The "Cyclops"electromagnetic pickup.
We all love the acoustic
sound of a well set up hurdy-gurdy and standard piezo pickups and
microphones work well to amplify the whole instrument but they don't
give control of the tone or volume of individual strings.
adding an output from a magnetic coil pickup driven by a ferrous
string, a pure individual signal is created which can then be put
through the effects unit of choice. Because the pickup is driven purely
by the oscillation of the string, any acoustic problems of vibrations,
wolf notes etc are not picked up so the sound is always clean.
pickup I have developed for the job comprises a rare earth magnet and
extra fine winding (0.02mm diam. ) wire to maximise the number of
windings ( approx. 9750) which increases the power output . This is
necessary because the best strings acoustically don't have a steel core
and the best synthetic core string I have found is the Corelli Crystal
which is slightly magnetic.
coil is then mounted in an ebony block. It is sited a few mm. clear of the string and
slightly off centre.
unit was previously offered as a DIY installation but the concept
proved unsound due to wide variations in keybox designs so the pickup
is now only available as the ebony block which can be attached as the
instrument requires. On a new build, i can fit one or two as required.
The pickup can go straight to a Jack socket , through a volume control
pot or for the ultimate control, I can fit a 2 band eq + volume preamp. Details on request.
By fitting the pickup down into the keybox end, the overhang is minimised and access to the string for cottoning etc.
is improved. The extra distance from the wheel also lets the pickup see
a greater excursion of the string so gives more power and a warmer tone. The photo to the right shows an installation of 2 Cyclops units fitted flush with the keybox end by deleting the top two keys.
pickup relies on the Corelli Crystal violin G or D string because it has the
right electromagnetic properties.
There is a Youtube clip demonstrating the clip on version <<<<here>>>>>
Price £75 inc. UK P&p.