Workshop: DeArmond Tenor Guitar Pickup & Alignment Issues

This is a 1940s/50s DeArmond "monkey on a stick" tenor guitar magnetic pickup that's been hard-mounted onto a '30s KayKraft tenor guitar.

Here's what it looks like with the cover off. Neat!

Note the cluster of 3 poles for the lower two (wound) strings for normal CGDA tuning. Note the recessed/non-visible pole for the D (plain) string and also an exposed one for the A (plain, highest) string. This is intentional -- the "D" will always be a little too loud if it weren't forced to be quieter due to the way the polepieces interact with that "gauge range" of string.

Note also how the coil/pickup itself is offset in the housing. That's to accommodate the "stick" mount for the pickup.

Here's a rough "guide" for the string path when it's strung-up.


 Note that with the way it's mounted, the highest string (usually the quietest via an "all-poles-equal" magnetic pickup) would actually pass through the quietest part of the pickup. This is because the person who mounted the pickup didn't realize that the alignment was crucial to good tone out of these pickups.

I kind-of feel really bad for the poor slob who had to play this with an unbalanced pickup for however long it was in use. Clearly, I corrected this problem (moved the pickup over...) and now it's singing with a proud, snappy, bright, DeArmond voice when it's plugged-in.

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