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Fishman Archtop Bridge Pickup

icyhoticyhot Los Angeles✭✭✭

I have been reading this forum for a while and just registered. I recently made the transition to gypsy jazz from straight ahead jazz. Im playing on a Loar LH-600 which I like except for some overtone ringing and the non-cutaway. I bought a Schertler Basik with Stat pre from Michael which sounds really good at lower volumes, but when I played a gig with it I had to turn it up loud and it didn't sound good to me. I have a gig next month at a large art gallery with a lot of (loud) people. I'm thinking about just putting a floating pickup on it and playing electric, but I'd kind of like to stay acoustic. A local guitar shop recommended the fishman archtop bridge pickup ($160), which basically seems like a bigtone for archtops. Here is a link to it:

anyone have any experience with this? Does is affect the acoustic volume/tone of the instrument? I'm not expecting the greatest sound because it is piezo but maybe if I mix it with the basik it would sound good?

I was also looking to buy a selmac guitar, and I was thinking I could use the selmac for quieter gigs, and put a pickup on the Loar for louder gigs. any advice for a pickup on the Loar?

any other recommendations?

Thanks for your help! :D


  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,252
    It says "dual piezo" so it's probably more like a PUTW (Pick Up The World) or a K&K under-bridge pickup than a bigtone. It's not a huge difference - but here is how it's different. The Bigtone has an element stretching under the strings - a bar piezo with 6 discrete elements, one for each string and they're about... oh... I guess 7+mm from the strings which means that the signal from the strings is really strong and balanced relatively speaking... basically a bigtone is a variant of those bar piezos you see on flat-tops... the ones that go under the inset bridge saddle. The benefits of this arrangement include better resistance to feedback because you're picking up a higher percentage of string energy relative to soundboard energy so a bigtone is a little more resistant to feedback / wolftones / etc. However, the downfall of the bigtone is that subjectively - and not all people would agree with me here - the sound of a pickup getting signal from the soundboard is more "acoustic" because you're actually picking up soundboard vibration. I guess if they put dual piezos in the foot of that bridge it'd be somewhere in between say - a PUTW and a Bigtone probably in both tone and in feedback resistance.

    The guys at Fishman are bright - they make good stuff - it's probably a fine pickup. If you get it - let us know how it sounds - maybe a sound sample or something...
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • icyhoticyhot Los Angeles✭✭✭
    Posts: 25
    Bob- thank you for your reply

    I was thinking about going a different route. i forgot to mention that I am using my PA to amplify the basik. I have a mackie mixer with 2 mackie SRM350 powered monitors. I'm thinking now about getting a Schertler amp, the David or Unico, because I hear it sounds great with the basik and would be a lot easier to take to gigs than a full PA system. Then for louder gigs I could use the outputs from the Schertler to my powered monitors. But if I got the Schertler amp I should probably sell my Stat Pre cause the Schertler has the pre-amp built in.

    Do you think the David,with the outputs connected to powered monitors, is loud enough for loud gigs? or should I go for the Unico?

    or is the Basik just too low gain for loud gigs even with the Unico connected to powered monitors?

    any thoughts?
  • Pugs47Pugs47 New
    Posts: 102
    I have a pick up the world pick up that I'll sell for $75.00. Selling the archtop I used it on. check out for specs........they love em'' $150 new
  • icyhoticyhot Los Angeles✭✭✭
    Posts: 25
    thanks for everyone's replies. I played the gig a few nights ago with the basik and it worked out fine. I went through the PA and found that if I take out all the mids, the sound is much better. the sound wasn't as dry as I would like, but it was fine. i'll probably put a floating pickup on the loar eventually to use mainly as a rhythm guitar, and buy a petite bouche for lead stuff. i going down the dell'arte shop in san diego (i live in los angeles) soon to check out some of his guitars. but overall I'm happy with the basik.

    on a side note, i switched from 11s to 13s on the loar because everyone suggests heavy strings on archtops. IMO i think this works best for rhythm work and with a thinner pick. playing lead stuff on an archtop with heavy strings and thick Wegen didn't work for me so i switched back to 11's. another problems is with heavier strings i got a lot more overtones, which are really annoying on the Loar when playing single note stuff. Another reason why this guitar is better for rhythm.
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,665
    If you're still thinking about a floating archtop pickup, this one is fantastic:

    The sound is very warm and not overly electric. I've got one on my '46 Epiphone Triumph. It sounds great either through a good tube amp or my Schertler David.

    I has PUTW on an Eastman that I used to own. Wasn't overly impressed with it. It was OK, not great, but other people obviously have different opinions of it. I also got one of their preamps, and it went belly-up within a short time. Same for the replacement they sent me. I gave up on it. A Baggs Para Di is a much better bet, you can't go wrong with them.

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • icyhoticyhot Los Angeles✭✭✭
    Posts: 25
    Thanks Klaatu-

    that's the one I was leaning toward getting. I was also considering the Kent Armstrong Handmade Floating Single Coil found here:
    it's a little more expensive ($170) than the S6 ($130) but I like the single coil sound and it switchable from 7K to 11K. It says that it sounds like an old DeArmond but who knows.
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,665
    Well, the DeArmond sound is pretty cool. I had a DeArmond Guitar Mike that I really liked, but it began shorting out, and the noise level was pretty bad as well, so I sold it to someone who liked to tinker with wiring and got the Benedetto. I've been very pleased with it, and my luthier liked it so much that's he's putting it on an archtop he's building.

    No experience with the Armstrong pickups, but his handwound ones have a very good reputation, so you probably wouldn't go wrong with that one. He actually designed the Benedettos, which are built by Seymour Duncan.

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
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