Pickups and Electronics

There are few musical styles these days where the instruments are played in a purely acoustic fashion. In the majority of styles instruments are amplified when played in performance. So the topic of pickups and other transducers is pretty important to builders of stringed musical instruments. This page contains construction details and general information on pickups and transducers, onboard preamplifiers (preamps), and various other electronic circuitry that sits between the instrument and the people listening to it.

Last updated: September 11, 2018

Constructing an Under Saddle Transducer

Step by step instructions for building a piezo under saddle guitar transducer. Also includes a discussion of the various piezo materials available for transducers and a simple piezo impedance matching preamp circuit.

Inexpensive Bridge Foot Transducer for Bass or Cello

Instructions for using an off-the-shelf transducer to make a great sounding but inexpensive pickup for upright bass or cello.

Bass Ampuum

How and why I converted a vintage vacuum cleaner into a small bass amplifier. Really.


• Latest American Lutherie article: "Book Review: The Caldersmith Papers", American Lutherie #148 Table of Contents

• Latest research article: "Quantifying Player-Induced Intonation Errors of the Steel String Acoustic Guitar"


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