Fishman Soundhole Pickup Installation in a Taylor Big Baby

So a very popular guitar came in today with a very popular pickup. The customer installed it himself and it looked ugly and was impractical  These fishman soundhole pickups are designed with a cable wired into them that has a jack on the end. The idea is you have a cable coming out of the soundhole that runs straight to the amp. Its ugly, awkward to put the guitar in a case and if you stand on the cable you can damage the pickup.

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My customer wanted a normal output on the guitar like any regular electro acoustic.

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I favor using Takamine style output jacks like on the guitar above, they are attached to the guitar with 3 screws so they cant work loose like other types do from taking the strap on and off.

First things first I figure out how much cable I’ll need. I want to leave a minimum amount of cable in the guitar so it wont rattle around and make noise but enough that the customer could repair or replace the output jack in the future or put their pickup in another guitar if he ever wished to.

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Then I cut the cable and strip it back, I don’t have a pic of every step because I need my two hands for some jobs!

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Next I got my Drill bit out and made sure it was the correct diameter for the hole i needed.

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13mm is the guy for the job. On a lacquer finish like in the above picture I mask off the area to be drilled to avoid the finish chipping as i drill but the oil finish on a big baby doesn’t have anything to crack so i drilled straight in. I don’t like doing this job in front of customers. They usually have a scared look in their eyes. I try to give them a reassuring look to convey I’ve done this dozens of times. Image

Here’s the hole!

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Next up I feed the wire through the body and out the hole using an old guitar string. Then I solder it up.

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Then I screw the 3 screws in place.

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Not finished yet, I need to tidy up the loose cable in the body. I use these plastic cable organisers with an adhesive back.  I always attach it to the side to avoid the installation having any unnecessary affect on the sound of the instrument. The sides impart very little if any tone in my opinion and on a big baby I’m pretty sure they are made of laminate wood.

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And thats it finished, I charged €25 for the labour on this job and €12 for parts. I would have installed it with no labour charge if he bought the pickup off me!  If you need anything like this job done contact us by phone, email or facebook.

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