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  #1  
Old 01-19-2023, 11:07 AM
rollypolly rollypolly is offline
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Default inexpensive pickup for archtop

Can anyone recommend a cheap pickup , non invasive, for an old archtop? I've seen K&K has one called the Definity but I haven't seen a whole lot of talk about that pickup. Looks like it's a piezo that slides under the bridge. Given K&K's reputation it seems promising.

But I've also seen these generic clip-on Humbucker pickups that you can install in the neck position. Seems like that might give the better tone.

Any tips?
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Old 01-19-2023, 12:41 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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The classic since the 1940's:



https://shop.guildguitars.com/produc...v=7516fd43adaa
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Old 01-19-2023, 12:58 PM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollypolly View Post
Can anyone recommend a cheap pickup , non invasive, for an old archtop? I've seen K&K has one called the Definity but I haven't seen a whole lot of talk about that pickup. Looks like it's a piezo that slides under the bridge. Given K&K's reputation it seems promising.

But I've also seen these generic clip-on Humbucker pickups that you can install in the neck position. Seems like that might give the better tone.

Any tips?
The K&K will work, but a large part of the contact area of the bridge itself is negated by their thickness.

I believe this one by Pickup The World will do a better job:

https://www.pickup.world/product/archtop-guitar/

Best,
Howard Emerson
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Old 01-19-2023, 01:04 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Well, are you looking for an acoustic sound, or a plugged in electric type sound?
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Old 01-19-2023, 02:31 PM
wierdOne wierdOne is offline
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I have no experience with any of the under saddle bridge pickups, but Kent Armstrong floating humbuckers have been my go to solution for nearly two decades. Thatís just personal preference, but I tried a bunch of brands over the yearsÖ I canít speak highly enough about them.

Iím talking about the handmade ones for sale off of Archtop.comís accessory page (no relation)

https://www.archtop.com/ac_access.html
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Old 01-19-2023, 03:15 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wierdOne View Post
I have no experience with any of the under saddle bridge pickups, but Kent Armstrong floating humbuckers have been my go to solution for nearly two decades. Thatís just personal preference, but I tried a bunch of brands over the yearsÖ I canít speak highly enough about them.
I put one from Stew-Mac on my archtop. I don't know if this meets the original "inexpensive" definition, but it's cheaper than K&K, Dazzo, Trance, etc.
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Old 01-19-2023, 03:44 PM
rollypolly rollypolly is offline
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I'd like to get a jazz tone. not interested in acoustic tone.
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Old 01-19-2023, 04:18 PM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollypolly View Post
I'd like to get a jazz tone. not interested in acoustic tone.
Magnetic.

There are plenty of pseudo Johnny Smith mini hum buckers that mount on the end of the fingerboard. They're quieter than the DeArmond, but with either one you'll have to modify the pick guard a little bit.

Of course it depends on the way your guitar is built. Some builds don't have a floating fingerboard with enough clearance for a mini hum bucker.

In any case it's a doable thing, especially if you're handy.

HE
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Old 01-19-2023, 05:05 PM
rollypolly rollypolly is offline
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There's one that's called a Kent Armstrong Jazzy Joe: https://www.ebay.com/itm/14484183984...mis&media=COPY

Looks pretty minimally invasive apart from attaching it to the pick guard, and then getting the wires in a nice place for plugging in. Not sure I want to drill anything into this guitar, a 57 Gretsch New Yorker. Not a luxury instrument but it's pretty much untouched right now and I'd hate to take a drill to it. I'll probably figure out a way to use a temporary jack since for now this is a play at home only guitar.
I also hesitate to put any holes in the pick guard so I may look for a generic archtop pick guard if they exist.

Thanks for the tips so far!
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Old 01-19-2023, 07:46 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollypolly View Post
I'd like to get a jazz tone. not interested in acoustic tone.
Then 100% go magnetic.

Look up Krivo pickups, send Jason an email. He'll have something for you. His pickups are great, reasonably priced, and many of his designs mount with putty and are easily removed, as non-invasive as it gets.
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Old 01-19-2023, 07:52 PM
wierdOne wierdOne is offline
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I canít speak of that particular model. This is the one that Iíve got installed on my pickguards:

https://reverb.com/item/9827260-arms...ontent=9827260
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Old 01-20-2023, 10:57 AM
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nbs2005 nbs2005 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
Then 100% go magnetic.

Look up Krivo pickups, send Jason an email. He'll have something for you. His pickups are great, reasonably priced, and many of his designs mount with putty and are easily removed, as non-invasive as it gets.
+1 on the Krivo. I have one for my resonator and have even used it to good effect with a flat top.
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Old 01-20-2023, 02:16 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is online now
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How about one of the "Juke Shack" thin humbuckers sold by C.B. Gitty that were designed for archtop guitar?

These are ridiculously cheap, too.

Juke Shack archtop humbucker

Last edited by Rudy4; 01-20-2023 at 02:24 PM.
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  #14  
Old 01-22-2023, 01:10 PM
rollypolly rollypolly is offline
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I went with a Kent Armstrong that installs on the pickguard at the neck position. Iíll probably use a stick on jack for now.
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Old 01-27-2023, 02:17 PM
rollypolly rollypolly is offline
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Just to follow up on this ...maybe I'm just talking into the wind , but in case someone else reads in the future....I got the Kent Armstrong Jazzy Joe Humbucker and installed it today. It was a pretty easy process . Attaching the pickup to the existing pick guard was the trickiest part. I decided to use super glue and hope that it holds. So far so good.

It sounds better than I expected. Lots of really natural jazz tone. The only downside is that with the pick guard installed it doesn't give me much room to play my fingerstyle picking , so I'll be forced to play traditional jazz style with a pick. The fact that's a temp install using a plastic jack that I attached to the tailpiece, it feels a little fragile. I might consider drilling an end pin jack in the future after seeing how good this humbucker sounds.
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