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View Full Version : DeArmond Model 750C Ukelele Pickup - Anyone used one?



tomtiki
12-11-2010, 05:36 PM
Yesterday, I found this DeArmond Model 750C Ukulele pickup :

18365

Not sure how/where to attach it to the uke. Or is it even worth attaching?

Thanks,
Tom

jordan bello
12-11-2010, 07:32 PM
This was in the Fall 2010 Fretboard Journal, note from editor:

"There are household names, and then there are household names. Out in the real world, few people know who Harry DeArmond was. In our world, however, he is indeed a well-known figure. Working for a Toledo, Ohio, company called Rowe Industries, DeArmond began manufacturing attachable "guitar microphones" in I939; his original idea was to amplify the sound of an acoustic guitar without having to fundamentally alter the guitar's top (and sound) by installing pickups - especially useful for players of archtop instruments. At first, he offered just f-hole and round-hole models for guitar, but the response was so, um, electrifying that he began to make these floating-style pickups for a variety of stringed instruments. Eventually, DeArmond pickups would be standard features on guitars from a multitude of manufacturers.

Harry DeArmond built pickups for Rowe until he retired in I975, and these Rowe-era DeArmond pickups, each designed by the man himself, are still revered by players of all stripes. Why do I bring this up, you ask? Well, Harry DeArmond's pickups are mentioned in no fewer than five of this issue's features. Luther Dickinson prefers a DeArmond for all of the "funky Harmonies, Silvertones, Truetones, Stellas and Kays" he's amassed. "The old DeArmond pickups are the way to go," he says. "Back in the day, if Elmore James and them wanted to amplify an acoustic guitar, that's what they would use. It still works."
Sam Bush remembers how DeArmond pickups helped propel the music at raucous country barn dances. "The fidler always had an old DeArmond pickup on his fiddle," he recalls, "and when I was a kid, I had a Gibson A-50 mandolin, and I had a DeArmond pickup for it. I don't know what happened to that pickup," he adds, "because they sound pretty good." Hmmm, two votes for the old DeArmonds.

Roy Clark knows them, too. His second guitar ever, an S. S. Stewart archtop, had one. When the Stewart got stolen, Clark put a DeArmond pickup on his Martin D-I8 and used that for lead guitar work around the bustling D.C. clubs. Even oud master John Bilezikjian (aka Johnny B. Oud) had one, a 750-C pickup that was supposed to be used for ukulele.

Deke Dickerson can tell you plenty about DeArmond pickups, for they are central to the story he weaves of one Jim Harvey. An obscure but talented luthier from Southern California, Harvey built amazing Bigsby-inspired electric guitarsthat he often stocked with DeArmond pickups. You get the picture – Harry DeArmond knew his stuff.
We are always amused and often amazed when the same names seem to reappear in story after story. (Wayne Henderson immediately leaps to mind; so does George Gruhn.) And these connections, these universal touchstones, seem to exist independent of age group or preferred genre. (Are there actually two musicians featured in this very edition who are adored for their remarkable versions of "Malagueiia"? Thank you, Messrs. Clark and Bilezikjian!)

At the FJ, you'll always find plenty of talk about the usual suspects: C. F. Martin and John D'Angelico and Lloyd Loar and Leo Fender and Les Paul and so on. But often, the most engaging stories are attached to names not as widely known. In rural Vermont, for example, Michael Millard has been building exquisite, highly personalized acoustic guitars for 40 years. In Colorado, Harry Tuft's Denver Folklore Center has been providing sanctuary (and strings) for famous (and average) pickers since I962.

These are the kind of names that perhaps intrigue us the most. And to that list let me add two more names: John Zeidler and Taku Sakashta. Though they are no longer with us, these two luthiers made a lasting impact on the guitar-building community. For this reason, we are pleased to include in this issue the story of "The Ax," written by its owner, Geoff Cline. The headless guitar was built by Zeidler in the mid-I980s and was recently fitted with one of the last sets of Sakashta pickups ever made. They arrived in Cline's mailbox in February, a couple of days after Taku was senselessly murdered outside his Northern California shop.

Who knows? Maybe one day, players will talk reverentially about the "old Sakashta pickups" like they do today about those classic DeArmonds. And maybe The Fretboard Journal will be around to document it. It's part of our shared history, after all, and it's our job to chronicle it.

MARC GREILSAMER
Editor"

tomtiki
12-12-2010, 04:17 AM
The limited information that I have found on this pickup is intriguing. One of the pictures shows a clip which probably attaches to the post on the top of the pickup. How this attaches to the body, I don't know. I was thinking of fabricating a clamp from something at the hardware store. I don't want to glue or tape it to the top of my Makala. I will also probably need to replace the cable, which has turned brittle with age.

Thanks for the info.

tom

spruce
12-12-2010, 05:02 AM
Not sure how/where to attach it to the uke.



I've got one with the original manual, and it shows a strap-like thingie holding the pickup in place....
Lemmee see if I can snap a pic....


Or is it even worth attaching?



DeArmonds are just about my favorite guitar pickup going, which is why I bought the uke pickup...
They sound really great on so-ooo many instruments, through an amp...

YMMV...

tomtiki
12-12-2010, 06:48 AM
Thanks Bruce. I did find a picture of the pickup attached to an archtop guitar (can't find it now) It looks like a metal arm attached to the bridge, and I don't really want to drill any holes if I don't have to. I was either thinking of using a short bungee that wrapped around the body to hold it down, or clamp it through the soundhole. Suggestions?

Oh, and I'm listening to "Mangler of Bluegrass" right now. Nice.

spruce
12-12-2010, 10:30 AM
Thanks Bruce. I did find a picture of the pickup attached to an archtop guitar (can't find it now) It looks like a metal arm attached to the bridge, and I don't really want to drill any holes if I don't have to.

No, that's the one that floats on a stick, and you can adjust it to be closer or further away from the bridge...
The uke pickup wants to be secured with a large rubber band or ?....



Oh, and I'm listening to "Mangler of Bluegrass" right now. Nice.

Thanks!

tomtiki
12-12-2010, 03:34 PM
Bruce,

I used some shock cord and it seems to hold it pretty well, ans does not appear to affect the tone. If I run the cord up and over the top, it won't get in the way. I may even tie wrap the cable to the shock cord. I'll upload a pic tomorrow. If you could post a pic from the manual that would be great. Does it need a preamp? If so, what is a reasonable choice?

Thanks,
Tom

tomtiki
12-13-2010, 04:45 PM
Here is how I'm planning to mount the pickup :

18480

--tom

DeArmond Fan
01-03-2011, 11:45 AM
Hello Tomtiki,
I have just put a DeArmond-related site online, called www.musicpickups.com. I'm still in the process of tidying up the site, so there are no links to it at the moment. However, if you check the site, you'll see a photo of the complete ukulele pickup. Your photo is missing the little double-hooked attachment that fits on the spike, and also the long rubber bands to secure the pickup. If what you see on my site is not clear, please leave a note on the site with your email addreaa and I'll send more detailed pics to you.
Regards - Ben.

tomtiki
01-03-2011, 02:44 PM
Thank you so much. Hopefully I can make something that works like the original double hooked part. I'll send you a picture if it works well.

The pickup sounds great, BYW. I mounted some 3M Command adhesive hooks to the plastic sides of my Flea to hold the shock cord. I will probably still need to use the clips as the shape of the Flea is pretty disagreeable to wrapping a rubber band around the body. Those probably are not the original rubber bands. The cord in the picture looks like it was replaced also.

Regards,
Tom

Hello Tomtiki,
I have just put a DeArmond-related site online, called www.musicpickups.com. I'm still in the process of tidying up the site, so there are no links to it at the moment. However, if you check the site, you'll see a photo of the complete ukulele pickup. Your photo is missing the little double-hooked attachment that fits on the spike, and also the long rubber bands to secure the pickup. If what you see on my site is not clear, please leave a note on the site with your email addreaa and I'll send more detailed pics to you.
Regards - Ben.

spruce
02-17-2011, 07:36 AM
I've got one with the original manual, and it shows a strap-like thingie holding the pickup in place....
Lemmee see if I can snap a pic....

Here ya go:

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee22/e_stamp/P1090297.jpg

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee22/e_stamp/P1090300.jpg

ukulelecowboy
02-17-2011, 08:09 AM
Hi Tom,

I have 4 of the DeArmond 750s that I used to use when we performed. The missing clip that you are referencing holds long rubberbands around the lower bout of the ukulele. The vintage sound is very nice as is the onboard volume control. The real problem is practicality. There were two issues that I encountered on a regular basis.

1. As with most soundboard pickups, they tend to pickup everything that makes contact with the ukulele. This might included my hand brushing the instrument when I played, any shirt or sweater sleeve contact, etc. This proved to be very annoying.
2. General mounting instability. More often than not, the mounting rig would fail and the pickup would simply fall off the ukulele while I was performing. This proved to be even more annoying than problem 1.

We have since moved to retro-fitting all of our performance/stage ukuleles with Mi-Si pickups with Planet Waves Circuit Breaker cables. The results are so much better. I am now getting the DeArmond pups ready to sell on Ebay...

Mike

tomtiki
02-18-2011, 04:41 AM
Thanks for the info. I'm using some elastic shock cord with a plastic clip to hold the mike on my Flea. I attached two 3M Command adhesive clips to the plastic body to hold it in place, so it's not going anywhere. So far I have only really used it as a monitor with a Pignose amp when playing with a room full of guitars. Works well. I'll look into the Mi-Si pickups.

--tom


Hi Tom,

...There were two issues that I encountered on a regular basis.

1. As with most soundboard pickups, they tend to pickup everything that makes contact with the ukulele.
2. General mounting instability. More often than not, the mounting rig would fail and the pickup would simply fall off the ukulele while I was performing. This proved to be even more annoying than problem 1.

We have since moved to retro-fitting all of our performance/stage ukuleles with Mi-Si pickups with Planet Waves Circuit Breaker cables. The results are so much better. I am now getting the DeArmond pups ready to sell on Ebay...

Mike

tomtiki
02-18-2011, 04:51 AM
Which of the Mi-Fi pickups are you using? There are a few different ones?
--tom