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Author Topic:  LightSound 2pup
Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 3 Sep 2012 9:12 am     Reply with quote



This product provides a totally non-destructive, non-invasive means of adding a second pickup to the neck of a 10 string steel guitar.

The system is composed of a thin Lace Sensor pickup (model USAB) and a leg mounted box providing a 3-way switch (Les Paul Style), a master tone control, a master volume control and a pull-pot to reverse the polarity of the Lace pickup to switch it out of phase with your permanent bridge pickup.

The Lace pickup slides under the strings and is pressed down to the fretboard to which it adheres with sticky pads which leave no residue and can be adjusted for tackiness. It plugs into the box, the guitar output plugs into the box and the box output goes to the volume pedal.

Who is this rig for? It is for a steel player who appreciates the range of color that is available on 2 pickup guitars and would like to explore this expanded range on a steel guitar. This would describe me. I have long wondered what a second pickup could do. I simply could not be more pleased with the results.
I'm seeing more steel guitars custom ordered with 2 pickups. This provides a retro-fit option without milling out your steel.

The pickup is sized for 10 string steels. I have a report in the field that it may be a hair too small:

"....the signal strength of the 1st and 10th strings is very slightly lower than the others. It doesn’t bother me...."


I play 12 strings exclusively. It does NOT cover 11 or 12 strings. I use it anyway and I'm loving it but I repeat--it does not cover more than 10 strings.

The price for this rig:

--pickup and control box: $250


This includes shipping, Paypal and Forum donation.
Any location that causes me concern re: shipping expense, we will have to talk about extra shipping charges.

Here is some discussion of this project:
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=1940004








Edited to add this link to the For Sale section:

http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=232778


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Last edited by Jon Light on 2 Mar 2013 2:55 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 4 Sep 2012 1:05 pm     Reply with quote

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Brad Sarno


From:
St. Louis, MO USA
Post Posted 4 Sep 2012 1:41 pm     Reply with quote

Pretty cool Jon!

Brad
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 4 Sep 2012 3:56 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks, Brad.
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 9 Sep 2012 10:47 am     Reply with quote

Up for a Sunday bump.
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Brian McGaughey


From:
Seattle, WA USA
Post Posted 10 Sep 2012 12:16 pm     Reply with quote

Cool Jon.

Is the pickup switching box completely passive?
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 10 Sep 2012 12:33 pm     Reply with quote

Hey Brian. Passive. Essentially an A/B/Y scheme with polarity switch & vol & tone.
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 14 Sep 2012 4:09 pm     Reply with quote

I finally found a couple of minutes to sit down and doodle this. Sorry if it sounds like I'm attention deficited. I'm all over the place. I hope to post better played (and better annotated) stuff soon.

The summary---this begins with the permanent pickup--a BL 912--and I proceed to run through different switch positions. The take away? The Lace pickup position at fret 24 makes it much broader spectrum, high fidelity with a deeper bottom. You can really hear it with the wide grip playing. And the reversed polarity A&B sounds somewhat thin single coil with a bite. This position really shines in an overdriving situation as I hope to demonstrate.

clicky clicky.. http://picosong.com/wZmg
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 17 Sep 2012 11:09 am     Reply with quote



damned tribbles.

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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 30 Sep 2012 2:47 pm     Reply with quote



This lousy picture taken with my lousy phone will have to do while my camera refuses to cooperate with the computer.

This is 2pup2. It has a slight upgrade. The knob on the side is a trim pot controlling the volume of the Lace pickup. It gives better ability to balance the outputs of the two pups in the event of imperfectly matched heights and/or pickup signal strength.

This is now the standard for this unit.
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John McClung


From:
Olympia WA, USA
Post Posted 2 Oct 2012 3:13 pm     Reply with quote

Really interesting solution, John!

Like you, I play ext E9, any plans for either utilizing a wider pickup for 12-string steels; or blending 2 stick-on pickups together to cover the string range?
_________________
E9 INSTRUCTION
Mullen pre-RP D-12 9+10 /Li'l Izzy / Stereo Steel combo amp-preamp / JBL, BW & Telonics speakers in Telonics cabinets / Hilton and Telonics volume pedals / BJS bars / George L strings & cables / StealSeat.com pack-a-seat / Macintosh computers / This Space for Hire / Burma Shave
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 2 Oct 2012 3:35 pm     Reply with quote

Hey John. What gave me the impetus to develop this idea (I've wanted a two pickup steel for a long time) was the discovery of this pickup from Lace. The key is its low profile. It is sold as a bass pickup large enough for 5 strings. I had my fingers crossed when I bought one. Bingo for 10. No go for 12. I cannot find another pickup anywhere that is a thinline like this. I couldn't interest anyone at Lace in even discussing customizing the jack, let alone talk about a fabricating a custom pickup--my thousand dollar order didn't grant me any talking rights. But it is a great sounding pickup.

btw--it would be cost-prohibitive to use two of these pickups, even if i could figure out how to do it, with impedance issues that would be involved.

I am sending a 2pup rig to Jim Palenscar in a couple of days. If you get down there, play with it. I cannot push it on 12 string players, no way, but personally I dig using it enough that I am finding a way to make it work for me. Unquestionably in a somewhat limited way.
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John McClung


From:
Olympia WA, USA
Post Posted 2 Oct 2012 4:27 pm     Reply with quote

Understand. I, too, could live with a 10-string version, the low strings get minimal use, the action is on strings 3-10 for the most part.

I'll definitely try Pali's, I figured he'd be quick on the draw!
_________________
E9 INSTRUCTION
Mullen pre-RP D-12 9+10 /Li'l Izzy / Stereo Steel combo amp-preamp / JBL, BW & Telonics speakers in Telonics cabinets / Hilton and Telonics volume pedals / BJS bars / George L strings & cables / StealSeat.com pack-a-seat / Macintosh computers / This Space for Hire / Burma Shave
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 13 Oct 2012 11:50 am     Reply with quote

.
I'm just about to start the next run of 2pups.

The latest revision is reflected in the instruction sheet. I moved the output jack to get it out of the way of flying knees and to make it easier to use straight plugs if desired rather than right angle plugs.

I also removed a little confusion about the input jacks by placing them in a more logical position. There was actually a rational reason for the original layout but when I finally let go of a pet feature that was ill advised (a Bosstone-style male plug mounted on the left side to plug straight into the steel) it freed me up to create this new layout. I'm very glad I did not continue barking up that male plug tree. Huge mistake for a box this size. No such actual units ever saw the light of day.

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Jim Palenscar has a 2pup demo rig for your delight and pleasure at Steel Guitars Of North County. http://www.steelguitars.me/
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Last edited by Jon Light on 2 Mar 2013 2:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 18 Oct 2012 2:01 pm     Reply with quote

http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=234945

Dan Tyack is making his Franklin sing with a Sarno Earth Drive and a Little Walter amp. He's running the 2pup in the center, in phase position.

I'm waiting for a new printer to arrive so I can print the graphics for another run of boxes.
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 24 Oct 2012 1:38 pm     Reply with quote

I'm in contact with some people about making 12 string pickups. We'll wait and see. I don't have a feeling one way or another about if I'll succeed.
As good as the Lace sounds---and it really does---I'd love to just get them to do this for me. I'm still working on them.
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John McClung


From:
Olympia WA, USA
Post Posted 18 Feb 2013 1:36 am     Reply with quote

Jon, Tyack sounded great with the 2pup2 at the Phoenix show.

Might there be an upgrade path if I buy a 10-string pickup unit now, but wish to get the 12-string when/if it becomes available?
_________________
E9 INSTRUCTION
Mullen pre-RP D-12 9+10 /Li'l Izzy / Stereo Steel combo amp-preamp / JBL, BW & Telonics speakers in Telonics cabinets / Hilton and Telonics volume pedals / BJS bars / George L strings & cables / StealSeat.com pack-a-seat / Macintosh computers / This Space for Hire / Burma Shave
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 18 Feb 2013 2:19 am     Reply with quote

Thanks for the report, John---I've heard some of his Youtubes and Dan makes it sing.

Huge frustration---my pro contacts have not been enthusiastic and their price quotes reflect this.
I did commission a prototype with a semi-pro maker who I was super excited to work with. But it was a non-starter. I received this failed prototype around two weeks ago. Totally didn't cut it. Would have been priced great. And he is not interested in continuing his R&D now that he understands how far short his proto fell. So I'm nowhere. I even considered gearing up to roll my own but...nah. Not now, anyway.

I haven't given up but I'm not really anywhere right now on a 12 string pickup and I'm therefor not in any position to talk business on the subject since that would imply that I was optimistic that there was something just around the bend. I will not sell one of these with even the hint of an upgrade enticement (although it is a totally good idea, if I were working on something concrete such as this prototype).
I want one for myself as much as I want one for commercial purposes.

Thanks for asking.
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John McClung


From:
Olympia WA, USA
Post Posted 18 Feb 2013 11:11 am     Reply with quote

I appreciate the way you do business, Jon, under-promise, over-deliver.

Maybe Telonics would be a good partner for this. Might even add the 12 string, license from you, add their manufacturing know-how to produce the "2pup2 Deluxe". Just a wild thought, but they seem to be on the same page as you regarding quality and perfection.

I'll be in touch soon with an order.
_________________
E9 INSTRUCTION
Mullen pre-RP D-12 9+10 /Li'l Izzy / Stereo Steel combo amp-preamp / JBL, BW & Telonics speakers in Telonics cabinets / Hilton and Telonics volume pedals / BJS bars / George L strings & cables / StealSeat.com pack-a-seat / Macintosh computers / This Space for Hire / Burma Shave
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Mickey Adams


From:
Bandera Texas
Post Posted 18 Feb 2013 12:06 pm     Reply with quote

I played this rig at Jimmys...Way cool idea, and Kudos for real innovation!!.
_________________
Mullen D10 G2 8+9 "PEARL" Anderson, Buscarino, Fender, Roman Guitars, Sarno Octal, Revelation Preamps, BJS BARS, Lots of Blackface Fenders!
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 18 Feb 2013 2:50 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks, Mickey. I appreciate that!
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Mickey Adams


From:
Bandera Texas
Post Posted 19 Feb 2013 5:17 pm     Reply with quote

Jon, Im gonna want one as soon as I return from Sweden..
_________________
Mullen D10 G2 8+9 "PEARL" Anderson, Buscarino, Fender, Roman Guitars, Sarno Octal, Revelation Preamps, BJS BARS, Lots of Blackface Fenders!
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 20 Feb 2013 2:54 am     Reply with quote

Great Mickey. I'll be right here.
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 11 May 2013 11:25 am     Reply with quote

I just wanted to announce that I am sold out of 2pups.
It's been a good run and I learned a bunch. I hope I have satisfied everyone who has one---it has taken some work and adaptation and evolution to deal with the absence of hard standard dimensions but I think we got it done.

The only way to achieve enough margin to make this worthwhile (not being geared to production, it is quite time consuming for me), I need to order parts in enough quantity to get bulk pricing. I am not convinced that I can recoup my investment in another run so for now, I am putting this into hibernation.

If I were to get a handful of serious orders I would consider another run.

Thank you to those who bought one and thank you to those who appreciated the idea, whether or not you bought one. It is cool to be kudo'd.
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