It Was An Electrifying Experience

Dan Mooney

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Portland, Oregon
Not sure if this is considered flat work, but . . . I have a nylon string guitar that I really like the way it plays and sounds, and I've always wished I could plug it into an amp. I found this pre-amp kit at a reasonable price and figured what the heck! :thumb:

It's not a real high dollar guitar (Medium priced), cutting into the body did give me pause for minute.

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I used my trusty HF Multi-Tool, worked like a champ!

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and the back

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It has a High and Low impedence output jacks and a pocket for a 9 volt battery

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And a built in tuner

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I forgot to take pictures of installing the piezo pickup it sets under the bridge saddle.
 

Brent Dowell

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Reno NV
Awesome! Now that's a worthwhile project.

It's also nice to have the tuner there always available.

We'll be expecting some sample recordings, you know.... :thumb:
 

Brent Dowell

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Reno NV
Now you gone and done it. How many times do I have to tell you guys not to post amazon.com links here! :bang:

Things like that just seem to automagically jump into my shopping cart!!!!! :rofl:

That's actually really nice that it has a low impedance balanced output....
 

Al Launier

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Bedford, NH
Dan, I suspect you may get a few hits on the long john bottoms. Were you expecting a near-term drop in temperature? :rofl:
Now, having gotten that out of my system, nice work! :thumb:
 

Vaughn McMillan

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ABQ NM
It's pretty neat but don't they make pick ups anymore???

We used to screw them on and plug it in.

They still make them, but typically they end up sounding more like an electric guitar. Plus, an old-school magnetic pickup needs metal strings, so it wouldn't work on a nylon string classical guitar. They do make "sound hole microphones" that can amplify a classical guitar, but they're prone to have feedback issues in a live setting. The piezo pickup and preamp rigs like Dan's typically have a more realistic acoustic guitar sound. Plus, the preamp allows a lot more tone-shaping options to really dial in the sound and minimize feedback.
 
Messages
6,917
Location
North West Indiana
They still make them, but typically they end up sounding more like an electric guitar. Plus, an old-school magnetic pickup needs metal strings, so it wouldn't work on a nylon string classical guitar. They do make "sound hole microphones" that can amplify a classical guitar, but they're prone to have feedback issues in a live setting. The piezo pickup and preamp rigs like Dan's typically have a more realistic acoustic guitar sound. Plus, the preamp allows a lot more tone-shaping options to really dial in the sound and minimize feedback.

Uh, okay, what he said!!!!!!
Nice work Dan (I only know this cause the other guys say it is neat!) Like Sgt. Schulz off of Hogan's Heroes, "I KNOW NOTHIN" bout guitars!
 

Darren Wright

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Added to the wish cart...was looking at those a while back. One of my acoustics has it, but the other doesn't. I've ran down the battery in the one with it twice this past summer. It automatically turns on when plugged in, I forgot to unplug it and just sat it on the rack. :doh:
 

Darren Wright

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Ok Dan, you've made it more than just a wish, it showed up here on Friday. May give it a shot installing it this afternoon. I did connect it all and make sure it was functioning though. Also looked up the value of my guitar as is, to make sure I wasn't going to regret it, looks like I may improve the value by $16 by adding this into it. ;)

One thing i found is there wasn't any instructions or templates with it. This isn't the exact model, but found the template is the same if anyone else does one of these... http://belcat.com/html/products/preamp/prenerpc.html The manual link is at the bottom of the page, which has a template on the last page.

So Dan, I saw you added your plugs into the back rather than the bottom curve. Have you found that to be a better place?
 
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Dan Mooney

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1,919
Location
Portland, Oregon
Darren,
the only hitch in the install was fitting the peizo pickup under the bridge. It is thicker than the plastic bridge piece. so I had to fabricate a new one. I had some brass that I used, also you have to cut a recess down into the bridge to set the pickup below the bridge.it seems to work great!:thumb:

If your guitar already has a pickup installed it should work with the new preamp. The one on my Ovation works fine with it.

I don't know how well this will show up in the pictures.
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Darren Wright

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Kansas City, Missouri
Got mine installed tonight, but ran into the same issue with the pickup being wider than my existing bridge, so had to shave a little off the side with a chisel to get it to fit. Unfortunately I don't have any brass or plastic that wide, so had to order a new bridge blank, but should be in by the end of the week.

Another tip for anyone doing this. You may want to pre-score around your cut with a razor blade, had a little chip-out in my lacquer, but the pre-amp and battery unit edges covered them. I also used my HF Multi-tool along with a small metal cutting jigsaw blade and dremel tool for cleaning up the corners.

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Vaughn McMillan

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ABQ NM
Looks good, Darren. :thumb:

Regarding the question about putting the output jacks on the back vs. the edge, there are two good reasons for putting it on the edge. First, the back is a resonant surface, so any holes or attachments will affect the sound of the guitar more than holes or attachments on the edge will. Second, in the event you step on or otherwise snag the audio cable and pull in it, you're much less likely to break wood if it's pulling perpendicular to the wood instead of parallel to it. In other words, it's better to pull the cable out of the jack than to pull the jack out of the guitar. ;)
 
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