homade pickups

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by RockabillyBoy, Jun 15, 2001.

  1. Hi i dont have lots of money(im a kid with no job) and i was wondering if anyone knew of any simple ways for me to make a pickup for my UB. it doesnt have to sound that great its just for home practice until i can save up enough for a real one. i think a was reading about somone who made one out of some stuff he bought from radio shack. are there any web sites that teach about this kinda stuff. thanx

  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Yes, you can get a piezo buzzer at Radio Shack and turn it into a pickup. They work amazingly well when you consider that it costs all of $3 or so compared to the $100 and up manufactured piezo pickups go for.

    Plans for this have been published in the past, not sure if there are any online sources.
    Basically you need a buzzer, some shielded cable and a 1/4" jack. The part that I can't explain easily here is where to solder the leads from the cable to the piezo element after you remove it from it's plastic housing. Once you've wired it up, you glue it to your bridge.

    I've built a few over the years for friends needing to amplify oddball axes like ukeleles or autoharps.

    I might ask why you need to amplify your bass for practicing at home. It is an acoustic instrument, after all :)
  3. rablack


    Mar 9, 2000
    Houston, Texas
    There was a guy who posted instructions on how to make one on the 2xbasslist. Go to (all hail) Bob Gollihur's website (www.gollihur.com) to find instructions on how to search the 2xbasslist archives.
  4. dhosek


    May 25, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have to agree with that. I'd think that no pickup would be better than a crappy one.

  5. I think i know where he is coming from on the home practise thing.There is a certain satisfaction amongst us newbies to wait till the wife/parents go out and give the rig a thorough thrashing,even if only to find its limit.I know i do.
    BTW Rockabillyboy,when i first got my DB i used a stick on guitar(gulp)transducer wedged into the bridge wing on many gigs until i discovered (all hail)Bob.I think it cost about £10($15)didn`t sound too bad either.
  6. i want to play it plugged in so i can play along with albums, and play along with my brother on guitar. we like to play loud.
  7. ah, the true rockabilly spirit!!
  8. while I don't know anything about building p\u's,I did build a bracket for a p-bass p\u to mount on the urb.it got plenty loud,but the sound was less than gratifying..kinda like a giant p-bass and the pole pieces did'nt quite match the string spacing..but like I said it did get loud...and if your on a budget a used p-p\u can be had real cheap..I made the bracket out of a thin piece of stainless steel that I velcroed to the back of the fingerboard..but you could make one out of wood which is even cheaper yet...good luck on your quest.:)
  9. BassBaron


    Jul 20, 2001
    San Jose, CA
    If you like jimmy-rigging that actually sounds good, yer going to love my set-up. I actually use a Radio Shack piezo buzzer for a fingerboard pickup on my bass (I play RB slap). It yields a very sharp *snap* which I have to attenuate somewhat and it needs to be securly attached to the back side of the fingerboard (i.e. glued) for its volume to match my K&K Bass Max and magnetic pickup. That's right, three pickups! The Mag pickup takes care of the lows and gives me high gain before feedback, the K&K gives me mids, articulation, and a more natural sound, while my Radio Shack special gives me my slap. Its all controlled by a three channel pre-amp. Over kill? Perhaps. But it is the most natural sounding and loudest bass in the county, as far as Rockabilly is concerned. Being an engineer by day (fearless bass slapper by night), I go with what works!
  10. Hairydan1


    Jul 27, 2001
    I also am a poor kid and made my own pickups from piezo elements hich cost 35p each. Although not perfect, they do they job and cost next to nothing!