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Pickup on a vintage guitar???


onewilyfool
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I contacted Leon Redbone's representative, and asked her what pickup Leon used on his CF-100 (I have same one, '53) and am considering putting the same pickup in my guitar (K&K mini)…..BUT…..what do you guys think about putting pickups in so called "vintage" guitars? Does it affect value much since it would not be "historically correct"…just wanted to get your guys input on this since I value your opinions a lot!

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I am a proponent of quality pickups in guitars, if it mens you will play them more. Value wise, I would not care. In fact, if I bought a "vintage" guitar that already had a quality pickup system in it, then I would be saved having to go thru this thought process. I tried to put a pickup in the J-45 Legend, but the bridge plate was too small. I opted to try and put that system in the '57 J-50, and was told there is too much interference from all of the bridge hardware. I would not, however, be very impressed witrha UST or sound hole system.

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If it wasn't something I was trying to sell for serious ROI, I'd do it for sure.

 

I've got a 1978 Alvarez Yari sitting in the "closet" that has a very shiny NEW Fishman Matrix Plus in it.

 

it sounds great, and there's no real visible traces beyond the end pin jack. (which it already had from the factory, - a primitive passive under saddle transducer with no battery required..)

 

 

With the Fishman, the volume, mid-cut and voicing controls mount in on the bass side of the sound hole. you can't see them but they are very easily accessible.

 

Not exactly the top of the heap for Acoustic Pickups, but it works for me.

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If you want to be "historically" accurate, there is only one way to go - Dearmond soundhole pickup. I started using them in the 1960s because pretty much that was all there was. I still have two Dearmonds and one Kent (basically a later 1960s Dearmond knockoff). Not the most acoustic sounding of pickups but if you want that Elmore James/Lightnin' Hopkins vibe they are just what the doctor ordered. I prefer the second issue pickup with the exposed B pole. But the third issue with the hidden B pole is the easiest to find these days. Back in the day we used to duck tape the cable to the top of the guitar. No real worries as those old guitars were just used instruments. Probably would never had done it to a new guitar though.

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I've done it with mine and have even bought a couple that had pickups installed though the store didn't know it. They obviously hadn't looked very closely inside! One was a very nice '68 D-28 and all the above had the jack endpin, dealer just thought the pup was removed.

 

I like to play my main guitar everywhere.

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I contacted Leon Redbone's representative, and asked her what pickup Leon used on his CF-100 (I have same one, '53) and am considering putting the same pickup in my guitar (K&K mini)…..BUT…..what do you guys think about putting pickups in so called "vintage" guitars? Does it affect value much since it would not be "historically correct"…just wanted to get your guys input on this since I value your opinions a lot!

 

 

 

I don't like installing pickups on nice vintage guitars, but that said.... once they are plugged in, they don't really sound vintagey anymore, so may as well get an 'electro'.

 

 

Best to start with a decent pre-amp - I have my Fishman Aura Spectrum or my A&H mixer with great sound to choose from - even a medium quality pickup sounds real good than, but straight in to an amp is asking for that torn cardboard sound we all love. [tongue]

 

http://www.fishman.com/product/aura-spectrum-di

 

 

There are various non permanent choices that stick on and in - like some Schatten pickups - I have them on my Nationals on recommendation from my guitar tech, but I haven't tried them on normal acoustics...

 

 

So the big one, OWF - you going to love this one - why haven't you tried a Woody? Slip in to the soundhole when needed and no damage to anything..if you are careful in the soundhole - tape the dangling lead to the guitar for an emergency gig - I have the single coil model:

 

http://www.seymourduncan.com/acoustic/woody.php

 

 

 

I also have the old DeArmond soundhole pickup in my Hummingbird copy - with the covered B string pole and volume control (handy if it worked) - sounds like an electric guitar!!! :mellow:

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Are those Woody's any good BK?

 

 

If you have a decent pre-amp, the Woody is good, but mainly because it creates electricity, it has slots with covering to fit on the soundhole without scratching like some do, and mainly because you dont need to install it. I have a guitar or 2 with no pickup - slot it in if needed, take it off, put it on another...etc....

 

 

 

But no BBG, it aint much without help.

 

 

BluesKing777.

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If you want to be "historically" accurate, there is only one way to go - Dearmond soundhole pickup.

 

 

They are great, I got one last year and put it into my 2008 J-50. I will probably install it in my 1965 J-50 one day, but am just a bit reluctant to drill the hole for a strap button jack.

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