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Other 'Electric Guitar' Pickups for Selmers

SpaloSpalo England✭✭✭✭ Manouche Guitars "Modele Jazz Moreno" No.116, 1980's Saga Blueridge "Macaferri 500", Maton 1960's Semi, Fender Telecaster, Aria FA65 Archtop
Are there any other pickups other than the Stimer types that would work on my Modele Jazz - I'm after the 'Electric Guitar' sound rather than an amplified acoustic sound.



  • martin bmartin b London✭✭ Epiphone Deluxe
    Posts: 49
    For a while I used a Dearmond Rhythm Chief monkey-on-a-stick type pickup, and it worked ok. The problem with gypsy strings, and with bronze strings, is the plain strings come through louder than the wound ones. This can compensated for by wedging the bass side up a bit with a small piece of cloth or sponge.
    The real problem though is fitting them on. Most electric guitar pickups will be too deep to go anywhere but in the soundhole, and then you'd have to devise some sort of suspension system.
    I would say, if you've got some funky old things lying around, particularly Dearmond style single coils, stick them on, wire them up, see what happens. But if you're looking for a cost-effective or radical alternative to a Stimer, I suspect you'll end up with a Stimer, or similar.
  • SpaloSpalo England✭✭✭✭ Manouche Guitars "Modele Jazz Moreno" No.116, 1980's Saga Blueridge "Macaferri 500", Maton 1960's Semi, Fender Telecaster, Aria FA65 Archtop
    Posts: 186
    Thanks for that. I should say I'm not anti-Stimer, it's just that they're a little on the expensive side for me at this time. So if anyone out there wants to 'donate' a Stimer to a worthy cause.... :D
  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 795
    At the risk of steering this thread off track, may I ask what pickups might be good for manouche guitars if one were to go ahead and install them through the top like an archtop? Are there any that are balanced for Argentines? Or maybe that is not so important. If one is committed enough to a pickup to cut a hole for it in the top, then probably the intention is to play it with the pickup most of the time, not acoustic, and the Argentine sound is not critical.

    So, what mag pickup and string combinations (nickel wound) sound good for GJ/ Swing. I'd be particularly interested in a good rhythm sound and recorded examples, youtube, that kind of thing. Doesn't have to be acoustic, just "good" for the style. I guess my standard for this is Django's late electric recordings and the Peche a la Mouche pickup which to me sounds very good except it is a bit poppy sounding for rhythm.
  • djorbadjorba New
    Posts: 2
    I have tried (and own) basically all the magnetic pickup options as far as I am aware: DeArmond 1100 Rythm Chief (with polepieces), Stimer, Peche a la Mouche, Krivo, Miller original and the newer Miller balanced one for Argentine strings (which I had not yet purchased when I previously posted about magnetic pickups elsewhere on the forum).

    My requirements from a magnetic pickup are basically:
    - a certain amount of string volume balance. With most magnetic pickups I ultimately find myself soloing more on the top 2 strings because the volume of the other strings falls away. Adjusting for the string volume difference with picking (or otherwise) is possible to a certain extent but is far from optimal.
    - good tone.
    - it has to fit on my guitar

    My conclusions so far:
    - The Miller balanced for Argentine strings is my preferred magnetic pickup so far. It can have a pretty acoustic clean sounding tone but also a more jazzy sound, depending on how it is used (volume/amplification and where you pick the strings - close to the bridge or closer to the neck). I find this pickup works very well for both rythm and soloing. Rainer makes quality products that last (what you would expect from Switzerland). A bit difficult to fit on my D-hole - but I just putty this on the top - that works fine in the end. Rainer has been thinking up a new solution for this but this did not work on my Eimers D-Hole yet.
    - The Stimer is too 'hot' (often tending to sound distorted) and (far too) unbalanced in my view. Can fit a D-hole well.
    - Peche a la Mouche has a nice sound but is still too unbalanced for me. I also find the shape a bit awkward. There pickup fits well on a D-Hole.
    - Krivo's pickups have good sound, but the balance was not yet perfect enough for me. I like the natural materials and form of these pickups (and the 'individual'/handmade feel of each pickup). Price/quality is good and Jason who makes these is good to deal with (and can make some adjustments to tailor to your wishes).
  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 795
    How about the DeArmond? Any experience with the DeArmond "Guitar Mike", the ones with the cut out covers for the high E and the G strings?
  • fraterfrater Prodigy
    Posts: 763
    Don't know on a manouche guitar with Argentines, but on a regular archtop with flat wound strings the Rythm Chief is just fantastic. Unfortunately is now sooooooo expensive!
  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    Posts: 1,252
  • StringswingerStringswinger Santa Cruz and San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭ 1993 Dupont MD-20, Shelley Park Encore
    Posts: 456
    The Dearmonds are pretty thick and would not work on most Gypsy guitars, except those few with an extremely steep neck angle. Additionally, only the Dearmond 1100 with adjustable pole pieces ($500 plus these days) would work well with Argies.

    I have tried an original Stimer (unbalanced and lousy mounting system), a Dupont Stimer (unbalanced and cheap mounting system that broke and needed repair) , Miller Stimer (unbalanced) and Miller Stimer with six separate magnets.

    Here are my conclusions (from the Miller website):
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass
  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira M,
    Posts: 837
    I gave up on my Dupont Stimer which - despite many claims - is not balanced in any way to compensate for the week G and strong B and E strings. If you take the thing apart it's obvious that it's plain old single coil pickup with a flat bar magnet with nothing to indicate anything which could possibly balance out the strings.

    I've been in touch with Jorge Guzzman during the development of his Guzz pickup and although I haven't tried one it seems to have something to offer although I wonder how it can work effectively with both Argie type strings and regualr strings as claimed. My questions arises from the fact that if is balanced for Argie type strings then wouldn't normal strings would sound unbalanced ?

    I like the Krivos, I know someone who has one and he really likes the sounds it produces. The problem for us in the UK is that although the base price is very reasonable when tax and import costs are added to the combined cost of pickup and shipping it takes the cost to over $220.

    My solution has been to build my own mag pickup and the prototype works well with an acceptable balance and sound which is closer to acoustic than electric,it's 6mm thick and very light. If I find the time I may build version two with the aim of making it as thin as a Krivo ( i.e. around 5mm ) and transferrable between right and left handed guitars.

    always learning
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,736
    I'm happy with my Miller. The metal mounting clip broke, so now it's just puttied into place.

    Can't say I've noticed the string imbalance volume problem others have mentioned, maybe I just got lucky :?:

    But I really like using it with a foot volume pedal so I don't have to stop playing and twist a volume knob when going from rhythm to lead, or back again.
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
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