January 3, 2020 at 1:23 am #3447tadolModerator
I just finished installing one of James May’s Ultratonic pickups in my EIR/sitka Santa Cruz baritone – I was hesitant to put a pickup in, as the guitar is so resonant and responsive, I was concerned about feedback issues. But this pickup seemed to have done a greta job with my F I’d installed it in, so I really wanted to give it a try –
The pictures are pretty self explanatory – first, I removed the strings and got everything ready – this baritone has a 2-⅜” saddle spacing, and I think thats about the limit –
The bridge plate on this is huge, and I want To install this pickup on at least one other guitar, so I made up a fancy magnetic jig to align it as James suggests – but my rare earth magnets were not strong enough, so I abandoned the jig and just glued it in by hand. With the main pickup installed, I then glued in the secondary disc thats out of phase with the first, and then I glued in the volume wheel. With those all glued in, I used the StewMac drill/reamer to enlarge the end pin hole – its a small investment that prevents some very ugly problems –
Then, dangling the internal circuit board outside the guitar, I plugged it into my amp, cranked it up, and started to play with the switches.
As I understand it – the switches adjust the frequency that ties the out of phase unit into the signal of the primary unit, allowing a clean and full range signal to come thru without all the feedback. I tried to document this briefly in a couple of quickie videos I shot – the feedback is not as well recorded as I heard it, but it gives you a sense –
and heres another that shows how the volume wheel works, and gives a bit of a sense of the amped/un-amped tone – again, this is just recorded on my phone –
Anyway – I really like it – no batteries, no feedback, good amplified tone, pretty simple install – I think its a heckuva pickup -m
Lots o’ SCGC guitars! But never ask which is my fav
January 3, 2020 at 5:24 am #3452
January 9, 2020 at 12:57 am #3517Matt HaydenParticipant
That sounds amazing. One thing I do slightly differently: I took the endpin reamer, drilled a hole through it, and put on a handle so I ream manually now. After one or two experiences with broken finish, I never have to deal with it again, at the cost of a few minutes’ manual work.
New pickups are hard. I get to the point where I get something dialed in and then something a LOT better comes out, and it’s worth the improvement….and James May knows what he’s about.
I have to wonder how that pickup would sound in a blend with a Sunrise – it’d be a HUGE sound.
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