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  #1  
Old 02-14-2018, 01:38 PM
Mark L Mark L is offline
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Default Floating pickup recommendations

So, while Iím going to recommended (here at agf) Monel/nickel acoustic strings on my very nice Eastman 904ce oval hole, Iím 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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Old 02-14-2018, 01:49 PM
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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, 01:51 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, 03:03 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, 10:44 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, 07:04 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, 10:16 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, 10:53 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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1972 Guild Killdeer F112-6 Part Deux (Name Created by adorshki)
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Old 02-16-2018, 01:18 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 03:07 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-16-2018, 07:25 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 Iíll 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, 06:53 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 Iíll 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 02-21-2018, 10:41 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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  #13  
Old 02-23-2018, 09:40 PM
terken terken is offline
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I have installed the KA 12 pole hand wound floater in several archtops and love the tone.

I recently installed a Guild DeArmond 1100 Rhythm Chief and like that as well. The tone is a little brighter than the KA. I think it would be especially good if you are playing with a bass player.

Of the two I tend to gravitate towards the KA but you know how it goes, one day one sounds best, next day itís the other.

Donít think you could go wrong with either.
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  #14  
Old 02-24-2018, 04:39 PM
jimmy bookout jimmy bookout is offline
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I use a Bartolini floating on my Eastman Pagelli (replaced the made in Korea Kent Armstrong). The Bartolini is a very nice pickup, VERY transparent tonally.

Also, to answer post #12, I also have a Fishman undersaddle piezo, wired in stereo on the Pagelli. I use a Pick up the World end pin stereo preamp that will sum the 2 pickups to a mono signal. I have a Tone Dexter and did a wave map on the Pagelli using just the Fishman. When I plug in, I use the Fishman mainly with just a splash of the Bartolini for a little richness. Sounds really good (very close to the Pagelli acoustically), I'll try to record something quick on it tomorrow so you can hear it.
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Old 02-24-2018, 10:41 PM
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I've got one of the new Rhythm Chief's, single coil Armstrong hand wound, and the regular Armstrong 12 pole hand wound (not to mention the Sunrise shimmed into my Wu Oval Hole). Hard to do apples to apples with different guitars but overall I don't think you'll ever regret going to that standard 12 pole hand wound Armstrong. Note that you can get a decent discount on them at WD Music if you stalk their website around holidays. And yea.. I think you will notice quite a bit difference over what you're running now.
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Last edited by Spook; 02-24-2018 at 10:50 PM.
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