7, 2014
    Rossland, BC
    OK, so I have this 2009 Michael Kelly Dragonfly fretless 5-string that I've recently just started playing amplified in front of audiences. Most of the time, this works nicely and the sound is lovely, warm and woody, just like the unamplified sound. So far so good.

    From time to time, the electronics cut out entirely, drop in volume or ramp up in volume and start feeding back, it's fairly unpredictable. So far, I've tried:
    1. several new batteries in the pre-amp
    2. several new patch cables
    3. several mixing boards
    4. several amps
    5. several rooms
    trying to isolate the problem, which appears to be something in the guitar electronics - this set of problems persists across changes in all the other factors listed above.

    Electrified instruments are a newish thing in my stable of instruments, so I'm sure how to go about diagnosing these electronic gremlins. Or if it's even worth the effort if the factory Fishman electronics are just cheap, throwaway components to begin with, which some forum postings seem to suggest is the case.

    Any suggestions, I'm all ears - dh.
     
  2. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    Look to see if any of the connections on the pots are very near the sides or bottom of the cavity. Sometimes, just needs a plastic washer to isolate a pot from the cavity at the thru-hole.
     
  3. doublehorn

    doublehorn

    Feb 7, 2014
    Rossland, BC
    Very good, thanks for your reply JFS. I'm guessing by 'pots', you mean the level controls on the preamp, which are sometimes round (?). The level controls on the Fishman MK preamp are little sliders [see image]

    [​IMG]

    instead of being round, so I'm not sure how I might isolate the slider from the surface underneath. Does that even make any sense?
     
  4. doublehorn

    doublehorn

    Feb 7, 2014
    Rossland, BC
  5. doublehorn

    doublehorn

    Feb 7, 2014
    Rossland, BC
    Right, so just to wrap up this thread. I eventually gave up on the cheap and nasty 9v Fishman on board preamp that came with the Kelly, removed it entirely from the bout. I did keep the factory Fishman under saddle transducer, but ended up soldering its leads to the stereo jack that came attached to a new K&K Pure Bass bridge plate pickup system, which I installed under the bridge plate. So now both the Fishman and the K&K share a stereo female instrument jack. Using a TRS to dual mono instrument cable, I then blend these signals through a 10Mo Tonebone 2 channel preamp and it sounds amazing. So much more reliable and stable than the factory 9v on board preamp. This system never, ever feeds back, and it sounds like 'warm caramel', according to an onlooker from a few shows ago.