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nicneufeld

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So the stock transducer and jack on my R.A. sitarmaker studio model wasn't great, it kept cutting in and out, just not a great sound. So....I decided to get brave, and with some quality Switchcraft jacks lying around, I figured a quick replace of the jack might be in order!

I got the jackplate off and was a bit surprised! The ground wire was hanging loose! It might have made momentary contact at times just by its position, but yeah, that's problem number one!

So I get ready to clip and resolder to a good jack, and I gently fish the slack of the wire out of the hole...and meet zero resistance! The transducer disc was loose, and came right out.

So I've got a new problem! With a solid wood, closed body studio sitar, how in the world do I reattach that transducer disc to (I assume) the inside surface of the tabli? What sort of adhesive, where approximately it should be affixed, and how with only that tiny 1" square hole I actually, physically do it.

Beyond that...would I be better off dumping this transducer disc and using the "Supreme" acoustic transducer I also bought? I would like a permanently affixed one, though. Would a surface mount on the outside running to the inside jack via a drilled hole in the tabli be advisable? The idea of drilling into the tabli certainly strikes fear into my heart, but I have built electric guitars and basses before, so I'm up to it if people advise that its fine/advisable.

For now though, I'm just using the side hole as an additional "sound hole" for practice!
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #2 
Nic, you break that thing already? Well, I wonder if the disc was even mounted, I think they just shove them in there honestly, in fact I'm sure of it. Was it a simple brass disc with 2 wires on it? They're really flimsy and to top it off the wires attach to the jack assembly where they rub against the wood. This is why Miraj internal pickups are a YMMV thing as they'll fail eventually.

I'd say just use the Supreme transducer and see how it works, for a permanent mount, drilling, etc. I'd say something like the PUTW right under the bridge would work better. I'll have some other options in about a month or two also, working on it with another company. The thing I like about the Supreme is you can detach the cable.

Lars
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nicneufeld

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Reply with quote  #3 
Lars,

I don't know, what can I say, Miraj woodworking is excellent but electronics can stand some improvement! Not the first time I've seen cold soldering.

I'm interested in your future offerings...the Supreme transducer is convenient but it loses its advantages in a permanent installation. It would be nice to get a good built in system and have the Supreme as a backup.
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nicneufeld

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I would be interested, long term, in rewiring with a stereo jack, running a microphone and a transducer to it (with an external mixer/preamp). Seems like a microphone (perhaps on a small gooseneck just under the bridge) could smooth out some of the weaknesses of the transducer signal.

We'll see if I ever get around to this! right now I'm just operating acoustic...no need to amplify to further annoy my family, right now my only audience!
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hi Nic,
I'm trying to develop a better version of a light pickup for permanent mount. It's just a matter of trying out a few ideas from the people that will make them. Future Kolkata studio sitars will just have the jack built in, ready to accept any wire modification needed. So for instance I could put in a mag pickup, transducer, etc. as needed. The Miraj sitars though come as they're made but you can easily convert when you're ready and the kids don't need to be in bed so early!!

Lars

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nicneufeld

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Reply with quote  #6 
A mag pickup would be interesting...think it would have to be a rail polepiece version just because getting discrete polepieces to line up with strings on a sitar would be a nightmare. I imagine the tone would be a lot darker, and murkier, and would it work with regular bronze strings, or would you have to go steel all the way? But that blended with a transducer might be interesting. I'd be the transducer would pick up a lot more of the high end transient sounds (taraf, jawari, etc) where a mag pickup is going to be more affected by the vibrating main strings. Except....now that I think of it, the mag pickup is kept away from the main strings by the taraf below. Might actually sound particularly unbalanced.

Tricky indeed! A K&K dual spot transducer (one by main bridge, one closer to taraf) plus an onboard mic, both running into a dual channel preamp/mixer via a stereo 1/4" jack/cable is sort of my ideal. Perhaps not very feedback resistant but then I'm not looking to play through the old high gain channel guitar amp or anything!
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