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Pickup For Archtop ?

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 12:58 am
by gaucho
I recently scored a nice Gretsch Synchromatic acoustic archtop. Can anyone suggest a good pickup? I like the look and description of the Kent Armstrong floating ones, but don't really know anything about them. The prices I've seen vary greatly. I know some are handmade, are there Asian produced versions as well? I'm not too picky about maintaining the acoustic tone when plugged in. I'm going more for Fred McDowell than Wes Montgomery!
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Re: Pickup For Archtop ?

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 5:06 pm
by michaelm
Cool looking guitar . . . 8)

If you haven't already, you might want to check the GFS Pickups. I don't know anything about their archtop pickups, but I've used some of their other pups and hardware for a couple of projects in the past and been real happy with their stuff. Generally speaking, prices are low and quality is good. HTH.

Re: Pickup For Archtop ?

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 9:25 pm
by NEONMOONY
They do have some floating archtop pickups. I haven't used them but some of the other pickups they have work very well.

Re: Pickup For Archtop ?

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 1:49 am
by Lo-Fi
Go Old School and snag a DeArmond. The cheapest would be the Model FHC. You then work your way up to the Model 1000 and 1100 Rhythm Chiefs. These are, however, highly sought after, so don't come cheap.

Re: Pickup For Archtop ?

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 12:38 am
by leftyguitarman
I have an Artec (cheap Asian import) that mounts on the neck. It requires two small screws. I bought it for my old Harmony archtop, but the pickup arms weren't wide enough to fit on it. I think it was like $12 on eBay.

Re: Pickup For Archtop ?

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 5:31 am
by bottleneck

Re: Pickup For Archtop ?

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:43 pm
by socket wrench
I have a Kent Armstrong floating pup on my old archtop and it sounds great. I added a volume pot and have the electric hanging from a box attached to the strap. I can then take the whole thing off if I need to so there is no need to drill any holes in the body. I've played at quite a few places, and many people have said how good the guitar sounds. I try and get a nice acoustic sound as I mainly play old Fred McDowell stuff and it's been great.

Re: Pickup For Archtop ?

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:28 am
by gaucho
I found a Gretsch floating neck, humbucker type pick up on ebay and bought it. It's the one off the the G100CE (which has a cutaway and replaced my acoustic only, non-cutaway G100 in the Gretsch line up). I had to modify it a bit to fit (wider neck) but I hooked it up to a tone and volume pot I installed on the pick guard and now it sounds great acoustically or thru my Blues Jr.

Re: Pickup For Archtop ?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:23 pm
by jayseibert
May I highly recommend a set up I use on my 1948 Gibson L7. I had another pick guard made to match the original, to keep it pristine, and then I attached an Armstrong floating pickup to the pick guard. This will deliver a nice warm tone but since my goal was to get as true an arch top sound as possible at big stage swing band volumes, I had a trio of K&K pickups installed inside the guitar directly under the bridge. The two pickups are then wired to a rotating dial that is mostly hidden by the pick guard but allows easy finger access to tweak. As you turn the dial you go from all Armstrong to all K&K. With infinite variation available between the two pickups, one can dial in a very sweet arch top sound, as well as a variety of luscious tones. I should mention that I had this wired in stereo so my output jack is stereo! One side for each pickup! I use a Raven stereo preamp to handle/blend the signals and it also gives me additional tone shaping. I go from the Raven to one or two amps as the mood strikes me.

I have never heard a better set up for delivering the "tone" that an arch top delivers at such a great volume with NO feedback issues!

Spend a few extra bucks and you'll be thrilled...