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Installing RMC pick up   You are logged in as Guest
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johnnefastis

Posts: 511
Joined: Jan. 10 2012
 

Installing RMC pick up 

Hi luthiers,

This is probably a bit controversial but I would be interested in installing a set of RMC pickups in a flamenco guitar. I have a nylon string Godin that has them installed and Its fun. But the annoying thing is the Godin guitar sounds acoustically rubbish. Well to my ears anyway.

Here they are
https://stores.soundislandmusic.com/rmc-acoustic-guitar-agt14-6-tall-pickup-saddle-set-typical-for-traditional-classical-and-flamenco-guitars/

Apparently Acoustic Gold Standard saddles are .215" (5.4mm) high. I think my saddles are generally a little bit less than that so to install them on one of my guitars would mean making the slot a bit deeper and maybe a bit wider.

Has anyone here installed one of these systems for a client? Does anyone know how the seperation is between the strings? I am thinking that as the

Basically I am wondering whether changing the slot is doable without making a real mess of the guitar or mean a significant rise in action.


In the UK so would maybe look to ask someone like Stephen Eden to do it.

Here is a Camps version but tbh I would prefer to install a system in a guitar of my choice.
https://www.guitarfromspain.com/en/midi-guitars/68-camps-cut900-midi-classical-guitar.html

Thanks

Simon
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 27 2020 21:11:45
 
mango

Posts: 133
Joined: Apr. 2 2019
 

RE: Installing RMC pick up (in reply to johnnefastis

I never installed those individual saddles so I can't really answer your question. But I can imagine that it will maybe be a bit difficult to adjust the string height perfectly.
Generally I think that no piezo system will ever be able to produce an authentic flamenco sound. It will always sound like a piezo which means that without further signal processing it sounds like a fingernail scratching your eardrum. If you want an authentic flamenco sound go for a mic setup. On the other hand it is of course possible to have a beautiful guitar sound with a piezo if you play other types of music. But in my opinion the pickup itself is not the most important factor. It shouldn't be the cheapest crap but don't forget that good equalisation or a good acoustic amp, even the quality of the reverb and of course the loudspeakers that produce the sound are at least as important as the pickup. I don't know your setup but you will have a better sound with a 100EUR pickup + 600EUR Amp than the other way round...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2020 11:20:10
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12668
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Installing RMC pick up (in reply to johnnefastis

My friend had been installing those for two decades. I remember the first time he gutted a Godin and put it in an esteve nice flamenco, it was an amazing instrument with two lines, the Fishman had the mic for golpes and natural tone and the midi cable triggered the synth. It was so fun to play with perfect balance. He builds guitars custom now. He just built a nice negra in a more traditional style than some of his crazy experiments. All his guitars feel very good for right hand flamenco techniques.

https://mcoguitars.com/

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2020 19:36:16
 
johnnefastis

Posts: 511
Joined: Jan. 10 2012
 

RE: Installing RMC pick up (in reply to johnnefastis

Ohh thats cool thanks for sharing the link and the story Ricado. I may just go for it and do it myself. I am a bit worried about intonation problems as obviously there is little option for movement with those things. Too bad I am not in the US I would get your mate to do it. Maybe I will message him.

@mango I just want the pickups for single string processing. Like you say acoustically they will sound bad compared to a microphone.

Cheers
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2020 20:31:18
 
Mark2

Posts: 1587
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: Installing RMC pick up (in reply to johnnefastis

I've had an RMC pickup installed in a student conde for at least twenty five years. I bought a new RMC preamp for it maybe five years ago. The individual saddles were not an issue. I had it installed by a pro but it was so long ago I don't remember who did it.

I used to gig a lot with a band and needed the volume. It was a depressing situation, as I had to sacrifice tone for volume. As someone who has done tons of electric guitar gigs, sacrificing your personal sound is a horrendous compromise, one an electric guitarist would never make.

Nevertheless, I worked on solutions, and the best I found was to also mike the guitar, and use a volume pedal to bring in the pickup when needed for single string solos. That way the ugly piezo tone wasn't part of my rhythm playing. Some reverb on the pickup helped too.

I did find the RMC was better when supported by a professional engineer in a larger concert venue. I would say the frustration of not being able to get a really good sound had as much to do with me tabling my band after close to twenty years as anything else.

A few years back the Tone Dexter was invented, and although I was pretty much done with gigging, I had to buy one just to see. It is a huge improvement on the tone of the RMC. Still not a mike, but together with an RMC, the tone dexter will give you a decent tone and all the volume you need.

I had the whole midi guitar setup as well, with a pitch to midi converter and a sound module. Kinda cool to have the low E string trigger a synth pad while you are playing arpeggios. Way too much gear to haul and setup for a one night gig. If I had been at the level where I had tech help and was touring, it would have been worth it, but otherwise, it's a toy to play with at home.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2020 21:15:33
 
johnnefastis

Posts: 511
Joined: Jan. 10 2012
 

RE: Installing RMC pick up (in reply to johnnefastis

Hey Mark I missed your reply there. Nice stuff.

So I bit the bullet and did it. I had to widen and deepen the saddle groove a bit which was hairy.

Sounds clean and plasticy piezo like as you would imagine. Tonedexter looks great but pretty expensive I think I will just combine with a microphone.

I installed it for the synth access though so am excited about that will update you on it sometime. Thankfull the intonation seems ok.

Thanks all for letting me know its been done. It gave me some confidence to try.

Cheers



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 10 2020 20:45:17
 
estebanana

Posts: 7999
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Installing RMC pick up (in reply to johnnefastis

I’m so glad I don’t do this (f)(u)king kind of work anymore. It’s a thankless drudgery of labor to create a mess of a guitar and the people you do it for are never happy. Uggghh- just buy a damn mic. My quality of life skyrocketed after I rejected this work. Electric guitars are kinda fun, but anything with on board amplification of a nylon string guitar is like hell in a in hand bag.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 12 2020 5:06:39
 
RobF

Posts: 947
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Installing RMC pick up (in reply to estebanana

quote:

Electric guitars are kinda fun,

And that’s why I recently bought myself a Stratocaster and now I’m blissfully whammy barring my way through this Covid encrusted epoch we’re living in now. Or, at least, that’s the plan...

*edit* sorry for the hijack. If I can think of something meaningful to add regarding pickups I’ll do so. I saw this thread when it was first posted and thought retrofitting a system such as this seemed like a nightmarish project and was going to recommend staying away from it. So I’m glad it worked out OK.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 12 2020 5:19:35
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