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Product Reviews: Acoustech Dynamic Field Pickup

Product Reviews: Acoustech Dynamic Field Pickup

by Harry Fleishman

Originally published in American Lutherie #29, 1992 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Three, 2004



Acoustech Dynamic Field Pickup
Acoustech
Orangeburg, NY

My first attempt at guitar amplification was an early ’60s DeArmond pickup on my f-hole Gibson acoustic. It attached with little difficulty or damage and sounded great to me at the time. That was 1962 and my expectations were not terribly high. I plugged straight into a portable Wollensak tape recorder and used it as an amp until I got a used Gibson Falcon as a Christmas gift. A few years later, I installed a roundhole DeArmond in my Gibson J-45. Again, it sounded pretty good, all things considered. But all the things I considered didn’t amount to much. What choices did I really have, after all?

Those little contact mikes, which stuck on the face of a guitar, weren’t very good; I learned that soon enough. And the good-sounding microphones were expensive, unwieldy, and restricting. Like many guitarists, I wanted the freedom of movement that a pickup could give. When the first piezo transducer came out, I stuck one on and boogied. By that time, however, I was more sophisticated, more discerning, more caught up in the folk boom, and wanting a pickup that sounded like an acoustic guitar, only louder. The first I tried was the Barcus-Berry. Not too bad if you didn’t mind sounding like you were inside a bucket. The similar piezos weren’t much better. The Hot Dot sounded great to me when it came out. Like many technological improvements, its refinements masked its shortcomings for a while. I probably installed a hundred of them while continuing my search for a better sounding, easier installing pickup for myself and the customers I was attracting to my repair and building business.

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Review: Classic Gutiar Making by Arthur E. Overholtzer

Review: Classic Gutiar Making by Arthur E. Overholtzer

Reviewed by Robert S. Anderson

Originally published in Guild of American Luthiers Newsletter, Volume 2 #3, 1974



Classic Guitar Making
Arthur E. Overholtzer
$13.00
Published by: Lawrence A Brock
1929 Mangrove Ave.
Chico, California 95926

This book is a comprehensive work of the classic guitar. It is a large book, 8 1/2"×11" with over 300 pages, well illustrated, with more than 300 drawings and pictures. Beginning with the selection of the proper wood, to the application of a mirror-like finish, it is quite complete. It also tells how to do many things with different methods; by hand, with a router and jig, etc.

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Review: Guitar Repair “A Manual of Repair for Guitars and Fretted Instruments” by Irving Sloane

Review: Guitar Repair “A Manual of Repair for Guitars and Fretted Instruments” by Irving Sloane

Reviewed by Leo L. Bidne

Originally published in Guild of American Luthiers Newsletter Volume 2 #2, 1974



Guitar Repair
“A Manual of Repair for Guitars and Fretted Instruments”
Irving Sloane
1973; 95pp.
$8.95 postpaid from; E.P. Dutton
201 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10003

This book should have been written years ago. It would have saved us all the trouble of figuring out these techniques ourselves, and given us more time to develop our Art.

Compiled with the C.F. Martin Organization, Mr. Sloane’s book deals in all facets of repairing acoustic guitars, including what to do with:

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Review: The Modern Harpsichord by Wolfgang Joachim Zuckermann

Review: The Modern Harpsichord by Wolfgang Joachim Zuckermann

Reviewed by J.R. Beall

Originally published in Guild of American Luthiers Newsletter Volume 1, #1, 1973

The Modern Haprsichord
Wolfgang Joachim Zuckermann
Octoberhouse Inc. $15.00

This recent book by Mr. Zuckermann is a large, well-illustrated, intelligently written and edited volume that lists and comments on most of the known makers of today. It contains, also, an historical preface and a practical guide to the care and feeding of all kinds of harpsichords, ancient and modern. This book is interesting, readable, sometimes humorous, often bitingly critical. Zuckermann’s liberal use of his own rather strong opinion seems not to detract from the authority of this well-researched work. Anyone interested in buying or building a harpsichord will find this book immensely valuable and well worth its $15.00 price. Having just finished my first scratch-built harpsichord, I speak from personal experience.

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Review: Julian Bream: A Life on the Road by Tony Palmer

Review: Julian Bream: A Life on the Road by Tony Palmer

Reviewed by Gila Eban

Originally published in American Lutherie #5, 1986 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume One, 2000



Julian Bream: A Life on the Road
Tony Palmer
McDonald & Co., 1982
Out of print (1999)

Most of the material for this book was gathered while its author, along with photographer Daniel Meadows, traveled with Julian Bream on one of his tours. Although there is no chronological “plot,” the book is packed with “action”: Being stuck after a concert, in an unfamiliar “sleazy part of town” in Italy, or in an unpredictable snowstorm on America’s East Coast; guitars cracking after passage through the Alps; choosing to play a concert in a remote part of India, only to find out that the local inhabitants are accustomed to concerts of Indian music, which last twice as long as the standard classical music concert in the West! In order to prevent a riot, Bream has to play every piece he can possibly remember. In South America or at a quiet chapel in the English countryside, there is always an element of the unexpected, provided by an angry dictator’s wife or a nearby artillery firing-range.

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