What pu's should i use?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by VictorLeMonteWooten, Jan 2, 2001.

  1. VictorLeMonteWooten


    Dec 6, 2000
    I am designing a special type of guitar... ... no it's going to be a short scale 6-string piccolo bass. The strings will be arched above the pick up (like a violin bridge). The problem is that the pick up will be about 3" below the strings, would magnetic pu's still pick up the sound? The vibration of the note will go through the wood.
  2. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Yikes! That sounds beauty! Like a 6-string Azola Jazzman or Deco Bass maybe?
    My first thought was piezo ~ an under-saddle transducer.
    Also, IS there gonna' be one of those big, double-bass type bridges?
    If so, there's a bunch of piezo-based systems for those as well.
    Then of course some kinda' "blender" (mixer) to bring it all together.
    Stewart-Macdonald http://www.stewmac.com has a good
    selection of piezo pups and mixers. Get their catalog for some ideas.
    You can order online, but their catalog has more pics and details.

    On the other hand, Lee Rocker (ex Stray Cat) stuck a couple
    P-type pups on the bridge of his upright bass. There's a pic
    in a recent BP. Bartolini makes a magnetic pup with a "curved" top -
    the RT and RU series. I dunno' if they'd cover 6 strings.

    Crap! :( I gotta' go to work. Good Luck!
  3. VictorLeMonteWooten


    Dec 6, 2000
    It's actually going to be the very first electric upright guitar (i was trying not to give away the idea before i got a patent). Do you think a regular pickup would work? Like a seymour duncan or some pick up that is just laying around the house? I was going to design my own bridge. (i have a lot of friends that are luthiers, guitar makers, etc.). I was just going to have a maple body with a finish on it (no laminates). It's going to be fretless (chords would be impossible to play). I get the stewart macdonald magazine monthly (along with guitar player and about 5 other catalogs). My brother just got a bender for his guitar out of it for x-mass. I have a lot of the tools my self (files, sanders, saws, belt sander.) I can borrow the rest.

    p.s. i know this is a bass board, but i need the answers!!!

    I have literaly hundreds of ideas for inventions that could affect the musical world!!!
  4. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Yes. IF you can get it close enough to the strings. I dunno what the max is,
    but I think 3" is too far for a regular, magenetic pup.
    AND, if the strings for this beast are ferrous.
    Phosphor-Bronze types wouldn't work too well with a magnetic pup.
  5. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    that sounds pretty cool. there are a few (not many) luthiers that manufacture electric viola de gamba-style instruments, which would cover what you're talking about, somewhat. check out these guys - ithaca strings (thanks Ed!)



    in fact, you should research barytons and viola de gambas in general if you are interested in making upright-style instruments with higher range and more than 4 strings. these cello-range and double-bass-range instruments predate the 4 string being "standard" for cello and bass, they had 6 or 7 strings, and sometimes up to 22 resonating/harp strings (baryton).

    also, bill conklin has used special bartolini pickups on his electric uprights before where the pickup was mounted on the body and stretched up to the string via a bracket mechanism - a seperate magnetic pickup per string to account for the extreme curvature of the wood bridge. something similar would be needed, i think, for this to work - a pickup is not going to work well at 3 inches from the string.

    sounds like fun, though. good luck with it and keep us posted - i'm interested in hearing about your progress. :D
  6. VictorLeMonteWooten


    Dec 6, 2000
    it's going to be a basic prototype with a limited budget, so i may get a transducer or design the body so there is something that is almost like a platform where the fingerboard ends. Maybe i could have the bosy have a little "hill" in it to raise the pup.
  7. VictorLeMonteWooten


    Dec 6, 2000
    i may not have much progress for a while (may not even get materials by summer.) I don't have a bunch of money to spend which isn't very good. I keep on making changes on drawings which are kind of like blue prints. The problem with a raised pup is that the bow may not be able to work with a pup in the way. Thanks for the info.