W/S spider and cone

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I recently bought a new Wechter Scheerhorn R6524R and I have a Fishman Nashville PU and JD Aura on the way. 

My thought is to install the pickup in the original spider. I've read the threads about the Beard adjustable spider and how it simplifies the PU installation, but would kike to know if there are any significant tone advantages over the original W/S spider.


Does anyone known if the W/S original cone is truly a quality Scheerhorn cone  or if I should consideran upgrade while I have it apart? I have a recount Beard cone that I could drop in.


thanks, Dennis




MarkinSonoma's picture

I don't recall the date things changed, but in the last few years they have indeed come with genuine Scheehorn cones.

Are you going to do the installation of the pickup yourself?   "Oh, the horror!" In other words, good luck.  Surely you're aware of the horror stories about first-time-around do it yourself installations since the thing hit the market in 2008 or 2009?

it is my understanding that one of the things that is imperative for the Fishman Nashville pickup to perform at its optimum is a very tight fit with excellent contact, which is provided by either the Beard adjustable spider or the Schoonover modular spider. With all the stories we've seen and heard about trying to make the Nashville p'up work with a standard spider slot rather than one which isn't desinged to accomodate it, I think I'd just pony up the cash and get the real deal. 

Alan Rausch's picture

I have no personal experience with this pick up system, but I would search and read some of the posts about doing it yourself.  Lots of people just give in and have a pro like Beard to it for them.

daver's picture

Let me distill some prior installation wisdom from this and other reso bulletin boards:

Pay the extra money and get the Beard adjustable spider!

The installation of the spider into a non-adjustable bridge is not trivial.  The pickup elements are somewhat fragile, and the pickup bridge inserts require a force fit into a standard saddle slot.  If the installation is compromised (likely on the first try), you will have to replace the pickup.  The adjustable spider is 40% the cost of a new Nashville pickup.



Inveterate Tinkerer

Sam Cassady's picture

The stock W/S spider is heavier than a #14, and Beard's adjustable spider is just a modified #14. Either choice, being lighter than the original, would result in more overall responsiveness and more power in the treble.



damon's picture

I just installed one in one of my guitars, using the Beard adjustable spider.  It's actually NOT an adjustable spider, at least not any more adjustable than a regular spider - it's a regular #14 spider with set screws in it that you can tighten to grip the inserts better. It is cleaned up a bit from a normal #14. I have never seen a Schoonover spider in person, but  I believe Schoonover's is more of a really adjustable spider. IIRC one side of the slot is moveable, so there would be more surface area in contact with the pickup than just 4 set screws, which to me would be much better for the sound transmission if it's too loose in the slot. 

You do have to be very careful with the inserts, the metal part on one of mine popped off of the maple while I was fooling with it, as it was a tight fit in the spider anyway, and I was attempting to set in place. Maybe I screwed it up, but I didn't think it was much of a big deal to fix, I superglued it back on to the maple, using the very minimum amount of glue I could, letting it dry overnight before I fooled with it again. It works just fine. I had to file the tops down on the inserts to get them even with each other, the spiders aren't that well made, and set flat in the spider there was a slight angle between the inserts.  My next major purchase of machinery will be a milling machine, just so I can re-slot the spiders, among other things.

As I said, it works just fine, and actually sounds a lot better acoustically than I expected after reading about them, and talking to other people.  Maybe a slight loss of volume, and a little brighter. Amplified, using the Aura pedal it sounds better than any other pickup I've used before, two of which which were the Schertler and the Fishman donut.

Thanks all, 

It sounds like the installation is tricky enough with the Beard adjustable spider and the idea of trying to fit the pickup to the original bridge makes for plenty of room for error.i'll order the Beard.

 Damon and Dave, it was great to meet each of you at RS over the past two years. 

This forum is great and one of the first places I go when on line.


daver's picture

Damon:  Unless Kent added a "clamping" spider bridge, what he has is a "modular system" where the bridge saddle is a one-piece assembly with threaded inserts.  this saddle is then screwed into a flat milled spider from the bottom.   The saddle can be made from a variety of materials, and also with the Fishman Nashville elements installed:


I remember the late Erik Waynesmith having a spider bridge design with the clamping feature you described, but I couldn't find the link.

MarkinSonoma's picture

Plenty of people are happy with the Beard unit, but ever since the first time i saw the Schoonover modular spider I've thought "now that's the ticket."

damon's picture

Ahh, thanks Dave, I should have looked for his website, I do remember it now.  I remember Erik's now too, I was probably thinking of that. I suppose his family took the site down. I like Kent's idea, and I really want a milling machine, the slot of almost every spider I have is rarely level. I try sometimes to file them smooth, but milling them would be much more accurate. 

Sam Cassady's picture

Here are a couple of views of Erik's spider design with the pickup inserts installed.


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