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Thread: Add pick-up and strap to old Gibson C-1

  1. #1

    Default Add pick-up and strap to old Gibson C-1

    I have an old Gibson C-1, used to be my great grandfather's, that I'd like to be able to have a neck strap and add a pick-up to. Any recommendations? I'd like to be able to do this on a budget (say $150 total if possible), and I'm assuming there are ways to do it without any permanent modifications to the instrument. I'm not looking for anything fancy, just a way to plug it into a sound system and not have to balance it on my knee.

    And if the recommendation is to leave it alone, that's ok, too. Thanks!

    Edit: It's an A-Style, oval-sound hole.

  2. #2
    Registered User DoubleE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Add pick-up and strap to old Gibson C-1

    My recommendation is to leave it alone. You have a nice little piece of history and I think you should let it be. Just my opinion though. Would you mind posting a picture?

  3. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Add pick-up and strap to old Gibson C-1

    Look at this thread regarding the strap. You don't have to modify anything to add a strap unless you want to. I made both of those straps with rudimentary tools. You could just also use a leather boot lace. You're not talking big money here.

    There are also pickup options that don't require drilling. I'd just mic it myself.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Add pick-up and strap to old Gibson C-1

    If you don't want to mic the mandolin, there are stick-on piezo pickups that don't involve drilling into it. Here's a Schatten for $140, though you may find you'd like to add an additional pre-amp.

    As for the strap, a thin leather lace knotted around the end-pin and around the headstock next to the nut will work fine.
    Allen Hopkins
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  5. #5
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Add pick-up and strap to old Gibson C-1

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    If you don't want to mic the mandolin, there are stick-on piezo pickups that don't involve drilling into it. Here's a Schatten for $140, though you may find you'd like to add an additional pre-amp.

    As for the strap, a thin leather lace knotted around the end-pin and around the headstock next to the nut will work fine.
    There's no end pin on that mandolin. It can be attached to the slot on the Waverly tailpiece.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  7. #6
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Add pick-up and strap to old Gibson C-1

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    There's no end pin on that mandolin. It can be attached to the slot on the Waverly tailpiece.
    Thanx for the correction. I wasn't sure, Googled some C-1 pix, and saw what looked like an end pin in one of the shots..

    Could have been an aftermarket installation, or maybe, since the pic was a frontal shot, it was reflection off the tailpiece.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  8. #7

    Default Re: Add pick-up and strap to old Gibson C-1

    As requested:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    There's a small gallery on the reddit page here (they helped me identify the model):
    https://www.reddit.com/r/mandolin/co..._1900s_gibson/

    Since I actually play it, I replaced the tuning pegs (I kept the originals, but they were too stiff for use) and had it refretted. I think with a little creativity I should be able to adapt a strap to it. Most of the pick-ups I see are stick-on, but thank you for the recommendation, that will help narrow it down. Thanks!

  9. #8
    Registered User dustyamps's Avatar
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    Default Re: Add pick-up and strap to old Gibson C-1

    Joe Spann has FON 142 listed in his book as C1's from 1931. Yours looks to be in good condition so I'd hate to see you modify it. The C1 on the right also has FON 142.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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