Can anyone tell me their experience with the best pick up for License plate guitars?

Views: 247

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

wait a sec!- I'm a raw beginner and trying to understand the difference with piezos. From what I understand, regular electromagnetic pickups only pick up vibrations from metal strings. That's why you can make an electric guitar from a solid piece of wood. Then, for the most part, in CBGs, the cigar box itself and the license plate would basically be decorative/structural. (unless maybe you also have a microphone or you are playing low volumes and/or solo, then maybe that lets the natural resonances come into play? This is where my lack of experience makes me unable to comment definitively)  

It is the piezos that pick up the vibrations of wood/cardboard and/or metallic resonators, and you are specifically amplifying the "natural" sound electrically. The fact that that you can use the same plugs, cords and amps is a matter of convenience. In a sense, they are two different instruments. I mean, I know "there are no rules" but, you can't escape the laws of physics.  

The inclusion of "reso" in the title of your question makes me think you'd want a rod piezo (like those on CBGitty), or an expensive pro piezo pickup made for acoustics. There are piezo pickups that specifically make semi-hollow electric guitars sound more like acoustics. This also explains why CBGitty has only a few (cheaper) electric pickups, and why the 2 string bass kit is so much more expensive than the guitars, banjos, ukes and diddly-bos. 

On the other hand, if you're CBG isn't particularly loud, and/or you're used to playing electric, electromagnetic pickups with metal strings would be the way to go. But, for one thing, I have no idea to how the regular pickup reacts to the metal plate. Darryls' solution might actually be a significant improvement, rather than a matter of convenience.

wow, sorry to reply to my own question, but I packed a lot in there, I really should start my own question, but to explain parts where I got a little fuzzy:

1. By "two different instruments"- I mean CBGs with electromagnetic pickups and CBGs with piezos are almost two different instruments, maybe I should say 2 classes or 2 different types of instruments. The possibility for a combo CBG blows my mind!

2. The bass is different because it needs electromagnetic pickups unless you wanted to build with a suitcase or something much larger than a cigar box body. I hope CBGitty or MGB starts selling washtubs for a 1 string washtub bass. I saw a Shane Speal video where he shows off a washtub bass with a rod piezo. With a weed-wacker string, too. Awesome!

3. I call the electromagnetic pickups "regular" in the next to last sentence, because that's how I think of them. I never knew what piezos were until recently, or that I could get them for just a couple of cents each. It's actually pretty exciting! I'm still trying to figure out how a steel plate would effect an electromagnetic pickup. Maybe I'll mount a plate on my Les Paul to find out! that might drive my guitar repair shop guy nuts. ;P

Great thoughts! After all, it is the sound that we personally like that we are all looking for. Some different than others. Mounting the magnetic pup under the plate sounds less intrusive on the plate but much more intrusive on the neck cutout for the pup.

Robbie, you (& Korrigan) may remember I was installing a dual rail humbucker into the steel plate guitar. For your info I have had all sorts of unwanted buzzing, poor output etc from it which I didn't get when installing a humbucker into the Aluminium plate one. However based on info on another post I wrapped the sides and bottom of the pick up with Aluminium cooking foil, then over-wrapped that with electrical insulation tape. Bingo! no buzz, no feedback nothing but pure volume & tone. I still wish I'd NOT cut the plate, but basically after much head scratching it's sorted & I've learned something.  I'm now convinced surface mounted pickups are best for LPG's. Keep building man :))

that's great news and I am looking forward to a few builds in that direction! Thanks again.

Thanks! Cooking foil is sooo... CBG. I'm still stuck in the mode of: how do I set this thing up with a digital preamp?

I'm not even sure if "tinfoil" was ever made of anything but aluminum- and why don't we in the States spell and pronounce it like al-u-min-ee-um, like everyone else? Deep mysteries within the cigar box world. lol!

You in the US carry on doing your own thing Christopher, we in the UK eventually follow suit anyway don't we? After all, it's only taken us about 100 yrs to cotton on to CBG's lol :D


The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation?How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources


What in a headstock

Started by Jeff 'Bones' Reilly in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Kigar 13 minutes ago. 16 Replies

pre amp unit for Piezo

Started by Mikey Hearrold II in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Korrigan 6 hours ago. 4 Replies

Slider Lids

Started by Brent Kasl in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Taffy Evans on Thursday. 9 Replies

Heel length

Started by Brent Kasl in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Korrigan on Wednesday. 4 Replies

My first real work bench.

Started by Cause the Blue rat in Other stuff - off topic, fun stuff, whatever. Last reply by Cause the Blue rat Nov 11. 15 Replies

Blog Posts

My New Alexandria CBG Adventure

Posted by Poorness Studios on November 12, 2018 at 7:30pm 3 Comments

String Talk !

Posted by Andries D. EKER on November 4, 2018 at 4:40pm 24 Comments

Gutter Guard Sound Hole Covers

Posted by Steebos Kalist on November 4, 2018 at 12:45pm 5 Comments


Posted by Danny Gordon on October 31, 2018 at 5:01pm 3 Comments

Latest Activity

BrianQ. commented on BrianQ.'s status
"A day of farming deserves a good beer, drinking some Arrogant Bastard ale 7.2%, good stuff!"
5 minutes ago
AGP # commented on Jeff 'Bones' Reilly's photo

#26 Piezo sandw

""Ha" gotta watch the slippery onions!, have yet to use a Tone Control on a Piezo Pup,…"
9 minutes ago
Kigar replied to Jeff 'Bones' Reilly's discussion What in a headstock
"Thanks guys"
13 minutes ago
Jeff 'Bones' Reilly commented on BrianQ.'s status
"At least you got the beer in first and I hope your enjoy the build time Brian . "
27 minutes ago
Jeff 'Bones' Reilly commented on Jeff 'Bones' Reilly's photo

#25 Bolivar 3 string electric slide

"Thanks Pick always good to hear from you hope your well ... The Red Dot Box is the donation for the…"
29 minutes ago
BrianQ. posted a status
"Off early today,finally got some build time. Dark beer,Blues & Hand tools, seize the day!!!"
32 minutes ago
the anonymous pick commented on Jeff 'Bones' Reilly's photo

#25 Bolivar 3 string electric slide

"mighty fine . nice collection too. "
44 minutes ago
the anonymous pick commented on Korrigan's photo


"mighty fine"
45 minutes ago
the anonymous pick commented on Randy S. Bretz's photo
47 minutes ago
the anonymous pick commented on Eero Tapani Lehtinen's photo

Uraltone showcase

"Sweet , maybe  it'll attract   some members of Nightwish ;-) or Chris Holmes…"
48 minutes ago
Jeff 'Bones' Reilly commented on JB's photo
50 minutes ago
BrianQ. commented on rodger moore's photo

box stash

"Got some old ones in there? They treat those like gold in my area,vintage boxes in terrible warped…"
50 minutes ago




© 2018   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service