C. B. Gitty's "Cap-o-Tone" Junior - Piezo Pickup Harness for Cigar Box Guitars
A C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply Exclusive: the "Cap-o-Tone" Junior pre-wired disk piezo harness for cigar box guitars and more! This harness does not include printed instructions - be sure to check out the How-to-Install info below to get an idea of how to use this harness in your cigar box guitar!
This is a great pre-wired piezo pickup, perfect for mounting in your cigar box guitar! The piezo disk is carefully mounted into the bottle cap with a cushioning adhesive, which helps insulates and helps tone down the high-end of the piezo disk to reduce feedback and give you a nice, mellow tone. The jack is a premium Neutrik long-shaft mono jack, great for getting through thicker cigar box walls (though some thinning on the inside of the box may be necessary with thicker-walled boxes). Unlike the Cap-o-Tone Standard model, this harness does not include a volume pot, so this one is a bit simpler and easier to install. The pickup comes with a piece of high-strength double-sided adhesive tape for mounting, though you may want to take additional steps to secure it if you think your CBG will be knocked around a lot.
Every harness is carefully tested in the C. B. Gitty shop before being packaged and shipped to you. There have been a lot of folks making bottlecap piezo pickup harnesses over the years... give ours a try and find out more and more CBG builders are saying: Make mine a Gitty!
Introduction and Usage Overview
This pre-wired, no-solder pickup harness is intended to be used in cigar box guitars and other handmade/homemade instruments. High-quality parts and craftsmanship have been used in the creation of this harness, and each one is fully tested before being packaged and shipped. These harnesses are designed for ease of install and long-term functionality, when installed using the instructions below. We also have a variety of other pickups at C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply, if you are looking for more options.
Installing this pickup harness requires access to the inside of your instrument body, so be sure to install it before sealing your box!
- To install this harness in your instrument, you will need to drill one hole for the output jack. The output jack shaft and potentiometer shaft will both fit in a 3/8” hole, which is a common drill bit size. The output jack is a special “long shaft” Neutrik variety, and will accommodate up to a 6.5mm panel thickness, which is enough for many cigar box guitar walls. You can always use a rasp to thin down the inside of the wall if the jack threads aren't reaching quite far enough through.
- BEFORE DRILLING ANY HOLES: Hold your instrument like you would when playing it, and think about where the output jack would best be placed. Try avoid having anything in the way of strumming the instrument, and make sure the output jack will be at a convenient place when playing. If you are going to add a strap for playing while standing, make sure the jack won’t interfere with that too.
- Next, give some thought to placement of the embedded piezo/bottle cap pickup. We include a piece of quite strong double-sided tape, which should keep the bottle cap firmly attached as long as you apply it to a clean, smooth surface. The best place to put the pickup is directly under the bridge (see the listing photo), on the side where the bass (thicker) strings are located. If you have a neck-through style build, the neck might be a little bit in the way of this. You can either notch the neck out a little to make a spot for the pickup, or just snug the pickup up against the edge of the neck. See the photo above for a mounting example. Note that you can also remove the double-sided tape and glue the bottle cap directly to the box, if you want a more direct contact. Sticking the pickup to the back of the neck is not recommended, as you won’t get much sound out of it. You want it to be exposed to as much acoustic vibration as possible.
- IT IS ALWAYS BEST TO DO A MOCK INSTALL TO FIGURE OUT PARTS PLACEMENT BEFORE DRILLING ANY HOLES/STICKING ANYTHING ONTO YOUR BOX.
- Once you are certain of where everything should go, carefully drill your hole, mount the jack through the box using the supplied nut and washer, and then affix the bottle cap as close as possible to the indicated place under the bridge.
- Plug a standard mono ¼” amp cord into the output jack and connect the cord to your amplifier. Tap on the box lid/bridge and verify you can hear the tapping through your amp speaker.
- Assuming all is working, you should now be able to proceed with finishing your newly electrified instrument!
- If you get a hum or buzz in your amp when finished that goes away/reduces when you touch the jack housing, consider grounding the jack housing to your tailpiece (if metal), bridge (again, if metal), or directly to the ball end of the strings.
For more information about CBG wiring, piezo usage, soldering and other how-to articles, please visit https://www.cbgitty.com, and click on the “Cigar Box Guitar How-To” link. You can also visit http://www.CigarBoxNation.com for lots of great information about all things related to cigar box guitars and other homemade instruments.