Pickup Transplant


Some years ago, I bought a beautiful oval-soundholed acoustic archtop guitar at the NAMM Show with the intent of making it a jazz rhythm guitar. But I never really bonded with it despite my best efforts. I really wanted an Eastman AR604, and that was a compromise because I'd really like a Gibson L-4, but that won't be happening, and even the Eastman was out of reach because they stopped making them and they didn't come up for sale often. So I really tried to make the no-name guitar work, I went to the effort of having a Duncan MagMic installed in it to simplify amplification. And the pickup was great, but I still couldn't bond with the guitar.

Then the stars aligned and an Eastman came on the market about the same time I sold an amp, and the Eastman was priced a little over what I got for the amp, so I offered what I had, and it became mine. It came with a Lace passive acoustic soundhole pickup, which worked, if you plugged it into a preamp and EQ'd the heck out of it. But my goal for this guitar is to play it with the jazz band, and there's no room for pedalboards, pedals, or power supplies at that gig. So I thought, "Why not take the MagMic out of the other archtop and put it in this one?" Yesterday I finally got 'er done, and it was well worth it. This pickup sounds so much better, needs no preamp, and I've got a volume control within easy reach.




Very nice. Haven't seen or heard an Eastman I didn't like.


Very cool. The best acoustic guitar I've ever tried was a 1903 Gibson style O; acoustic archtop with an oval soundhole. Yours looks a lot like it.


Very nice. Haven't seen or heard an Eastman I didn't like.

– Caliban335

likewise. i have an AC512 OM-style acoustic which is the best guitar i own, better than the Rickenbacker 360, and it only cost me about $850. they're going for like $1200-1300 now, and i only bought it in 2012 or 2013.i just saw a couple of their electric guitars--an ES-335-alike and a similar guitar in 339 size--at a local shop yesterday and they were absolutely gorgeous.


so you like the MagMic, then? i was considering the earlier Duncan Acoustic Tube because Ira uses one in his Martin with Yo La Tengo and i thought it sounded great, but the MM seems even better. i do wish you could dial the microphone totally out for an electric guitar sound, but i guess you can't have everything.

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