Announcing the Ultra Tonic Pickup™

At last, an acoustic guitar pickup that offers the richness of a sound board transducer with the feedback immunity of an under saddle transducer. With patent pending technology James May Engineering is proud to offer the Ultra Tonic Pickup – a unique solution for guitarist who care about their sound and need to play at elevated levels.

How does it sound?

It sounds similar to the most popular sound board transducer, the K&K Pure Mini; a great sounding pickup. However, the Ultra Tonic does not suffer from the same low end mud and boom. It sounds clearer and crisper, with great articulation and string-to-string balance. When compared to typical under saddle transducers, the warmth and natural attack characteristics of this pickup are very compelling.

How well does it work?

It has a lot more feedback immunity—typically at least 10dB more than a K&K at the fundamental chamber resonance around 110Hz. That makes it a lot more usable in real world situations. Feedback is no longer an issue. Sound-hole plugs and notch filters will usually not be necessary even under fairly loud situations.

The pickup and included circuit board are totally passive, and totally noise free. No batteries, minimal intrusion. It has a low output impedance and a high output level which makes it non-fussy about what you plug it into. Inputs with 1MΩ are recommended, but the bass does not change if higher input impedances are used.

By itself it is highly expressive and highly impressive, offering a much richer sound than any under-saddle transducer can give. When paired with a ToneDexter, it will knock your socks off! If you aren’t yet familiar with ToneDexter, you might want to check it out at

It works with 6-string and 12-string flat top acoustic guitars, as well as nylon sting guitars with or without a bridge plate. Use with other instruments like archtops, mandolins, and banjos is under investigation.

What’s not to like?

Nothing. Well, perhaps there is something: it does take a bit of fuss and bother to install this pickup. But the results are well worth it, as evidenced by our very happy users. If you are not the do-it-yourself type, we have a growing number of dealers and installers who can help.

If you are looking for the best sounding, hassle-free passive pickup that money can buy, look no further than the Ultra Tonic!



Ultra Tonic Pickup complete view
Ultra Tonic Pickup PCB front view
Ultra Tonic Pickup PCB back view
Ultra Tonic Pickup shown disconnected from PCB