Gold Tone SMP Sliding Magnetic Banjo Pickup
The Gold Tone design Sliding Magnetic Humbucking Banjo Pick-up fits neatly inside your banjo and attaches to the co-ordinating rods (Will also attach to one co-ordingating rod) Requires no soldering or cut-out modification to your banjo. Please see below for details and Gold Tone specification and fitting instructions.
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Sliding Mag Pickup Plus (SMP)
The SMP is an updated version of the original SMP that requires no soldering or hole cut out in rim. Can also be adjusted so it does not touch the banjo head. enabling the pure acoustic sound of your banjo when not 'plugged in'.
The pick-up kit contains:_
1 SMP pickup with slotted bracket and two screws and wing nuts
1 Output Jack with mounting plate and two screws and nuts
1 Accessory kit containing 3 stick wire clamps and 1 hex wrench
Mounting the SMP is very easy and requires no tools.. you only need the included hex wrench.
1. The pick up bracket mounts on the coordinator rods (it will also work if you have a single rod). Remove the banjo resonator if you have one and place the head on a surface so the back of the banjo is facing up.
2. Detach the wing nuts and screws from the aluminum bracket. The slotted bar will now be loose.
3. Place the pickup on the head with the Gold Tone logo facing down (towards the tailpiece) , under the rods, close to the top of the rim.
4. Attach the loose slotted bracket to the slotted bracket attached to the pickup. Use the two screws and wing nuts. Place the wing nuts 1 on each side for easy access. For now just attach them loosely. For dual rods, one screw will be above the bottom coordinator rod (the rod closest to the head) and the other screw just beneath the top coordinator rod.
5. Now fold a piece of paper into a quadrant and place between the head and the pick up. This is so the pick-up lines up very close to the head but does not touch. Tighten the wing nuts using the allen wrench. If you have only one rod, you must tighten very tight, but it will remain very secure. Remove the paper.
6. Now you are ready to attach the output jack. this output jack assembly will attach to the hook brackets, usually at the 4 o' clock position. Unscrew the input jack from the bracket...making sure you remember the line up of the washers.
7. Remove the two screws from the bracket. Place the slotted straight bracket under two of the hooks. The opening of the input should face the tailpiece. (This way the cable may be secured around your banjo strap)
8. Place the two screws in the L bracket slots and then secure them to the threaded openings in the straight slotted bracket. (The J hooks will be between the two brackets) The screws may be on the inside or outside of the J hooks ,as long as they are apart from each other.
9. Now assemble the input jack on the L bracket, placing the washers in the same places.
10. You will now have two loose wires, one from the pick up and the other from the input jack. On a banjo with a flange, insert the input jack end through the flange hole, towards the inside of the rim. Connect the wires together using the plastic jacks. They just snap together.
11. You have three sticky wire ties to secure the loose wire in the inside of the rim. Before you apply the ties, experiment with sitting and standing with the banjo, using a cable, so yo8 know for sure you have attached the output jack to the most conveniant location. Once you finally decide, attach the sticky ties to secure the loose wires.
How do I change the tone of the SMP pick up?
The pickup may be placed on the coordiantor rods in any position between the top of the head and the bridge.. As it gets closer to the bridge the treble will increase, but also the out put will weaken, since it is a magnetic pick up and it is located further from the strings.
Do I need a pre-amp?
No.. the humbucking pickup usually has plenty of gain...although a volume pedal or pre-amp to control tonality certainly may be used.
What about feed back?
That's the great feature about the SMP! Compared to a mic or transducer pick up, the feedback possibilities are reduced dramatically
Can I use the SMP with Nylon or gut strings?
No ..It will only work with steel strings.
Will the gauge of the string affect the output?
The thicker the gauge, the more the magnet responds to the string vibration, but it really is hardly noticeble.
What about using two SMP's in my banjo?
If you are looking for the fattest and most adjustable tone, two SMPs may certainly be used. A common professional pick up "trick" is to use multiple pickups wired to a stereo output plug. Then use a stereo cable , which splits to a Y. Plug each of these cables into a amplifier, or P.A. channel. Now you may use different effects or reverbs, in each of the channels and have a wide variation of different tones.
What is the warranty of the SMP Pick up?
The SMP pickup has a 5 year warranty. It has no moving parts, so it should last indefinitely.
Number of Strings
The magnetic pickup seems to excellent, as you described.