The Unwound Third > Gitfiddles, Harps, Washboards & Kazoos

Pickup for 12-string long-scale guitar

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Hi there !

I currently have a Leadbelly style large bodied Stella type ladder braced 12-string guitar, a ?Midnight Special?, by Brad Goodman.
It has a 12-string tailpiece and a floating bridge.
I would like a pickup for this guitar but as the bridge is floating, I?m not sure what sort of pickup can be installed into it.
 - AND still sound good !
I guess the best approach would be some sort of pickup inside the guitar, under where the bridge is.

I don?t think a traditional piezo under the bridge saddle will ?work? ergonomically, as the bridge could move and pull at the pickup/cable, where it goes through the guitar top.
I could have the bridge permanantly glued down, I suppose !

I don?t think soundhole magnetic pickups are suitable for a 12-string guitar, as I suspect they will amplify the unwound strings more than the wound strings. Not a problem, in one sense, for magnetic pickups with adjustable polepieces, as you could lower the poles on the 1st and 2nd courses, to compensate for those strings.
However, the problem would be with the double courses where one string is wound and one is unwound. The unwound strings will dominate the amplified sound. So, for me, magnetic soundhole pickups are out of the equation, totally on a 12-string guitar.

A few years back, I did look into the LR Baggs Anthem/Lyric pickups, where a small microphone is placed directly under the bridge, inside the guitar. However, the best version of this also uses a piezo pickup under the saddle, as far as I remember, because the mic pickup isn?t great on the low end of a standard acoustic guitar, and thus needs the piezo undersaddle pickup, to beef up the bass strings.
This lack of decent bottom end with the mic pickup would thus be even less ideal for a long-scale, low-tuned guitar like mine, especially as it would need the under-saddle piezo too, which as already mentioned is probably not suited for my floating bridge guitar !

So, does anyone know a good bug type pickup that might work well mounted inside the guitar, under the bridge ??

I am nearly 6months in, on Todd Cambio?s waiting list for a 12-string Fraulini 12-string guitar. I?m pretty sure I will go for a fixed bridge for this one, with quite possibly just 6 pinsin the bridge, instead of 12.
I have seen Catfish Keith playing a Ralph Bown ?Barbecue Bob? type 12-string guitar, loaded with a Highlander undersaddle pickup. He really hits that guitar hard, and it sounded great, in the club where I heard him and I couldn?t detect any harsh piezo quack, even when playing hard on the guitar. So, I?m strongly thinking of going for a Highlander pickup in my Fraulini, when Todd builds it.

Any thoughts people ??
Many thanks in advance, for your advice !

Hi Snakehips,

Fishman Highlander system or k + k pure mini I've heard both highly recommended.

Snakey - You seem to be pretty set on a pick-up, but if what you are really looking to do is amplify the actual sound of your guitar, you might look into a 2mic I have three different models, with a model 5 installed in my little Stella. (The use of phantom power is disencumbering) I am very happy with the sound I get, which to my ears, through testing by slowly increasing volume, sounds as close to my guitar's actually voice as is possible. I have a model 2, which can be swapped from one instrument to another, and I believe I have used it on an OS 12. I don't remember doing a rigorous test, but it certainly sounded better than a pick-up might. If you look around the site you should see an explanation of how the two mechanically out of phase mics cancel out feedback. Not cheap, but a 30 day, money back if you don't think it's worth it guarantee. If you are thinking of also getting some sort of acoustic modeling pre amp, the 2mic is probably cheaper and far simpler to use, i.e straight into an XLR for the phantom power version and a passive DI for the battery module models.


P.S. The few pro sound guys I've worked with love them.

Hi guys !

Thanks for your help so far.

Not too keen on a microphone approach.
My bandmate, Prof Scratchy, I think has a K&K pickup in his 12-string, which sounds pretty good and they seem the most likely to work with my guitar?s floating bridge. My guitar has quite a wide under bridge brace / bridge plate, and so there should be a large area to glue on the 3 pickup pads under the bridge area. I think there should be plenty room for the full size K&K Pure 12 pickups, rather than hav8ng to go for the Pure Mini smaller ones.
I have found a source at a very good price - and frankly at much less than. all the other possible options that could work in my guitar).
I?ll feel less bitter at the cost of this one, if I don?t end up liking the sound !
Found a source at ? 99 GBP, so I?m gonna go with that and order it.
I?ll let you know how I get on.

All the best !

Booker Matches:
One option I used years ago with my D12-20 was a Barcus-Berry piezo glued under the bridge, tending to the treble side. Many folks I know used blue-tack or double-sided tape - forget it. You need good, solid adhesion & a white wood glue is the thing. A couple of dabs & let the guitar rest upside down for a couple of hours. Use an output jack through the back black (doubles as a strap holder). You're also going to need some form of DI box to match the output/input impedances of your guitar/amp/mixing desc. Tone & gain/volume controls are useful & I've used a Fishman Pro Platinum one for years with good results.

My current setup with my Peter Daffy (Australia) Stella copy is a Fishman under-the-saddle pickup with the output lead going through the top (it's a very small hole) & then out through the back block into my Fishman.


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