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     THE HOLE TRUTH
     ❊ Acoustic Gear In Review ❊

     LORD OF THE STRINGS:
     Dean Markley’s Trilogy
     Pickup system




   TRIPLE PLAY
   Dean Markley Trilogy #3103
   Three-in-One Performance pickup
  By Emile Menasché                                 ments in the process.                              valleys inherent in my Larrivée, which
                                                        The output jack and transducer connect         made the mic ineffective on its own. Still,


  F
        REEDOM OF CHOICE may be an                  with special cables that are hard wired to         when mixed judiciously with the other
        inalienable right, but it can be as         the pickup assembly, which fastens to the          pickups, the mic added depth, warmth and
        much a curse as a blessing. Take            guitar with screw-in-clamps. This setup            dimension to the guitar’s sound. In the
  acoustic guitar pickups: not only does the        makes it easy to remove the pickup                 studio, it will help a D.I. acoustic-guitar
  market offer a mind-boggling abundance of         assembly and move it to another guitar—            recording sound much more natural. In
  models but we are faced with three                provided that it too has the piezo and input       performance situations, the mic is prone to
  varieties—under-the-saddle piezo transducer,      jack installed. Dean Markley recommends            feedback, but set levels carefully and
  magnetic, and guitar mounted micro-               positioning the pickup as high up the              compensate with the EQ as needed, and
  phone—each of which has inherent                  soundhole as possible. Note that in some           you should be fine.
  advantages and disadvantages.                     positions the controls may scrape the wood,
      The good news is that these pickup            so be sure to provide a little clearance.          The Blend
  types, when configured properly, can                  The pickup assembly houses four                    A good blend is the key to the Trilogy’s
  complement one another, with one design           volume controls: one for each pickup, and a        sound. Interestingly, despite the absence of
  compensating for deficiencies in another.         master. The controls are unobtrusive but           an onboard EQ, this is one of the most
  Dual-variety designs have gained popularity       accessible, and they’re tight enough that          versatile pickup systems I’ve heard. Each
  over the years, but the Dean Markley              you won’t turn them accidentally when              pickup emphasizes a different part of the
  Trilogy pushes the envelope by melding            picking near the soundhole.                        guitar’s character, allowing you to play with
  each of these major technologies into one                                                            a full range of techniques and have each
  well integrated system.                             The Pickups                                      shine through by adjusting the mix to meet
                                                            Each of the Trilogy’s pickups has a        your immediate needs. Finding the right
  The Basics                                          distinct sound. The under-the-saddle             combination for a particular instrument and
      The Trilogy consists of an under-the- transducer is among the warmest I’ve                       application can take experimentation, but
  saddle transducer element and a soundhole heard, with a nice, woody quality that                     the results are worth it. I was most
  pickup assembly that houses a                                  doesn’t suffer from the typical       impressed by how natural the guitar
  single-coil magnetic pickup,           KA-CHING! bridge pickup’s strident stringiness.               sounded when I strummed it hard with a
  condenser microphone and                List Price: $499.95        The single-coil magnetic          flat pick, an act that typically reveals an
                                        Dean Markley Strings
  preamp circuitry and controls.                                 pickup sports adjustable pole         acoustic pickup’s inherent weaknesses. The
                                          3350 Scott Blvd. #45
      The Trilogy isn’t difficult to Santa Clara, CA. 95054 pieces and has a clear, bright             Trilogy was equally capable of handling hard
  install, but doing so requires a          1-800-800-1008       sound that balances nicely against    thumb snaps and subtle, fingerpicked lines.
  drill, a steady hand and the              1-408-988-2456       the piezo. On its own, it’s warm
  ability to follow diagram-free www.DeanMarkley.com enough for jazzy solos; when                      The Bottom Line
  instructions. The job is much easier if you’re blended with the piezo and mic, it provides               Blending the best of three popular
  just replacing an existing pickup (as I did on the bulk of the body.                                 acoustic mic technologies, the Dean
  my Larrivée C-03) rather than starting from               The mic’s sound is less straightforward.   Markley Trilogy delivers natural acoustic
  scratch. Be warned, though: you’ll have to Of the three pickups, it will be the most                 tone in a system that is flexible enough for
  reach deep into your guitar and drill a affected by your guitar’s tone and design.                   every musical style. This Trilogy has a nice
  couple of holes, and get correct measure- For instance, it echoed the sonic peaks and                ring to it.

186 GUITAR WORLD                                                                                                             Photograph by LORINDA SULLIVAN

				
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