Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:15 am
Location: Virginia


Post by Ceciltguitar » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:59 am

Has anyone here tried ToneDexter (TD) yet?

ToneDexter is a pre-amp and DI that tries to reproduce as close to true acoustic sound by allowing the user to create "wave maps" using a microphone while simultaneously plugging in the UST or SBT that the guitar has. What the TD attempts to do is to analyze the difference between the sound created by the UST or SBT and the sound of a mic'd instrument. The TD user can then save the resulting wave map. Then, when the instrumentalist plugs in their UST / SBT equipped instrument to an amplifier or sound system via the TD, the TD uses the wave map to try to faithfully reproduce the sound of the instrument using only a microphone, minus the feedback that typically accompanies mic'd instruments. IMHO, the TD does a pretty good job. Many of the guitarists on the Acoustic Guitar Forum believe that the TD is a game changer. I agree. YMMV. I ordered a TD in early December, and received an immediate email that the TDs were on back order. FWIW, I have NO financial interest in the company, I paid for my TD, I am not in any way a representative of the company or the product. So far, I am a happy customer, and this thread is to share my experience.

I received my ToneDexter last week and finally had some time to dedicate to making wave maps on New Years Day.

I knew that my son had a good microphone, and I kept asking him if I could borrow it. Then he gave it to me for Christmas.(What's mine is his, what's his is mine.....) The microphone is an AKG something-or-other. It says "perception 400" on the mic. For all training / wave map creation with the TD I placed the mic about 6 - 8 inches from the sound hole, pointed at the sound hole.

After creating a couple of wave maps for my wife's steel string guitars I moved on to trying the TD with my nylon string guitars:

First up was my Cordoba GK Pro. I found faithful reproduction of the unplugged sound of the GK Pro using the TD wave map.

Ditto my Emerald X-10 custom nylon string guitar - faithful reproduction of the unplugged sound using the TD wave map.

I wanted to make a wave map of my 1982 Khono Sakurai, and I was very disappointed that the old early 1990s L.R. Baggs dual source pickup system installed in the Sakurai has apparently given up the ghost. This guitar was a gig workhorse for me through the 90s, but I don't remember when I last tried to plug it in. Yes, I did replace the battery first, but still nothing. I am ordering a Fishman SBT just because I want to get a TD wave map of this guitar.

Finally, I plugged in my late 90s Takamine Santa Fe nylon string guitar. For the nylon string guitars, I was the happiest with this wave map.

Next I tried making a wave map with the Takamine using the Shure SM58 Beta microphone that my wife, Rose, uses to sing through at our gigs. The sound volume of the resulting wave map was greatly reduced compared to the wave map created using the AKG mic, and IMHO the sound quality of the wave map using the SM58 was not as good as the wave map using the AKG mic.

The second reason that I bought the TD, and what I will probably use it for, was to try to get a more genuine classical guitar sound out of my 1999 Parker Spanish Fly. The Parker Spanish Fly is a hardbody electric nylon string guitar that came equipped with a (in my opinion ) lousy Fishman UST. The Fly now has custom RMC pickups in it, which is a huge improvement in the sound over the Fishman UST that came with the guitar. But there is still piezo quack even with the RMC pickups, and it does NOT sound anything to me like a classical guitar. I am happy enough with the sound of the Parker Fly using the TD Takamine wave map that now I want to make wave maps using the best classical guitar with a UST or SBT that I can find! For me, right now, that is my Sakurai. But maybe I can persuade someone to let me borrow their Damann and put an SBT on it just long enough to make a good TD wave map...........yeah,....right.......

Anyway, I have not gigged with the TD yet and I am just in the preliminary beginning stage of getting to know this device. My initial impression of the TD is that it is a very powerful break-through addition to the armamentarium available to instrumentalists in terms of seeking closer-to-true-reproduction of genuine acoustic sound.

That's my preliminary "report from the field" from an old ex-weekend warrior with absolutely NO sound engineering credentials. YMMV.

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