Friday, February 25, 2011

More on the Dark Side of the Guitar

So, the new rig for jamming with the steel string guys:

That's the Pickard walnut-back classical, with Nylgut strings. The transducer–the little wooden button near the bridge, is a Dean Markley "Instant Mount," which attaches with a sticky putty that doesn't hurt the finish, as long as you don't leave it on permanently. (Note: This is earthquake putty, used to help keep stuff on shelves in those places subject to tremors.) The cable runs into a 1/4" jack that is plugged into a Roland Mini Cube acoustic amp. I'll tuck the wire under the Neck-Up to keep it from moving around and causing static when I play. I'm not worried about pulling it off, since we play sitting down.

It's the not the set-up I'd use if I were going into a studio to record, but since that's not something about which I have to worry, then I'm not gonna worry about it. 

Not talking a blow-out-the-windows-peel-the-paint-off-the-walls stack here–the cube, which looks a lot like a car battery in size and shape, albeit a lot lighter in weight, generates a whole two watts of pure power. Howsoever, that's enough with the gain at half and the volume control set at "3" to cut through the sounds of steel-string acoustical instruments and achieve parity just fine, which was exactly what I was looking to do. Amp runs on AA batteries–and I have a nice recharger for long-life nicads– or it can be plugged into a wall socket.

Rock 'n' Roll! 


Jason said...


*waves lighter*


Dojo Rat said...

Adding to the comments in the last post - the endpin is pretty clean for wiring into the soundbox.
-What you might want to consider is sell a few more books and get another guitar with onboard electronics. Still Classical, of course.
Also, you may want to experiment with a strap anyway. It's hard to do live gigs in some places with everyone sitting down. Playing standing up forces you to rely less on seeing the strings as you play and more on feel till you get it. I'm still getting it down, but good results so far.
I play an Ibenez Roadmaster electric, but my favorite is my Seagull parlor guitar- it plugs in too.
Still have the Ukes for traveling and playing in a truck...

Steve Perry said...

Stand up? Go on! I'm not gonna be spending much time on a stage, but I'll bring a bar stool if I must ...

Mike Byers said...

I used a mini-cube for several years with my (steel) six string, and was surprised at how nice this little amp was. Plenty of power for most purposes, and a nice clean sound, too.