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Sep 4, 2019 - 7:08:14 AM
1 posts since 6/30/2012

I need advice on a pick-up for my banjo that's decent, but not terribly expensive, if there is such a thing.

Sep 4, 2019 - 10:19:30 AM

689 posts since 11/27/2005

EMG banjo pickup

After trying all (seemingly) of the not terribly expensive pickups, I broke down and installed the EMG pickup.

It is NOT cheap! As a new customer, signed up for their newsletter, you can get 10% off and free shipping.

BUT, it is EXACTLY as advertised! It does not make the banjo sound like an electric guitar. It sounds like a banjo, only louder.

I'm VERY, VERY happy with this pickup.


Sep 4, 2019 - 11:16:04 AM

1944 posts since 8/10/2005

agreed, it is a great pickup. I have never had any feedback from it, it is basically silent until you play, external volume knob. Great.

Sep 4, 2019 - 11:20:53 AM

44 posts since 4/13/2006

I'm big on the K&K Definity Pickup. These are passive, don't require a preamp and dirt simple to install. Your milage will vary. If you do want a pickup (certainly not required) , the K&K ones are best as they are matched to the 1000 ohm impedance.


Sep 4, 2019 - 11:49:51 AM

35 posts since 1/21/2014

Every time this question comes up, I always recommend the Gold Tone ABS banjo pickup. Installation is as simple as could be. It just clamps on to the pot brackets. For 179.00 you get the pickup and a small DI box for tone, boost, and volume control. Basically, the pickup is a microphone with a sensitivity closely resembling a Shure SM57. Tone is excellent and I have had zero feedback problems.

Sep 4, 2019 - 11:58:17 AM

41 posts since 1/24/2014

I, too, have an EMG. It allows my banjo to hang in with other amplified instruments in a church praise band. I can't comment about other products because EMG is the only one I've tried. But to my ear it projects the banjo tone with reasonably good accuracy.

Sep 4, 2019 - 2:03:01 PM

10173 posts since 6/2/2008

Jones-Hatfield pickup. $80 from Hatfield Music. Same idea as a Fishman, but passive instead of active (no battery).

Needs a pre-amp or DI box. But all pickups do for best performance.

Sep 4, 2019 - 2:07:29 PM

10173 posts since 6/2/2008

Originally posted by paxflyer

I'm big on the K&K Definity Pickup. These are passive, don't require a preamp . . .

K&K says "The Definity pickup reaches its true potential with a preamp."

Sep 25, 2019 - 10:21:08 AM

4 posts since 9/25/2019

Anyone have advice on what sort of pick-up to but in a Pollmann banjola? The K&K is highly rated for mandolins, but not sure what's a better fit here for a banjola with gut strings.

Sep 26, 2019 - 6:07:49 AM
Players Union Member



14579 posts since 3/27/2004

No disparagement meant, but the entire ad copy for the new version of the Hatfield pickup relating to how a active magnetic pickup works and why the passive is superior is just plain wrong.  Absolutely nothing wrong with marketing a passive magnetic pickup, but including all the pseudoscience makes it a bit disingenuous. 

Sep 30, 2019 - 4:16:16 AM

2505 posts since 12/4/2009


I use the Cling-On device on my RB-12. I use a wireless guitar device and a passive direct box now. The device is a Swiff Blackwing wireless guitar system. I can place the Cling-On anywhere on the head. It is secured by a magnet. I have used it in competition with a organ at church.

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