Acoustic Guitar Pickup Installation Question

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by teledubya, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. teledubya

    teledubya TDPRI Member

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    Hey, I'm looking at buying a Larrivee, but the one I could be getting is not acoustic-electric, just acoustic, though I'd like to make it acoustic-electric. How would I go about doing this? I know you can buy acoustic pickups but I'm not sure what all you need, or how it would operate since in an after-market pickup installation, you can't just plug it into the guitar by the bottom strap button (or could you?). As I'm sure you can tell, I'm not sure where to get started here. So any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. badmelonfarmer

    badmelonfarmer Tele-Meister

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    hey there,

    I did this recently to a couple of my guitars.

    the first thing you need to figure is what type of pickup you want, some of them simply fit across the sound hole whilst others require instalation.

    the one I went for in both of my guitars is the "Fishman Infinity Matrix", which is an undersaddle piezo pickup and a pre amp in the jacksocket.

    http://www.fishman.com/products/details.asp?id=97

    if you are ok with woodwork then it should be failry easy to do. first off you need to figure if you need the wide pickup or the narrow pickup.

    then remove all strings and take out the saddle, drill a hole for the cable coming out of the pickup and sand down the saddle to compensate for the thickness of the pickup.

    then you need to remove the strap peg and "ream" out the hole to allow the 1/4 inch jack stewmac do an endpin reramer that works well.

    then connect all the cables up and do some tidying of the cable runs.

    took me about an hour to do each one and I had never done it before.

    here are the full instructions

    http://www.fishman.com/uploads/products/documents/145.pdf

    http://www.fishman.com/uploads/products/documents/144.pdf

    Cheers

    BMF
     
  3. winny pooh

    winny pooh Friend of Leo's

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    Please don't get an under-saddle pickup, they sound awful.
    Get a good quality soundboard transducer (can be feedbacky) or if you don't mind the look get a fishman rare earth (either the humbucking or mic blend which is a fantastic active soundhole pickup.

    Then use the correct size spade bit after drilling a guide hole and install. all of the pickups come with instructions anyway so you cant go wrong.
     
  4. badmelonfarmer

    badmelonfarmer Tele-Meister

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  5. aunchaki

    aunchaki Friend of Leo's

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    I've done the same thing as you: bought good-sounding acoustic guitars and eventually installed my own electronics. I've opted for soundhole pickups. I have an L.R.Baggs M1 (stacked humbucker) and a Fishman Neo-D (rare-earth single coil). I like them both. The M1 is fantastic, it uses it's second coil to help pick up vibrations on the guitar top (kinda microphonic, but not quite).

    I like them both so much that I've permanently installed one and and looking for time to permanently install the other. I had to drill out the strap peg to 1/2 inch to install the jack. I didn't use a spade bit. I used a series of regular bits, each larger than the previous (1/4", 3/8", then 1/2"). I put the guitar flat on a table (on a towel) and had a friend hold the body while I drilled with an electric drill. It was scary!

    Now I just need to find the time to do the same to my other acoustic (I don't like the cord coing out the hole). Good luck!!
     
  6. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    imho, and i have both undersaddle and transducer, both in martins... the difference is if you are primarily a "strummer," stay with the undersaddle. fishman makes a good one. bluegrass guitar playing would qualify as an example of (heavy) strumming and flatpicking.

    if you like fingerstyle or more subdude playing styles or play a combo of light strumming/fingerpicking etc. id go with a baggs i-beam transducer that attaches to the underside of the bridge on the bridge block. installation is fairly simple... you do have to experiment for placement a bit but the sound is very natural, and not "quacky" that the undersaddle pickups are notoriously known for.

    as stated, feedback can be an issue with the transducer (i.e. baggs), but if you are not going to be playing at loud volumes, and/or are doing solo stuff, it would be fine at lower to mid volumes. but, you might need a feedback buster if your near monitors or mains.

    i use both for the very reasons above and it works out very well for me in both cenarios.

    good luck!

    imho.

    rand z tropicalsoul.net
     
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