Electrics for the acoustic player –

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    • #249
      tadol
      Moderator

      I’ve been looking around for a while, trying to understand why the same general range of built options that I enjoy so much in my acoustics aren’t viable in electrics.  I’ve learned that there is no real limit on the nut width, but “standard” pickups have a limit as to how far apart the strings can be spaced where they pass over the pickup, and also that standard tailpieces are quite limiting in the maximum spacing that they can allow.

      Now I went to a show in Sebastopol, and saw some really nice pedal steels – which seem to have a variety of pickups in wider sizes, which I thought was interesting, and I also learned that they routinely wind custom pickups in different sizes for different board widths. So maybe the pickup size is not as big a deal as I thought?? And looking at your “standard” bridge piece – It seems like they are just a bunch of poles, and that the carrier is the item affecting the spacing, so a custom carrier might be all you need to create more spacing at the bridge – and maybe thats already been done?

      So – custom neck, custom pickups, modified tailpiece/bridge, and maybe some cavity adjustment for the electronics –

      Thoughts? Experiences? Feed-back? Or better still – any specific makers/models that I could find that might already have gone down this road?

      Ideally, I think I’d like my SC F 1-13/16 shallow C neck, fitted onto a shallow F cutaway body, with some simple (limited number of knobs) electronics, but I think thats just a little too custom for the crew at SCGC to consider –

    • #286
      Matt Hayden
      Participant

      Pickup makers like Jason Lollar will wind nearly anything you need – and, as you’ve noted, current tech allows them to create bobbins and magnets of different sizes with mess less fuss than in the pre-CNC era.

      If you’re looking for something that’ll feel like an F with a cutaway, though – and by this, I’m thinking a solid body or semi-hollow – try an old (1970s) Gibson L6-S (solid body) or ES225 (semi-hollow).  Both come with good pickups – the ES225 has standard PAFs or PAF derivatives. and the L6-S has Bill-Lawrence-designed pickups that are humbucker-sized but have a good deal more versatility, and can mimic anything from a Tele to a Les Paul to a jazz box.

      The body sizes are pretty large for electrics so they would have some of the arm-filling feel of the F.  The necks are a little small but the overall size might be worth checking out.

       

      If you want to try to make something like that, grab a neck from Warmoth, or a neck-through blank from Stew-Mac and roll your own.

       

    • #1525
      bert
      Participant

      Slightly late in reading this post.

      tadol, if you have the chance to try an Eastman El Rey4, it might be worth your time. I’ve had mine for 10wks and it is working out great and, much like your description.  It’s a hybrid, fits somewhere between an archtop and thinline hollowbody. Designed by Otto D’Ambrosio, Kent Armstrong PAF pickup, excellent acoustic tone with the mahog/spruce body. Even though I don’t play jazz, I’ve owned archtops for years, love the acous tone.

      Eastman builds some great archtops, I’ve owned four, this is the only one for me.

      https://www.eastmanguitars.com/electric_signature_archtop

      Eastman El Rey4

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by bert.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by bert.
    • #1527
      indexless
      Keymaster

      Good god that’s a sexy guitar

    • #1528
      Daniel
      Participant

      Indeed.  That’s yummy.

      I spent an hour playing my 1980s Japanese made Squier Tele the other night.  It has a 1 11/16″ nut, which I find a bit big, being a mandolin player.  The radius on the fingerboard is also a good match for my SCGC dread.  So it feels very acoustic-y in my left hand.

      I couldn’t tell you what the saddle distances are.  Standard Fender I imagine (if there is such a thing).

      After feel, you’re looking for sound.  As an acoustic player I am actually enjoying –after all these years– the stacked humbucker I put in the neck pocket back in the early 1990s.  Really fat sound.  Takes well to a little bit of break-up in the preamp and some tremolo.

      Enjoy the search!

      Daniel


    • #1530
      Hank
      Participant

      Bert that is a beautiful Axe.
      BUT I BEG Y’All Don’t Tempt Me with Electrics……Look what Y’All did to me when I discovered SCGC Acoustics


      1993 Martin HD-28 IR/Sitka
      2001 SCGC F Cutaway Maple/German
      2008 SCGC OT Madi/Italian
      2015 SCGC OM “The Tree” Hog/ European
      2016 SCGC 1934 D45 Braz/ Adi
      2016 Taylor K62 CE Limited Edition 12 string all Koa
      2019 SCGC FTC Granadillo/Redwood
      Life is a journey…not a guided tour,
      The Bay,The Gulf Stream , The Open Ocean are particular about who they share their secrets with.

    • #1534
      Daniel
      Participant

      I won’t tell you how much easier my Tele is on my hands than my SCGC then.  😉

       

      D


      • #1536
        Hank
        Participant

        Daniel…It ain’t my hands, I have very strong hands….. It’s my WALLET !!!!


        1993 Martin HD-28 IR/Sitka
        2001 SCGC F Cutaway Maple/German
        2008 SCGC OT Madi/Italian
        2015 SCGC OM “The Tree” Hog/ European
        2016 SCGC 1934 D45 Braz/ Adi
        2016 Taylor K62 CE Limited Edition 12 string all Koa
        2019 SCGC FTC Granadillo/Redwood
        Life is a journey…not a guided tour,
        The Bay,The Gulf Stream , The Open Ocean are particular about who they share their secrets with.

      • #1539
        Daniel
        Participant

        zorro my friend, if you’re not looking for an electric that matches the feel of your acoustics like Tadol, then electrics can be had cheap!  The issue won’t be $$ it’ll be space to store it all!  🙂

        Daniel

         


    • #1540
      Hank
      Participant

      Between my wifes PA system and rehersale gear and my guitars and guitar cases and guns and workout machines we are bursting at the seams now.
      I guess I could plug in direct to my wife’s Bose Tower sound system But I think I’ll stay acoustic and just work toward my 45th anniversary FTC.


      1993 Martin HD-28 IR/Sitka
      2001 SCGC F Cutaway Maple/German
      2008 SCGC OT Madi/Italian
      2015 SCGC OM “The Tree” Hog/ European
      2016 SCGC 1934 D45 Braz/ Adi
      2016 Taylor K62 CE Limited Edition 12 string all Koa
      2019 SCGC FTC Granadillo/Redwood
      Life is a journey…not a guided tour,
      The Bay,The Gulf Stream , The Open Ocean are particular about who they share their secrets with.

    • #1629
      tadol
      Moderator

      I am on the hunt to try out an El Rey – the specs all look really good!

      • #1634
        Daniel
        Participant

        I haven’t heard of an El Rey (Le Roi, The King!).

        Do share!

        D


      • #3099
        Chrisakadigdog
        Participant

        Sylvan Music in SC has had a few over the years.

      • #3192
        Matt Hayden
        Participant

        They’re extraordinary.  I have a friend who swapped out the stock pickup for a Bartolini B-6, which is a very acoustic-sounding humbucker, and it now does everything from strumming to hard rock.  Amazing instrument.

    • #1639
      bert
      Participant

      tad, this is the only recording I’ve made with the El Rey 4 at present.  It had on NYXL 12-52 (wound third).. I have since changed to NYXL 11-50BT (unwound 3rd), me like. The 52s made it sound too throaty and the unwound 3rd really shines.

      I recorded it clean with a Shure SM81 positioned about 2ft from the Amp, added a bit of reverb & EQ in the post. I’ve had the ER4 for two months and still bumping around with EQ.

      The ER4 is a true hybrid, got acoustic covered… in between an archtop and thinline elec.  Otto D’Ambrosio is not afraid to experiment, he build Julian Lage’s archtop amongst other things and he’s now working full time out of Eastman US headquaraters in Pomona.

      I took a chance and bought mine online, good fortune happens.

      https://soundcloud.com/bertramd-1/el-rey4-run3

      • #3093
        Hank
        Participant

        Bert,

        Just discovered your Soundcloud site….very nice stuff….REALLY like the “Midnight Rider” cut.

        Inspired me to try my own version of it.


        1993 Martin HD-28 IR/Sitka
        2001 SCGC F Cutaway Maple/German
        2008 SCGC OT Madi/Italian
        2015 SCGC OM “The Tree” Hog/ European
        2016 SCGC 1934 D45 Braz/ Adi
        2016 Taylor K62 CE Limited Edition 12 string all Koa
        2019 SCGC FTC Granadillo/Redwood
        Life is a journey…not a guided tour,
        The Bay,The Gulf Stream , The Open Ocean are particular about who they share their secrets with.

    • #3094
      Hank
      Participant

      After reading through ALL of this I have only 1 Question……Is the “Real” sound of an acoustic guitar best obtained through the use of onboard p/u through a mixer or is it more accurate reproduction to use a Mic straight to a high quality speaker. ?

      Seems to me that our own Eric Skye uses Mics….or is that just the way that Mr. Newman prefers to record.?

      I ask because my wife has a Yamaha board to a TubroSound 500 watt speaker or a Bose SoundPure to a Bose tower.

      Both I have “Plugged” into and the sound just never seems to be as my ear hears it when I just play unplugged .

      Is a Mic a better way to go? and if so what Mic ? I know to position at the 12th fret if using only a single Mic.


      1993 Martin HD-28 IR/Sitka
      2001 SCGC F Cutaway Maple/German
      2008 SCGC OT Madi/Italian
      2015 SCGC OM “The Tree” Hog/ European
      2016 SCGC 1934 D45 Braz/ Adi
      2016 Taylor K62 CE Limited Edition 12 string all Koa
      2019 SCGC FTC Granadillo/Redwood
      Life is a journey…not a guided tour,
      The Bay,The Gulf Stream , The Open Ocean are particular about who they share their secrets with.

    • #3100
      Old 97
      Participant

      Eric uses mikes. He sold me his K&K preamp.

       

    • #3193
      Matt Hayden
      Participant

      Mics are nice, but in the real world, pickups have to do.

      I love playing with a mic in a listening room, but in a noisy place, almost anything works better than a mic.

      My SCGCs have passive SBT pickups, and that and a good preamp – in this case, a Rane AP13 – sound great if there’s time to dial things in.   If the playing situation doesn’t present the opportunity to plug in the preamp and fiddle with it for a few minutes before getting started, then it’s time to default to the instruments with barn-door pickup systems that are essentially plug and play.

       

      • This reply was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by Matt Hayden.
      • This reply was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by Matt Hayden.
    • #3915
      bert
      Participant

      For some strange reason I forget to check this section. Thanks Zorro from Nov 2019, my former John Pisano archtop on that tune, my son has that guitar now days.

      Little update on the El Rey 4 archtop:

      I pulled my hair out trying to find the right strings, too light… too something, on and on. Finally hit the light switch and figured out that it wasn’t the strings but my 40watt tube amp was just too powerful for what I do. (note… no distortion pedals use my electricity).

      3-4mos ago I picked up a (solid state) Roland Jazz Chorous 40… bingo. (Think Sting/Police, they used the 120watt model on all their recordings). In a dark room it’s good when you find the light switch. The JC40 has made all the diff with the El Rey 4, plus.. my SCGC VJ has a K&K, bingo again.

      I’m just putting together an idea for a rhythmic arpeggio using the VJ and adding a little lead from the El Rey 4… hope for a sample to post soon. Saying this should get me off my butt maybe.  btw, yea.. they’re shacking up out of wedlock:

    • #3916
      bert
      Participant

      Just trying to give an idea of how I sync the El Rey 4 archtop with the VJ. There’s a good bit of acoustic crossover but they tend to stay in their two separate tracks.

      SCGC VJ – recorded clean Shure SM81 small diaphram mic, tiny tad of reverb added in post.
      El Rey 4 – is running through the Roland JazzChorus40 amp output jack to audio interface.
      (the JC40 effects could be tweaked for the better on this one.)

      2mins clip starts with a short El Rey 4 riff, followed by the same riff on the SCGC VJ (should make it easy to follow which is out front or in the background as it goes along, they blend at times. This demo is taken from an old tune I wrote in the early 80s. Hope you enjoy. bert

      https://soundcloud.com/bertramd-1/er4-jc40-scgc-vj-micd

    • #3917
      tadol
      Moderator

      Well – I’ve purchased an electric, although I have yet to get it fully ready to go –

      A visit to Tall Toad and asking them about anything they had with a wider nut, I was introduced to the 2015 Gibson Les Pauls, which they made with 1-13/16” nut – that year only, as most electric players hated it. So I found one online for a good price, and picked it up.

      It has a couple problems – 1st, even though the nut was wider, the string spacing was identical as a 1-11/16” nut guitar – but lots of room at the edges. So, off with that nut, and a new re-cut bone nut installed. Neck and spacing seem good –

      2nd – the guitar has the G-force electronic auto-tuners. I’ll be honest and admit I’ve been having a little fun letting it tune itself, and electronically change from one tuning to another, but the fun has worn off, and these things do Not do a good job of tuning, and they are awkward as heck for manual tuning – so, I’m looking for some new tuners, some that will look good and fit the guitar easily. Just need to spend a little time looking, and then order something. I’ll probably go up a guage or two in strings at the same time –

      Finally – this thing is Heavy!  I may adjust to it, I may not – we’ll see in time, but it’s nice to feel a neck that feels a whole lot closer to my acoustics, even if the saddle spacing is too tight for any fingerstyle attempt – meanwhile, I’ll keep eyes open to see if I can find an El Rey to try out –

    • #3949
      Daniel
      Participant

      Tad,

      With all the amazing builders in the Bay Area, you went and bought an off-the-shelf guitar?!  🙂

      Daniel


    • #3961
      tadol
      Moderator

      Yeah – if I could find one who’d build one for what this cost me, I’d probably go for it. And I will – someday – but right now, I’m just kinda having fun trying different things and seeing how they feel / sound / play –

      I’m still intrigued with building my own  from some Warmoth parts – and alot of help from friends on this forum, and a few others. First, I really need to sell a couple of my first tries, including a really wonderful Strat that used to belong to our friend Magwa – my very first foray into the world of electrics.

    • #3964
      Daniel
      Participant

      What draws me to electrics is tone control.  You can control/tweak/change an awful lot more about the output of an electric than you can an acoustic.  With modern low-wattage, low-power amps you can get tones that 20 years ago were only possible at anti-social volumes.

      Do a lot of cross-over work: play your songs and tunes on the electric and tweak amp settings until you get a sound that serves the music.  It’ll be there.  And don’t be afraid to push the envelope.

      Enjoy!

      🙂

      Daniel


      • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Daniel.
      • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Daniel.
    • #3984
      Matt Hayden
      Participant

      > With modern low-wattage, low-power amps you can get tones that 20 years ago were only possible at anti-social volumes.

      This is true. These days I’m using a 1965 Deluxe Reverb for a lot of stuff and using the preamp switching tools and TAD/TAC power tube adapters to use 6AK6 tubes in place of 6V6s (Daniel, these will also work on the Ampeg). It’s about 1 watt but that’s still plenty loud – 102 dB using the JBL D120 and about 101 dB using a C12N speaker.  It’s all the tone in a package that isn’t out-of-control loud at all.

      And it’ll handle an acoustic with a good pickup as well as a telecaster…..

      • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Matt Hayden.
      • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Matt Hayden.
      • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Matt Hayden.
      • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Matt Hayden.
      • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Matt Hayden.
      • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Matt Hayden.
    • #3988
      Daniel
      Participant

      Thanks Matt,

      I had no idea that swapping tubes was a thing!

      But I think my Ampeg Jet II uses EL-84s.

      And now I wish I still had my 65 Fender Bandmaster 50w head!

      Daniel


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