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steve davis - Posted - 05/13/2019:  13:45:45

I bought a Lace dobro pickup from StewMac a few years ago and have used it playing out a couple of times.

Very electric sounding directly through a tube amp,but I'm wondering if I can plug it into some kind of "sampling" of good banjo tone.

I'm having a ball taking this low D tuned banjo to fiddle jams.

D tunes are like open G and A tunes are like D.Very fiddle-friendly.

The bracket is made from an old rabbit-ears antennae piece,fits under the two resonator screws.

The ends were already slotted at the correct size and the length was perfect after rebending.

P/U is 1/8" above the strings.1/4" plug.

Needs no pre amp.

It may sound OK with its electric tendencies but getting something out of this Lace might let me postpone another Jones for a time.

It's great to resurrect my old friend.I haven't played this StewMac kit since getting my conversion in '99.Now I'll be taking 2 banjos with me when playing out.

Edited by - Lynne on 05/14/2019 05:45:03


xnavyguy - Posted - 05/13/2019:  15:04:47

Steve, I LOVE your solution to mounting that pickup. As we say in Texas....."That is slicker than greased owl poop."

Max Winkels - Posted - 05/13/2019:  17:47:19

You may get a more natural tone if you use a solid state amp instead of a tube amp. There's a bunch on the market these days, from Fender, Fishman and others. I use an old Roland KC-300 and get ok tone from a Nechville banjo with piezo pick ups on the bridge.

rudy - Posted - 05/13/2019:  19:03:04

The Lace pickup is by design hum canceling, so you might be surprised at how it sounds pushed up against the head from the bottom side.  It will require more amp gain because it's further from the strings but that's not a problem for most amps.

I personally dislike the concept of modeling, but you may find what you're looking for with the Tonedexter system.  It's quite the rage in the amplified acoustic guitar world right now.

The idea is you have the Tonedexter pre learn the ideal sound of your instrument by using a mic and creating a "wavemap".  You can then play your instrument live using a pickup and the Tonedexter uses your loaded wavemaps to re-create your studio-perfect acoustic tone.

Edited by - rudy on 05/13/2019 19:09:50

Tractor1 - Posted - 05/13/2019:  19:51:17

you could go completely midi for a sampled tone.I mess with that a bit.Very expensive though.My own samples never get off the ground, in comparison to ''factory presets'' on my roland or casio.
As far as tube amps I always liked their coloration.They rattle and creak like a banjo when Carlos Santana fires his up.
Yes my low tuned banjo makes some difficult fiddle tunes become easier and still be in the right key.
I agree with Rudy on the Lace

steve davis - Posted - 05/16/2019:  12:35:51

I'm not going in too deep with this pick-up.I may just stay with the electric sound while getting another Jones P/U like on my main banjo.

It's interesting to transpose D to A and G to C.Playing G in C patterns changes the nature of the mix with other instruments.Fun!

Edited by - steve davis on 05/16/2019 12:45:09

Disco Kid - Posted - 05/20/2019:  11:26:30

Go one more step and make an electric, Theremin banjo.

There must be some pedals out there to avoid a whole other amp. Tonedexter is an interesting option.

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