#1
Hi all

Soon I'm looking to put under-saddle transducers in both my early 70s Yamaha FG-150 and my 70s/early 80s Hohner 12 string. Both will have no controls, just a strap button output jack. What pickups would you recommend? or would you not recommend a transducer? At the moment I've been looking at a Schaller transducer that comes with the wire and jack etc, for £40 each I think they were. All that needs doing is the saddle filing down, a hole drilling for the cable, and the hole at the strap button needs drilling through for the output, so it's a really simple operation (don't want to be cutting a hole in the side of the guitar for a preamp and such).

Any thoughts or recommendations? Do I not really need to spend this much on a transducer? (I know Martin ones are like £120) I don't want to be spending too much, as I have got to put one in each. If needs be, I'll just put one in the Yamaha for now, and I'd have to save up to put one in the Hohner later.


Calum
Double Neck Project - Winner of 2006 GB&C "Best guitar build from scratch", "(Best) Most expensive build" and "Best Idea" awards - FINISHED!

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#3
I haven't really looked at those, but it doesn't appeal to me too much anyway. A battery is just something else that can go wrong (go dead while playing). If I want to shape my sound more than the PA will allow, I will just use an external EQ pedal (such as the Boss GE-7). Also, the Yamaha has one of the best tones I've ever heard (especially considering the price I paid for it). It's really sweet, but very clear and defined (which is great for my fingerpicking), and this is probably aided by the age of the instrument - the all solid wood construction has certainly aged well. I don't want to do anything that will affect the sound unplugged. I figured that only haveing a wire run through the body will not make any noticable difference to the sound at all, though cutting a hole in the side and installing a preamp (wheter internal or not) may well have a detremental effect. As well as that, like I said before the battery might go, and it'll be a pain to change when its inside. I want to keep it nice and simple too, so I'm really just looking for a piezo and jack.
Double Neck Project - Winner of 2006 GB&C "Best guitar build from scratch", "(Best) Most expensive build" and "Best Idea" awards - FINISHED!

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#4
Sorry for the double post, but I read here in another thread that a mic or soundhole pickup is better for a 12 string, such as a DeArmond. Is this true? I know a local band who play 12 strings, and the lead singer has a piezo in his old Washburn 12 string, with just a volume pot (passive) on the body, and it sounds great through a PA. Is it necessary to get a soundhole or can I get a piezo and get a good sound? I always thought piezos sounded good to me, but I haven't had much experience with soundhole pickups to be honest.

The same site has a Schaller soundhole pickup too, and it looks quite good (aesthetically too - quite a nice pickup). The soundhole pickup clamps onto the soundboard, and is £26.50 as opposed to the £41 for the Schaller undersaddle. However, doesn't the soundhole pickup clamping onto the soundboard affect the sound? Play a chord or something, and press your hand on the top of the guitar and hear the difference (better with more expensive guitars, but you get the idea). I thought a soundhole would have the same effect, but maybe im just worrying about nothing.
Double Neck Project - Winner of 2006 GB&C "Best guitar build from scratch", "(Best) Most expensive build" and "Best Idea" awards - FINISHED!

Member #2 of the UG Luthier's club. PM AlGeeEater to join.
#5
I have an LR Baggs M1 for my 214. Great pickup, nice sound and everything. I really recommend it.
*Taylor 214ce Acoustic
*Fender Highway One Honey Blonde Strat (Fralin Pickups)
*Epiphone Zephyr Regent (Gibson '57 Humbucker)
*Vox 847 Wah
*Fulltone Fulldrive 2 MOSFET
*Fender Blues Deluxe Amp
#6
Quote by Calum_Barrow
Sorry for the double post, but I read here in another thread that a mic or soundhole pickup is better for a 12 string, such as a DeArmond. Is this true?

I mentionned the DeArmond pickup earlier so I'll assume I'm the source of your confusion.

If you come up with an acoustic, the sound engineer assumes his job is to amplify your acoustic sound as faithfully as possible. His reference is what he hears standing in front of you at 5, 10, 15 feet while you're playing, unplugged. Understand that what you hear while playing an acoustic is always different from what someone else hears when standing in front of you, and even more different if you're playing plugged.

12 strings can be captured faithfully, with satisfying results from the sound engineer's point of view, in the studio with 2, 3 or even 4 microphone setups.

Live, these microphone setups aren't practical, because musicians move while playing, feedback, phase cutoffs, leakage.

So that leaves you with mounted pickups for live takes.
So what have you got ? Bridge piezos, top piezos, magnetic pickups.

The problem is from a sound engineer's point of view none are truely satisfying to reproduce the sound complexity of 12-strings, as they sound acoustically.

BUT, ULTIMATELY, it's up to the player to decide what sound he wants to hear coming out of the PA, right ?

So, if the player doesn't care that what comes out of the PA is different than what comes out from his guitar unplugged, then you've solved the sound engineer's problem trying to faithfully capture the 12 string acoustic sound.

Less confused ?


I know a local band who play 12 strings, and the lead singer has a piezo in his old Washburn 12 string, with just a volume pot (passive) on the body, and it sounds great through a PA. Is it necessary to get a soundhole or can I get a piezo and get a good sound?

Piezos have a distinctive brightness and snap. Understand that it is that sound you seem to like, not the sound of the Washburn unplugged which, I am quite assertive here, is quite different.

So, the straight answer to your question is:
- no it is not necessary to get a soundhole
- yes you can get a "good" sound (well, as subjective as "good" is when used to describe how the Washburn sounds) with a piezo.


I always thought piezos sounded good to me, but I haven't had much experience with soundhole pickups to be honest.

If you like piezos, my guess is you'll find soundhole mounted magnetic pickups dull and weak.

However, doesn't the soundhole pickup clamping onto the soundboard affect the sound?
Play a chord or something, and press your hand on the top of the guitar and hear the difference (better with more expensive guitars, but you get the idea). I thought a soundhole would have the same effect, but maybe im just worrying about nothing.

Most of the sound of an acoustic is projected forward by the whole external surface of the top, and not just only the sound of the vibrating top reflecting against the bottom before being projected forward through the soundhole.
Not as drastically as placing your hand on the top though.
Last edited by ColdGin at Jan 21, 2007,
#7
^ Thanks, that was really good reading.

When I say I like the sound of the Washburn, I have played it myself both plugged in and unplugged on numerous occaisions, and it is really nice. The thing about the sound plugged in I like about it is that is ISN'T harsh, bright and snappy, even though it does have a piezo. As far as I am aware it is an undersaddle, so next time I will scratch the bridge to see.

Thanks for the advice though, I think I'll stick with the Piezo route for now, though it won't be a while until I buy them because I need to buy some speakers for my amp...
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