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Thread: A little pickup advice?

  1. #1
    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default A little pickup advice?

    I came into an old Kay mandolin that has almost no acoustic tone, and I'd like to convert it into a 4 string hollow body electric. I'm looking at magnetic pickup options that will fit the 1/2" gap between the top and the strings. I contacted Pete at Almuse about their Retro 4 pickup, and he thinks that the pickup wouldn't work because, even fully extended, the gap between the pickup and the strings would be 1/4".
    Looking at the technical drawings on the Almuse site, it seems like it would work, but I imagine that Pete knows more about this than I do.
    So I'm looking for a pickup that would work for this without breaking the bank. Any suggestions? Thanks.Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: A little pickup advice?

    I thought this was going to be a dating thread
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    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default Re: A little pickup advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobP View Post
    I thought this was going to be a dating thread
    I'm afraid that you'll have to check one of the b*njo forums for that...
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    Registered User BoxCarJoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: A little pickup advice?

    Have you considered a surface mount pickup?

    I have the wickedbucker and it sounds great.

    https://www.cbgitty.com/guitar-instr...BoCQAYQAvD_BwE

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    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default Re: A little pickup advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxCarJoe View Post
    Have you considered a surface mount pickup?

    I have the wickedbucker and it sounds great.
    I looked at that, but I don't know if it's tall enough to be the correct distance from the strings. How much clearance is there on your setup?
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    Registered User BoxCarJoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: A little pickup advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Rosett View Post
    I looked at that, but I don't know if it's tall enough to be the correct distance from the strings. How much clearance is there on your setup?
    I'm measuring 1/4".
    I mounted the pickup in a really unscientific way BTW (and with foam tape).
    It turned a poor sounding instrument into something great.

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  10. #7
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: A little pickup advice?

    Or consider cutting a hole ?, I got a (colorado?) luthier built Magnetic 4 pole pickup fitted .. the fender strat style , ( by seymour duncan?)

    & it fit between the braces on a Gibson A50. Its a CGDA 4 string conversion ..

    the hole is precisely made to fit the pickup into..

    I think the Pots were fit inside thru the ff holes , but you could use some under the edge of a pick guard..




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  11. #8

    Default Re: A little pickup advice?

    When I electrified mine I went with a Lace resonator single-coil mounted on a floating fingerrest with a couple piezos mounted under the soundboard. Each pickup has it's own volume control and the 3-way toggle switches between piezo / both / Lace. I get the best tone with a blend of the 2. The only cutting done was for the jack. The pickup and all controls attach to the fingerrest that attaches to the side of the neck by a couple of screws. The piezos are mounted inside with glue and can't be seen.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #9
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: A little pickup advice?

    You use a TRS/stereo Jack to separate the Magnetic & Piezo pickups into their own channels to process separately?

    An approach like that would make sense to me..

    or 2 outputs, 1 the rim jack & 1 end-button jack.?

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  13. #10

    Default Re: A little pickup advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    You use a TRS/stereo Jack to separate the Magnetic & Piezo pickups into their own channels to process separately?

    An approach like that would make sense to me..

    or 2 outputs, 1 the rim jack & 1 end-button jack.?

    It's wired to a TRS output jack.

    When Piezo is selected on the 3-way it's obviously just that pickup solo.

    When Both pickups are selected (middle position) they are mixed in parallel (not series).

    When the Lace is selected it goes to Tip and the Piezo goes to Ring so they come out separate channels. I have a custom cable which splits into 2 TS guitar jacks - one for each channel - so each can be treated separately.

    I find this is the most flexible as it allows me to just plug and go without fuss (as required in most real-world situations) or separate signals when the occasion calls for it.
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  14. #11
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: A little pickup advice?

    As EFX loops also use TRS, & A splitter from stereo plug to to 2 Mono inline jacks,

    There are are mass produced Y patch cables.. ..
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  15. #12

    Default Re: A little pickup advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    As EFX loops also use TRS, & A splitter from stereo plug to to 2 Mono inline jacks,

    There are are mass produced Y patch cables.. ..
    Yeah you can buy mass produced cables but I opted to go DIY. I've had lots of problems with noise and such in cheap cables.

    I used the best quality audio cable and jacks I could get to ensure solid sound quality and was able to make them in lengths of 6 and 12 feet quite cheap as bulk cable isn't expensive.
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    Default Re: A little pickup advice?

    Highly recommend Almuse!
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    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: A little pickup advice?

    Back in the day, plenty of those were electrified with a Kay blade pickup. This one is guitar width, but they sold many that were designed for bass guitar and I think that's what most people used.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  18. #15
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: A little pickup advice?

    a P bass has 2 so mandolin builders just used one..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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    Default Re: A little pickup advice?

    Choose the one with the least amount of makeup, not scantily clad, a bit quiet and classy.

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  21. #17
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    Default Re: A little pickup advice?

    Wait for the Electric F-150 'Lightning' https://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/f150-lightning/2022/
    writing about music
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