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Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

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Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby DC-Choppah » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:30 pm

The guitar is an Altamira M01F: http://www.altamiraguitar.com/m01f-2/?lang=en

I would like to try to add a magnetic pickup? Is this possible?

Some photos and measurements:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1vEZMv ... zggqG0UJ3s
https://drive.google.com/open?id=15X3pF ... 4-s3Lm8Ok7
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1x1C2X ... jk6ES4j4J1

I have a Bigtone piezo bridge pickup and it is great for many tunes, but I would like to get a jazzy magnetic sound too for some tunes. Maybe try blending the two.

Looks like 3/8" height is all there is between the guitar and the strings at the bridge position.

Are there any thin pickups that would tuck in there?

I am told that the thin face of the guitar is part of its sound so I would like to see if it is possible to 'float' the pickup.

I guess I can't be too fussy, but I am looking for a warm jazzy humbucker sound with no hum.
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Re: Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby zenguitar » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:42 pm

That's not a lot of space to work in !!

Not a bridge pick-up, but how about a floating humbucker mounted on the end of the neck? That's the standard jazz solution. And Kent Armstrong do have a slim version at 3/8" thick that might work.

https://www.wdmusic.com/kent_armstrong_ ... ckups.html

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Re: Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby DC-Choppah » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:58 am

The slimbucker. https://www.wdmusic.com/HJGN3BK.html

Ok so how much do the strings move up and down on a guitar?

I play heavy high tension strings on this.

Looks like I would have 1/32" to spare for string travel. Is that enough?
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Re: Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby DC-Choppah » Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:11 am

Ooops I didn't mean bridge position, I meant neck position.
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Re: Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:49 am

Krivo is designed for Selmer style guitars, or you could get a Stimer. Both will give the sound you have heard on Django Reinhardt's electric guitar recordings. Bear in mind that style of guitar is not designed for heavy strings and behaves and sounds very differently to an archtop so will never give you that 'bebop' American jazz guitar sound. The bracing is different from Archtops (and to classical and flat-top D styles too) being ladder braced and the scale length on many (can't find info on your Altimera) is longer at 26.5".

FWIW the f holes are a bit of a red herring and don't make the guitar sound significantly different from a 'petit bouche' Selmer style. Ideally you should use 10-46 or 11-47 Gypsy Jazz strings which have silver plated copper windings and are what Django would have used. To get your 'American Jazz' sound you do need heavy flat wound strings but they will be at odds with the sound the Altimera is built to produce and the high tension may ultimately damage the guitar.

My Aylward 'petit bouche' is the lightest guitar I own at 1.3kg (actually lighter than my carbon fibre Emerald X7) and that is also part of what makes them sound like they do.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/232387156457?chn=ps&adgroupid=13585920426&rlsatarget=aud-295856144804%3Apla-142405567026&abcId=&adtype=pla&merchantid=6995734&poi=&googleloc=9046613&device=c&campaignid=207297426&crdt=0

https://www.krivopickups.com/store/p5/The_Djangobucker_Humbucking_Pickup_for_Gypsy_Jazz_Guitars.html

https://www.thomann.de/gb/savarez_argentine_1510mf.htm?glp=1&gclid=Cj0KCQjwjtLZBRDLARIsAKT6fXyKlQs0Fb_BelfBFtLk7-j6GZf-aUFuG0yvy_rRCUEGY9ocvuPfBx8aAihjEALw_wcB
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Re: Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby DC-Choppah » Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:23 am

Strings are these: http://www.savarez.com/argentine-boucle-1510mf

The Krivo pickup looks great and only 6.3 mm thick. That looks like it will leave plenty of room for the strings to do their thing. Thanks for that.

I wonder if there is a way to mount the Krevo floating style instead of sticking it to the sound board?
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Re: Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:38 am

Yup those are the right strings for that guitar (actually I use the 10-45 gauge set as they seem to suit the Aylward better). They will help it sound as out should.

FWIW archtop players usually use flat wound strings and 13-56 gauges, much heavier than the Argentines.

I wouldn't worry too much about sticking the pickup onto the soundboard, it is pretty rigid just next to the fingerboard, and the Krivo is very light. You might notice a slight difference in sound but probably not. The standard way of attaching a Krivo is with blue tack anyway so you can try it without marking the guitar.
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Re: Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby DC-Choppah » Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:10 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:FWIW archtop players usually use flat wound strings and 13-56 gauges, much heavier than the Argentines.

I've never been able to find metal strings with the required 'loop end' other than these Argentine's. The loop end strings tend to be nylon for classical. A metal flat-wound jazz string with loop ends does not seem to exist. I would need something to convert the standard ball end into a loop I guess? It would be fun to try a different string on the guitar to see what it sounds like.

I found some good audio of the Krevo and it sounds like a jazz box even with the Gypsy jazz strings. Cool. That will be handy to have access to that sound. My backup plan has been to strum with the soft part of my thumb (Wes Montgomery style). But that gets tiring to me.
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Re: Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby Wonks » Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:25 pm

I haven't tried it, but you could try passing the end of a string through it's ball end to make a loop? Bottom E would be the worst case, so if that works, the others will. Just a wild suggestion, but you never know.
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Re: Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby zenguitar » Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:41 pm

I've had success in the past with slighly untwisting the loop and popping the ball end out. Was a trick for using guitar strings as single replacements for a mandolin.

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Re: Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:49 pm

To remove a ball end, place the ball end on an anvil (or top of a vice) and hit hard with hammer. This will split the ball end without needing to untwist (and therefore weaken) the loop. I can't remember whether it's most effective with the ball end flat on on it's side but one way works better than t'other.

I did it last week to use a spare guitar 10 on a mandolin (flat in this case, had to hit it twice but no damage to string).
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Re: Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby zenguitar » Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:00 pm

Good tip Sam, I'll remember that one. :thumbup:

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Re: Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:29 pm

Thanks to my mate Brian Eastwood for that one https://www.facebook.com/brianeastwoodguitars
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Re: Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby DC-Choppah » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:46 pm

OK, just to be clear here, are we saying that when you remove (by smashing!) the ball of a standard set of guitar strings, the loop that remains will fit over the posts on the guitar?

I haven't tried yet, but the loop looks to be a bigger diameter on the loop-end string then the ball-end string, but I am not sure yet.

Now where is that hammer....
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Re: Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:03 am

Yes, that's exactly it. :thumbup:
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Re: Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:25 am

Is that what we're saying? I thought we were saying it would fit over the hooks on a mandolin plate?
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Re: Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:56 pm

I don't know if the loops are bigger on loop end strings but I do know the string with the ball removed was plenty big enough for the Mandolin. I'll compare a ball end to a loop end later and report back.
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Re: Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby Wonks » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:03 pm

It's only an issue if it doesn't actually fit over the hook.
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Re: Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:16 pm

DC-Choppah wrote:OK, just to be clear here, are we saying that when you remove (by smashing!) the ball of a standard set of guitar strings, the loop that remains will fit over the posts on the guitar?

I haven't tried yet, but the loop looks to be a bigger diameter on the loop-end string then the ball-end string, but I am not sure yet.

Now where is that hammer....

Ah, yes of course, the post on the Gypsy guitar tailpieces are probably a little bigger than on a mandolin tailpiece. Will check.

edit :- you're right the loops on the argentines strings are a fair bit bigger than a ball end. But there is no need to remove the ball to use ball ended strings on most Selmer style guitars as the posts have a hole and can be used with either loop or ball ended strings. Unless your Altamera doesn't of course........ FWIW I always buy a couple of spar G strings 'cos they wear out much faster than the others, just be sure you have enough loop end spare strings ;)
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Re: Thin magnetic pickup for Altamira F-hole guitar - Is it possible?

Postby DC-Choppah » Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:38 am

Thanks guys.

As you can see, the ball-end string has too small of a loop to work. But Spoons is right on! The post has a hole for the string to slip through! Oh man, I had taken this guitar to three music stores and a luthier before and they were all stumped as to how to get a ball-end string on! Thank you kindly SoS and Sam Spoons!

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1OuNiy ... JeDHXCY7Zv
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1CGptz ... 0UQLXAAfUk
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