Ryan Cavanaugh demos the EMG ACM-5 banjo pickup

EMG ACM-5 banjo pickupNew York banjo picker Ryan Cavanaugh has created a pair of videos where he is demonstrating the efficacy of the new ACM-5 banjo pickup from EMG. To do so, he performs two new pieces of his, destined for his next album, The Realist, due during the winter of 2015.

Those in the electric guitar world know EMG as a premier manufacturer of guitar and bass pickups. They are especially noted for their high-output active pickups, favorited by metal bands and performers starting in the 1980s when they were first widely available in the US and Europe.

EMG has more recently become interested in pickups for the acoustic market, and the ACM-5 joins their guitar and bouzouki models. It is a dual coil (side-by-side) pickup that is shipped with the necessary mounting hardware for a traditional dual co-ordinator rod banjo pot. They are available for $229.99 in either, 4, 5, or 6 string configurations.

Ryan’s video for EMG find him working in his familiar milieu, blending a bluegrass-oriented roll style with his jazzy implementation of a single string style.

In the first, Mr. CJ, his take is modern bluegrass, with just a touch of reverb and delay…


… but on Dear Dragon he is wide open, mixing a variety of effects with a beat.


You can find out more about Ryan at his web site, and about the pickup at the EMG site.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.