I have a Regal RD40 MS that I bought about three years ago used. Body was in good shape, insides not so much. This one had the "Power Boost" baffle. I removed the baffle, put in sound post, a beard cone, spider and bridge and replaced the tuners with Grover locking units.
I'm playing with a couple of different groups and have been using a Shure Beta 57 into a Fishman Loudbox mini. Overall this has worked pretty well but I'm thinking about putting in an adjustable spider with the fishman underbridge pickups.
This is not an expensive guitar and quite honestly it's only the second I've ever played, I like it and the way it sounds but have nothing to compare it to. Here's my question. Does the overall sound quality of the dobro have a great effect on the output from the pickup to the pedal to the amp. Will I hear a big difference given the signal path between my Regal and say a well setup Gold Tone PBS.
Short answer is "Yes". Also, there's not much benefit (imo) of the pickup/spider without the Aura pedal.
Frankly it makes no sense to me to have the cost of the rig exceed the value of the guitar.
Some guitars come with the Fishman Nashville bridge pickup already installed. If you have one of these, you should get the Aura pedal.
Howard and Willard,
First of all thanks for your quick responses and willingness to share your knowledge. I don't think I explained where I am very well so let me give it a second shot and outline my possibly faulty logic.
My basic thought is to take a relatively inexpensive guitar that I like the sound of and install the Nashville pickup which would go into a JD Aura pedal and then into the Fishman Tonedeq. Final output from the Tonedeq would go to a fishman loudbox mini and or the band PA.
My understanding of the Nashville pickup is that you're taking a direct uncolored feed directly from the bridge and then using the Aura & Tonedeq to modify the sound to you're liking. It seems to me (and this is where my whole idea may breakdown) is that with the Beard cone,spyder and bridge the sound of the actual signal won't be colored as much by the overall quality (expense) of the guitar. I'm sure that there would be a difference but the question is how big of a difference, which in the end is up to the ear of the listener.
My logic at this point is that if I do this it may or may not work but I'm trying to take this one step at the time and the need to amplify and modify the sound is greater to me than the need for the perfect original Dobro sound. Let me add that I play very little bluegrass and a lot of what seems to be dubbed Americana music. In the end I hope to purchase a better instrument (if my skills can justify it) and when I do all of these things could be transferred to the new instrument. Right now I'm perfectly happy with the overall sound, I'd just like to be able to ditch the mic and also gain some additional control in shaping the overall sound for different songs.
Again, thanks to both of you for your thoughts I really appreciate it.
IMO, on any given spider bridged dobro, the Fishman Nashville P/U used with the Jerry Douglas Aura pedal will sound as good or better with more feedback resistance than micing with a 57 or any mic for that matter.
Case in point is the Gretsch G9210 Bobtail with a factory installed Nashville P/U. I've played this guitar both plugged in and unplugged. The acoustic tone unplugged is nothing to write home about, for sure, but plugged in it improves and starts to compare with the real top shelf line up in the tone department.
If you're able to move the P/U to a better guitar in the future, I don't see any reason to not move forward with your plan, other than the small risk involved with inadvertent damage to the unit during the change. And if you're happy with the performance and tone of your current guitar, why not?
There's no doubt in my mind that the "system" will sound different between individual guitars. Playing dozens of equipped guitars has suitably convinced me of this.
Due to differences in construction designs there is no guarantee that the pickup/bridge will be an "optimum" setup when swapped between guitars although the adjustable spider can be a real benefit when adjusting action which on a contemporary build is usually much higher than what you have on the Regal.
In addition to bluegrass I also play (in better times) a lot of Americana and my rig drives a Fishman Loadbox Artist. I like the setup very much.
This humble video may shed some light on the subject.
Thank you for the video addition. This is causing me to think. I have a Meyer’s Feather working on my OMI.
The OP talked about the Aura Pedal attached to a TonedEQ. The video shows 7 devices interconnected. To me, AP+TonedEQ <> 7 devices. To me, they should be combined where AP+TonedEQ+(a reduced set of the 7). This would be dependent on the results of listening and judicious review of each additional line out to the amp.
The power needs of the resultant rig should be what?