Custom Stick Pickup using Slimbuckers

This is a page about a new Stick pickup I have been working on. It is just a box with two Kent Armstrong Slimbucker jazz pickups mounted inside, plus two volume controls. The Slimbucker is intended to be mounted on an acoustic archtop guitar between the strings and the guitar top, so it is only 5/16" thick. This makes it a good size for mounting in the Stick's shallow pickup cavity. My goals here are to get a jazzier sound and to be able to put a more drastic angle between the pickups and strings to try to make the higher strings louder.

Here are a couple of recordings, straight into my mixer. Slimbuckers on both sides. I have it set so the high strings on each side are almost touching the pickup, and the low strings are 3/8" to 1/4" away. I think it has a nice jazzy tone.

Drop 2 chords on melody side. (431K mp3)
Close position block chords with 3 notes on melody side and 1 on the bass side. My playing is really shaky on this...I'm not very good at playing these with walking bass yet! But the point is that, because the bass pickup is much closer to the high bass strings than the low bass strings, a note can be played on the high bass strings which is loud enough to blend with 3 notes on the melody strings, without the bass notes being overpoweringly loud. So this technique for playing close position block chords is a lot more feasible. (203K mp3)

Pictures of Version 1 of the New Pickup


Version 2

This one had a flat finish and no knobs. The melody pickup was moved slightly to reduce crosstalk. I used it at a contra dance in Greensboro, North Carolina in December 2008:


Version 3

On this one I milled control circuits into the bottom side of the top plate. It has thumbwheel pots sticking out the side to adjust volume and tone for the two pickups. Pictures are forthcoming.