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  1. #1

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    Hi! I'd like to have an archtop with a good acoustic sound and to equip it with a floating pickup. But i'd like to have the fat dark tone of an es 175. The floating pickups i have tried were far from this sound. This make me wonder : is it possible to get this kind of dark tone with a floating pickup?

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  3. #2

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    floaters are usually going to be brighter than an inbody pickup...thats the nature of it..but if you get yourself a humbucking floater and use well matched vol & tone pots and cap..and judiciously tweak them, you should get there

    if you are plug and play...everything dimed...then maybe not

    luck

    cheers

  4. #3

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    It is very possible to get a full warm sound from a floater.

    But you will not get the sound of a laminated maple top-mounted humbucker from a floater on an acoustic instrument.

    I definitely suggest the KA 12-pole PAF. This PU samples a longer amount of the strings than does the usual floater. This make a very big difference.

    Plus the PU has a great balance of fatness but PAF definition.

    In my opinion.

    Chris

  5. #4

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  6. #5

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    The Kent Armstrong 12 pole floater I had on my 1st Heritage was as close as you will come to that sound. If you pick toward the neck (almost on the 19th fret) you will get as dark and sexy a sound as there could ever be.
    It could be done. However, if you can find a 165 with a floating BJB, that’s all the setup you could ever want.
    JD

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptchristopher3
    . This PU samples a longer amount of the strings than does the usual floater. This make a very big difference.
    therein lies the beauty of the original (3 bolt) charlie christian pickup...huge expanse of magnets, cover large string area...for unique sound...bingo!

    cheers

  8. #7

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    Not really. You can get fattish but it's typically going to sound more acoustic archtop-y than the ES-175 type sound which is more electric-sounding. If you want the ES-175 type sound, save yourself a lot of trouble and find a good ES-175. The right tool for the job makes things a lot easier.

    That said, I have a carve top with floater made by forum member Matt Cushman about 12 years ago. I too had been thinking the ES-175 type sound when I bought it, not really understanding the difference that the construction makes. My old jazz guitar teacher in college had an L-7 with a Bill Lawrence floater and then a Johnny Smith, so that set my notion of what a good archtop was. I went through a lot of changes trying to get it to sound like an ES-175: I had the original floating mini-humbucker, then a monkey-on-a-stick type pickup, then a Kent Armstrong floating PAF, then a modified Classic 57 turned into a neck-mount floater and finally a neck-mounted floating Charlie Christian type pickup from Pete Biltoft. Whew! What changed my thinking was getting acquainted with the music of Pete Bernstein- a great archtop sound with a floating pickup. Even though strikingly different from an ES-175, I liked Pete's sound just as much.

    So my sonic goals and expectations were changed. I've been very happy with the CC pickup. It is fat, warm and clear and I love the sound (pretty much like the guitar sounds acoustically but with enhanced bass) but no one will ever mistake it for an ES-175.

  9. #8

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    Seriously Quent, Gibson ES165 with the floating BJB.

  10. #9

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    btw, another great full spectrum floater is the zoller...it has a very acoustic type full range tone...with ample volume...just need to get the right electronics ie pots & cap..to dial in your desired tone...

    that warm woofy tone can be had with right pots and cap

    jimmy raney was using one to great effect in his later days



    cheers

  11. #10

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    Audio taper Schatten 500k and .047uf the magic combo or do you have something else in mind?

  12. #11

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    schatten & .047 is great start...works for 95 +% out there..if by chance you want a little less top and more low end control..try different caps (ex .03 or .022)...nothing much you can do with schatten pots!!...

    tho you should be fine

    zoller and schatten- great match!

    cheers

  13. #12

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    The Zoller has to make it's way to the front!

    The first project in the queue is the KA 12 pole handwound and the schatten w/.047uf... same recommendation there as a starting point?

  14. #13

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    yeah...but you're limited to the pot values of the schatten architecture..which are fine...but any changes you may want will most easily come thru a cap change...tho you can fudge with pots as well..but that's more complicated..and probably not necessary

    ka12 will probably be darker/warmer/woolier/muddier...you choose the adjective!

    for better or worse

    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 01-07-2018 at 11:36 PM. Reason: sp-

  15. #14

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    Set humbuckers and floating pickups give a different sound, and one of the major reasons is that the set pickup vibrates with the top, changing its relationship with the vibrating strings ever so slightly. I think it gives a warmth and unique sound you can never quite get with a floating pickup. Laminated tops don't vibrate quite as much as solid carved tops, but they do vibrate, and you still get that sound, which you will never get with a floating pickup.

  16. #15

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    The problem with most floating pickup/archtops is that they often lack a tone control. Ever since the Gibson Johnny Smith was designed, this type of guitar often has only a volume control. I realize the theory is that you can dial in the tone you want in the amp, but it is alway too bright for me. I have almost always had tone controls added to my floating pickup guitars and found this to be a big improvement. The simplicity of a single knob is appealing, but it just doesn’t work for me.
    Keith

  17. #16

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    It's hard to get a 2-in-1 deal to get your acoustic archtop to sound like a 175 when you plug it in. If you like the acoustic sound, embrace it in your amplified tone as well. For a "darker" floating pickup, check out the DeArmond FHC. It doesn't have a tone knob but when you roll the volume back, it gets plenty dark and sounds pretty wonderful.




  18. #17

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    Not a purist solution but...... once you have a floating pickup you generally like, you can always tweak the sound by the judicious usage of 2 pedals


    1. a decent graphic equalizer with at least 5 bands
    2. a good compressor that incorporates both attack and decay controls (can help get you closer to the "thunk" of an ES175)

  19. #18

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    Just saw Jim Mullen last night ....

    Sounding great , back on his feet again , fabulous

    He was using an Aria (Fa70 i think)
    A laminate jazz box with Doug's plugs and
    the stock floating JS type pickup through an
    AER compact 60 no pedals

    Sounded great , plenty warm ....

    So yes it can be done ...

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    Just saw Jim Mullen last night ....

    Sounding great , back on his feet again , fabulous

    He was using an Aria (Fa70 i think)
    A laminate jazz box with Doug's plugs and
    the stock floating JS type pickup through an
    AER compact 60 no pedals

    Sounded great , plenty warm ....

    So yes it can be done ...
    Playing with your thumb helps.
    Keith

  21. #20

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    Or using a Dunlap Jazz Tone 200 series pick...
    Last edited by guido5; 01-08-2018 at 01:21 PM.

  22. #21

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    Joe is correct, when I got the HJS from him, that guitar did not sound like a typical floater-equipped archtop. I can also suggest Bartolini 5J on a Godin 5th Ave Jazz plus Polytone MB at normal or cut setting EQ'ed accordingly. Warm and fat.

  23. #22

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    +1 on the Zoller. I was drawn to it listening to late period Raney and to Attila Zoller. Then I acquired a carved archtop with the same AZ48 Zoller floating humbucking pickup.

    It is the warmest sounding floating pickup I have ever used.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    +1 on the Zoller. I was drawn to it listening to late period Raney and to Attila Zoller. Then I acquired a carved archtop with the same AZ48 Zoller floating humbucking pickup.

    It is the warmest sounding floating pickup I have ever used.
    The Zoller is a physically thin pu isn't it ?

    Would you say it is warmer (ie more bass) that a Kent Armstrong 12 pole floater ?

    I've got this crazy? Idea that you need a phyically thick PU
    (a deep pu) to get a deep (ie warm ie bass) sound

    That may well be BS ...
    hope so

  25. #24

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    Have a listen to Roni Ben-Hur, who plays a Gibson Johnny Smith with a KA 12 pole floating humbucker in place of the standard JS floater. His tone is really warm and smooth.

  26. #25

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    Plug into a polytone?

  27. #26

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    What happened to the OP?

  28. #27

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    Good question, Joe. Here is a shot of the Shadow AZ48 pickup on my Unity. You can see that it is not a thin depth pickup.
    Dark sound with a floating pickup-az48-pickup-jpg
    This guitar/pickup combination sounds quite good through a Polytone Baby Brute, or through a MiniBrute II or IV. With the 8", 12", or 15" speaker it sounds very full, woody, and deep. It is the best jazz guitar I have owned and one of the top two or three I have played.

  29. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    What happened to the OP?
    I'm still here, thank you for all these replies, I learn a lot!

  30. #29

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    Hi, thanks for the info re the Kent Armstrong 12 pole floater.

    Can you advise as to whether the KA 12-pole neck mount (bracket) or side mount (attached to pick guard) will give a darker sound (more like a routed in humbucker).

    Many thanks
    Gary

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by gfinberg
    Hi, thanks for the info re the Kent Armstrong 12 pole floater.

    Can you advise as to whether the KA 12-pole neck mount (bracket) or side mount (attached to pick guard) will give a darker sound (more like a routed in humbucker).

    Many thanks
    Gary
    The 12-pole humbucker will give you a fuller sound no matter how you mount it. The "darkness" factor depends on string choice, pot- and tonecap value and
    for a large part on the choice of your pick AND YOUR PICKING TECHNIQUE. Getting the sound you hear in your head can sometimes take years of
    dilligent practice and lots of experimentation - don't expect instant results.

  32. #31

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    I don't believe the mounting method makes much if any difference. One thing that can make some difference is coupling the pickup to the top. I have my DeArmond Rhythm Chief attached to the top with Blu-Tack between the pickup and the top, and I like the sound I get that way.