The Submarine Pro is a new type of guitar pickup that can isolate sound from individual strings. Slip the Submarine Pro under the strings of your electric or acoustic guitar, plug in and play through an effects pedal and you're away. You don’t need to know how to solder and you don’t need to cut or drill holes in your pride and joy.
The unique design of the Submarine Pro means you can apply effects to any string or set of strings you choose. It is now possible to drop your bass strings an octave, add gain and sustain to your solos and pan them to different places in your mix all at the same time. Your ‘one-person-band’ just became a ‘three-person-band’.
There are a variety of rewards that you can receive by pledging. Those of you particularly quick off the mark will receive a Submarine Pro with a massive discount. Those with deep pockets can join our beta-testing programme and receive a production prototype. Or if you’d simply like to be part of the journey, save yourself a spot on our Wall-of-Fame-Thank-You-Board. Choose a reward on the right hand side of this page. (Smartphone users click ‘Support Us’ at the top of the page and then choose a reward.)
The Submarine uses the same electromagnetic principle as regular electric guitar pickups. But unlike a standard guitar pickup that has one coil and therefore one output, the Submarine Pro has six coils and a set of switches that allow you to route these signals to two separate outputs. The stereo output means you can send E & A to one effects chain and D,G,B & E to another, or any other combination of your choice. You can also use in conjunction with your existing pickups.
These pickups are targeted directly at the strings they sit underneath. This means that sound from other strings, body noise from the guitar and ambient stage noise is almost entirely rejected. The Submarine Pro is excellent at resisting feedback.
There are a few options for how you can fit to your guitar. For an electric guitar with a flat top the Submarine Pro slides beneath the strings and is held in place with a micro suction pads. This is a new kind of nano-material which uses the same principle as geckos’ feet. The height of the pickup can then be adjusted using the supplied allen key.
For a regular acoustic guitar the Submarine Pro fits into the circular sound hole. The height adjustment mechanism doubles as a clamp and will hold the pickup securely in place.
On an acoustic guitar you can run the cable out through the sound hole or if you do prefer a more permanent installation you can take the plunge and drill a second endpin jack socket. Semi acoustic/Hollowbody guitar will follow a similar principle. Solid body electrics will require a different cabling which will be supplied.
In the future we hope to offer solutions for guitars with pronounced arched tops.
The Submarine Pro has two distinct parts: The main pickup body and the endpin jack. Any combination of six micro pickups can be routed to two distinct output channels. All the routing is performed inside the endpin jack. This is achieved with a simple switching system. There are two sets of six switches, just choose which strings you would like to route to each channel.
It was important that this product was simple to use and did not require any more equipment than was necessary. No expensive multicore cabling or breakout boxes for routing signals is required. You have the option of a one- or two-channel output depending on whether you use a mono or stereo 6.35mm (1/4”) jack cable.
For guitarists who want a larger number of outputs this is something we aim to bring you in the not too distant future. This will be a distinct product that will work in concert with the Submarine Pro with up to 12 outputs
Pitch shifting is fun, of course, but it is only one aspect of how the Submarine Pro can be used. Compressors or sustain pedals can be really useful for filling out or emphasising a lead or bass line. Delays and reverbs can add atmosphere to part of your guitar line whilst leaving perhaps a more rhythmical aspect elsewhere on the guitar unaffected. As well as the demos shown in the crowdfunding video above, you can explore the principle of adding effects to individual strings at www.submarinepickup.com/demo
You are only limited by your imagination, your collection of guitar pedals and unfortunately your wallet. Although with technology moving on apace, audio processing in real time is becoming very affordable. Software such as Ableton really lends itself to this sort of set-up where you can have multiple effect chains running concurrently. Smartphone interfaces such as iRig are also interesting options and there are many reasonably priced and free DAWs available.
- One Submarine Pro
- Cabling and routing endpin jack (electric or acoustic)
- 1.5mm Allen key
- Polishing cloth
- Rubber feet for protection of acoustic guitars
It became apparent very early on in the development of the Submarine that if we were going to use off the shelf components we would have to significantly compromise the level of performance and the standard of quality that we wanted. 80% of the components in the Submarine Pro are custom made. Each of these components requires custom tooling to be made and many of our subcontractors will not supply in quantities of less than 1000. This means there are significant up-front costs.
In addition to the setup tooling costs and manufacture of each component we have assembly, workshop rent, overheads, and product packaging.
This is the second crowdfunding campaign we have run. Our first product - The Submarine - was not without its trials and tribulations. But it meant that the hard lessons have already been learnt and as such this project should be so much easier to execute. We have already established relationships with 90% of the suppliers we will use. We are familiar with how they operate; that they can be counted on to deliver on time; and that the parts will have been through a series of stringent quality control checks.
We have chosen to offer free delivery worldwide. Shipping date is estimated to be June 2018.
Your name on our wall of fame. If we had space inside each Submarine we would write the name of everyone who had contributed. We don't. Instead we inscribe a link to a page where we can list each and every contributor. We are so incredibly grateful to everyone who has helped us on this journey. Thank you!
Take it to the next level and receive our VIP pack containing
- Submarine Plectrums/Picks
- Key fob Plectrum holder (also good for coins)
- Guitar polishing cloth (also good for glasses!)
- £20 voucher for Submarine website (good for Christmas presents)
- Limited Edition Wooden Postcard Prints
Super Early Bird Submarine Pro
One Submarine Pro. Half price.
Early Bird Submarine Pro
One Submarine Pro. 25% off.
Be one of the first to get your hands on this new pickup
2 x Submarine Pro
Ah go on… You know you want to…
Production Prototype Beta Tester
At the beginning of next year we will be assembling and testing a number of production prototypes. Become part of the Submarine Lab and join our group of beta-testers. You will receive a production prototype and be able to give feedback that will ultimately improve the final design.
The housing will be CNC-ed aluminium instead of die cast zinc, all other parts will be the same. When the final design is produced you will receive a production model too.
Without your help this product simply would not be possible to make. I can’t explain how grateful I am to everyone who supports the Submarine Pro with their time, money and enthusiasm. You’re all great.
Stroud, October 2017