Bob Thomas wrote a review of the Audio Sprockets ToneDexter, and I wanted to know if he thought I could get good results on a Dobro that has a Shertler Basik on‑board mic, or if he thinks I'd need to get a piezo pickup. Thank you for any advice.
SOS contributor Bob Thomas replies: In my experience, the ToneDexter [reviewed in SOS September 2019: https://sosm.ag/audio-sprockets-tonedexter] seems to work best with undersaddle and bridgeplate‑mounted soundboard piezo transducers (UST and SBT are the usual designations). That's not to say that the ToneDexter can't produce usable results from other types of contact pickups — it samples (simultaneously) the output of the pickup and the output of the microphone, compares them, and then creates an 'image' of the difference between the two that (in simple terms) it can overlay on the pickup signal to make that pickup sound like the microphone, and in theory you could try using it with any two signals.
The Schertler Basik is a high-quality electrostatic SBT and does have quite a bright character, in my experience. Personally I think that, with a bit of experimentation with the positioning of the microphone, you could well get a decent result with your Basik and the ToneDexter. It's would certainly be worth trying it before you splash out on a piezo pickup.
I've got a 1920's Dobro tenor guitar with a McIntyre Feather Resonator pickup mounted on the cone and that works well with my ToneDexter. However, I've just come across a recording of a Beard Dobro using a Fishman Nashville pickup running into a ToneDexter and that was pretty impressive, so I may well end up changing over to that pickup some time soon!