Need a Pick-up?…….

No, not one with four wheels or a health drink – an acoustic guitar pick-up…….. I was ready to lay down some acoustic guitar tracks for the song I wrote, but didn’t want to use a mike because the old living room is not soundproofed from the noisy neighborhood and with 100+ temps, I wasn’t looking forward to recording with the A/C off……. So, I was going through all my musical paraphernalia looking for my “Buffalo” pick-up I purchased in the ’70’s that you just stick-on near the sound hole with some poster putty…… I didn’t find it, but I ran across the old DeArmond pick-up my dad used on his Martin guitar in the ’40’s…… I thought what the hell, I’ll try it…… It works great and there’s not even any noise in the volume knob like you get with new stuff that is only a few years old…… Not bad for a piece of equipment that’s over 60 years old!…… Here’s a pic of what it looks like in my 00-15 Martin….. It’s the RHC model with the integral volume controller…… This is what every guitar player used to amplify their guitars before Leo Fender came out with his revolutionary “Broadcaster” electric guitar in 1948…….
Martin Guitar
Here’s a little history on Harry DeArmond:
Harry DeArmond (born January 28 1906, died October 12 1999) invented the first commercially available attachable guitar pickup in the mid 1930s. He established a working relationship with Harold ‘Bud’ Rowe’s company to manufacture and develop these items. The company was located in a former schoolhouse at 1702 Wayne Street in Toledo, Ohio.

Initially there were two models for flat-top guitars (the RH and the RHC which incorporated an integral volume controller) and two for archtop guitars (the FH and FHC with a volume controller). Both types of pickup, initially called “guitar mikes”, were passive electromagnetic, employing the same wide shallow coil shape with individual Alnico 2 pole-pieces.

5 Responses to “Need a Pick-up?…….”

  1. What!, The Buffalo Nickle is MIA? I didn’t know that you still had Pops’ old DeArmond, Is that Pops’ old Martin Also? See sometimes being a pack rat isn’t a bad thing.

  2. Yes, I might be. I’ve been looking for a pick-up for my Gibson J150. In fact I had a DeArmond in it years ago. Drilled a hole in it for the jack……before I knew better.

  3. I’ve been asked where I got the info on Harry DeArmond…. It came from….. For the complete notation on DeArmond “Click Here” …..

    No, J.J. the Buffalo Nickel pick-up is not MIA – it’s in the storage building, I just haven’t found the right box yet…… Unfortunately, Pops’ 1948 Martin 00-17 was stolen at a gig about 25 years ago…. Since they don’t make the 00-17 anymore, I replaced it with the 00-15 in 2001 (9-10 to be exact) which to me seems to be the same size, shape, and finish as 00-17….. I think the neck is a little larger though as it doesn’t seem to play quite as easy as the 00-17 did…..

    Anon! -Drilling a hole in a classic guitar – Shame, Shame, Shame…. I just let the cord hang out of the hole….. If I was going to permanently leave it, I would unsolder the wires on the pick-up, feed the cord through the strap pin hole and re-solder the wires…. Then you can shave the strap pin to allow clearance if you want to use a strap….. I personally don’t use a strap on my Martin, I enjoy sitting when I play acoustic…..

  4. Well, I dont think it ruined the sound or the value. Its kinda beat up.

  5. I was just pulling on you some, Anon…. We all do things that we would have done differently now…. The old 20/20 hindsight…… Some are small peanuts (like your guitar drilling) and some were real butt-kickers ( I don’t even want to remember some of them I’ve pulled)……

    By the way, I just finished laying down that acoustic track with the DeArmond pick-up and it turned out great!….. Robert Johnson would be proud (or not)…..

Leave a Reply

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Anti-spam image