The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Other Stringed Instruments

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 07-30-2019, 12:07 AM
guitarwebguy guitarwebguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 213
Default Suggestions for a banjo pickup

I have a Deering 12 string banjo that has a 1980ís vintage Barcus Berry pickup installed under the head that has failed, so Iíd like to replace it but I know nothing about amplifying a banjo so I am open to suggestions, Thanks in advance
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-30-2019, 04:44 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chugiak, Alaska
Posts: 25,734
Default

K&K makes a two piezo banjo pickup that sounds pretty good; I have one mounted in my Deering B6 guitar-banjo:





˙˙˙

https://kksound.com/instruments/banjo.php

Those are not photos of my instruments, but that's what the K&K banjo pickup looks like.

Something I discovered to my dismay when I first started playing five string banjo onstage is that banjos are actually quite difficult to mic accurately. You'd think the opposite, that they're so loud that mics will pick them right up, but in reality if you move so much as a quarter inch away from the mic it totally changes the sound.

I had always thought that bluegrass banjoplayers were undemonstrative dorks, frankly, the way they all stood stock still while playing onstage, but the truth is that they HAVE to stand stock still to get a decent sound from their instruments through an instrument mic. But if you put a K&K pickup on it, you can use both the pickup and the stage instrument mic - what I do is stay a little bit away from the mic when I'm singing, then step in closer when I play an instrumental solo.

I have a special order LR Baggs banjo pickup on my five string, but I recommend the K&K over that for no other reason than they're more easily available. I had to wait a little bit while Baggs made a banjo pickup for me, but the K&K's are a regular stock item.

Both sound about the same, both work pretty well.

Hope this helps.


Wade Hampton Miller
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-31-2019, 12:14 AM
guitarwebguy guitarwebguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 213
Default

Wade, Do you find that you need a preamp or does it work just fine going into an amp or PA
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-31-2019, 05:15 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chugiak, Alaska
Posts: 25,734
Default

The K&K pickups are hot enough that you can plug them straight into the board or into an amp without running them through a preamp first. And Iíve done that. But they sound better if you use a good preamp, one that allows you to shape the tone a bit.


whm
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-31-2019, 07:56 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Staten Island, NY
Posts: 9,384
Default

The Barcus-Berry Outsider is still in production - just the right size to stick on the underside of the head directly under the bridge feet, much like a piezo UST on a flattop guitar (mutes the acoustic tone a bit, which I find useful in certain situations - YMMV); doesn't need a preamp either - probably the world's worst guitar pickup, but I've been using it as my go-to banjo pickup for over 25 years with excellent results...
__________________
"I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure."
- Mark Twain
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-31-2019, 09:14 AM
roylor4 roylor4 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: McLeansville, NC
Posts: 6,631
Default

JJB makes a banjo pickup as does Schatten.

I installed the JJB in my wife's Deering Goodtime resonator banjo and the Schatten in her openback Goldtone.

The Schatten is hotter and more feedback resistant than the JJB. The beauty (or ugliness, however you look at it) of both these pickups is that they mount on the brackets and do not require drilling. Both are quick installs.

As Wade said about the K&K - the Schatten would probably be okay straight in, the JJB would not IMHO. Both benefit greatly from an external preamp.
__________________
Roy


Ibanez, Alvarez, Recording King, Gretsch & Loar
2 G&L Tributes, 2 Squiers
Vox, Orange, Bugera
JBL, Soundcraft, Roland, Fender, Samson

Our duo website - UPDATED 7/26/19

My Solo site -Updated 2/6/19
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-31-2019, 03:27 PM
guitarwebguy guitarwebguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 213
Default

Since all of my instruments go through a Grace Design Felix, Iím surmising that would be enough. Since Iíd have to have Baggs custom make a 12 string bridge pickup Iíll be looking into the other great suggestions everyone made. Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-13-2019, 12:03 PM
guitarman68 guitarman68 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Bavaria, Germany
Posts: 106
Default

I use Pickuptheworld-pickups in all my banjo instruments (5-string, Tenor, Uke) and like them a lot. Easy installation, no artefacts. Premp required, but a simple Boss-tuner pedal or any Boss pedal does the job. For simple I recommend BOSS GE7, if money is no issue Grace Felix.
Tried K&K and Schatten - both nice. Settled on the PUTW (now OTSS).
__________________
Guitars:
Merrill C 28 (UltraTonic), Merrill OM 28 (Dazzo / DPA 4061), Merrill OM 18 (Schatten HFN passive), Martin D 18 (1948) (Dazzo / DPA 4061), Martin 017 (1934) (K&K trinity)

Preamps:
Grace Felix, Tone Dexter, RedEye, Fishman Platinum, Pendulum SPS-1

more stringed instruments:
mandolin, mandola, mandocello, bouzouki, dobro, weissenborn, lap steel, 5-string banjo
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Other Stringed Instruments

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:56 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=