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AT Pro 35 Clip-on with Zoom A3 combo? Check me on this pls

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May 13, 2022 - 9:40:19 AM
442 posts since 11/28/2012

Hi,
Looking for an alternative (venue dependent) to my JD Aura/Fishman Pickup live rig. Chasing the ever elusive natural dynamics that come with picking thru a mic.

I have an AT Pro 35 clip-on condenser mic, which I’ve used with good results on occasion. It seems fairly feedback resistant in the right setting.

What I’d like (ideally) is a way to mute, boost, tune, and MAYBE to use subtle reverb. I found this box which has both XLR and 1/4” inputs and outputs, boost, mute (via tuner), phantom, eq, feedback kill, and a bunch of other bells and whistles, most of which I probably wouldn’t use. I’m not really interested in the emulation/modeling features, so scratch that as a consideration.

I can pick one up used for $120 ish. It’s the Zoom A3.

zoom.co.jp/products/acoustic/z...ic-guitar

Thinking about routing my clip-on condenser through this box, then to board/PA.

If I get really crazy, I can also run my pickup into the 1/4” inputs. XLR and pickup can be managed separately.

Would anyone care to check my thinking on this?  $120 experiment won't kill me, but wanted to check this forum's collective experience first.  Thanks!

Edited by - JC Dobro on 05/13/2022 09:41:51

May 13, 2022 - 12:21:38 PM

4002 posts since 7/27/2008

No clue regarding this online store - but you can get a new one for 80 bucks. Apparently this unit is going away at Zoom. 

https://www.zrbotique.com/products/effects-zoom-a3-pedal-acoustic-guitar

I've looked into the A3 a few times over the years but have never had one in my hands so I've been reticent to pull  the trigger.  I've been happy with the Fishman Aura setup so I haven't had any burning desire to try one out, though I've been curious as to what the resonator setting sounds like - and have never been able to find a demo related to that. My gut tells me it's sort of an add-on that might not be impressive. The settings heavily emphasize various flattop guitars, a lot of Martins and Gibsons. 

Modeling is different than Aura technology so I don't know what to make of this thing for use with a dobro. The resonator setting could make your guitar sound more like a biscuit bridge National. 

The A3 has been around for ballpark  10 years and I have to wonder if the technology has been dramatically improved in some of Zoom's newer products. Like my circa 2007 Line 6 Floor Pod XT I've used for lap steel and occasionally electric guitar, the newer Line 6 products blow my old one out of the water. 

If I did have a clip-on mic for dobro I would be more inclined to go for the Fishman ToneDEQ, that will give you a lot of sound shaping options -  but they don't come so cheap, even if it is second hand. 

Edited by - MarkinSonoma on 05/13/2022 12:22:41

May 13, 2022 - 2:54:24 PM

442 posts since 11/28/2012

Thanks Mark! It doesn’t look like the ToneDEQ has an XLR input (I know it does have an OUTput…). So using a clip-on condenser mic, I’d need to use a XLR to 1/4” adapter, which I’ve heard is problematic. But I dunno, I don’t have much experience in that area.

The A3 looks appealing due to the XLR/mic input, and the ability to boost, mute, etc. i don’t actually care so much about the resonator modeling feature, although I will likely tinker out of curiosity.

I just ordered the $80 A3…I’ll post up when I’ve tried it out.

Thanks for the link!

May 13, 2022 - 3:22:42 PM

442 posts since 11/28/2012

^^ Looks more than likely that this zrbotique offer is a scam Chinese site, based on the transaction details (or lack thereof). If by chance anyone else is looking to score an A3 here, best to hold off until I see what happens to my $79.99.

Mark did lead with the proper caveat, so this is totally on me…rushed a purchase as I was heading out the door to run an errand…Oh well, we’ll see.

Mean time, additional inputs on the discussion thread appreciated!

May 13, 2022 - 3:55:02 PM

15 posts since 2/20/2016

Hay Jamie,

I am curious why you want an alternative to the Aura pedal?
Is it for venues where you play unplugged?

Do you prefer the mic’d sound?

Thanks,
J

May 13, 2022 - 4:40:25 PM
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442 posts since 11/28/2012

Hey Jonathan, the condenser does a much better job in capturing picking dynamics. I also get some stray noise and pingy stuff with the JD Aura/pup that isn't a factor with the mic. I haven't been able to completely manage that.

Don't get me wrong...the JD Aura will likely continue to be my main amplification choice for most venues.

Just looking to see if i can work in an alternative that gives me a purer experience, and whether that can be an option for certain venues.

May 14, 2022 - 1:26:10 PM

15 posts since 2/20/2016

Looking forward to hearing what you come up with and best wishes on your pursuit!
Thanks.

May 14, 2022 - 7:48:58 PM

442 posts since 11/28/2012

Thanks! I’ll post some sound clips if there is anything valuable to share from this experiment.

May 19, 2022 - 6:54:14 PM

442 posts since 11/28/2012

OK, I did receive a Zoom A3…$120 used from Guitar Center. (I had to file a dispute on the original order from the other site, which was in fact a scam…I did get refunded).

First, running a 1/4” cable from the Fishman Nashville pup through the Zoom A3 on “Resonator” setting does nothing really. It sounds like a straight piezo pickup with a tiny bit of eq shaping. It is useless for that specific function IMO. The JD Aura totally blows it away.

That said, it does exactly what I wanted it to do as far as accepting an XLR input from a clip-on condenser mic, providing phantom power, and allowing for many functions like a boost, a mute (via tuner button), an on-the-fly anti-feedback button, and various digital effects like reverbs, delays, compressors, and a whole slew of other things that can be programmed and easily selected via foot switch. The reverbs are good if taken in small doses.

I could also blend the JD Aura signal and clip-on condenser in this one DI / pre-amp, and send to PA by either XLR or 1/4”. (They have separate gain and wet/dry controls for instrument and mic).

So yeah, I could see possibilities here. Would get me down to 2 pedals…JD Aura, and Zoom A3, and allow for blending mic and JD Aura if desired.

If I cannot manage to get acceptable gain-before-feedback with the clip-on condenser mic, I may use the Zoom A3 instead of my Baggs Para to receive the JD Aura signal alone. At least then I could dump my other dedicated pedals like the tuner, compressor, boost, and delay, and just use the Zoom A3 as an all-in-one. Same benefit here as the various other DI/pre options out on the market.

It will take some experimenting to see where I land with this. All in all, a good secondary option for $120, even with last decade’s technology.

End of my long-winded report…lol.

May 23, 2022 - 10:09:44 AM

442 posts since 11/28/2012

I’ve come to conclusion that I cannot confidently use a clip-on condenser mic in the situations in which our band plays. It’s a 6-person bluegrass assault, with loud monitors, loud PA, and typically loud crowds in enclosed, echoe-y, bar type venues. We’ll have some outdoor gigs, but I don’t want to be messing around with multiple, venue dependent amplification rigs. We are DIY sound.

Further, I did an A/B comparison of my Baggs Para against the Zoom A3, and I’m disappointed to hear undesired coloration with the A3 when using it as a DI box for my JD Aura /Fishman Pup. I hear almost a magnetic pickup type flavor. No like.

So while a worthwhile side experiment, I’m now further convinced JD Aura /Fishman Nashville is the winning combo for me…and the Zoom A3 goes to the “also ran” bin.

Over and out.

Edited by - JC Dobro on 05/23/2022 10:13:52

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