The folks at K&K Sound have done it again!
by Maury Rutch
I discovered the K&K Pure Western pickup a few years ago from some very good advice on the Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum. This pickup made such an impression on me as a player, that we decided to become a dealer immediately. Over the past 2 years I've been genuinely excited to tell our customers about this great pickup system, and when they asked for a compatible preamp I would always suggest the K&K Pure Preamp except when they wanted feedback control. The Pure Preamp had volume, gain & 3-band EQ - but no anti-feedback circuitry. Alas, the trade-off was to give up the killer tone of the K&K Preamp (it's designed to specifically match the impedance of the K&K pickups) in order to achieve feedback suppression. Well those days are over!
K&K is proud to introduce the K&K Pure XLR Preamp! This unit sounds exactly the same as the original belt-clip Pure Preamp (and that's a good thing) with two very important upgrades: a balanced XLR output, and a phase switch. Now everyone can enjoy the full, robust tone of his or her guitar in every situation. Taking your K&K equipped Martin to an open mic? Now you can tell the soundman you have your own direct box. No more need to inject your K&K pickup into a Fishman or LR Baggs DI . Those boxes are great for those brands of pickups, but there's an impedance mismatch when running a K&K pickup through them, and it's impossible to get the transparent K&K tone (In all fairness, the K&K pre doesn't work well with Fishman & Baggs pickups either). I know - I've tried many times, at gigs and here at the store. The other boxes muddy up the signal and impart a strange EQ curve and gain stage, giving everything a fuzzy tone. The K&K Pure XLR Preamp matches up perfectly with the K&K Pure Western, and the result is microphone-like clarity, with tons of headroom and the most natural sound you can get.
Now the truth is, not everyone with a K&K Pure Western needs a preamp. If your guitar cable is less than 12' in length, you'll likely be in great shape without one (one of the reasons that pickup is so popular). But if you want EQ at your feet, and you need some extra gain, this box is awesome. If you need a DI to plug into the snake on stage - this is the best connection you can get. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, if you've ever wished you could reverse the phase to help control feedback - your ship has come in!
I've used this K&K Pure XLR Preamp at a few gigs already, and I'm blown away at how thick and wooden my tone has been ... with little or no fuss. My acoustic trio performs in places varying from concert halls to small restaurants. Depending on where we're at (and the way the room sounds) I've been able to dial out some low-end rumble, add in some treble, and at one gig I didn't need to tweak the EQ at all ... but I did flip the phase back & forth every night, to make sure I was hearing the fattest tone possible. Thank you again K&K - what will you think of next? :)