|Young Harry DeArmond|
|Ford Model A|
John’s older brother Harold, born in 1906, who also played banjo and guitar, seized upon the design and looked for ways to profit from it. Harry DeArmond believed that offering an add-on pickup that would avoid cutting a hole in the top of a guitar, and also give depression-era players a way to go electric without buying a whole new instrument, was the way to go.
|DeArmond RHC-B with volume control|
The RH pickups fit into the guitar's sound hole and was retained with adjustable springs to minimize damage to the instrument and facilitate removal. Such notable British Invasion acts, such as Peter and Gordon used these on acoustic guitars.
The pickup ingeniously slides along the length of the rod, from bridge to neck to provide a variation in tonality.
The model FHC-B was sold with a 12 foot guitar cable but no volume control, and was meant to be sold with a volume pedal.
DeArmond originally called his units guitar microphones. All units were passive single coil electromagnetic pickups wound around 2 alnico pole pieces.
DeArmond also created other versions. One was actually called The Guitar Mic.
|Rhythm Chief with 6" rod|
The rod was attached to the upper bass side of the fretboard. This was a much more invasive installation, meant to be permanent. Both pickups used an attachment cable with a threaded female connector on one end and a 1/4" plug on the other.
Screw-on Cables The downside of these cable was the fact that the wire between the pickup and volume control often dried out, became brittle, cracked and fell apart or became completely stiff, rigid and useless. Some of the vintage units became unusable.
The Rowe/DeArmond Company modified their design by use of replacing the 12 foot permanent cables and the threaded connectors with an 1/8" input jack on the pickup and provided a cable with a 1/8" plug on one end and a standard 1/4" plug on the other.
|Rhythm Chief with pole pieces|
contact microphones that could be used for guitar, classical guitar, ukulele and other instruments. I owned a couple of these back in the mid 1960's. They sold for around $10.00 USD.
The problem with them was they picked up ambient noise. You could hear every thump and pick strum. Nevertheless, Django Reinhardt had one on his Selmer guitar.
Epiphone, Fender, the Italian manufacturers Eko and Galanti, Gretsch, Guild, Harmony, Hofner, Ovation, Microfrets, some Silvertone guitars.
|Tapping on guitar with DaArmond FHC|
Long before Eddie Van Halen and Stanley Jordan were even a gleam in their mother's eye, Harry DeArmoned developed a tapping technique to promote the sensitivity of his pickups, At times he played two guitars simultaneously.
This method was later adopted by Jimmie Webster, Gretsch's designer and endorser as he traveled across the United States giving seminars at music stores and institutions to promote Gretsch.
The DeArmond pickup became a mainstay of jazz players in the 1950s and 60s, even though DeArmond had been selling various forms of his “guitar microphone” since the mid-30s.
|Guitarist Vic Flick with Essex Paragon|
|Vic Flick's Essex Guitar|
Mr. Flick's Essex guitar is being auctioned this month
model 1630 Optical Volume pedal. DeArmond offered a combination volume pedal and pre-amp, known as the model 1604.
DeArmond Wa-Wa pedal.
|Martin 15 watt amp|
As you may know the Fender Musical Instrument Company went on a acquisition spree during the late 1990's through the early 2000's. One of the companies they purchased was Guild Guitars.
The Indonesian manufactured DeArmond guitars used Asian manufactured humbucker pickups and were not of the greatest quality. I once owned the S-67 seven string model pictured in this link.
Harry DeArmond retired in 1975, by which time his company had designed and manufactured over 170 different pickups for a wide range of stringed instruments and many amplifiers and effects units.
Together with his business partner Bud Rowe, he made a major contribution to the design and development of pickups for stringed instruments and was granted several patents.
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