3/10/2016

Workshop: Cedar Resonator Guitar Biscuit Pickup Solution



First off -- forgive the rough appearance -- I took a pic while I was roughing the saddle out, adjusting string spacing, and whatnot...

My friend Tom has been playing his Orpheum resonator hard for a couple years, now, and among other work that's been needed over time has been the need for a good solution for amplifying it. Originally I installed 3 K&K "Big Twin" sensors on the original maple biscuit but over time, for whatever reason, the lows and highs dropped in the signal.

I managed to save pry the sensors off the biscuit without damaging them and thought to myself: if I make a biscuit that's thinner and vibrates more like a regular guitar top, the K&Ks should work just fine in grabbing the signal transparently -- as that's what they're designed for.

My solution was to grab some cedar soundboard stock (thin but stiff), cut it into the shape of a biscuit, glue the pickups to the rear under where the saddle runs, make a new big rosewood saddle (held on just with a couple dots of "tack glue" to keep it in place), and run the wiring from under the biscuit out a hole drilled next to the center-hole on the rear of the cone.

I think it succeeded wildly and the instrument sounds much more "real" through a PA than any other biscuit-style reso pickup I've ever heard. In addition the guitar itself got a bit warmer, tonally, with better bass response and a tad more volume, too.

No comments: