Fretboard mounted pickup - Advice please

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Fretboard mounted pickup - Advice please

Post by Meadows on Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:44 am

Good day guys, looking to tap into the collective knowledge bank if I may please.

I have this old archtop guitar which has spent most of it's life with me in it's case, mainly due to not having a suitable gig or session to use it on. We are having a clear out at home at present and thought I might let it go to someone who can use it, however it turns out to be a great little player so I thought I might find a way of getting her sound amplified with minimal invasive changes.

My immediate thought was one of those pickups that attach either side of the neck.

My question is if anyone here has any experience of using these and if so, any advice on brands etc. Could an alternative style of pickup also be used?. (bug?)

Neck width at 21st fret is 55-56mm

Also I notice due to the smaller body and maybe the saddle there is a distinct lack of string sustain in the overall sound (when a chord is played open and the sound is left to hang). Could that be improved upon with maybe heavier strings (these look like 10's). 

Don't want to spend a huge amount on the pickup but something reasonable would get it into the pub for a busk.

Many thanks  Smile

Link to images

http://s1016.photobucket.com/user/Meadows61/library/The%20Hawk?sort=3&page=1
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Re: Fretboard mounted pickup - Advice please

Post by Barry on Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:31 am

That's a nice looking guitar!

My first reaction was the same as yours. I would likely go with the "jazz" style neck tray pickup if you plan on a permanent mod, assuming you have the clearance under the pick guard for the controls. It will give the best sound options and it's nice and neat.

The transducer button pickups might be OK for occasional use but it could be tricky finding the sweet spot on an arch top. I don't care much for sticking something on the outside though. There are some nice designs which feature multiple buttons which you stick on the underside of the sound board and connect to an end pin jack. All nicely internal, but nearly impossible to install in an F hole guitar.

'Course if all you want is to make a bit more noise just stick a mic in front of it. Cheap!  Laughing

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Re: Fretboard mounted pickup - Advice please

Post by Adey on Sat Oct 29, 2016 2:27 am

Nice looking old guitar. Looks in good nick too.

What does the sticker under the headstock say?
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Re: Fretboard mounted pickup - Advice please

Post by Meadows on Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:21 am

Thanks guys for your reply's. Adey the yellow label says "Made in W Germany". After alot of searching it would appear "The Hawk" was made by Framus with the Hawk label for marketing. The run was very limited and I know of only two others so far (plenty more I'm sure tucked away though). The string spacing is quite tight for finger plucking E to E is 4.7 cm.

I think as per your first suggestion Barry I will try and find a suitable neck attachment "Jazz" style. Ideally one that will line up with the string spacing (or close enough) and shallow enough to fit in the 14mm gap between the body and string and still get a screw fix into the neck and not the fret board. Could be tight!!

Ideally it would be good to find an older model more befitting the age of the guitar I guess, many thanks
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Re: Fretboard mounted pickup - Advice please

Post by Adey on Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:24 am

There was something very similar on eBay recently, with a Framus pickup attached to it. It seemed to be pretty old and went very quickly outside the auction process.

How old do you think yours is?
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Re: Fretboard mounted pickup - Advice please

Post by Meadows on Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:32 am

Hard to say Adey, 50's or 60's I guess...really well made, intonation bang on, lovely playable neck. I have had it 35 years I reckon, just never took it out of the case. It was a loft find originally. It's got a great blues and jazz tone which I reckon amplified with a slight break up could sound really good, certainly for a jam session.
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Re: Fretboard mounted pickup - Advice please

Post by Westbone on Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:07 am

Meadows wrote:
I think as per your first suggestion Barry I will try and find a suitable neck attachment "Jazz" style. Ideally one that will line up with the string spacing (or close enough) and shallow enough to fit in the 14mm gap between the body and string and still get a screw fix into the neck and not the fret board. Could be tight!!

These will fit and pretty cheap.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Artec-neck-closed-jazz-guitar-Pickup-7-5k-P56-/140673514150?var=&hash=item20c0cb7aa6:m:mA5QVwQdACTK3PvlZ0o8-PQ

Or a step up
http://www.wdmusic.com/HJGN3.html


By the way compliments to 'The Singing Beekeeper'+the bees,  mmmm yum! floral.
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Re: Fretboard mounted pickup - Advice please

Post by Meadows on Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:43 am

Thanks Damian

The Artec looks like it will do the job very nicely as a starter thanks and still have 5mm to play with on the depth (ish)....just want a reasonable signal, hopefully not too micro-phonic that I can drive a small amp with.
Ideally I only want to make any holes once so might just hang for a tad and see if an older style example pops up somewhere, in no rush I guess (35 years) but reassured this design is the probably the right track to follow.

Regarding the bee's, we have a new batch if you would like some more sending down, be our pleasure  Smile
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Re: Fretboard mounted pickup - Advice please

Post by Meadows on Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:18 am

Just as a complete aside as the clear out continues (didn't know where else to put it) but having dragged a few more guitar cases down off the top of the wardrobes I have just come across an old classical guitar, complete with hard case I last played about twenty years ago. 

Always remember it having a fantastic mellow tone but was never into brands or such back then. And why shouldn't I have been surprised to see it was an MIJ model branded as a Sakura TG30... (still in pitch) probably worth nothing but the quality is excellent.....they certainly seemed to produce some excellent guitars back then (although not all, for sure)....... Pacing & Thinking
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Re: Fretboard mounted pickup - Advice please

Post by Adey on Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:40 am

I had a Sakura SG copy from the 70's a while ago. A great little guitar. Worth way more than I paid for it (or sold it for later on)
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