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  #1  
Old 02-14-2018, 02:38 PM
Mark L Mark L is offline
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Default Floating pickup recommendations

So, while I’m going to recommended (here at agf) Monel/nickel acoustic strings on my very nice Eastman 904ce oval hole, I’m thinking it might be a nice time to change/upgrade the stock Kent Armstrong floater. I believe this one is MIChina. The guitar is a 2007 iirc, no longer in production.

What say ye? USA Kent Armstrong, Benedetto or ?? Is there a Charlie Christian floater? Small pu makers? All thoughts appreciated.

Use will be solo fingerstyle jazz/composed ballads, samba/bossa nova and some flatpicking/comping in an ensemble.

Thanks, archtop sages!
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  #2  
Old 02-14-2018, 02:49 PM
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Cincy2 Cincy2 is offline
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The best archtop I ever played was a Comins. He used a Kent Armstrong floating pickup. That gets my vote.

Cincy
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:51 PM
Mark L Mark L is offline
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Thanks Cincy. That would likely be the easiest retrofit.

One wonders is the improvement over the original Chinese would be significant?
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:03 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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The one that started it all, and many players (myself included) still consider it to be the ultimate archtop pickup:

https://shop.guildguitars.com/produc...-mount-pickup/
https://shop.guildguitars.com/produc...0-pickup-gold/
https://shop.guildguitars.com/produc...0rhythm-chief/
https://shop.guildguitars.com/produc...me-knob-amber/

FYI the Rhythm Chief 1000 "Redhead" also comes in gold plate, same price...
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:44 PM
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bayoubengal bayoubengal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
The one that started it all, and many players (myself included) still consider it to be the ultimate archtop pickup:

https://shop.guildguitars.com/produc...-mount-pickup/
https://shop.guildguitars.com/produc...0-pickup-gold/
https://shop.guildguitars.com/produc...0rhythm-chief/
https://shop.guildguitars.com/produc...me-knob-amber/

FYI the Rhythm Chief 1000 "Redhead" also comes in gold plate, same price...
Would this Stealth Control Kit work with the Dearmonds? I like the idea of the thumb wheels underneath the pickguard instead of control knobs on my 1945 Epiphone Triumph. Any insights would be appreciated!

https://www.archtop.com/ac_access.html#anchor46193451
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:04 AM
Pnewsom Pnewsom is offline
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I can recommend a Gibson Johnny Smith pu. Crisp and airy, with excellent bass response. Think Kenny Burrell tone. Lollar makes a good version of this mini humbucker.
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:16 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayoubengal View Post
Would this Stealth Control Kit work with the DeArmonds? I like the idea of the thumb wheels underneath the pickguard instead of control knobs on my 1945 Epiphone Triumph. Any insights would be appreciated!

https://www.archtop.com/ac_access.html#anchor46193451
It would work, but for the authentic late Big-Band/early Bop-era look you want the lucite volume control mounted in the pickguard - and if you're (justifiably) apprehensive about drilling into a vintage original there are accurate replicas available:

https://www.archtop.com/ac_access.html#anchor46199418 (scroll down for Epiphone - third one in the line should be what you're after)

- and if you want to go the whole nine yards there's also a period-correct screw-on connector cable (or the slightly less-accurate 1/8" to 1/4" NOS from the '60s/70s):

https://www.archtop.com/ac_access.html#anchor46187191
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
It would work, but for the authentic late Big-Band/early Bop-era look you want the lucite volume control mounted in the pickguard - and if you're (justifiably) apprehensive about drilling into a vintage original there are accurate replicas available:

https://www.archtop.com/ac_access.html#anchor46199418 (scroll down for Epiphone - third one in the line should be what you're after)

- and if you want to go the whole nine yards there's also a period-correct screw-on connector cable (or the slightly less-accurate 1/8" to 1/4" NOS from the '60s/70s):

https://www.archtop.com/ac_access.html#anchor46187191
Thanks! 👍👍👍
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1974 Martin D-28 (A gift for my 20th birthday from Mom and Dad)
1948 Gibson J-50
1945 Epiphone Triumph Archtop
2006 Santa Cruz Guitar Company RS
2013 Martin 00-DB Jeff Tweedy
2014 Waterloo WL-14 LTR
2016 Halcyon NL-00 Lutz/Walnut
http://www.patrickcoopermusic.com
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  #9  
Old 02-16-2018, 02:18 PM
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Livingston Livingston is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
So, while I’m going to recommended (here at agf) Monel/nickel acoustic strings on my very nice Eastman 904ce oval hole, I’m thinking it might be a nice time to change/upgrade the stock Kent Armstrong floater. I believe this one is MIChina. The guitar is a 2007 iirc, no longer in production.

What say ye? USA Kent Armstrong, Benedetto or ?? Is there a Charlie Christian floater? Small pu makers? All thoughts appreciated.

Use will be solo fingerstyle jazz/composed ballads, samba/bossa nova and some flatpicking/comping in an ensemble.

Thanks, archtop sages!
Hi Mark,

I'm a fan of Kent Armstrong hand-wound pick ups in general. I have a top mounted PAF in my custom Holst (absolutely love the sound), and have installed the equivalent floating PAF in a couple of "budget" archtops.


Here is an example of an installation that I did on an Ibanez AF105F.

I don't currently own an archtop with the Kent Armstrong hand-wound floating PAF but I found a YouTube video of someone who installed one on his Peerless Monarch. He talks a little about why he chose this p/u and then has several minutes of video, demo'ing the guitar/pickup combo as well as contrasting vs. another guitar that has a top mounted PAF.

I will be mounting a new KA hand-wound floating humbucker on my Ibanez GB40th with a custom ebony finger-rest. I'll post sound samples when I complete the installation. But, in the meantime, I thought this person's demo well illustrated the sound and attributes of the Kent Armstrong hand-wound p/u.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ph1BCaabez8&t=1s

Of course, your mileage may vary! Best wishes in your search!
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Last edited by Livingston; 02-16-2018 at 04:07 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-16-2018, 08:25 PM
Mark L Mark L is offline
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Thank you for that very detailed and informative post. Still thinking it over, but KA handwound is gaining ground. I did like the notion of a DeArmond as well. Think I’ll post a photo of the critical area of my Eastman just to illustrate the matter at hand more clearly.

My guitar is oval holed rather than f holed and has a distinct acoustic tone - which I like! Mark.
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:53 AM
Pnewsom Pnewsom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
Thank you for that very detailed and informative post. Still thinking it over, but KA handwound is gaining ground. I did like the notion of a DeArmond as well. Think I’ll post a photo of the critical area of my Eastman just to illustrate the matter at hand more clearly.

My guitar is oval holed rather than f holed and has a distinct acoustic tone - which I like! Mark.
In that case you could pop in a sound hole pu, like the M1, Bill Lawrence, etc.
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  #12  
Old Yesterday, 11:41 AM
gfirob gfirob is offline
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I have a 1937 round-hole Gibson L-4 with a P90 in it. I recently got a Tonedexter for use with my flat-top guitars and I have been wondering about adding either a K&K soundboard pickup or their archtop bridge pickup and running it through the Tonedexter. I'm thinking of either adding a jack hole in the side or changing to a stereo jack so I could switch off between the magnetic and soundhole pickup. (The Tonedexter does not handle magnetic pickups.) This would give me both a P90 sound and a miked acoustic sound. Any thoughts on this? This guitar has been through the mil,l with two filled volume control holes in the top, sound-hole damage from past pickups and a refinished neck. It is structurally solid but fairly beat cosmetically. And sounds good.
Thanks
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