Pete Roe has come up with a simple but effective way to make your guitar more versatile.
His Submarine pickup is a detachable transducer that can be placed under two strings to capture their sound separate from the guitar’s built-in pickup. Put it under your instrument’s two top or bottom strings and send the Submarine’s output to whatever pedals, amp or channel you want. The pickup will source only the two strings above it.
Use it to send your two lowest strings to an octave pedal and play standard guitar and bass parts simultaneously. Or place it under the two highest strings and send them to a doubling, delay or chorus pedal to create chiming 12-string tones on just the top two strings.
The Submarine also has a three-position switch. In center position, the pickup is in 2-string mode. To the right it’s in 1-string mode, and to the left it’s turned off.
The pickup has a 3.5mm (1/8-inch) jack and comes with a half-meter cable with a 1/4-inch jack socket into which you can plug a standard instrument cable.
The Submarine works with acoustic and electric guitars and is held in place with micro-suction “Gekko” tape that allows it to be repositioned on the guitar’s top.
Above left: a new round of prototypes; right: a view from below showing the Gekko tape
Roe recommends trying an octave pedal on either the top or bottom strings, but obviously, the sky is the limit. For best results, he suggests using the Submarine with a separate amp or a D.I., though in a pinch you could use a two-channel amp.
This all sounds very interesting. However, as Roe notes on the Submarine’s page, the pickup is not in production yet. He’ll be launching a Kickstarter campaign soon, so check back at his site or Facebook page to keep up to date. You can also add your name to the mailing list at the bottom of the Submarine web page.
In the meantime, here’s a video of Roe demonstrating the Submarine. To hear it in action, advance to 0:48. Very cool.