The Stimer Pickup

March 8, 2008

Nicolai Foss

I am one of those who admire Django Reinhardt’s post-war electric work. Of course, most people admire everything that Django did, but it is my impression that there is a general tendency to prefer the early Django (1934-1939) to the later Djangos and particularly the electrified Django. I think Django achieved a fantastic and unique mastery of the electric instrument. Perhaps he, unlike Christian, was too un-idiomatic, because very few players have tried explicitly to emulate his sound (this also goes for those many post-Django players who fit a Stimer pickup to their SelMac). That sound was produced by either an electric epiphone or a Selmer equipped with a Stimer pick-up, and a small tube amp (I have no idea about which kind).

It is claimed, and it may be correct, that the Stimer(s) was a copy of the DeArmond pickup that originated in the early 1940s. However, even considerable experimentation with a SelMac clone, my DeArmond FHC, and a small tube amp has never made me capable of reproducing Django’s electric sound. The sound may (also) lie in the difference between the Stimer and the DeArmond. I have, unfortunately, never had occasion to try a Stimer, but would surely love to.

Here is a brief review of the Stimer ST48. They are produced today by the famous luthier Maurice Dupont. The Twelfth Fret sells them. So does Note that there are (at least) two Stimer pickups, the ST48 and the more unusual model ST51, which fits the grand bouche SelMacs (also made by Dupont)Here are some pics of Mondine Garcia with the ST48 fitted the gypsy way.

4 Responses to “The Stimer Pickup”

  1. DHM Says:

    There’s also the Miller pickup which is sold by R.F.Charle

  2. arjen Says:

    I do have a 50’s STIMER st 48

    285 euro

    • Thomas Says:

      Hoi Arjen,

      Heb je nog steeds de Stimer st 48 liggen? Ik besef me dat je het berichtje vorig jaar september op Jazz & Archtops hebt geplaatst.

      Vriendelijke groet,

  3. Sergio Says:

    I’m also looking for Django’s electric sound. My favourite jazz session of all times is that from march ’53, 10th. It’s really impressive that sound, and that way of playing…

    It’s said that he used to play a Gibson L-5 with DeArmond pickup, but I don’t know really…

    I was thinking of buying a DeArmond X-155 which is acclaimed as a good and good priced guitar, just to try to emulate that sound. Do you think it’s a good idea? I don’t know what amp should I buy. I love that sound, but I cannot spend too much money to get it!!

    IIf you want I’ll be happy to be in contact with you. That’s my email:

    Best regards,


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