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Using soundhole pickups that aren't installed permanently for gigging

OM Flyer

Member
Messages
5,613
I'm less concerned about ruining the value of it (by permanently installing one) than I am altering the unplugged sound. If I do something permanent I figured I wouldn't use a soundhole pickup but either an under saddle or internal microphone.
Widening the endpin hole and filling it with a jack will have zero effect on the unplugged sound. Zero. And as others have said, if and when you decide to "permanently" install another pickup, the jack hole will be needed anyway.

And there's really no such thing as "permanently" installing a pickup, btw. Any system can be removed and the hole filled with an oversized endpin.
 

TwoHandsTenThumbs

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,132
I think I was seeking reassurance that "dangling" is ok. I don't gig more than 4-5 times a year. I do have a "gigging" Taylor guitar with built in electronics.
When I record I use a mic. But if I did get more acoustic gigs I'd hate to leave the Martin at home if I could just stick a soundhole pickup in and take it out
I hear you. I’d still consider an end pin jack...as the tailblock is a sturdy piece of wood, the top - not so much. One misstep on the cord...

My Sunrise pickups are installed so that they have a mini-jack (1/8” TS Switchcraft) in-line to facilitate easy removal of the pickups.

A good way to go, imho.
 

rowdyyates

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,105
Have a K&K Pure Mini installed. You’ll never know it’s there until you plug in. I use Vintage Jacks so the end pin isn’t even enlarged. Much better with straps, too.
 

gibson3798

Member
Messages
1,173
I'm less concerned about ruining the value of it (by permanently installing one) than I am altering the unplugged sound. If I do something permanent I figured I wouldn't use a soundhole pickup but either an under saddle or internal microphone. It sounds like the consensus is to mod the guitar, so I will consider that.
Using the sound hole pickup with a loose cable running out of the sound hole is asking for trouble. I’m sure you’re seeking an alternative to that, but under no circumstance should you run the risk of serious damage to your guitar simply because you don’t want to properly install a pickup.

My advice would be to abandon the SH pickup altogether and but a LR Baggs Lyric. No under saddle, no piezo quacker type junk, just a better way of acoustic amplification.
 

cap47

Member
Messages
2,270
For those of you who use soundhole pickups at gigs but don't have them permanently installed (because you dont want to drill, etc.) what is your method for managing the cord? Run it over the strap button? Any insight or pictures would be appreciated. I really don't want to modify my Martin to amplify it.
I installed a Jack on the bottom and wired it to the pickup. Put it where you won't be resting it against the floor if you lean it against a wall because it will possibly break thru!
 

Sweetfinger

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,288
I just am a little bit obsessive about what electronics I put in a guitar I explicitly bought for its beautiful natural sound.
Well, buy a different guitar for its beautiful amplified sound and obsess over that.

...or...
Put an endpin jack in. It won't change the sound and is one of the only things you can do to most vintage acoustics that doesn't affect the value.

If you are truly a nut-bar, yes, it WILL affect the sound, in your mind. If you're the kind of person who can't own a repaired guitar because you "know" it was repaired, or have to have a certain kind/brand of capacitor, etc., then don't. You'll only torture yourself and others.

Don't want to "dangle"? Buy one of those digital wireless things. Before your gig, bundle the cord and transmitter, shove the whole thing inside the guitar, and feel free to roam about the building. If you have the endpin, you can plug the transmitter in that.
 

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,403
I dangle. I'm a longtime Sunrise pickup user but last year moved over to Fishman Blackstack pickups which I prefer. Light weight, great sound, and smaller than the Sunrise. A big plus is I can install the Blackstack without slacking the strings. I can leave my favorite guitars w/o any pickups and in a couple minutes install mine on the gig.

I sit down so the cable is a non-issue. If you stood up, just draping it between the strap and body at the end pin would work fine. I can't recommend the Blackstack highly enough, great pickup.
 

fenderjapan

WCW World Heavyweight Champion
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,828
I hope no one takes my "resistance" to widening a hole for an endpin jack as somehow thinking it is unacceptable. I am just trying to explore the various options, and that may be one of them
 

tech21nyc

Member
Messages
1,687
I have a Fishman Rare Earth Blend that I have used with a couple of different acoustics. Since my other guitars already have other systems in them I didn't want to add an extra end pin jack or have to rewire the existing jack so I just mount the Fishman at the gig or before I leave. I use a little tape and secure the wire to the pickguard and run the cable so it hangs with the other cable under my strap.

It is a bit of a pain but then so is any cable. If you don't want to mount it don't.
 

Mr Fingers

Member
Messages
2,538
I will say what Walter said in a less-0restrained way. Soundhole pickups sound lousy
Depends. If you want to imitate genuine acoustic tones, then sure. If you're playing chunky rhythm, or want tones that are not traditional acoustic tones, they can be excellent. I've heard way too many "fanta$tic" inboard pickup systems on acoustics amped to deliver all that hi-fi sparkle and overtones and just sound freaking exhausting and not at all, really, like an acoustinc being played straight in front of you.I don't think anyone gets a prize, really -- the best I've heard is guitar played into a good mike with a non-insane, non-gearhead on the board. I'd rather hear a lo-fit soundhole pickup than some of the fast-attack, ultracrispy, brittle harmonic-fests I've been subjected to. In some ways, I don't think acoustic guitar sounds good loud, period.
 

Scottone

Member
Messages
1,523
I dangle. I'm a longtime Sunrise pickup user but last year moved over to Fishman Blackstack pickups which I prefer. Light weight, great sound, and smaller than the Sunrise. A big plus is I can install the Blackstack without slacking the strings. I can leave my favorite guitars w/o any pickups and in a couple minutes install mine on the gig.

I sit down so the cable is a non-issue. If you stood up, just draping it between the strap and body at the end pin would work fine. I can't recommend the Blackstack highly enough, great pickup.
I've been thinking of trying the Blackstack at some point. Currently using the DiMarzio Black Angel with the cable looped around the endpin as you mentioned and have been pretty happy with the sound.
 

feet

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,646
As straight pickups go, I've yet to hear anything surpass the schertler magnetico with the mic added, either in person (limited experience) or in demos (infinite experience). I think a mic/soundhole combo is the best compromise between feedback resistance, usable tone and actually sounding like a guitar. But I use the aura system these days, and any dumb old piezo is enough to run that.

Bear in mind that I'm a strummer and I think that's the hardest thing to amplify well. Finger stylists and slappy tappy guys have it easy.
 

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,403
I've been thinking of trying the Blackstack at some point. Currently using the DiMarzio Black Angel with the cable looped around the endpin as you mentioned and have been pretty happy with the sound.
I've used the DiMarzio Angel and thought it was a nice sounding pickup, for me it's in the top three I've used, Sunrise, the Angel and the Blackstack.
 

RustyAxe

Member
Messages
3,013
I hope no one takes my "resistance" to widening a hole for an endpin jack as somehow thinking it is unacceptable. I am just trying to explore the various options, and that may be one of them
To be honest, you're more likely to mar that guitar trying to keep the dangling cord out of your way. As noted before, check TapaString ... endpin jack that fits in the original hole ... no enlarging needed. Simply unplug the pickup when you want to remove, let the short tail hang inside the guitar until next time. I just install endpin jacks in my guitars and don't worry about resale ... it doesn't hurt unless it's a RARE vintage guitar.
 

BigWave

Member
Messages
501
The only sound hole pickup I've heard do justice to a nice guitar tone is a Sunrise. Everything else in my opinion will not serve your Martin's tone very well. They'll work. They may sound pretty good but it sounds like you want more. Otherwise the Taylor would be fine. I get not wanting to make any permanent alterations.

The only after market pickups I've ever added to a guitar were K&K Pure mini. I like that it's just the sound board transducers and endpin jack. No battery in the guitar. I'm very happy with how they sound like the guitar.

Hope you find something that makes it all work for you!
 

cap47

Member
Messages
2,270
I hope no one takes my "resistance" to widening a hole for an endpin jack as somehow thinking it is unacceptable. I am just trying to explore the various options, and that may be one of them
The End Pin Jacks a very often busted because of the bad habit of leaning a guitar on the floor! Don't ask how I know LOL!
 




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