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  #1  
Old 10-31-2019, 11:52 AM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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Default Schatten HFN passive pickup install

The pickup arrived and I'm ready to install it into my 000-15sm. I'm a convert from a K&K and bought the Schatten based on the many great reviews and YouTube demos.

This evening, I'll take the guitar to my local shop, where they told me they'd drill the endpin hole for the jack for only $10. Currently, I'm planning on installing the pickup myself since it seems to be simple enough. Based on the sound clips I've heard, I'm not going to bother with the putty and go straight to the tape.

I still will ask at the shop if they have any experience with this pickup and if yes, how much they'd charge to install it for me.

I have read several accounts on this forum where people have used some kind of jig to get the placement right.

I can't quite imagine what that would look like, so if anyone has pointers, I'd love to hear about them.
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Martin America 1
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Taylor GS Mini
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1971 Dobro

Last edited by DesertTwang; 10-31-2019 at 12:00 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-31-2019, 12:14 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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If a luthier is going to be doing the install, even if they haven't installed this pickup before, they should find it pretty easy. Regarding pickup installs it's certainly the easiest that I've ever installed and I've done quite a few over the years!

If you choose a tape install I would certainly recommend a homemade jig for perfect placement. I just cut a small piece of cardboard and placed it over the guitars bridge and marked the holes for the low e and high e and the saddle slot. I cut out the hole for the fit snugly on the line of the saddle slot. This is how I made mine, but of course there's other ways so whatever works. All my installs are done with putty now as I find it easier to use but you can't go wrong with either.
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  #3  
Old 10-31-2019, 12:41 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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Thank you, GL, for sharing your experience. So, once you have the paper cutout, how do you use it to transfer the whole thing to the inside of the body where you have to work blindly? That's what I'm trying to find out.

I think I understand your instructions to make the cardboard jig, cut out the holes and the saddle line, but then what? How do I actually transfer everything to the inside of the guitar body?

Here's what I'm surmising, please confirm or correct me: I make a "dummy" of the bridgeplate from a piece of cardboard. Then I place it on top as you describe, mark the spots for the bridgepins of the high and low E, and the line of the saddle. I then cut out the holes and the saddle line ensuring it's wide enough to accommodate the HFN pickup. Then the whole thing goes inside, I hold it underneath the bridge plate, but then what? How do I make it stay there? Can I secure with two bridge pins from underneath the bridge, with the pins being upside down? Would that even work?

The final step would be to do a few practice runs trying to fumble around and stick the pickup into the saddle line slot that I cut out and practice the placement without the tape in place.

Once I feel comfortable doing this and nailing the position on first touchdown, I put the tape onto the pickup feet, go for the final shot and hope for the best.

Does that sound about right? And would it be advantageous to buy one of those thingies that look like a dentist mirror mounted to an extendable selfie stick?
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"And that's why I've always thought of bluegrass players as the Marines of the music world" (Some rock guitar guy I jammed with a while ago)

Martin America 1
Martin 000-15sm
Recording King Dirty 30s RPS-9 TS
Taylor GS Mini
Baton Rouge 12-string guitar
Martin Backpacker
1933 Epiphone Olympic
1971 Dobro
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  #4  
Old 10-31-2019, 04:08 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Sorry I should've included that. Once you have the HFN affixed to your jig, put 2 bridge pins or golf tees in the bridge and line up the holes with the jig holes. You can certainly do a trial run before you commit. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-31-2019, 04:16 PM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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From my first install. Be sure to press hard when doing the final seating of the HFN to get all three feet securely attached.

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2017 RainSong CH-PA1100NS, TKL 8975
2018 RainSong CO-PA1100NS, TKL 8975
2019 RainSong V-DR1100N2
2019 Fender Player Strat

Taped Passive HFN, Elixir PB11, D'Addario EXL110

1 QSC CP8 high/behind
Duo gigging no mixer 2 SM58>Y>CP8, HFN>HxStomp(Cuki79 IR)>TRS>CP8 3.5mm

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www.justsoduo.com
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  #6  
Old 10-31-2019, 05:10 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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Thank you for the detailed instructions. I think I'm getting the idea now. Since I'm not a golfer, any idea where I could get a couple of golf tees for cheap without having to buy a whole bunch in one package? Would thrift stores have them?

Also, in the photos I noticed a velcro tab attached to the cable. My HFN doesn't have that, so I'm assuming you modded that yourself. Looks like a clever solution and more sleek than the provided plastic clips to prevent the cable from rattling around. I might do that as well.
__________________
"And that's why I've always thought of bluegrass players as the Marines of the music world" (Some rock guitar guy I jammed with a while ago)

Martin America 1
Martin 000-15sm
Recording King Dirty 30s RPS-9 TS
Taylor GS Mini
Baton Rouge 12-string guitar
Martin Backpacker
1933 Epiphone Olympic
1971 Dobro
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  #7  
Old 10-31-2019, 06:42 PM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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I like Velcro for this problem. The Velcro sold for cloth is more flexible and will fold around a cable better. It is a Home Depot stock item. I have a collection of golf tees from installing K&K's (mostly for friends). I imagine a golfing friend could donate a few...

__________________
- Jon Fields

2017 RainSong CH-PA1100NS, TKL 8975
2018 RainSong CO-PA1100NS, TKL 8975
2019 RainSong V-DR1100N2
2019 Fender Player Strat

Taped Passive HFN, Elixir PB11, D'Addario EXL110

1 QSC CP8 high/behind
Duo gigging no mixer 2 SM58>Y>CP8, HFN>HxStomp(Cuki79 IR)>TRS>CP8 3.5mm

jonfields45@gmail.com
www.justsoduo.com
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  #8  
Old 11-01-2019, 04:35 AM
Marty C Marty C is offline
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If any of you guys had to get more tape for a second try, what would you use?
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:14 AM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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I used the jig method as well and it was very easy to get the placement directly on the saddle line. My only slight issue was that people had recommended attaching the backside of the pickup to the jig by using a small amount of putty. I find the putty to be so sticky that once I would get the pickup in place, I would go to remove the jig and the pickup would pop off the bridge plate. Mind you this was only an issue with the tape on the feet as the adhesive loses its stickiness if it comes in contact with the bridge plate and then is pulled off.
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:22 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petty1818 View Post
I used the jig method as well and it was very easy to get the placement directly on the saddle line. My only slight issue was that people had recommended attaching the backside of the pickup to the jig by using a small amount of putty. I find the putty to be so sticky that once I would get the pickup in place, I would go to remove the jig and the pickup would pop off the bridge plate. Mind you this was only an issue with the tape on the feet as the adhesive loses its stickiness if it comes in contact with the bridge plate and then is pulled off.
I had the same problem too and had to be careful removing the tool. I switched (not photographed :~) to using just two small bits of poster tape on the tool at either end of the HFN.
__________________
- Jon Fields

2017 RainSong CH-PA1100NS, TKL 8975
2018 RainSong CO-PA1100NS, TKL 8975
2019 RainSong V-DR1100N2
2019 Fender Player Strat

Taped Passive HFN, Elixir PB11, D'Addario EXL110

1 QSC CP8 high/behind
Duo gigging no mixer 2 SM58>Y>CP8, HFN>HxStomp(Cuki79 IR)>TRS>CP8 3.5mm

jonfields45@gmail.com
www.justsoduo.com
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  #11  
Old 11-01-2019, 07:37 AM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonfields45 View Post
I had the same problem too and had to be careful removing the tool. I switched (not photographed :~) to using just two small bits of poster tape on the tool at either end of the HFN.
Same, that worked much better! If I could have found a way to make the bass a bit more prominent on the HFN, I would have kept it in. It just got to the point where I installed it about twelve different time and many of the installs sounded great, except for the missing bass. It was there but it just felt as though the low E was missing something.
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Old 11-01-2019, 01:24 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petty1818 View Post
Same, that worked much better! If I could have found a way to make the bass a bit more prominent on the HFN, I would have kept it in. It just got to the point where I installed it about twelve different time and many of the installs sounded great, except for the missing bass. It was there but it just felt as though the low E was missing something.
From what I gather, the weak bass seems to be inherent to the HFN, regardless where it's installed.
__________________
"And that's why I've always thought of bluegrass players as the Marines of the music world" (Some rock guitar guy I jammed with a while ago)

Martin America 1
Martin 000-15sm
Recording King Dirty 30s RPS-9 TS
Taylor GS Mini
Baton Rouge 12-string guitar
Martin Backpacker
1933 Epiphone Olympic
1971 Dobro
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  #13  
Old 11-01-2019, 01:29 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonfields45 View Post
I had the same problem too and had to be careful removing the tool. I switched (not photographed :~) to using just two small bits of poster tape on the tool at either end of the HFN.
My plan is to cut a slot into the jig that holds the pickup in place just enough for positioning, without using any kind of adhesive between the pickup and the jig.

This is all theory, at this point, since I have not yet attempted the install, though. I only had the endpin hole drilled out last night at my local shop (they did it immediately and for free!), and since then spent some time thinking about how I'll approach the job.

Right now, I'm planning on placing a piece of transparent plastic on top of the bridge plate and trace the pins and the saddle. I'll then place that on top of a thin piece of wood and trace the features onto the wood. Then I'll use a jigsaw to cut out the shapes for the two E string pins and the pickup along the saddle line. Then I'll insert the pickup into the slot and guide the jig in place, using golf tees to align it with the two bridge pin holes at both ends. I'll do a few practice runs before arming the pickup with tape and going for the install.

Again, pure theory at this point. I'm sure there'll be roadblocks I haven't thought about.

By the way, I have been wondering whether it matters in which orientation one installs the pickup. Per the illustrations in the manual, the wire attaches to the end at the low E string. Does it matter? Could one reverse it and possibly get a better sound or more bass?
__________________
"And that's why I've always thought of bluegrass players as the Marines of the music world" (Some rock guitar guy I jammed with a while ago)

Martin America 1
Martin 000-15sm
Recording King Dirty 30s RPS-9 TS
Taylor GS Mini
Baton Rouge 12-string guitar
Martin Backpacker
1933 Epiphone Olympic
1971 Dobro
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  #14  
Old 11-01-2019, 01:35 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertTwang View Post
From what I gather, the weak bass seems to be inherent to the HFN, regardless where it's installed.
I have to disagree with this statement. I don't doubt the claims and experiences of others as the results from SBT's can vary greatly but I installed the HFN in 5 guitars (not all mine) and none of them lack bass. I did experience lack of bass in my very first install with tape. Looking back now it's hard to say why that was the case, either some uneven surface or possibly me not putting enough pressure. Regardless I'm very happy with the bass response from the pickup. I should add that most of my installs were done in dreadnoughts, whether that makes a difference to the bass response of the pickup I cannot say for sure.
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  #15  
Old 11-01-2019, 02:20 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarLuva View Post
I have to disagree with this statement. I don't doubt the claims and experiences of others as the results from SBT's can vary greatly but I installed the HFN in 5 guitars (not all mine) and none of them lack bass. I did experience lack of bass in my very first install with tape. Looking back now it's hard to say why that was the case, either some uneven surface or possibly me not putting enough pressure. Regardless I'm very happy with the bass response from the pickup. I should add that most of my installs were done in dreadnoughts, whether that makes a difference to the bass response of the pickup I cannot say for sure.
Thank you for providing that perspective! That sounds very encouraging.
__________________
"And that's why I've always thought of bluegrass players as the Marines of the music world" (Some rock guitar guy I jammed with a while ago)

Martin America 1
Martin 000-15sm
Recording King Dirty 30s RPS-9 TS
Taylor GS Mini
Baton Rouge 12-string guitar
Martin Backpacker
1933 Epiphone Olympic
1971 Dobro
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