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.

By 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.

The 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.

The coil is then mounted in an ebony block. It is sited a few mm. clear of the string and slightly off centre.

The 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.

Cyclops PickupGourdy with Cyclops2 x Cyclops pickup

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.

The 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.