The Fishman pickup supplied by Bear Meadow can be easily retro-fitted. First, an overview of the installation's main points. (By the way, click on any of the small images in this procedure to link to larger images or to the following section.)

This is an under-the-saddle mounted discrete element device, with elements arranged so that you can arrange the strings on the nut and saddle in 4- or 3-string configurations, or 3-string with doubled 1,2 configurations, with the same responsiveness from the electronics. Here the pickup element is shown during testing.

This is a view of the transducer as installed. Arrayed on either side of the fretboard are the two matched cowlings, ready for installation. The lead side cowling serves to cover the pickup lead. The opposite cowling retains the saddle and gives a pleasant symmetry to the installation. Notice that the lead length is kept very short, so there is minimal stray pick-up, and no chance for the lead wire to rattle against internal structures. Note also that the wire lead comes down the fretboard next to the bass string position. Since this is a discrete element pickup, orientation to the existing string positions is important.

The output plug is mounted in the tailblock, centered in the clear surface of its face. The output plug is a 1/4" monaural plug which screws into a mounting shell which is glued into the tailblock. This is fabricated from a standard gold-plated inline plug.

Here is what you will receive in the Bear Meadow Fishman Retro-fit kit:

  • Bear Meadow custom Fishman Pickup, prewired to a monaural female 1/4" output plug and mounting shell, and silk suture to be used in the pickup insertion procedure
  • Custom-made .110" (#35 drill size) router bit with adjustable depth slot and .004" shims (one spare) for mounting in a 1/8" collet. This tool is used to deepen the saddle slot to accomodate the pickup.
  • Two matching cowlings for concealing and protecting the pickup signal lead, and finishing off the installation neatly.

To order this kit see the Price List then go to How to Order.

Alright, let's get to specific instructions on installing your new acoustic pickup:

  1. First let's look at a few installation tools you will need to supply. These will be suggestions, and one you'll make.
  2. Now let's cover the kit materials and what you will need to complete the installation.
  3. So, we are ready to begin. The first step is to prepare the pickup for insertion into the dulcimer.
  4. Next step is to prepare the tailblock. It isn't as daunting as it may seem to the uninitiated. No Novocain needed.
  5. Now we're ready to prepare the saddle slot.
  6. Last, we insert the pickup and finish.
Click for larger view
Bear Meadow Fishman Pickup
Installation Overview