Schatten Design HFN Active VT Acoustic PU System w/Vol/Tone

Schatten Design HFN Active VT Acoustic PU System w/Vol/Tone

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NEW HFN Active VT (HFN with Player endpin jack preamp and volume & tone thumbwheel controls)

"The sound of this new guitar pickup is as close to that of a good quality mic as you've ever heard from a guitar pickup...."

The HFN's give you a sound that is much more realistic than that of under the saddle pickups. Along with being simple to install, these pickups exhibit excellent feedback rejection and good string to string balance.

There is nothing artificial about the sound of the HFN and the usual compressed 'quackiness' inherent in under the saddle pickup systems is noticeably absent in the HFN series.

The HFN series for steel string guitars is available in three basic model ranges: As the HFN Player (passive) which does not come with a preamp, as the HFN Active which comes with a single channel endpin jack preamp, and as the HFN Artist which comes with a two channel endpin jack preamp that can be run on phantom power.

We offer the passive model of the pickup for use in instruments that already have a preamp onboard or for those customers that wish to use an outboard preamp.


The HFN is designed to give you a full, rich sound and will reproduce exactly what your guitar sounds like.

The HFN series of pickups utilizes an elegant combination of materials: rosewood for its main structure and arching with a light weight brass shell for its noise shielded piezo unit. Total weight of the pickup is a very light 0.2 ounces (7 grams). It will not affect the acoustic sound of the instrument when not in use.

The HFN will fit virtually any X braced steel string acoustic guitar whether it has a pin bridge or not. The only hole that you need to drill is for the endpin jack or endpin jack preamp. The HFN's have been tested on and installed in 7 and 8 string guitars and also work very well in those instruments.

The HFN Active comes with our single channel Player endpin jack preamp. The HFN Active VT comes with the same Player endpin jack preamp and adds a set of volume and tone thumbwheel controls.

HFN Artist models feature our two channel Artist II endpin jack preamp which can be run from an onboard 9 volt battery or from phantom power. The HFN Artists are available with either one or two thumbwheel volume controls. These thumbwheel controls simply stick to the underside of the lip of the sound hole. A single thumbwheel control would be used to control the volume of our HFN pickup. The second thumbwheel control would be used if you wish to add a secondary pickup (like a magnetic sound hole pickup). Having two thumbwheel volume controls allows you to mix and blend both pickups as you like.

Installation is quick and simple and takes about 15 minutes. All HFN's come fully wired, complete and ready to install. The Active and Artist models also include a self adhesive velcro mount cordura nylon battery bag. Neat and tidy.

The Design Of The HFN

Due to its' design, the HFN for steel string guitars sounds like and behaves more like a good quality studio microphone; something that you would never expect from a pickup. Noticeably absent is the usual 'quack' that you get from under the saddle pickups because what you're getting is the sound of the instrument itself, not just the percussive response that you get from placing a pickup in contact with the underside of a guitar saddle. Since the pickup really does respond and sound like a mic, adding any sort of microphone in conjunction with the HFN is really quite unnecessary.

The pickup is designed to allow it to flex and move along with the soundboard of the instrument. There is a certain amount of flex built into the arching of the rosewood pickup base and as well there is both some flex allowed and some isolation from the soundboard provided by the 3M VHB foam mounting tape.

Utilizing a single piezo sensing element that comes into contact with the soundboard of the guitar through the 'feet' of the pickup base allows for several things. First, the HFN is able to sample from more than one spot and to sample those spots across a span of time. Second, since we are able to do all this with just the one element, the chances of creating mechanical phasing issues caused by having to use more than one sensing element is eliminated.

About HFN's With Our Endpin Jack Preamps

HFN Active: A single HFN is all you really need. So, we've now made our HFN pickups available with our Player endpin jack preamp. One pickup, a single channel preamp.....and volume and tone thumbwheel controls are avaiable if you'd like them.

HFN Artist: When you get the HFN with our Artist II endpin jack preamp you're getting something very unique. The preamp has two channels, so you can add that magnetic pickup that you have to our HFN and balance the output with the trim pots on the circuit board. For added convenience the Artist II endpin jack preamps can come with thumbwheel volume controls for each channel. As well, the preamp can be run from an onboard 9 volt battery, or from Phantom Power (up to 48 volts dc) supplied by a mixer or amp, or from our RP-1 outboard battery box.


If you take a moment or two and bounce back and forth between the pickup samples and the studio mic sample you'll see what we mean when compare the sound of the HFN Artist to the sound of a studio's pretty darn close.

The sound bites provided for steel string guitars all come from an independent source: guitarist Doug Young We'd like to thank Doug for helping to beta test the HFN Steel String and for taking the time to record these samples.