Need a new pickup, prefer internal, what would you get?

Hello GJ friends,

I have a 1992 Pierre Anastasio petit bouche purchased here from our friends at Django Books a long time ago, and I am only now in need of using a pickup. The current pickup is broken. It's an old B-Band Core 99 that seemed to be popular in the 90's. It was drilled through the top and up into a split bridge. Hopefully I can attach some pictures. I would fix it, but I don't think that is an option. I would need a replacement piezo strip, but these models aren't made anymore. Either way, it still just an old piezo, and tech has at least improved somewhat = opportunity.

So, I now have a guitar that is already drilled for an endpin jack, and I need a pickup. I'm not too worried about price. I'm most interested in sound quality and reliability. I'm even open to hearing what combo of pickup, pre-amp, etc. What should I get?

Thanks, Dan



  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,334

    Hey, Dan,

    This is a 10-page post here, going back to 2007. If you have the time, you might find some interest in the discussion that Michael started in ~2007 and peoples opinions therein. He updated it in 2018 to say that not a whole lot has changed. I'm attempting to provide a link that sends you directly to page 10.

    I have a Bigtone in my Park with an endpin that was installed when she built it. Very similar to yours, it has a small hole drilled through the top and the piezo in the custom made bridge. So, that would be a setup that is most similar to your current one. Do see Michael's notes on page 1 about the various pros/cons. I plug in to an AER for most gigs we have. I'll use the amp as a monitor for myself, but run the DI straight to a PA mixer when the venue has one. Makes it very handy and simple, especially in noisier venues.

  • V-dubV-dub San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 325

    I never understand these acoustic pickup demo videos where they just record audio right there in the room. Obviously it sounds natural because there's an actual acoustic guitar supplying half the sound! I wanna hear that isolated board mix

    From the look of things, a bigtone would be a good fit. You've already got the right holes drilled. Some people complain about them, but I had one for years and I liked it... especially throuh an AER amp. It can lean a bit on the harsher high frequency side, but that's what EQ is for. Doesn't get easier than just plugging the thing in like a telecaster.

  • TwangTwang New
    Posts: 417

    @V-dub I totally agree! Those demos are a waste of time. At first I got suckered in and didn’t realise, thinking the pickups I was hearing were amazing.

    I have a big tone in one of my guitars. I’d really like to try it with the new Baggs Soundscape or a tone dexter. Could be a game changer.

  • nomadgtrnomadgtr Colorado Bumgarner, Marin, Holo, Barault
    Posts: 123

    Yeah sorry about the demo vid. That being said, it is an excellent system. Most natural I've heard. The Tone Dexter is another great option though.

  • richter4208richter4208 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2021 Posts: 527

  • edited June 2021 Posts: 4,799

    This is one of the best videos I saw that compares various pickups. It's all DI recorded so you don't hear acoustic guitar sound, only the pickup. Truth to told Carlos sensor does sound the best but also to be perfectly honest he seems to have a stinky attitude and I'd rather support a super awesome guy like Jokko. Jokko's Manouche mic is what I use am very happy.

    Regarding big tone, or big turd as I've heard it referred to, Bill's guitar sounds really nice amplified. I didn't go for it mostly because I was afraid it would take away some acoustic sound performance.

    @AcousticDan since you already have a bridge designed to house a piezo element why not try something for a flattop that's out there? Check the return policy but there's a lot out there that you could test that way. They aren't designed specifically for a Selmer style guitar but I feel like if the element is well designed, it should work ok.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Posts: 3

    @Buco I did consider just repairing it, as the piezo strip seems to be broken in the middle. The part below the bridge makes sound, but the part in the bridge, the important part, doesn't work. Where would one buy a replacement strip like that I wonder. If anyone knows, I might as well try it out.

  • edited June 2021 Posts: 4,799
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • ScoredogScoredog Santa Barbara, Ca✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 877

    I do not like the sound of a Bigtone, though it is simple and easy.

    That said paired with a Tone Dexter it works great! have to record (train the Tone Dexter) but once you figure out how to do that it is a killer system. If you do take my advice try to record into the Tone Dexter with as little air as possible. On a standard acoustic guitar, air is good but on a GJ instrument you will want dryness so a contact mic like a DPA or close miking is essential.

  • Posts: 3

    @Buco I did see the fishman stuff, but nothing with the flexible filament that I would need to slip into the bridge cavity. I think I'm either stuck going with the Bigtone or completely change gears and go with a whole different brand or style. I'm open to anything, just don't want to second guess whatever I go with. Might even just stick with an SM57 for the time being.

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