#1
What is involved in fitting a pickup to a Washburn R010 especially without spending a lot of money?
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#2
How much is, "a lot of money" is the first counter interrogatory which leaps to mind. The "slide me in the sound hole easy peasy" (*) humbucker by Dean Markley, and others leaps to mind, at around about sixty bucks.

(*) I might add that those are a "no muss, no fuss, no belts, no pins, no pads" type of , "use me when you need me", install.

I'd stay away from single coil versions. NOY--ZY !!!
#3
Quote by Captaincranky
How much is, "a lot of money" is the first counter interrogatory which leaps to mind. The "slide me in the sound hole easy peasy" (*) humbucker by Dean Markley, and others leaps to mind, at around about sixty bucks.

(*) I might add that those are a "no muss, no fuss, no belts, no pins, no pads" type of , "use me when you need me", install.

I'd stay away from single coil versions. NOY--ZY !!!


Sounds like the sort of thing. If I like the Rover I might decide to add some sort of pickup. Probably a saddle piezo or even something like this.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10X-Piezo-Contact-Microphone-Pickup-for-Guitar-Violin-Banjo-Mandolin-Ukul-F3133-/272462653014?hash=item3f700a2656:g:vgwAAOSwImRYODoO
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#4
Body transducers are OK I suppose, but so many complain about the (alleged) "quack" of UST piezos. Once you get into that type of system, you really are going to need to spring for a preamp. The mag style pickups don't need a preamp, but the cords can be quite microphonic. So, you can move them from axe to axe very easily, but they do work their very best when permanently installed.

Remember, you did say, "inexpensive".
#5
The cheapest option would be a stick-on body transducer like the one you mention in post #3. They are OK but they do amplify taps, scrapes, etc to the body that may be worse with a travel guitar due to the nature of playing it.

I fixed a simple under-saddle piezo transducer with a small passive volume and tone control to mine, This one in fact:

http://belcat.com/html/products/preamp/ps900.html

Cheap and cheerful but it worked fine - and the fact that it's passive reduced any piezo quack.
#6
Quote by Garthman
The cheapest option would be a stick-on body transducer like the one you mention in post #3. They are OK but they do amplify taps, scrapes, etc to the body that may be worse with a travel guitar due to the nature of playing it.

I fixed a simple under-saddle piezo transducer with a small passive volume and tone control to mine, This one in fact:

http://belcat.com/html/products/preamp/ps900.html

Cheap and cheerful but it worked fine - and the fact that it's passive reduced any piezo quack.


Wait, you fitted it to a Washburn R010?? Do you have any details?
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#7
Quote by helijohn
Wait, you fitted it to a Washburn R010?? Do you have any details?


Sure.

Read this thread that I posted on another forum several years ago. It gives detailed step-by-step instructions including pics for doing a DIY UST and preamp installation. Although I did it for a standard size guitar the procedure will be exactly the same for your travel guitar:

http://www.harmonycentral.com/forum/forum/guitar/acapella-42/1316958-

The only problem you may have will be getting inside the body because of the small soundhole but when I did mine I improvised by fishing cables out of the body with bent wire, etc. Remember you will have another access when you've cut out the hole for the vol& tone unit. The PS900 unit is much smaller than the one I used - it's ideal for a small bodied travel guitar.

Just take it slow and steady and it will be fine.
Last edited by Garthman at Feb 1, 2017,
#8
Quote by Garthman
Sure..

I've no problem about that sort of DIY so thanks for the link. I was thinking of just putting a piezo under the saddle and a direct lead to a socket so it would be a passive situation. As for fishing about through a small hole I had just that sort of job when I fitted a reinforcing piece for a strap button in my G4W thinline and it only has a 60mm deep body.
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#9
helijohn

Passive piezo systems, "don't exist in nature", (*) with what I believe is good reason. Their output is low, which renders the syste, useless for long cable runs, and causes it to ingest large amounts of EMI.

Plus, with an EQ / preamp, the frequency response curves can be tailored to a given situation.

If we're going to be playing the system at low volumes, bass boost is virtually mandatory, just google, "Fletcher Munson".

So, yeah, that's why I suggested a humbucking mag. One piece (expense), and you're done

(*) You would be very hard pressed to find even a cheap commercial A/E guitar without some sort preamp/EQ.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 1, 2017,
#10
Quote by Captaincranky


Passive piezo systems, "don't exist in nature"


Well now, I am getting slightly confused. I understand (I think) what everyone is saying but I just don't know which way to go.
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#11
helijohn

I don't know if that's as abstract a statement as you're giving it credit for being. Even $200.00 A/E clunker is going to have a piezo with an onboard preamp and some sort of tone control.

Which then arcs right back to, "how much is not expensive".

Which also serves ro explain why I have nine (9) acoustic electric guitars, and not one (1) acoustic only. The electronics are a whole hell of a lot cheaper when the guitar maker throws them in as a package. By this I'm referring to UST piezo / preamp equipped systems in mid priced guitars. At that price point, it's silly to buy the guitar without a pickup already installed.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 2, 2017,
#12
Yeah by not expensive I mean something like this IFF I there is room to fit the equaliser:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-Band-Preamp-Acoustic-Guitar-EQ-Tuner-Piezo-Equalizer-System-Pickup-Sets-New-/360677752883?hash=item53fa11c033:g:eEAAAMXQJ3xRey2j

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hot-4-Band-7545R-Piezo-Equalizer-Tuner-For-Acoustic-Guitar-Easy-Assembly-/262394482390?hash=item3d17ee0ed6:g:7sIAAOSwIUNXFcT6

Maybe something like this

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Acoustic-Piezo-Contact-Microphone-Pickup-for-Guitar-Ukulele-Violin-Mandolin-/131929575035?hash=item1eb79d8e7b:g:iY0AAOSwFV9XzST8

Or like this and wire it direct to a fitted jack

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Belcat-SH80-Humbucker-Soundhole-Acoustic-Guitar-Pickup-Active-Power-Jack-/251970143806?hash=item3aaa97463e:g:evYAAOSwBahVYEs1

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Handcraft-Magnetic-Soundhole-Pickup-Humbucking-Amplifier-for-Acoustic-Guitar-/192074368120?hash=item2cb8864478:g:Ij4AAOSw2GlXFM66


though if I could get better for a little more ££££ I would.

My acoustics in the past have never had any electric facility (only had a few though ) as I only ever played them unplugged. I've had loads of semis though. I think I have mentioned before that if I want to amplify I'll use my preferred type of guitar - solid (tele) .
Also, I am getting a little guitar to use it acoustically, indoors at the armchair, so my asking about going electro was just to see what the thinking is and what is involved.
And last, I have for the first time ever just bought an electro acoustic (admittedly slimline) and really don't much like the electro side of it and I would have been extremely happy to have bought it without electro if I could have gotten it that way. I can safely say I will never use it connected to an amp.
I hope that helps you to see where I am coming from.
When the blue light flashes I am kidding.
Last edited by helijohn at Feb 2, 2017,
#13
helijohn No, it just breeds the question, "what don't you like about it when it's plugged in"?

BTW, those prices on Ebay are insanely low, even in spite "Brexit". Yet I have to confess, the place scares me half to death.

Although there is the possibility I'm simply over conditioned by marketing, and I don't believe things are any good, unless I pay way too much for them....

I amp my acoustics frequently. But it's to add effects, and particularly to EQ my 12 strings, not so much for volume.
#14
Quote by Captaincranky
helijohn

Passive piezo systems, "don't exist in nature", (*) with what I believe is good reason. Their output is low, which renders the syste, useless for long cable runs, and causes it to ingest large amounts of EMI. . . .


Well, oddly enough, the two acoustic guitars I mostly play amplified - because I prefer their amplified sound - are both passive. In effect they both have a UST wired through standard (electric guitar) volume and tone pots to the jack. I think the amplified sound they impart is a more faithful reproduction of the acoustic sound than EQed systems (with which my other acoustics are equipped).
#15
Quote by Captaincranky
helijohn No, it just breeds the question, "what don't you like about it when it's plugged in"?


Everything.
And as for brexit, things will be superb once the divorce has settled down.
As for eBay/China/Hong Kong/Malaysia, it's THE place.
When the blue light flashes I am kidding.
#16
Quote by helijohn


The first one you've mentioned is the Belcat PS900 that I used on my travel guitar. The volume and tone unit is quite small so is fine for a travel guitar. It is a passive unit (no preamp) but does a good job. It's also very handy to have the onboard volume and tone controls. I would say this unit is the best choice for a cheap travel guitar.

The second one is a Belcat 7545 preamp and EQ - cheap and cheerful but surprisingly good quality. It is powered by a 9v battery and has volume and three band EQ. For the price they do a very good job. But the EQ/Preamp unit would be too big for a travel guitar body.

I have no experience of the others but I doubt that they would be disastrous. I have one of my acoustics fitted with a magnetic soundhole PU (standard electric guitar single coil) wired through volume and tone pots - works fine.

PS. If you really want an active EQ/Preamp I would recommend a Belcat UK-2000.

http://belcat.com/html/products/preamp/uk2000.html

They are made for a ukulele and are not much bigger than the PS -900 unit. They come with a short UST made to fit a ukulele saddle but you can substitute a full length UST instead - they have a standard small socket for the input to the preamp. I fitted one of these to my last acquisition - a Recording King 000 parlour - it's small and unobtrusive and works very well indeed. I ordered both the Preamp and a new full sized co-axial UST direct from China at a total cost of approx £8.
Last edited by Garthman at Feb 2, 2017,
#17
Quote by Garthman
The first one you've mentioned is the Belcat PS900 that I used on my travel guitar. The volume and tone unit is quite small so is fine for a travel guitar. It is a passive unit (no preamp) but does a good job. It's also very handy to have the onboard volume and tone controls. I would say this unit is the best choice for a cheap travel guitar.

The second one is a Belcat 7545 preamp and EQ - cheap and cheerful but surprisingly good quality. It is powered by a 9v battery and has volume and three band EQ. For the price they do a very good job. But the EQ/Preamp unit would be too big for a travel guitar body.

I have no experience of the others but I doubt that they would be disastrous. I have one of my acoustics fitted with a magnetic soundhole PU (standard electric guitar single coil) wired through volume and tone pots - works fine.


Thanks, that is just what I needed to know. As I watch the you tube vids
http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/20216-guitar-shop-101-how-to-install-a-soundhole-pickup?page=3


I am sort of drawn to these types.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/192074368120?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
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Last edited by helijohn at Feb 2, 2017,
#18
Quote by helijohn


I'm sure it would work fine as long as it fits the travel guitar soundhole - looks like it has volume and tone controls too. It would, of course, cover quite a bit of the soundhole which may impact somewhat on the acoustic tone. Perhaps?
#19
Quote by Garthman
I'm sure it would work fine as long as it fits the travel guitar soundhole - looks like it has volume and tone controls too. It would, of course, cover quite a bit of the soundhole which may impact somewhat on the acoustic tone. Perhaps?


Yes - the trouble is this is new territory for me.
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#20
Quote by helijohn
Yes - the trouble is this is new territory for me.


If it was me I'd go for the UK-2000 or PS-900. But that does involve rather more DIY work, of course, whereas the soundhole PU just needs a hole drilling for the jack socket.

Really, I think either would be OK - after all, you don't buy a travel guitar expecting a great acoustic sound, do you? And for electro-acoustic use you just need to generate a signal you can send to an amplifier. LOL, with a good amp and the right pedals you could make it sound like Hendrix if you wanted to.
#21
Quote by Garthman
If it was me I'd go for the UK-2000 or PS-900. But that does involve rather more DIY work, of course, whereas the soundhole PU just needs a hole drilling for the jack socket.

Really, I think either would be OK - after all, you don't buy a travel guitar expecting a great acoustic sound, do you? And for electro-acoustic use you just need to generate a signal you can send to an amplifier. LOL, with a good amp and the right pedals you could make it sound like Hendrix if you wanted to.


I agree.
I think the PS-900 will depend on the depth of the Washburn and I'll find out once it has arrived. I am quite happy to do the alterations.

I think if I can get this one in the sound hole and if I can re-terminate the end of the lead with a regular jack socket that i can fit to the body then it seems favourite.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Belcat-SH80-Humbucker-Soundhole-Acoustic-Guitar-Pickup-Active-Power-Jack/251970143806?_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982&_trkparms=aid%3D888007%26algo%3DDISC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20140328180637%26meid%3D3882ab7b8ca747968e194f31d4dd81dd%26pid%3D100009%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26sd%3D302164257734
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#22
That would probably do fine. Just cut the cable and solder on a jackplug. It's a single coil not a humbucker but a SC is better for an acoustic. It also has adjustable poles which enables you to raise or lower them to get a better equality of sound across the strings if needed.
#24
Quote by Tony Done
Garthman

I don't think that a typical soundhole pickup will fit those travel guitar designs, so I would be doing a bit of research before buying. Even some parlor guitars are marginal.


OK watch this space. Thanks.
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#25
Quote by Tony Done
Garthman

I don't think that a typical soundhole pickup will fit those travel guitar designs, so I would be doing a bit of research before buying. Even some parlor guitars are marginal.


I've already flagged that up, mate.
#28
Quote by Tony Done
Garthman

I don't think that a typical soundhole pickup will fit those travel guitar designs,


It looks like you are right. Washburn has a tiny 45mm soundhole and the humbuckers are mostly 100mm. Back to the drawing board. It looks like a saddle piezo is the only way.
When the blue light flashes I am kidding.
#30
Quote by Tony Done
Unless you have an acoustic amp with a special high impedance input, I think that you will also need a preamp to act as a buffer if you want a decent sound.


It just gets worse.

Pity I can put a humbucker near the bridge with sticky tape. First job is to lower the saddle.
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#31
I know what I would do, but it is drastic. I would cut a hole for a strat SC somewhere between the soundhole and the bridge, depending on the bracing pattern, and then I would use electric strings.

I looked at those Rovers a long time ago, and thought they would be interesting candidate for conversion to "hollow electric" lap steel.
Last edited by Tony Done at Feb 3, 2017,
#32
Quote by Tony Done
I know what I would do, but it is drastic. I would cut a hole for a strat SC somewhere between the soundhole and the bridge, depending on the bracing pattern, and then I would use electric strings.

I looked at those Rovers a long time ago, and thought they would be interesting candidate for conversion to "hollow electric" lap steel.


Gosh that is drastic.
I am really pleased with the Rover especially as it cost me the same as a Harley Benton Traveler (sic) though in fairness the HB is electro.
I've had Washburns before and always liked them - this is no exception. Right from the moment I played the first note after tuning it I was at home with it and the pink has grown on me.
I expect I'll end up leaving it as just an acoustic (certainly for the time being) and after all that is where it's niche market lies but having said that if I can see a cheap and quick way to be able to plug it in to an amp I will possibly go for it. It is a pity I can't fit one of these inside.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2055119.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xpiezo+acoustic+guitar+pickup.TRS0&_nkw=piezo+acoustic+guitar+pickup&_sacat=0

Here we go, what do you think?
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Acoustic-Guitar-Pickup-Piezo-Transducer-Jack-Pickup-For-Violin-Ukulele-Mandolin-/141409094018?hash=item20eca38982:g:LGoAAOSwd4tUGAyB
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Last edited by helijohn at Feb 4, 2017,
#33
I'll say it again: UK-2000

And I hate this damn crappy display. It's something that a 7 year old child would devise.
#34
Quote by Garthman
And I hate this damn crappy display. It's something that a 7 year old child would devise.


I hate it too and I like the UK-2000 though I am not sure I want to cut the recess for the equaliser just yet. It is on my wants list.
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#35
Quote by helijohn
I hate it too and I like the UK-2000 though I am not sure I want to cut the recess for the equaliser just yet. It is on my wants list.


It's easy peasy.
#36
Quote by Garthman
I'll say it again: UK-2000

And I hate this damn crappy display. It's something that a 7 year old child would devise.


Hurrah! The Classic Style option is back. Thank you - I'll stick around.
#37
Quote by Garthman
Hurrah! The Classic Style option is back. Thank you - I'll stick around.

Thank heavens for that.
When the blue light flashes I am kidding.