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 Post subject: Barcus Berry pickups
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 6:57 pm 
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I've read that Frank used to put these pickups INSIDE the neck of some of his guitars and he said that it would make the notes speak a lot faster and that it pretty much brings the whole guitar to life, meaning you can touch it anywhere and the Barcus Berry picks it up. This makes so much sense for Frank's style of playing and I think it's an great idea.

I read here somewhere that Ruth Underwood explains that he also put one of these pickups in her Marimba to make the first electric marimba! On the Barcus Berry site it says that the first electric violin was achieved by using one as well. So did he use these pickups to get all those crazy electric sounds, like Napoleon's sax on Dubroom Special?

I'm also wondering if anyone has ever used these pickups before, or heard of any players that use these now?


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 11:15 pm 
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I also have often thought of getting a barcus berry pickup.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 1:08 pm 
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Oh yes, several FZ sidemen used Barcus Berry, particularly the horn section. I find the way FZ electrically amplified the wind instruments really innovative.

Here's what FZ himself told to Downbeat Magazine about Barcus Berry pickups in 1973:

db: Your horn section uses the Barcus-Berry Pickups. Right? What's the difference between that and playing through a microphone.

Zappa: More presence. You get higher gain with no interference from the other instruments on stage. You have an open microphone on stage and it's going to hear cymbals. Period. It'II hear, like, here's the microphone and if there's something right in front of it, you'll hear about 80% of it. But, when that instrument is not playing, it's going to be picking up 30% of the distant cymbals and drums and that's not a nice sound to reamplify. But with the thing going through the wires, it's like 90% pure instrument. We've experimented around. I had a group not too long ago which had mostly brass in it and it was all miked, that didn't work. So for us Barcus-Berry is the answer.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:09 pm 
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Barcus Berry was one of the first commercially available piezo pickups. 30 years ago piezo pickups were a new technology and a big deal. Now piezos are used all the time and are easy to find. Hell, they come stock in some $200 guitars these days. There's nothing mysterious about them anymore. Here's one explanation of how a piezo works:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pickup_%28music%29

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 Post subject: Re: Barcus Berry pickups
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:29 am 
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Nack Blapkin wrote:
I've read that Frank used to put these pickups INSIDE the neck of some of his guitars and he said that it would make the notes speak a lot faster and that it pretty much brings the whole guitar to life, meaning you can touch it anywhere and the Barcus Berry picks it up. This makes so much sense for Frank's style of playing and I think it's an great idea.

Another one of my Strats is the one Hendrix burned at the Miami Pop Festival; it was given to me by this guy who used to be his roadie. I had it hanging on the wall in my basement for years until last year when I gave it to Rex and said, "Put this sucker back together," because it was all tore up. The neck was cracked off, the bodywas all fired, and the pickups were blistered and bubbled. That's the one that's got the Barcus-Berry in the neck.FZ 1977

Q John Dalton-How do you use the guitar by Rex Bogue with transducers in the neck?

A FZ I don't use it live because the neck transducers feed back too much.FZ 1979

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 Post subject: Re: Barcus Berry pickups
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:06 pm 
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There just maybe a way too hear FZ use the Hendrix Strat with barcus berry live if the photo dates are correct.
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I do believe that neck is too far away from the Calvin 22 pole piece slug pick-up,FZ put a real fitting neck back on there Viva Zappa book 80s(photo)and it still ended up in pieces before Dweezil put the sucker back together :|

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 Post subject: Re: Barcus Berry pickups
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:35 pm 
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I prefer Chuck Berry pick ups. Of the sick kind.


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 Post subject: Re: Barcus Berry pickups
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:18 pm 
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brainpang wrote:
I prefer Chuck Berry pick ups. Of the sick kind.

you and roy estrada :D

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 Post subject: Re: Barcus Berry pickups
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:43 pm 
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Recent news item in my intray:

http://brawer.com/2011/12/piezo-under-t ... -zappa-on/

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 Post subject: Re: Barcus Berry pickups
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:11 am 
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Why not just use a BB and I never heard FZ say in was under the nut by the looks of the Hendrix Strat when it had the BB in the neck it was not under the nut because the neck joining the guitar is all fucked up I can't see need for all that if the pick-up just goes under the nut.

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 Post subject: Re: Barcus Berry pickups
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:43 am 
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Zappa even used Barcus Berry for the orchestral sessions in 1975. Apparently Pamela Goldsmith played all the bitchen Bogus Pomp viola licks with a wah wah pedal, plugged into the instrument via BB pickup. I think the mix of orchestral instruments with electric textures makes Orchestral Favorites one of Zappa's most innovative classical albums.

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 Post subject: Re: Barcus Berry pickups
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:51 am 
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cleon wrote:
Why not just use a BB and I never heard FZ say in was under the nut by the looks of the Hendrix Strat when it had the BB in the neck it was not under the nut because the neck joining the guitar is all fucked up I can't see need for all that if the pick-up just goes under the nut.



I think it well worth experimenting there even if there are any doubts or evidence where actually FZ used them.

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 Post subject: Re: Barcus Berry pickups
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:59 am 
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Bozzie said FZ had BB in the neck of Fender jaguar 1976 The Ocean Is The Ultimate Solution.FZ said he had BB in the neck of a Other guitar in 1979 with a floral neck :|

I Think this is version 4 counting before JH smashed it up.check it out no Nut just a extra fret instead of nut :shock:
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 Post subject: Re: Barcus Berry pickups
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:47 am 
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Photo John Livzey
ha ha another Hendrix Guitar Variation.

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