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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Schatten BJ-02 PRO banjo pick up


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/262212

Mary Temple - Posted - 05/06/2013:  18:31:00


Does anyone use this pick up, Schatten BJ-02 Pro and if so what do you think of it.? I noticed there's a video on YouTube with installation instructions.  It's not a removable; epoxy mix comes with it. ( I'll be playing some banjo with my sons rock/blues band and will be needing the extra volume.)  Full name:  Schatten BJ-02 Pro Banjo Pickup with MVC Jack, Volume by Schatten Design.




 



plars - Posted - 05/06/2013:  20:33:28


I play with this pickup and it does a decent job. You will nee a pre-amp as well because the pickup is passive. I run that pickup through an L. R. Baggs Para Acoustic pre-amp and it sounds pretty good. It does take away some of the sound quality but it is easier that having five separate instrument mics. 


Old Hickory - Posted - 05/06/2013:  20:51:36


The Schatten is removable if you don't use their epoxy.  Who wants permanent epoxy on the underside of their banjo head, anyway? Use double sided tape -- available in a high strength version if you look for it -- or some other less permanent adhesive.



I have a Pickup the World pickup. It mounts with a double-sided tape that has paper you peel off of both sides.  I think it's a 3M product.



Decades ago, Barcus Berry pickups came with a supply of an adhesive goo like soft taffy. You peeled off paper to get to it and tore off what you needed. Two small dots -- less than 1/4 of your little fingernail -- was enough to hold the pickup to the underside of a banjo head.



Do some Google search on adhesives.  You'll find alternatives. 


Pjotor - Posted - 05/07/2013:  00:15:08


I have the BJ-02. It's my first pickup ever so I can't compare with anything else out there.

Some short observations:
- Pick noise/clicking comes through easily. I changed picks from Dunlop to Perfect Touch and honed my picking technique, and the pick noise is all but gone.
- You definitely need a preamp. I bought the package with the Schatten preamp via the website -- I'm sure there are better preamps out there but it does the job.
- The banjo will sound more like an electric guitar, especially in the high register. I play more backup on the low strings than without a pickup to preserve the banjo character.
- Installation is easy and the pickup is out of the way when not in use.
- I definitely recommend the Pro version (with a volume control).

I'm happy with the Schatten pickup. I don't expect to switch unless I feel like trying something new.

country frank - Posted - 05/07/2013:  04:24:38


quote:

Originally posted by Pjotor

 

I have the BJ-02. It's my first pickup ever so I can't compare with anything else out there.



Some short observations:

- Pick noise/clicking comes through easily. I changed picks from Dunlop to Perfect Touch and honed my picking technique, and the pick noise is all but gone.

- You definitely need a preamp. I bought the package with the Schatten preamp via the website -- I'm sure there are better preamps out there but it does the job.

- The banjo will sound more like an electric guitar, especially in the high register. I play more backup on the low strings than without a pickup to preserve the banjo character.

- Installation is easy and the pickup is out of the way when not in use.

- I definitely recommend the Pro version (with a volume control).



I'm happy with the Schatten pickup. I don't expect to switch unless I feel like trying something new.







Hhhmmm, i to use the BJ02 and found that;



-pick noise is all to do with technique



-you only really need a cheap EQ rather than an expensive preamp and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Unless you are a pro playing the Opry maybe.



-if it sounds like an electric guitar you have your [cheap] EQ set incorrectly



-don't waste your money on the 'pro' version, just install a simple volume pot, it is more robust than the flimsy schatten design and more concealable.



All in all they are good, reliable and simple way to increase volume, dont be lead to believe you need an expensive this or that or the other.



 

 




 


Old Hickory - Posted - 05/07/2013:  10:31:03


quote:


Originally posted by Old Hickory

Decades ago, Barcus Berry pickups came with a supply of an adhesive goo like soft taffy.




I couldn't think think of the word "putty"!



Saw this at a hardware store this morning:



odcdn.com/pictures/us/o..._sk_lg.jpg" style="width: 250px; height: 250px; " />



Actually, saw several brands of pretty much the same type of thing.  Also some thin Scotch double-stick squares.



I would expect this stuff to hold a lightweight pickup pretty well.  You would use very small dots - just a couple at the edge, leaving most of the pickup surface in contact with the head.


pearcemusic - Posted - 05/07/2013:  12:07:50


I use the 3M VHB double sided tape. Schatten delivers their HFN guitar pickups (and others) with this product.



solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M...amp;rt=c3



it is rock solid ... super thin ... and the schatten banjo pickup sounds great mounted with it.


Old Hickory - Posted - 05/07/2013:  14:06:14


And another reason not to use the epoxy is that despite the manufacturer's recommendation of where to place the pickup, you want to experiment to discover what sounds best on your banjo.



For example, when I installed a Barcus Berry in the 70s, the recommendation was to put it right under the bridge (where my Pickup the World is today).  That sounded terrible on my banjo.  Too shrill and percussive.  I actually found the most pleasing sound came from a location (under the head, of course) above the fifth string not quite half way from the bridge to the neck.  I know that seemed far from the bridge, but the sound was still quite bright.



The only way I was able to test locations was by mounting the pickup with a removable adhesive.


Mary Temple - Posted - 05/07/2013:  20:22:43


Wow! Thank all of you for taking the time to give me your recommendations. Everyone's comments certainly helped. The thought of epoxy did make me a bit nervous. Thanks again!!!

Mary

Old Hickory - Posted - 05/08/2013:  06:45:26


By the way, I think the Schatten standard output jack mount (not the one with the volume control is about the best.  After the clips that came with my Pickup The World failed, leading to pickup damage from the cord tugging on it, they sold me a replacement pickup at deep discount and made me a custom mount similar to the Schatten.



I don't know if a volume control on the banjo is necessary.  You're going to have a volume control on your pre-amp, which should be near you when you play.  Granted, it will most likely be on the floor, but it doesn't have to be.  I usually put mine on top of my bass amp (I play both instruments) or on the table top next to the PA head (I also run our own sound in some venues).  I can get to both pretty easily during a performance.  Point is, you don't want too many volume/level controls in the line. Working back from the PA, you're going to have:  main output level, individual PA/mixer channel level, banjo preamp level and now possibly on-banjo level.  Plus there will be monitor master level and banjo monitor send level.  If you go changing volume on your banjo, you affect the volume in both the main and monitor mixes. Not necessarily for the better.



Also -- I just visited the Schatten page to see their pickup again.  I forgot how tiny it is. Epoxy is overkill.  Definitely go with tape or putty.  That should work fine.



 




Schatten player metal jack mount

   

steve davis - Posted - 05/08/2013:  10:34:49


Have you tried playing your banjo through your bass amp,Ken?
My Jones pickups love playing through my b15n.

Old Hickory - Posted - 05/08/2013:  14:59:35


Only at home for fun. It sounds pretty good.  My bass rig is a Hartke head and  Ampeg Portabass cabinet with a 4-ohm 12-inch speaker.  The head puts something like 140 watts into 4 ohms, 85 into 8.  The banjo does sound nice and clean through it.



But at gigs for my Celtic band I go from my preamp/DI box straight into the PA.  I only use the bass amp for bass.  At bluegrass band gigs I play into a microphone.  At some venues, sound is provided and we use what they have.  When we bring our own sound, my band leader provides a condenser mic for my banjo.  He only likes pickups on acoustic-electric guitars and upright bass.  At one venue the sound guy was setting me up with a clip-on condenser mic and our leader wouldn't have that either.  He wants banjo playing into a mic on a stand so I can control volume and presence in the mix by how much on or off mic I play.



I do like the sound from a microphone best.


Poco2 - Posted - 07/23/2013:  07:38:06


FWIW - I am working with Schatten right now.  To me, the pickup makes my six string sound almost entirely like a guitar.  I have a recording of the Schatten on the right channel, and a mic on the left channel for a close to perfect A-B comparison, if anyone is interested.  It is difficult to make a solid assessment of how your banjo sounds when amplified, as you hear the acoustic instrument as a part of the mix.  For a perfect assessment, record it using your pickup output only.  I think you will be surprised.  I can't use mine as it is.  The pickup sounds great - very full and clean, just not like a banjo.  I am going to try a hybrid setup using an internal mic in conjunction with the contact piezo.


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