STEREO VS. MONO
How to Choose the Amulet That′s Right for You!
One of the questions we get asked most frequently is what the difference is between our Amulet M mono and the original Amulet stereo systems, what are the advantages of each, and which would be the best system for them. Hopefully this article can point out the differences between the two, and maybe show some uses for stereo you haven't thought of!
Sometimes people assume that because they don't have a stereo amplifier system, our Amulet stereo system would never be of use to them, or that it would be too complicated to easily use. Not true! Now, if you do have a stereo amplification system, using our Amulet stereo system is a revelation. In the stereo mode you certainly don't have to pan the pickups hard left and right (and while this sounds great for certain extreme panning effects this isn't how you would typically use it); just panning them apart a small amount from each other will provide a wonderful separation and depth that you've never heard before. Using small pan amounts (typically panning to the ten and two o′clock positions or less) ensures that everyone in the audience will get a useful stereo mix of the guitar. Nobody gets too much of just one side or the other of your sound; what is heard instead is an increased depth and separation of the instrument that simply can′t be duplicated any other way.
Even though the stereo perspective of the stereo system is an excellent feature on its own, the most important thing the original Amulet system provides you with is control. The control that our stereo system gives you is just as useful through a typical mono system such as a typical acoustic amplifier or mixer and mono amp and speaker, as it would be through an actual stereo amplification system. And the Amulet′s built-in mono output allows you to easily use the system through any typical mono amplification system.
With the Amulet stereo system, each Acoustic Lens transducer has its own independent preamp, channel and output. Plugging each of these outputs into a channel on a mixer or acoustic amp allows you completely independent control over each pickup and its sound.This allows you to not only pan each pickup separately (if you have a stereo sound system), but also to control its EQ and any effects that you might want to apply to it (for stereo OR standard mono systems).
This is a very powerful concept.
For example, you could EQ the bass side transducer separately from the treble side transducer, adding more low-end "punch" to the bass transducer and more upper end "air" to the treble side transducer. An important (and exclusive) advantage here is that any EQ changes made to one transducer will not affect the other, giving you much more control of your overall sound.
With the stereo Amulet system, having each pickup plugged into a separate channel of your mixer or acoustic amplifier allows you to change the volume balance between them on the fly while you perform. Simply being able to adjust them separately also allows you to change the balance in the actual tone of your instrument without using any EQ whatsoever. Is there a tune in your set where you'd like the low strings to push harder, or the trebles to ring out louder when necessary? With this type of control at your fingertips, you can easily accomplish this and much more, without adding any noise or distortion from EQ. You can read more about the pros and cons of EQ HERE .
As for effects, you can do things like add chorus to just the bass side transducer, while leaving the treble transducer dry (or vice versa). This creates a much clearer and more natural sounding effect for your instrument. Adding reverb to just one transducer achieves similar acoustic benefits. Adventurous users could even add different effects to each transducer, i.e.: adding a subtle octave up to the bass transducer while chorusing (or detuning several cents via pitch shifter) the treble transducer can create the (fairly passable) illusion of turning your 6 string into a 12 string guitar. The possibilities here are limited only by your imagination! Using a small mixer with channel inserts and effects sends will allow for more control over your sound, and a much lower noise floor overall. This translates into a clearer, more direct sound with less hiss, hum and noise that you and your audience will appreciate.
The Amulet stereo system has an internal preamp inside the instrument that is powered through the cable of the system from the external controller providing audiophile performance with no batteries inside the guitar. Two 9 volt batteries reside in the external controller, where they can be easily changed, and a battery check light will let you know when it's time to change them. The system can also be powered from a provided AC adapter. For those of you who use a rack system or pedalboard, you can use this adapter to power the Amulet and completely eliminate the need to change batteries. The controller module can be easily fastened with Velcro™ to a rack shelf or standard pedalboard for a more organized and ready-to-go setup.
The internal preamp for the stereo system has internal gain trimmers for each channel. This allows you to set the initial balance between the two transducers, a handy feature if you intend to use just the mono output of the system. These gain trimmers also allow you to easily trim the volume between multiple guitars, so as you switch between instruments you can be assured that each one will be preset to the volume level that you choose.
The Amulet stereo system uses a provided high quality Mogami™ cable to make the connection between the guitar and the external controller. Unlike a standard guitar cable, the specially made cable allows the external controller to power the preamp inside the guitar as well as provide the signal from the preamp out to your rig. The connectors are the same locking type used in professional miniaturized audio equipment and can even be plugged together to provide any desired cable length with no decrease in sound quality. The whole system can fit in the storage compartment of any standard guitar case for complete portability, and provides absolute top tier performance with no more difficulty or components than other pickup systems that rely on an external preamp to perform properly. And the internally located preamp provides a marked improvement in sound quality and hum and noise rejection versus systems with external preamps. For more information on the advantages of internal preamps (that are in both our stereo and mono systems), go HERE.
If the Amulet Stereo system is the ultimate in control and flexibility,
our new mono Amulet M system is the ultimate in simplicity. It uses a standard endpin jack and can be connected with a standard mono guitar cable. The internal electronics provide the same high-quality performance as the stereo system. Each pick up has its own independent preamp (like the stereo system) and the outputs are summed together to mono. The Channel A transducer input has a trim control that allows you to adjust the balance between the two Acoustic Lens transducers. Since the preamp is located on the endpin inside the guitar, this is generally a set-and-forget type of control, although the trimmer is accessible without removing the endpin using a long handle screwdriver through the soundhole if further adjustments are desired. A single 9 Volt battery is mounted securely inside the guitar and provides an extremely long battery life and easy access for battery changes. You can also add a convenient soundhole-mounted volume (or volume and tone) control and low battery indicator LED, which alerts you when it's time to change the battery (with plenty of time to spare before your sound is adversely affected in any way). The featherweight system features an invisible installation with no special cables, no external hardware, and simply great sound.
So! The choice is yours. Stereo or mono, our Amulet systems give you the tools to create amazing sound your way!