Sympathy Key Room
Sympathy Key Room
Sympathy Key Room

Duophonic Guitar Pickup

This custom pickup outputs 2 signals instead of the standard 1 signal of a mono passive pickup. It is different than other stereo pickups in that individual strings are sent to one or the other of the 2 outputs. On my 4 string tenor guitar, I send the 1st and 3rd strings to the first output, and the 2nd and 4th strings to the second output. By processing the two outputs differently, one can achieve clearer chords through overdrive/distortion, selective inversion pitch shifting, and lots of other fun stuff. The whole project rides on the integration of a phono preamp, which makes the sound produced by the small custom pickups acceptable.

The materials for this project are real cheap.

Here's a pdf with some degree of instruction for building your own:

Instructions and svg file updated 7/24/2020

!!!!!!! Please note that an earlier version of these instructions directed you to keep the magnet polarity the same across all coils. I have confirmed this is not ideal. To be safe, keep the magnets north for the left side and south for the right side or vice versa. Otherwise you will get a lot of induced(?) signal from the one side into the other and the effect is spoiled. The instructions have been updated accordingly.


These are untested humbucker sized laser-cut mounting templates:

Humbucker mounting vectors