Hi folks, I recently installed a Fishman Presys Blend 301 pickup system in my old mid-90's Ibanez AW100 acoustic (ebay old stock pickup set). This model has a Sonocore piezo pickup with an integrated body mic that you can choose or blend with a mix knob. While the piezo sounds decent enough, I was really not impressed with the integrated condenser (?) mic, which was very feedback prone and very muddy sounding.
The Fishman setup replaced a passive Shadow Electronics magnetic humbucker soundhole pickup. I couldn't find any model markings, but it might be a Shadow 43 Buckaroo model based on my research. Unfortunately, the only examples I can find online don't have the integrated volume and tone knob that mine has (here's a similar linked pic...sorry, TinyURL appears to be down currently): images.reverb.com/image/upload/s--JExdRprw--/a_exif,c_limit,e_unsharp_mask:80,f_auto,fl_progressive,g_south,h_620,q_90,w_620/v1485974515/xfgcrxu7wnnrjbdfrbff.jpg).
I was toying around with the idea of replacing the mic input with the Shadow or another magnetic soundhole pickup. The Shadow actually had kind of a nice jazzy hollowbody guitar sound, almost ES335-ish, but I needed more of an acoustic sound for our acoustic classic rock trio so had tried the piezo with the integrated mic. I'm thinking now that the piezo will do for the acoustic sound and, if I can get it to work, the mag humbucker could be a nice additional sound option for soloing.
So...has anyone tried replacing the mic on one of these Fishman models, or possibly tried integrating a passive humbucker in place of the built-in mic? I've seen the blender module on the site here that many discussions point to, but the Fishman already has a blender, I'm mainly wondering how best to integrate the mag pickup signal into the Fishman's wiring for its integrated mic.
I don't know anything specifically about this Fishman unit, but I doubt that you could easily integrate a passive mag pickup. Somewhere in the guts of this, there's some non-passive electronics, I'm guessing, since a piezo will generally need a bit of preamping, and impedance matching, before you can get an output usable into a guitar amp. The condenser mic probably feeds to the same circuit. If you just wire a mag pickup into it, there's likely going to be a mismatch of input impedance.
First off, how and where is the condensor mic mounted? Those things are sensitive to positioning, have you tried varying the placement to see if that improves it?
Rather than try to integrate the two systems, you might consider a solution to switch between the two outputs. Does this guitar use an endpin jack? If so, you may be able to find a stereo (TRS) endpin jack (Not sure, never looked or one). This could then be wired such that inserting a mono guitar cable gets you the mag output, inserting a stereo cable gets you both outputs (which could then be split to separate amps), or inserting a stereo cable with the tip disconnected gets you the piezo alone (If you don't want to sacrifice a stereo cable, some non-conductive tape wrapped around the tip would probably work as well- never tried it, but why not?).
Or perhaps a micro toggle switch could be steathily located somewhere, perhaps even in the cable plug's housing.
But, if you're dead set on trying to get this all integrated, it may be doable. At the minimum, we would need to see a schematic of the electronics in this unit.