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Thread: JJB pickup choice for cittern

  1. #1
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    Default JJB pickup choice for cittern

    I'm thinking about ordering a JJB pickup for a mandolin I'm building, as it seems sensible to plan around it as I go. It seems people use the Prestige 220 or PS 200 for mandolin (depending on jack style), so that choice is easy enough. But I'd like to get one for my cittern too while I'm ordering. It's a somewhat domed flat top, X-braced, with a floating bridge, and I tune it CGDAD with octaves on the lower courses. I'm not sure whether to also use the 2-element 20mm disc models, or whether to look at the 3-element guitar systems, with the option of 15mm discs.
    I could try messaging Jesse too, but I thought people here might have more direct experience of installing them in mandolin family instruments.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: JJB pickup choice for cittern

    On a mandolin the pickups go at the edge of each side of the bridge, which is very near the brace on each side. This keeps vibration to a minimum because it's close to the brace. On an X braced mandolin the only place I could find where it sounded good was on the top right over the X brace behind the bridge. Since it would not be easy to put it inside on the brace, it had to be on the outside. I used tape and after a few years I took it off with no damage, I stuck the tape to a flannel shirt first to make it not so sticky. You may consider a different pickup for the cittern. I'm sure others will have more experience with X braced instruments.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: JJB pickup choice for cittern

    No idea, but it might be helpful to have a good "blueprint" of how the bridge and strings cross over the area behind the X, and if there's a backing plate (as with steel-string guitars) so you have actual measurements in the area where you'd most likely want to place the sensors. Off hand, I'd think more is always better if you have the space, but installation if done after the box is assembled might temper that enthusiasm .


    (My 330 for a 6-string guitar is arriving Saturday, but too late to install before heading to Old Settlers. I'm just going to follow the K&K-like install guidance, but I've got a 3"+ soundhole to work with.)
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  4. #4
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: JJB pickup choice for cittern

    I've used the PPS 200 in the majority of my over 2 dozen JJB pickup installs. I've put them in fiddles, mandolins, octave mandolins, mandola, resonator mandos, banjolin, guitars, mandocello and an upright bass. I use the smaller heads (15 mm) for fiddles. Regardless of the instrument, I try to place each head as close as possible to being opposite one of the bridge feet. I use low tack blue putty. If the piezo, wood, putty and head are all clean it will hold for years (well over 10 years on some of my instruments now).

    Before the prestige came prewired with a switchjack I used to buy those separate and solder them on. I used one with a Tapastring Vintage jack in my Martin HD-28.

    They all sound good.

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  6. #5
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    Default Re: JJB pickup choice for cittern

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    I've used the PPS 200 in the majority of my over 2 dozen JJB pickup installs. I've put them in fiddles, mandolins, octave mandolins, mandola, resonator mandos, banjolin, guitars, mandocello and an upright bass. I use the smaller heads (15 mm) for fiddles. Regardless of the instrument, I try to place each head as close as possible to being opposite one of the bridge feet. I use low tack blue putty. If the piezo, wood, putty and head are all clean it will hold for years (well over 10 years on some of my instruments now).

    Before the prestige came prewired with a switchjack I used to buy those separate and solder them on. I used one with a Tapastring Vintage jack in my Martin HD-28.

    They all sound good.
    Thanks, that suggests the PPS 200 or Prestige 220 will probably do fine for both. Do you know if there's any difference between them beyond the jack?
    Since my mandolin is currently a work in progress and doesn't have the back fitted yet, I might add a cross-grain reinforcement and use a simple side mounted jack on that one. The cittern will definitely get an endpin jack though, as that's being fitted to a finished instrument.

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