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Thread: Pickup for a '22 Gibson A-2

  1. #1

    Default Pickup for a '22 Gibson A-2

    I'm in love with a 1922 Gibson A-2 that I recently picked up. It's such a sweet playing instrument. I often play in a setting with loud stage volume and I'm wanting to install a pickup. Tried an LR Baggs Radius with external jack mount and wasn't happy. The K&K twin internal is next on my radar.

    Would it be foolish to install an end-pin jack in a vintage instrument like this? I want to make it my #1 players instrument (not a collector), but also don't want to be an idiot.

    I have no idea if this is a special one from a collectors standpoint. Serial # is 11626. It's in great condition and plays so sweet.

    Any advice is much appreciated!

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    Last edited by jason7pierce; Oct-28-2020 at 10:45pm.

  2. #2
    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup for a '22 Gibson A-2

    1992? No.

  3. #3
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup for a '22 Gibson A-2

    I think 11626 is 1912. It's your mandolin, and you can do what you want with it. An endpin jack makes it less collectible, but as you say, you want to play it, rather than keep it in a display case. Be aware that you're impairing its market value to a collector (or a musician sensitive to historical preservation), but you may actually enhance its value as a "player's instrument."
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Pickup for a '22 Gibson A-2

    Thanks. After researching some more I think the 11626 is a FON, not the serial. You can’t tell from the photo but someone had hand painted the letters 1922 on the pick guard. I’ve always assumed it’s a ‘22 and have been looking forward to celebrating its 100 year birthday.
    Last edited by jason7pierce; Oct-28-2020 at 10:51pm.

  5. #5
    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup for a '22 Gibson A-2

    A truss rod and "paddle" peg head would indicate 1922 or 1923.
    If you don't want to enlarge the endpin hole, you could use one of these: http://www.tapastring.com/Vintage_Jack_for_Mandolin.htm
    "it's not in bad taste, if it's funny" - john waters

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    Default Re: Pickup for a '22 Gibson A-2

    +1 on the tapastring. I have been using them for years on instruments I don't want to modify. The only drawback is it takes a special cord, one side is 1/8". I carry a spare so it's not really a problem if the cord goes bad. It is a perfect solution.
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    Default Re: Pickup for a '22 Gibson A-2

    Quote Originally Posted by jason7pierce View Post
    Thanks. After researching some more I think the 11626 is a FON, not the serial. You can’t tell from the photo but someone had hand painted the letters 1922 on the pick guard. I’ve always assumed it’s a ‘22 and have been looking forward to celebrating its 100 year birthday.
    There’s an A-2 with the same FON in Spanns guide with a 1922 date so it looks like you can celebrate away!

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  9. #8
    Still a mandolin fighter Mandophyte's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup for a '22 Gibson A-2

    Quote Originally Posted by jason7pierce View Post
    You canít tell from the photo but someone had hand painted the letters 1922 on the pick guard.
    If you click on the photo and the click again and zoom in, you can clearly see 1922 on the finger board below the neck.
    Last edited by Mandophyte; Oct-29-2020 at 1:52pm. Reason: Minor edit.
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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: Pickup for a '22 Gibson A-2

    I bought a Schertler Dyn M pickup long ago , it attaches when you need it (paid Gig) leave it off when you dont
    n o modifications to instrument no preamp needed ..
    Dyn Uni , Passive version. is probably better, certainly smaller..
    https://www.schertler.com/en_US/musi...al-use/dyn-uni
    That's the current replacement (P48 is their active version, needs phantom power, so less versatile)

    ..Essentially a contact dynamic microphone ..

    I have used an impedance matching transformer & Guitar amps* .. it's a hot signal …

    *a friend used a sm57 mic and one of those transformers to play flute through his guitar amp..

    &Plug the pickup (XLR) into house mixer it has a mic preamp on many channels..

    lots of people go Piezoelectric pickups ; Simpler , cheaper, <very high impedance> then add a Preamp to become less quacky.

    It's an ongoing FAQ, ..

    got gigs when every one is staying home to not get CV19 infected?





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  11. #10

    Default Re: Pickup for a '22 Gibson A-2

    Thanks for the input. I’m going with the Tapastring option. @mandroid, I’m not gigging now (I wish!) but am playing regularly in a streaming event with a band.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Pickup for a '22 Gibson A-2

    You might look into the external pickups from JJB electronics. I’ve read good things about them, and they are very reasonably priced especially compared to K&K. I just ordered this for a gypsy jazz guitar http://jjb-electronics.com/ext-100.html I haven’t received it yet but it will require zero modification to your instrument. I also have a tone dexter preamp that I use on my mandolin with a pickup which really helps create more of a natural mic sound from your pickup.
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  13. #12
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup for a '22 Gibson A-2

    As others have complained because Tapastring is 1/8": like the ear buds on your phone,

    they're weaker than the 1/4",, solution: short pigtail 1/8" right angle plug & 1/4" inline jack , 4" of cable..

    zip tie the cable to your strap as a strain relief .. and the 1/8" should be un stressed..





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  14. #13
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    Default Re: Pickup for a '22 Gibson A-2

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor Daniel View Post
    You might look into the external pickups from JJB electronics. I’ve read good things about them, and they are very reasonably priced especially compared to K&K. I just ordered this for a gypsy jazz guitar http://jjb-electronics.com/ext-100.html I haven’t received it yet but it will require zero modification to your instrument. I also have a tone dexter preamp that I use on my mandolin with a pickup which really helps create more of a natural mic sound from your pickup.
    You can get a K&K external as opposed to internal that won't modify your instrument, but you will have to use a carpenter jack which may leave marks. I find the carpenter jack problematic as well. You could also modify the carpenter jack to just the barrel and zip tie it to your strap, but like I said earlier, I have used the Tapastring for years and lots of gigs without problem. I simple bring it behind my strap first before plugging it in if I think it may get stressed. Since it is only going to the preamp at my feet with a short cord I rarely even do that, and it has been no problem. The 1/8" plug is a switchcraft plug and is good quality.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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