You are here

Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

Postby Charlie17 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:14 pm

I can't possibly be the first person to wonder, after awkwardly fitting my rather large hands into the sound hole of my Martin to replace the battery that there must be a better way to power an active pick up.

Is delivering the current via a new type of quarter inch cable out of the question? Has it been tried? We power solid state condenser microphones via the cable itself, why not with acoustic guitars? Or an easily rechargeable lithium battery. Something other than the crude 9volt battery solution. Thoughts?
Charlie17
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:00 am
Location: Virginia Beach VA

Re: Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

Postby Folderol » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:29 pm

It's perfectly possible. I would guess the reason why it's not common is that people are reluctant to use a well known standard lead/plug configuration in a non-standard way. You would also either need a source of power added in-line (possibly phantom power from a mic preamp) or a modified amplifier - which could then have problems if connected to a conventional pickup.

Then of course there's plain old inertia, as in "We've always done it this way" :lol:
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7938
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:00 am
Location: The Mudway Towns, UK
Yes. I am that Linux nut.

Re: Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:36 pm

Why not just have a battery box fitted into the side of the guitar? I'm reluctant to put holes in a nice guitar but it is probably the simplest idea. Or use a TRS lead and have a box on the floor with a remote battery pack. Most acoustic guitars use the sleeve of a TS plug to switch the battery on and off, you could use the same socket with minimal rewiring to supply power up the wire so you don't have to delve into the guitar to change batteries.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8958
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

Postby ef37a » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:21 am

Fit a rechargeable battery in the guitar and have a cable tucked inside that you can fish out?

I just did a quick test and the two mini and micro USB plugs I found by my chair were strongly attracted to a magnet.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10078
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

Postby zenguitar » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:42 am

The old Yamaha AG stomp had a dummy battery to fit in your guitar and instead supplied 9V DC through the ring connection of a TRS cable.

The dummy PP3 battery was just a simple +ve/-ve connector but had the advantage of being a straight swap for the battery. A simple PP3 battery connector with the terminal leads wired together would do the same job.

In theory, all you need is a Hammond project box with a 9V DC input, a mono 1/4" output socket, and a TRS 1/4" input socket. Wire the +ve from the 9V DC to the input ring, the output from the pick-up to the TRS tip and both the negative from the 9V DC and the ground of the pick-up to the TRS sleeve.

In practice, you need to understand how your guitar is currently wired so that you can be certain this will work for you. Some pre-amps use the ring connection for a 2nd signal and rely on a switched TRS socket to do the power switching for the pre-amp. So, do your homework or find a trusted tech to do it for you.

Andy :beamup:
User avatar
zenguitar
Moderator
Posts: 9033
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Devon
When you see a fork in the road, take it.
Yogi Berra

Re: Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

Postby ef37a » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:10 am

Andy, do you have any schematics? Can't get my head around power switching with a TRS jack because they are "normally closed".

Also, be careful chaps around guitar supplies etc because almost all pedals are negative centre. **** knows why!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10078
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk


Re: Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

Postby ef37a » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:34 am


Yes, have those in mono-stereo/Z switching speaker cabs but did not know they put them in guitars. Thanks.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10078
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:52 am

User avatar
Jumpeyspyder
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1082
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

Postby ef37a » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:55 am

Further on the rechargeable route? Tother day I boiught a 1200mA/hr phone backup battery for £1.00 from Poundland! Two of those in series and you would probably get a good year between charges.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10078
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:04 am

I have three so far, and was going to ask the question about running the USB outputs in series as they are derived from a dc-dc convertor?

The only thing I would be concerned about is wires rattling about inside an acoustic guitar causing buzzes etc (love the magnet idea though Dave).
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8958
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

Postby ef37a » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:22 am

Sam Spoons wrote:I have three so far, and was going to ask the question about running the USB outputs in series as they are derived from a dc-dc convertor?

The only thing I would be concerned about is wires rattling about inside an acoustic guitar causing buzzes etc (love the magnet idea though Dave).

Ah! Don't know about the DC-DC converters? I shall get a couple more today and bust them open and have a play. My son's Turner acoustic has Fishman electronics and all is contained in a very soft faux leather bag. I am sure you all can get creative with some foam?

Some years ago I built a pedal PSU using a DC-DC converter so it could be used from any PC USB port. Hiked it around a bit but nobody was interested.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10078
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

Postby Wonks » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:33 am

ef37a wrote: Two of those in series and you would probably get a good year between charges

You could get rather tyred playing, though. :D
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8595
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:48 am

Don't go off-tread Wonky :tongue:
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8958
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

Postby ef37a » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:55 am

Sam Spoons wrote:Don't go off-tread Wonky :tongue:

Oh! I don't know? I though that was pretty "slick" !!

Off to town now. DESPERATE for something crissified for 'er indoors and I shall grab some batts.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10078
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

Postby Wonks » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:06 pm

ef37a wrote:Off to town now. DESPERATE for something crissified for 'er indoors and I shall grab some batts.


Does she like playing cricket?
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8595
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

Postby BillB » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:33 pm

Not sure how adaptable / appropriate this is, but just a thought:

https://www.andertons.co.uk/guitar-dept ... s-with-jtv)
BillB
Frequent Poster
Posts: 594
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2003 12:00 am
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

Postby Wonks » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:20 pm

User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8595
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

Postby Watchmaker » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:22 pm

A few thoughts.
1. a 9v battery has far more potential than a guitar needs, but they have a very very long life at low current draws
2. My L.R.Baggs pup uses a CR2626 which is rather small but they can also be hard to access
3. given that guitars need very low voltages, why not some sort of a photo-voltaic array disguised as a pick guard? (patent pending!)
4. why use an active pup ?
5. strap mounted battery's a great idea
6. wearable fabrics are coming soon.
7. harness the static from the roadies.
User avatar
Watchmaker
Regular
Posts: 401
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:00 am
Location: Upstate NY, USA
Take my advice, I'm not using it.

Re: Plausible ideas for powering acoustic guitar active pickups other than 9v batteries

Postby zenguitar » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:22 pm

Sorry Dave, no schematics.

In a lot of guitars with pre-amps the power is 'switched on' when the jack plug is inserted. The guitar has a TRS socket with the power circuit connected to the ring connection. But the 'trick' is that the guitarist uses a TS jack plug so the ring connection is connected to ground which completes the circuit.

The AG stomp takes advantage of this connection to inject power into the circuit.

Andy :beamup:
User avatar
zenguitar
Moderator
Posts: 9033
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Devon
When you see a fork in the road, take it.
Yogi Berra

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: DC-Choppah