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  Project File:
Acoustic Preamp Installation

      A customer brought in a beautiful Taylor acoustic guitar, but it had no pickup and she wanted one for
      playing live. She also wanted to be able to control her volume and tone so I suggested installing an
      onboard preamp. We chose the L.R. Baggs i-Beam preamp and pickup. I'm a big fan of the i-Beam!

1. Since the sides of this Taylor are solid wood, as opposed to laminate, I wanted to reinforce the wood inside the guitar before routing. This decreases the chance of the wood splitting along the grain. This picture shows my "MacGyver-esque" clamp I made with a block of wood and a guitar tuner. I drilled a hole in the guitar just big enough to get a 10 gauge guitar string through. I applied glue to my reinforcing wood and then I put the guitar string through the reinforcing wood and through the guitar and then I tighten it using this clamp.


2. The next day, after the glue dried, the Taylor was ready for routing. I made a template out of plexiglas and screwed it onto the guitar using the screw holes for the preamp. I routed the guitar using my trusty Dremel tool.


3. I was left with perfectly-sized cavity in which to mount the preamp. Having two big holes in a guitar provides easy access so I mounted the pickup onto the bridge plate inside the guitar and drilled a hole for the strap jack.


4. All that was left to do was to install the output jack, connect the wiring and drop the preamp into place. And there it is!
Ain't it pretty?


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