Electrifying a traditional gutbucket

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by wreckloose, Jul 25, 2021.

  1. wreckloose


    Jul 25, 2021
    This is related to the question I asked earlier about wiring up a whamola, but I think its worthy of its own thread. Im talking about the old school body here, a 6 ft pole attached to metal washtub by a 1/2 rope. i have been scouring the web all day and found all kinds of cool poopie i never even knew existed. I could attach a piezo pickup inside the tub itself and find somewhere to mount the jack hookup that is all it would take right? Is it really that easy? Ive been playing for almost 30 yrs and I have never seen a literal electric gutbucket, not online or nothing, its something we have always talked about but never pursued. imma patent that poopie. Granted i wasnt loosing sleep over it, i just figured it would take an electronics geek to figure it out, I use visual mediums in my art moreso than auditory. this is a great community you got here
    pie_man_25 likes this.
  2. That's exactly it, just a piezo pickup and glue it or tape it onto some part of the washtub that makes noise. You might want some extra circuit in there to balance out the high end on the piezo, usually by adjusting the impedance at higher frequencies. That can get comlicated.

    It's either that or a microphone, to my knowledge.
  3. wreckloose


    Jul 25, 2021
    i found a prewired harness with jack, piezo, vol and tone knobs for under 25 bucks. cant wait
    pie_man_25 likes this.
  4. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    I would, literally, put a microphone on the ground under the washtub. If it was a hard stage surface, set the mic on a piece of carpet or foam. The cool tone of a washtub bass is mostly the boom of the acoustic chamber of the washtub itself. It will take a lot of messing around with a piezo pickup to find that sound. It would be easier and better to catch the moving air inside the tub with a mic.
    Passinwind likes this.
  5. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Yep. I’d recommend a Crown PZM plate mic but I’ve seen SM57s or 58s used with very good results too.
  6. wreckloose


    Jul 25, 2021
    is that what the preamp is suppose to fix?
  7. Yes, some are better than others. A mic seems the most straightforward, though.

    Maybe what we really need is a bigger tub.
  8. wreckloose


    Jul 25, 2021
    yeah thats what we usually have done in the past, it works great. I found some piezo disks wrapped with a layer of cork that looked interesting too. i dont know how to wire the preamp and the pickup at the same time, they both have jacks