Stimers - how do they affect acoustic sound?

CampusfiveCampusfive Los Angeles, CA✭✭✭✭
Short version: If I put a ST48 on a D-Hole Cigano, how much will it affect the acoustic sound?

The long version: I've been looking for options to bring a single guitar for fly out gigs.
At home, I bring three guitars to most gigs: an acoustic archtop, a selmac, and an archtop with a charlie christian pickup. Most of the time, I'm playing rhythm on the acoustic archtop, and I'll pickup the electric to play a solo, and then put it back down. I use the selmac for a couple songs throughout the night, and usually keep it the whole song. But basically, I'm looking for a way to have an acoustic guitar to play rhythm on, and then have some kind of electric pickup where I can just roll up the volume knob to play an electric solo.

In the past I've just brought the acoustic archtop on fly out gigs, and used a DeArmond guitar mic. However, I've been really dissatisfied with that approach, because even though the DeArmond clamps on, it still really mutes the top of the guitar.

I do have some pretty strong feelings about some of the possibilities.
1) I can't stand electrified rhythm guitar, so just playing rhythm with a magnetic pickup is anathema. The guitar will need to still project acoustically, and will be mic'ed with a condenser.
2) I really want a single coil-type vintage-y sound for the electric sound. I'm really against the modern sound of a benedetto-type pickup with flatwounds into a solid state amp sound. Yuk! A CC pickup or a P90 is the right sound.

So, I thought that something like a Cigano D-hole with a Stimer 48 might be a good match.
Every Cigano GJ15 I've played has at least been pretty loud, and I figure a Stimer should have that single coil sound. But will attaching the Stimer kill the sound of the top?

Thoughts anyone?


  • rimmrimm Ireland✭✭✭✭ Paul doyle D hole, washburn washington
    Posts: 605
    The sound if amplified will make that pleasant distorted sound ala 14 seconds in here.. ... re=related

    But, if you roll of the volume the sound of the guitar still shines through-I have no experience with the guitar you mentioned but on my hand made Moustache it sounds great and if the woods are the same as used in my Manouche modele jazz then the sound is really good. Check however if your braceing on this model will allow the placememt of the Stimer-Micheal should be able to tell you. I love mine and use it every week 8)
    I got a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell
  • fraterfrater Prodigy
    Posts: 763
    Nor really sure about it but both the ST 51 and the new ALD pickup, being smaller and lighter than the St 48, should contribute to a less stiff top, if this is what you're worried about.
  • ShawnShawn Boise, Idaho✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 295
    I've found the Stimer will produce a pretty authenic acoustic sound if you play it through an acoustic amp, but then again, why not just buy an acoustic pickup if thats the sound you're looking for. If played through an electric amp the sound will be "crunchy" and "punchy" for lack of better words. I've had my ST48 for around 2 years now because I was looking specifically for that late Django sound like you hear on "Deccaphonie" and "Anouman", and that is exactly the sound I got as well played through my Fender Tube Amp.

    As far as the Stimer undercutting the acoustic sound of the guitar, here are a couple of things to think about:

    1. You can easily take off the Stimer in an acoustic situation.
    2. If your playing with the Stimer, why do you want/need an acoustic sound?

    If you really want a nice pickup that brings out the natural sound of the guitar and makes it sound less "electrified" then just go with an acoustic pickup. In my humble opinion, the Stimer is for those people that are looking for a way to electrify their Selmer and are willing sacrifice a little tone to do it (or rather gain a different tone).
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,931
    The Stimer probably does have some slight effect on the acoustic is clipped to the top so any contact with the top tends to have some muting effect. But honestly I haven't noticed that big of a difference. I do exactly what you are suggesting: I play rhythm acoustic and then turn the Stimer on for solos. Works perfectly fine.

    Sometimes when it's really loud I do leave the Stimer on for rhythm. It can sound good but you need to play differently. Play very lightly and avoid the bass for me.

    I attached an mp3 of Neil Andersson and I playing a gig earlier this week. I take the head and the first solo using a Stimer ST48 with an Acoustic Image Clarus/Raezers Edge NY8. Neil takes the second solo and is using a bigtone with an AER.

    This may give you some idea of how these rigs sound.

  • CampusfiveCampusfive Los Angeles, CA✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 98
    Thanks for the replies. Michael, I think you get what I'm talking about, but I'll definitely be going through a tube amp (although probably not the '39 EH-185 I use normally).

    Shawn, the whole point is to have one guitar that is both acoustic and electric sounds in the same song. If you'll watch the first two minutes of this you'll see what I do.
    (by the way, that part where I lean over during the trpt solo is to turn on my amp - oops!)

    I'll take the time to put the acoustic archtop down, and pickup the electric just for the solo, and then go back. I hate the sound of electric rhythm guitar - sure, I can do it and make it sound ok, but I hate having to play like that. Also, I always play into a mic, so its not like play with an acoustic pickup either. (then again, there are songs where I can't put the electric down for that long, and I make it work - but I hate playing electric rhythm guitar) But, I spent probably 80% of a gig playing rhythm, and I'm passionate about playing that rhythm acoustically.

    I don't want a compromise part acoustic / part electric tone - I want to play acoustically with as little disturbance possible to the acoustic volume, and then roll up the knob for an electric solo here and there - and not a clean, solid-state electric tone, but a single coil, funky electric sound ala Charlie Christian or electric Django. That's the whole point.

    That clarification aside, any more thoughts?
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,379
    For what you want, a Stimer will probably work fine. You'll get something similar to an electric archtop sound for your solos and can roll the volume off for rhythm so you're totally acoustic. Pretty simple really.

    The effects of leaving the Stimer attached to the guitar are minimal on the acoustic sound and most likely you won't notice much of a difference. It's easy and fast to clip the Stimer on and off so you can just bring it out if you're gonna play a solo on the next song. I would just leave it on the whole gig and work with the volume control.

    Stimers sound great through tube amps so using your current amp still works.

    The only issue is if the Cigano can take the Stimer, some guitars have very shallow neck angle and thin fretboards, you can't use an Stimer with those. Ask Michael.
  • fraterfrater Prodigy
    Posts: 763
    On the premise that I will always deny I ever suggested something like this... have you considered to run the Stimer through an acoustic simulator for the rythm part?
  • ShawnShawn Boise, Idaho✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 295
    Campusfive wrote:
    Shawn, the whole point is to have one guitar that is both acoustic and electric sounds in the same song. If you'll watch the first two minutes of this you'll see what I do.

    I see what you're saying now...I was thinking something else. I would agree with Michael in that I don't notice the pickup making that much of a difference acoustically, and although I'm sure there is some minute difference, to my ears it sounds the same. If I have a week or two of gigging frequently I usually just leave the Stimer on the guitar whether I'm playing acoustic or amplified, and it doesn't seem to affect the sound or playability of the guitar. It will, however, add a little more weight to the guitar as Stimers are fairly heavy pickups.

    Sorry for the confusion earlier! :)
  • CampusfiveCampusfive Los Angeles, CA✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 98
    Shawn, what you said about just leaving the pick up on between gigs is more endorsement than you realize. That sounds like what I'm looking for.

    Now, the only question is whether I put my extra CC pickup into a Loar first, or whether I work on my flying out guitar...? GAS anyone.
  • ShawnShawn Boise, Idaho✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 295
    Campusfive, the only thing I have come across that would be inconvienent about the Stimer is that I cannot leave it on the guitar inside a hardshell case. The Volume knob sticks up just enough to not let me completely shut the lid, but then again, it might just be down to the case I use. One of those really nice hardshell cases Michael sells here (I think) might work just fine though.

    Hope it all works out, and PS...

    I really like your groups work. Those youtube videos are going to provide me with hours of enjoyment. Keep up the good work!

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