NPD - New Deltoluxe acoustic pickup


Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
May 25, 2022
New York
I made it almost three months with no new gear until a G-T member posted an ad for a Gretsch Deltoluxe acoustic pickup for a price I couldn’t pass up. I didn’t need it, had no idea what to expect, even from internet reviews, but for the offering price, I didn’t care. I even paid the PP fee that the ad didn’t ask for.

There have to be others who’d be interested in something like this, so a non promotional review may help.

Installation: Read the directions first. Then read them again. The directions are for installing the pickup with wires hanging outside the guitar body. Do it that way if you’re not sure you really want the pickup or are afraid of drilling into your guitar. I installed mine in a 1974 Ovation Balladeer. My plan was to keep everything neat and tidy with the wires inside the body. That meant removing the strap button… and drilling through the guitar body… and drilling and Dremeling to remove the anchor for the strap button… and opening the hole for the new socket/strap button… and figuring out how to install the thing using a combination of parts in the kit and parts on hand. I opened the hole enough to pass the socket through with a rat tail file. I used a metal washer from the kit and a rubber washer from my parts bin to get adequate tension to hold the socket but prevent vibration. Easy if you’re good with your brain, hands, and have plenty of oddball hardware accumulated through the ages. Mounting the pickup in the sound hole was easy peasy. Clean up after yourself before you plug in. The second law of thermodynamics doesn’t allow your bench to clean itself.

Pickups are transducers that provide signal for your amp to amplify. I’m still not sure I believe what I’m hearing. I plugged into my Mesa Boogie Express 5:25 set to five watts and used the same channel and settings I use for vocal accompaniment with my electrics. I strummed and noodled with a pick. It worked. I tried my four equalizer presets and found the guitar sounded better with the equalizer off. Then I started playing finger style. I don’t have an acoustic amp and have no intention of buying one. But finger style through the Boogie was perfect. The guitar sounds like an amplified acoustic guitar. There’s no mistaking the electric in the timbre but after a few minutes you just ignore the difference. Again, no equalization is best. I always thought that an acoustic amplifier or plugging straight into the board was the only way to make an amplified acoustic sound good but what I have just works… unexpectedly well.

I guess I’ll keep my newly electrified Ovation out for a while. It’s been untouched in the basement since before COVID. So there’s a new guitar in the rotation now. This will be fun. It’s truly an unexpected pleasure. It’s like having an unexpected new guitar. I’m almost embarrassed that this project cost me all of $36.05. Unbelievable.
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