pickup for archtop

A discussion of techniques, and equipment for guitar. Fretted, bottleneck or slide, acoustic or electric, this is the place.

pickup for archtop

Postby Robert Spencer » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:09 am

I have an old Slingerland Songster #81 that I have set up for slide.

http://cgi.ebay.com/1930-s-Slingerland- ... 0092750910
I want to plug it in but can`t find elect. pickups for archtops except maybe this one:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Pickup-Mic-Guitar-R ... 518babd9fd

. Does anyone know anything that will work well but not high dollar?
Thanks & take care Bobcat
Robert Spencer
Regular
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:13 am

Re: pickup for archtop

Postby zhyla » Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:57 pm

I used a neck-mounted pickup on the old Harmony shown below. You can find them on ebay very cheap. They require 4 small holes but are otherwise non-permanent. You can also stick one in place to see if you like the sound. I added a pickguard to hide the output jack.

Image

That Slingerland looks interesting, I'm sure you'll have fun with it.
User avatar
zhyla
Site Admin
 
Posts: 947
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:43 pm

Re: pickup for archtop

Postby leftyguitarman » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:39 pm

I have a neck mount bucker that I bought on ebay from China, and it sounds great, but I can't get it to mount on my Harmony. Zhyla, what pickup did you get?

The one I got was this one: http://cgi.ebay.com/Artec-Neck-Mount-Pi ... 960wt_1137
User avatar
leftyguitarman
Regular
 
Posts: 3183
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:48 am
Location: Washington State

Re: pickup for archtop

Postby Robert Spencer » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:21 pm

Zhyla I have the pickguard so no problem there but how does it connect to a standard 1/4" instrument jack power cord?
I`ve had the Slingerland since the late eighties and have had it rigged as both bass & slide (w/raised action). This is the first time I wanted to plug it in but I think it will help make the slide more interesting. Thanks & take care. Bob
Robert Spencer
Regular
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:13 am

Re: pickup for archtop

Postby ricbleu » Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:44 am

That's a fine looking guitar, Bob. There's something about those non cutaway archtops that appeals to me, especially without the pickguard - maybe it's the symmetry. Dunno. You say you use this for slide and I know that they were originally designed for jazz chord work, but where would an acoustic archtop (no electrics ) find a niche or a purpose in today's playing world? Would it be mainly for home use do you think? I believe that Buddy Guy used an old Harmony archtop to record Blues Singer so maybe there's a specific acoustic tone that a flattop can't deliver...? What do you think?
User avatar
ricbleu
Regular
 
Posts: 415
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:28 am
Location: Dunedin, New Zealand

Re: pickup for archtop

Postby zhyla » Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:48 am

leftyguitarman wrote:I have a neck mount bucker that I bought on ebay from China, and it sounds great, but I can't get it to mount on my Harmony. Zhyla, what pickup did you get?


Pretty sure it was the same Artec pickup. It depends a lot on how thick the fingerboard extension is and how bad your neck angle is. I had just reset the neck so the bridge was adjusted very high and there's more room there. But it was still tight, I think it bottomed out on the pickup if you fretted the last fret on the high E string.

bobcat nine wrote:Zhyla I have the pickguard so no problem there but how does it connect to a standard 1/4" instrument jack power cord?


Well what I did was epoxy an 1/8" jack to the pickguard. Don't do this to a celluloid pickguard, it will just disintegrate. You can find plastic ones (I made one). Then I just used an 1/8" -> 1/4" adapter on the cable. It wasn't great or super stable but it worked. I had a plan to put volume/tone pots on the guard as well but never got around to it before I sold it.

Since we're all into vintage archtops in this thread, here's mine:

Image

It's a Harmony H1327 "Monterey" model, probably late 30's. Spruce top, Brazilian rosewood fretboard.
User avatar
zhyla
Site Admin
 
Posts: 947
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:43 pm

Re: pickup for archtop

Postby Robert Spencer » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:29 am

Thats a nice looking archtop above. Heres mine. Its in much better condition than the one I linked to fro ebay:
http://northland.smugmug.com/photos/892 ... 4h-L-1.jpg I intend to use it for worship & praise service at my church played through an old 30 amp tube Crate.
Where can I find an eight inch jack online? I`m on an island in coastal Alaska so no stores here for that kind of stuff.Thanks again & take care. Bob
Robert Spencer
Regular
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:13 am

Re: pickup for archtop

Postby zhyla » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:41 pm

ricbleu wrote:originally designed for jazz chord work, but where would an acoustic archtop (no electrics ) find a niche or a purpose in today's playing world?


I don't know if it's accurate to say these guitars were designed for jazz work. I think Gibson & Loar were mainly just after volume.

This is a little rough but here's an example of my guitar after I fixed it up:

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_so ... ID=5897246

The biggest difference between this and a flattop is archtops are all attack and no sustain, like a mandolin. There's not much bass either, at least not in the standard size bodies (the 18-inchers like the L-400 are a different story). So what are they good for? I dunno, I prefer mine to a flattop for most things. I think they're great for fingerpicking. I wouldn't sayy they're especially suited to blues though, thumbing bass strings just doesn't work like it does on a flattop.

bobcat nine wrote: Where can I find an eight inch jack online? I`m on an island in coastal Alaska so no stores here for that kind of stuff.Thanks again & take care. Bob


Mouser.com and digikey.com are the obvious places for electronic components. The one I got was kind of in a plastic box housing and I was able to epoxy that to the pickguard.
User avatar
zhyla
Site Admin
 
Posts: 947
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:43 pm

Re: pickup for archtop

Postby Sheraton » Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:09 pm

My 1959 Levin 335 that I bought for US$509 Needs a little work to make it what I want:

Image

1) Just fitted a new set of Van Ghent Tuners

Image

2) I have made a new pickguard and will fit a floating pickup which is an Artec 8k I got off Evilbay for next to nothing.

Image

3) I want an abr bridge to replace the present wooden bridge.

4) new bone nut and set up.
User avatar
Sheraton
Regular
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:54 pm
Location: Uppsala and Stockholm

Re: pickup for archtop

Postby Robert Spencer » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:18 pm

Sheraton what a beautiful guitar you have shown. I love the fact that it is cutaway. Looks a lot like my Slingerland otherwise.
I`m very interested in following your conversion to electric pickup. It will be something I wat to keep up on. Thanks for sharing & good luck with your conversion Please try to post more photos as you proceed with the project. Take care. Bob
Robert Spencer
Regular
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:13 am

Re: pickup for archtop

Postby Sheraton » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:45 pm

bobcat nine wrote:Sheraton what a beautiful guitar you have shown. I love the fact that it is cutaway. Looks a lot like my Slingerland otherwise.
I`m very interested in following your conversion to electric pickup. It will be something I wat to keep up on. Thanks for sharing & good luck with your conversion Please try to post more photos as you proceed with the project. Take care. Bob


I have never soldered and this is my first floating pickup mod.

I just have to put a tone and volume on the pickguard, the biggest headache is where I am going to place the jacksocket also the earth wire.

But hope to have this organised soon the great thing is take the pickguard off and I have my Levin acoustic back.

Will post when I am sorted.
User avatar
Sheraton
Regular
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:54 pm
Location: Uppsala and Stockholm

Re: pickup for archtop

Postby leftyguitarman » Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:58 pm

ricbleu wrote:but where would an acoustic archtop (no electrics ) find a niche or a purpose in today's playing world? Would it be mainly for home use do you think?


I know Mark Knopfler and his rhythm guitarist, Richard Bennet, use them on several of Mark's recordings. Richard even plays some live with Mark on occasion.

And since we're sharing pictures of our archtops, here's my 1962 Harmony. It's a big piece of junk but I love it. When I bought it, someone had reset the neck, refretted it, put new Grovers on it and put a new bone nut on it. I paid $150 for it.

Image
User avatar
leftyguitarman
Regular
 
Posts: 3183
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:48 am
Location: Washington State

Re: pickup for archtop

Postby ricbleu » Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:39 am

That's one stunning axe, Lefty.
User avatar
ricbleu
Regular
 
Posts: 415
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:28 am
Location: Dunedin, New Zealand

Re: pickup for archtop

Postby Lo-Fi » Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:04 am

Seek out a DeArmond monkey on a stick pickup. They made several of them specifically designed for an archtop. The pickup slides up and down a metal rod (hence the monket on a stick nickname) so you can put it where you like. The best of the bunch is the Rythm Chief 1100. Pretty flippin pricey though these days. The Rhythm Chief 1000 and HFC can be had cheaper.

Down to one archtop these days - a mid-1930s Kay Kraft K-2 with the Zorzi adjustable neck

Image
User avatar
Lo-Fi
Regular
 
Posts: 361
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:07 pm

Re: pickup for archtop

Postby Robert Spencer » Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:41 am

Thanks a lot & nice looking box. Eighty years old and looks new! Take care. Bob
Last edited by Robert Spencer on Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Robert Spencer
Regular
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:13 am

Next

Return to Guitar

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron