Turning your acoustic into an electric amplified.

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Skip
@skip
3 weeks ago
273 posts

Where the wire hole is depends on the style of bar pickup. There are 2 styles I've used, one is aimed at violins with the wire exiting from the center of the bar, the other is the more common bar with the wire exiting from the end. Both are a bit longer than most fretboard widths, about 1 1/2 -1 5/8 I think. There may be shorter ones available. The end exit type can be carefully clipped shorter. The active elements are seen as small bumps in the skin, the cut S/B between the last 2 bumps, there 4. A good set of side cutters works. The hole on the end exit style is drilled right next to the fretboard and the wire/bar end covered with a lightly glued cap.

There are some that already have the bridge piece glued to the pickup element. I've not used any. I make the bridge to fit.

The wire can be fished out the jack hole with a piece of cutoff melody string with a hook bend on the end.

Use a pencil type soldering iron with a non corrosive, electronics flux core. Apply heat to the jack tabs to melt the solder not the wire.

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
3 weeks ago
689 posts

The hole for the end pin jack is about 3/8th inch if I recall correctly. The hole for the pickup wire goes through the area under the bridge, so it goes through the fret board and the sound board. I think that was maybe a 3/64th inch hole. It just has to be big enough for the wires to go through. Once the pickup wires go into the cavity of the dulcimer you need to find a way to pull them out of the end pin jack hole and then solder them to the pickup. 

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


updated by @ken-longfield: 11/07/20 05:09:24PM
Nathina
Nathina
@nathina
4 weeks ago
111 posts

Hole into the end block I can do, as I am going to install some strap buttons. Through the soundboard and soldering are not my forte.

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
4 weeks ago
689 posts

Yes, you need two pull out the old bridge, drill a hole for the wire to pass through in to the body of the dulcimer. You also need to drill a hole through the tail piece in to the body of the dulcimer for the output jack. It requires some soldering of the wires from the pickup to the output jack. The output jack becomes the strap button.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song"

Nathina
Nathina
@nathina
4 weeks ago
111 posts

Which it means pulling of a possibly glued bridge and drilling more holes into the soundboard?

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
4 weeks ago
689 posts

Yes, they go under the bridge/saddle of the dulcimer.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Nathina
Nathina
@nathina
4 weeks ago
111 posts

I just tested the Kmise. It works fine, no soundboard tap or anything. If you tap directly on the unit it will produce a noise, so I might have to move its location, if I find that I touch it while playing. Probably because it is created for a small soundboard, has a volume control, and has worked well for violins as I have learned. The Schaller, as yet I don't know. It is a powerful pickup and might give me ambient noise problems. The Kmise was useless on the HD. The sound pickup radius was very limited. It didn't work well on a 16/15 and was of no value on my bigger HD. 

In regards to the under saddle pickups? Don't they have to go under the bridge or are limited by the type of sound hole?

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
4 weeks ago
689 posts

I, too, will be interested in your reaction to these pickups. I started out with the Schaller Oyster and also tried the Dean Markley Artist pickup. Both created too much ambient noise as I handled the dulcimer. I switched to under saddle piezo pickups and have been happy with them.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
4 weeks ago
1,344 posts

Nathina, I will be curious to read of your reaction to these pickups on a mountain dulcimer.  The criticism of all external piezo pickups is that they capture every vibration, so as the instrument shifts on your lap or you touch the top with your hand, those sounds get magnified.  That might not be a problem with the hammered dulcimer, which is why your experience has been so good, although the size of a HD probably warrants one of those systems with two or more pickups to catch the range of the instrument.  I am eager to hear of your experiences with these pickups on the MD.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Nathina
Nathina
@nathina
4 weeks ago
111 posts

The Schaller Oyster, a very good piezo with no preamp requirement. I use it for the my 16/15 HD, and will use one on a McSpadden. The only downside is the hanging cord, but will tether it somehow. I have used Schallers on acoustic guitars and the output is great.

Nathina
Nathina
@nathina
4 weeks ago
111 posts

I added a small piezo that I liked and had from another project. Designed for a small sound board it was perfect for the Ron Gibson. Unobtrusive, with volume control, can plug directly into an amp without a preamp. I will add a Schaller oyster to the McSpadden coming tomorrow.

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updated by @nathina: 11/06/20 07:33:22PM