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Post new topic National New Yorker with hidden pickups
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Author Topic:  National New Yorker with hidden pickups
Fred Kinbom


From:
Berlin, Germany, via Stockholm, Sweden.
Post Posted 13 Apr 2007 1:58 pm     Reply with quote

Rediscovering my New Yorker has blown me away. Smile It's such a great guitar!

I remember previous threads, such as this one in 'No Peddlers' about the 1930s model with the hidden pickups under the fretboard. I'd love to try or hear one of those! Has anyone got a sounds sample or any more info on this model?

Cheers,

Fred
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Rick Alexander


From:
Florida, USA, R.I.P.
Post Posted 13 Apr 2007 6:00 pm     Reply with quote



Fred, this 1930s 8 string model is SN# C 3316. It sounds strong and sweet with Aiello NIBros.
It may have hidden pickups in the neck, but I'm not taking it apart any time soon.Confused
Funny you should bring this up now, I'm about to use it in my next song . .
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John Bushouse


Post Posted 14 Apr 2007 9:32 am     Reply with quote

Fred, mine is a 1936/7 National Electric Hawaiian, the forerunner of the New Yorker. It has three sets of pickups: the bridge pickup, which is visible, a set of pickups under the 17th fret or so, and a set of pickups under the 28th fret or so. The neck and middle pickups are wired such that the treble side pickups on the middle and neck sets are wired together and the bass side pickups on the middle and neck pickups are wired together.

The guitar has four control knobs: MASTER CONTROL (master volume), NATURAL HAW. (bridge pickup volume), FULL TREBLE (volume for treble side middle and neck pickups), and FULL BASS (volume for bass side middle and neck pickups). There is no tone control, but you change the tone of the bridge pickup by blending in s smoother treble (with the FULL TREBLE knob) or a rounder bass (with the FULL BASS knob). You can also turn off the bridge pickup entirely and just use the middle and neck pickups - even only the top four strings or the bottom four strings (the fourth string is picked up by both the treble and bass controls).

Of course, if National says the bridge pickup is for "Natural Hawaiian" tone, I'm satisfied using that full on and messing with the others for different tones.

So here's some pics. A shot of the headstock, just because it's beautiful, as Rick's post shows:



A shot of the body:



A shot of the top neck and middle pickup sets, with the most of the guitar disassembled. You can kind of see on the middle pickup that the magnet is short, only covering the bottom four strings. You can see a little gap between the bass side and treble side pickups.



Here's a pic of the middle and bridge pickups. I pulled the bridge pickup out of its cavity so you can see where the magnets are. This pic also shows that the bass side and treble side pickups on the middle set are separate. The contours you see are the magnets.

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David Siegler


From:
Mill Valley, CA USA
Post Posted 14 Apr 2007 5:00 pm     Reply with quote

I recently bought a 1938 - 40 New Yorker. Sounded great in San Francisco when I tried it out. After my 20 minute drive home it had a terrible hum that got worse when you touched the guitar. I opened it up and jiggled and fiddled around but that changed nothing. I ended up taking it to my guitar tech. Below are pics I took and then some he took when he shielded it. Whoever worked on the guitar before I bought it had removed all the shielding that is visible in John's photos above. Because of that you get to see the innards. Thankfully the guitar has no hum now as it has been well shielded with copper as you can see in the photos.

The guitar is missing it's PU cover. If anyone has one laying around let me know. Also, the knobs are not original and the two tuner strip covers on the back are gone. Since we were rewiring it we changed the plug jack to a "normal" 1/4" and got rid of the screw in jack. No, I did not spray paint the tweed case white, maybe it was the person who removed the shielding Sad ... but I do refer to the case as Casper.

All in all it's a wonderful player with a really deep, rich tone.

















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Fred Kinbom


From:
Berlin, Germany, via Stockholm, Sweden.
Post Posted 14 Apr 2007 6:17 pm     Reply with quote

John and/or David - could you pleeeeease post a clip that shows who this peculiar New Yorker sounds? Smile That would be great!

Rick - looking forward to hearing your next recording!

Cheers,

Fred
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David Siegler


From:
Mill Valley, CA USA
Post Posted 15 Apr 2007 2:14 am     New Yorker Sound Samples Reply with quote

Fred,

Here you go...

New Yorker Sample 1

New Yorker Sample 2

New Yorker Sample 3

All samples recorded with New Yorker PU selector set to Hawaiian setting (Neck PUs only). Amp is Fender Princeton Reverb w/reverb set at 3, treble at 4 and bass at 5. Recorded using Edirol R-09 to 160kbps mp3.

I probably should have sent the bridge PU to Rick Aiello because when I try to use the PU I get no sound at all from the bass strings though the wiring checked out fine. Confused The treble strings sound nice though. Maybe the magnets are too weak.
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Fred Kinbom


From:
Berlin, Germany, via Stockholm, Sweden.
Post Posted 15 Apr 2007 2:34 am     Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for that David! Sounds great - both the guitar and your playing! What tuning(s) did you use for these clips?

Have a good Sunday!

Fred
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David Siegler


From:
Mill Valley, CA USA
Post Posted 15 Apr 2007 2:40 am     Reply with quote

Thanks Fred. The tuning is open D: DADF#AD
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Roman Sonnleitner


From:
Vienna, Austria
Post Posted 15 Apr 2007 4:44 am     Reply with quote

David, gotta agree with Fred - that sounds great, I love that dark, almost acoustic tone a neck pickup gives on lap steel.
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Rick Alexander


From:
Florida, USA, R.I.P.
Post Posted 15 Apr 2007 5:54 am     Reply with quote

David, that sounds wonderful. Like Roman says, almost acoustic.
My 30s 8 string obviously doesn't have the neck pickups. It sounds really sweet and sustains into the next day, but it doesn't sound at all like that. I'm currently recording a tune with it, and I'll probably post it soon.
My current favorite amps for lap steel are a 53 Deluxe and a 47 Pro.
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David Siegler


From:
Mill Valley, CA USA
Post Posted 15 Apr 2007 12:34 pm     Reply with quote

Roman and Rick, that dark tone is what sent me looking for that guitar. Last summer I played forumite Mark Harpainter's '37 NYer and that got me looking. Our guitars look alike (his looks nicer) but they have different bridge PUs. Mine has a blade w/out any poles and his has little flat stubby poles. When I got the guitar it had been being played with no saddle on it. The PU blade was acting as the saddle... it had bad intonation until we added a brass sadlle. Smile Wonder what Rick's PU looks like. My NYer's serial # is lower than Ricks and higher than Marks.

Rick, I sure wish you weren't across the country. I would love to try those amps of yours... not to mention the guitars! What a collection. Thanks for preserving (and playing) all those goodies!
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basilh


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 28 Nov 2014 9:15 pm     Reply with quote

Pity about the broken links, anyway, here's a rough video of me testing a repair I did..
http://youtu.be/Az3ckmaMOE8
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Alan Brookes


From:
Brummy living in the San Francisco Bay Area
Post Posted 30 Nov 2014 11:38 am     Reply with quote

http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=173043&highlight=restoration+yorker
It's amazing how many variations of the New Yorker there are. I have two of them, one of which is the subject of the restoration post (see link above), which is of interest since it shows the inside of a different New Yorker. Neither of mine has hidden pickups, nor any cavities for them. Sad
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