Pickup recommendations for a ‘73 F512?

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Pickup recommendations for a ‘73 F512?

Hey guys and gals-
Finally landed an F512, and wondered who has had good luck with what kind of pickups on these. I’ve had about everything installed on one guitar or another over the years, but never a 12 string. Will be using it solo, and in a band context. Thinking about the Anthem- have it in a Martin Baritone and it sounds massive. Thoughts? Thanks!
 

Nuuska

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Hello from Finland

Welcome to LTG

Your family name sounds "danger" or "hill" - finnish ancestors?

How is the saddle in your F512 - thick or thin ?
 
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Thanks, Nuuska, you nailed it!

My paternal grandfather came thru Boston in 1908 with the name Paakkolanvaara. The last v became a w and there are a bunch of Waara's in the US, most of whom I'm related too, at least distantly! I'd heard 'small mountain' before, but not 'danger' : )

The saddle is pretty much right down to the bridge, but the action is almost too low. I wouldn't hate putting an under saddle in there for that reason, as I've used a ton of the Fishman Matrix thru the years, and have managed to finesse decent sound most of the time. Just thinking all those strings might just stress a piezo into ugliness...
 

Nuuska

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Hello

Vaara indeed means a small mountain or danger - easily recognized in context . . .

I have a saddle pietzo in my F512 PLUS a spring-loaded humbucker. They are wired via separate volume pots to separate outputs in stereo-jack in place of endpin. The signal goes into two separate di-boxes into 2 mixer-channels - so I can tweak them as much I want. Obviously that might require a lot of tweaking and equipment - but once there it is most rewarding.


You did not mention what kind sound you are chasing - and how you try to get it . . .

Because quite a large part of it comes from your fingers - and before fingers it starts in your brain.
 

Cougar

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K&K mini passive pup.
That's what I'm having put in my recently acquired F512, which is in the shop to repair a gouge on the top and have the K&K installed (the 12-string version of the K&K). Can't tell you how I like it because I haven't gotten it back yet. :subdued: I figure I'll just plug it into my Vox AD30VT....

And welcome to the boards, Scott!
 
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Hey, thanks for the welcome guys!

Nuuska, I bet that two pickup combo sounds fantastic. I go wireless though, and I don't really want to deal with two packs, and to be honest, for me a little of the mag in the sound hole goes a long way. It's maybe more irrational than that- I feel like sound hole pickups hold the top and block air. I did it once years ago, and I swear it changed the sound of the guitar. Might be in my mind...

Lots of votes for the K & K, good to know. I have the K & K mini in an F style mando, a cavaqhino, and an open back banjo, and I do like it. In the banjo, I've struggled with it staying adhered to the skin, and the bass response is so dependent on how well the pad sticks to the surface. I reckon properly installed on the F512 that wouldn't be an issue. For all these instruments I use an Empress Para EQ and a Line 6 HX Stomp (with an instrument appropriate IR set at about 25%). I do think there is a little bass hump that comes with the K & K which might need to be managed, but they do sound very natural.

Might be overthinking it, but I play finger-style and want to get as much articulation out of the high end as I can and was thinking maybe the K & K on a Rosewood back and sides might be too dark.

Thanks for all the feedback, and one more question- does everyone who tunes to concert use .10's on the top? This guitar came strung with Martin SP Extra Lights, and while I love SP's, I swear this top could stand some more tension to really move.

Thanks again!
 

adorshki

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Hey, thanks for the welcome guys!

Nuuska, I bet that two pickup combo sounds fantastic. I go wireless though, and I don't really want to deal with two packs, and to be honest, for me a little of the mag in the sound hole goes a long way. It's maybe more irrational than that- I feel like sound hole pickups hold the top and block air. I did it once years ago, and I swear it changed the sound of the guitar. Might be in my mind...
Y'know what, never thought of that before, but that actually makes a lot of sense for the types that clamp firmly to the edges of the soundhole.
They would after all be acting like a damper for the top vibrations they're unavoidably absorbing, even if they're already somewhat damped by the soundhole reinforcement plate used on some builds.
The only soundhole p/u I ever used is an old Dean Markley design that just "squeezes on" by using sponge rubber in the edge slots and volume was always more of an issue than fidelity.
Thanks for all the feedback, and one more question- does everyone who tunes to concert use .10's on the top? This guitar came strung with Martin SP Extra Lights, and while I love SP's, I swear this top could stand some more tension to really move.
Thanks again!
Good question, think it depends on build era more than anything else, but "IIRC" I saw a piece of Guild lit from early 70's (?) did recommend tuning down by a whole step because of the tension issue, but at that time I don't think they offered .010's.
('72 price list shows bronze "light" sets only but doesn't spec gauges, note however that they also show both light and medium under the silk'n'steel sets):
http://www.westerlyguildguitars.com/files/pricelists/72-7.pdf
By early '80's I think it was they specifically made reference to the 12's being able to take standard tension, and that coincides with their "built like a tank" era.
By the '90's they had the .010's available and still didn't specifically suggest tuning down, but they'd also gone back to "lighter builds".
RE the Martin SP's, different makers' PB alloys do have slightly different total set tensions.
First thing I'd do is try the D'Addarios (uncoated), then maybe try the next gauge up but I'd tune it down then, for that guitar, for the sake of preserving the neckset if nothing else.
GHS offers a wide variety of alloys and has convenient total set tension tables on their site, too.
They even have a conversion chart showing what the tension is for individual strings at other-than-standard pitch, allows you to calculate a total set tension even with a custom gauge mix, or, for example, to calculate what you'd get by going to a heavier set tuned down. In some cases you'll wind up with something only slightly higher than what top was designed for.
And for full balance, I recall at least one member who has strung at least one of his with mediums at standard ever since mid '70's "IIRC" and still hasn't needed the neck re-set, but forget who it is.
"12-string", maybe?
 
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Thanks, adorshki, great information. I've got some experimenting to do! In the meantime, happy picking everyone!
 

Br1ck

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After putting Dazzos in all my acoustics, I bought a Martin D 35 with K&Ks. I am not a fan. With the proper set of Dazzos and a linear pre like a RedEye or a SunnAudio, you can kiss the need to EQ goodby. Plus they just sound better. I had a friend put some in his F 112 and the guitar sounds fabulous. Teddy Randazzo makes about six different frequency responses and will work with your installer and even swap them out if his first guess isn't correct. He's right five out of six times.

Yes, I eventually got a decent sound from the K&Ks, and now realize why pres with four band EQ are so popular. You need them to get usable tone. K&Ks are going away as soon as my wallet cooperates.
 
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hello Gents, I am new here. I bought this gorgeous 2006 F512 with built-in electronics; very simple, no controls.
The seller told me it was factory builtin passive pickup; no battery.
The guitar sounds amazing and is mint.
I use it only for gigs as I have other practice guitars.
I used it on a couple dozen gigs before the lockdown, had no issues.
Just got it out of the case tonight for the first time in three months and the pickup is not working, making this terrible sound. I tried everything, different cables, different channel in the board.
No guitar sound, just loud hiss and popping sounds. Awful.
It's definitely the guitar.
After getting over the initial shock and trauma of this happening to my baby, I am regaining my senses and figured I would ask several questions for the forum(s):
Does anyone know what type of pickup was installed in this from the factory in 2006?
Is there any chance there actually is a battery inside the body that went dead? (Although I doubt a dead battery would cause that kind of sound.)
Any other speculation as to how and why it would just go bad like that sitting in the case?
I'm thinking since I have to take it in to the shop to get it fixed, maybe I should upgrade to the LR Baggs Anthem-SL.
I want to put in whatever is minimally invasive... with the best sound.
Any thoughts you might have would be very much appreciated.

Ron Roberts
Fairfield CT
 

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crank

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I have a K&K in my 412 and it doesn't do a great job on the high E's. Love it in my dread. Could be the pad placement? I had a my luthier install both. Have to say it just doesn't seem to capture the richness of the 412's full sound. It sounds good but the guitar sounds amazing acoustically and my K&K is just not capturing that. I have been thinking about either a multi source system or one of those clip on mics.

I play it in a band and go through my PA always with a pick but not always strumming.
 

Cougar

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Does anyone know what type of pickup was installed in this from the factory in 2006?
Is there any chance there actually is a battery inside the body that went dead? (Although I doubt a dead battery would cause that kind of sound.)
Any other speculation as to how and why it would just go bad like that sitting in the case?
Gorgeous F512, Ron! I can't tell you what pickup is in there. I don't think Guild ever put in a passive pickup, but some others here could tell you more definitively. The seller might have been wrong and it might be a K&K, but I can't imagine what could have gone wrong with that. You could stick a little mirror in the sound hole and look around, or you can stick a smart phone in there and take some pics. Then you'd surely see if there's a battery, and what's going on under the bridge plate would tell the story. I had a 12-string K&K passive put in mine and it's fine, but I'm not gaga about it.
 

Nuuska

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Hello

It would be extremely unlikely, that a passive pup woud go bad while 3 months in case - not impossible though. But if there's a preamp w battery - and the battery easily looses power in three months - then the result could quite well be as you described.

Main difference w/wo preamp is the output impedance - preamp allows you to plug it practically into anything and have full sound. Without the sound gets thinner as the input impedance of following "box" gets lower.

EDIT - then there's the possibility, that a connection in wiring has been on verge and decided to fail after hibernation.
 
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All good points, thank you.
Sometimes I use the body of the guitar for percussion accents in songs; sort of like a cajon... could that percussive vibration damage an under-saddle pickup or piezo or its seating?
 

geoguy

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Not likely. The UST would be clamped tightly between the saddle and bridge, and wouldn't know whether you were tapping on the soundboard (or not).
 
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The mystery with my 2006 Guild F512 electronics is solved. Turns out there is a battery inside the body.
The guy I bought it from told me it was passive, no battery.
Now I know. Problem solved!
Replaced the battery and it sounds better than ever.
Thanks for all of the input on here.
 
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