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Thread: Acoustic magnetic soundhole pickup (parts)

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    Acoustic magnetic soundhole pickup (parts)

    Hello!

    Iím trying to source or make a custom bobbin/cover for an acoustic magnetic soundhole pickup, similar to a Seymour Duncan magmic or LR bagg cover/bobbin but of my own design!

    Other than 3D printing, I havenít found any info online as to how to go about making them myself.

    Anybody have any advice on how to go about this?

    Thanks!

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    A one piece bobbin would be complicated as it would require a 3 piece mold I think. If you can make an original and make a silicone mold of that then you can cast them out of urethane resin.
    There are lots of mold making supply places around but I can't remember any of them right at the moment.
    OK here's one place: https://www.smooth-on.com/howto/basics-mold-making/
    Alumalite is another outfit and https://www.aeromarineproducts.com/p...y/mold-making/ is a third.

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luthkeir View Post
    Hello!

    I’m trying to source or make a custom bobbin/cover for an acoustic magnetic soundhole pickup, similar to a Seymour Duncan magmic or LR bagg cover/bobbin but of my own design!

    Other than 3D printing, I haven’t found any info online as to how to go about making them myself.

    Anybody have any advice on how to go about this?

    Thanks!
    Please post a couple pictures of what you need.

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    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    You could make the top or cover out of wood, and mount the bobbins below?
    Like the attached picture?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It's only Rock and Roll, but I like it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    Please post a couple pictures of what you need.
    Hereís an attached link to a Sunrise pickup. Itís large enough for the type of bobbin Iím going to use.

    https://reverb.com/uk/item/17407814-...th-endpin-jack
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by big_teee; 03-25-2019 at 04:35 PM.

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    I have considered making it out of wood, but not sure if itís worth the time to make it that way. Do you think they look nicer made out of wood?

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    If you are selling to an upscale market and it's going to be installed into $4500+ hand built guitars then I'd think wood would be an asset. If you're planning on selling 5000 of them to budget conscious amateurs then you should invest up front in a set of injection molds.

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    Supporting Member TomCarlos's Avatar
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    Sorry to rain on your parade, but if I paid $4500 for a hand built guitar, the last thing I would want is a sound hole pickup. I have experimented with several pickups (sound hole, passive, etc) like the one you are proposing and they sound horrifically bad.

    The placement of the magnet (sitting in the sound hole) is typically too far away from the strings so you loose signal strength. So if you can solve the problem of adjusting the height relative to the stings, that is a good start. Next, you would probably need an external preamp in order to raise the signal level before going to a PA or amp; to solve problem number 1 and to add a volume and/or tone controls. Yes, when playing live with my acoustic electric, I need and like having quick access to a volume control right there on my guitar.

    Some of the manufacturers have tried to solve these problems- and some have success. But overall, I think this market is for someone who loves their guitar (either for sentimental reasons or it plays great) and wants an easy way to amplify it. But typically, I don't believe you can outperform a well designed, built in system (like the Taylor Expression II) which is already installed in the guitar. When you buy such a guitar, you already know what it will sound like when plugged in.

    Be careful to make sure you truly have a market for your pickup. Just imagine being on Shark Tank trying to get a deal from Mr. Wonderful (Kevin O'Leary). He is a guitar player and he'd be asking you the same questions I am.

    Good luck with your venture and let us know how you are progressing!!!

    Tom

    Tom

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    As someone who occasionally builds nice handmade acoustic guitars, I'll have to offer a dissenting opinion. I'd rather not put any sort of electronics in them. I haven't really kept up with all the various built-in pickup/ preamp systems over the years, but none of them have really impressed me, and I'd rather not deface a nice acoustic instrument by drilling holes in it, adding batteries etc. There is also the question of what the pickup is trying to accomplish. If it is a solo acoustic performance, a good well-placed microphone will sound far better than any pickup out there, if amplification is even needed at all. In a band setting of course a pickup is necessary, but then what is the point of using an expensive hand-made instrument in that situation? The subtleties of its sound won't likely carry through and a cheaper, more robust guitar with a built-in pickup system seems to make more sense.

    I'm not sure why entirely, but magnetic pickups sound more 'natural' to my ears if it is necessary to use a pickup. Bridge piezos, even with a decent preamp, always sound brittle and overly percussive to me. Neither option really sounds all that much like an acoustic guitar but the magnetic soundhole pickup, assuming it's a decent one, seems better from my point of view. I think the location being closer to the usual picking position, and being in an area of greater string excursion has something to do with that.

    Andy

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    To each his own- there are people that like the sound of a magnetic pickup in an acoustic- think Elmore James or Lightnin Hopkins kind of sound but certainly not limited to that. Its not the current trend so it would be a limited demand but there is a demand if you can tap into it as a small part of a larger set of offerings- could be wrong about that, as Ive never offered one as a stock item so the demand may be bigger than I would expect.
    Dont let availability of parts stop you. You can piece together bobbins with glue like they did in the 30's 40's 50's 60's which I still do on alot of things and with a wood surround you could whittle it with a pocket knife if you had to. You would have minimal invested and have a working prototype. Make sure its all working to your liking before you invest in having drawings and parts made. Assuming you dont have a pocket full of money to sink into it or cnc in your shop

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