electronics

Integrated Pickup: Revisiting Action Setup

Integrated Pickup: Revisiting Action Setup

Another look at the integrated saddle/piezo pickup. You’ll most often find these in Takamine guitars but there are variants around. Like this Epiphone pickup. The action needed a little finessing here and this version presented it’s own challenges.

Adjusting Action with a Takamine Integrated Pickup

Adjusting Action with a Takamine Integrated Pickup

Lowering the action on an acoustic guitar is generally a (relatively) straightforward task.

Unless, of course, your guitar has a Takamine-style ‘integrated pickup’. Then you need to regroup.

Get the low-down…

Acoustic Power: The magic of piezoelectricity

Acoustic Power: The magic of piezoelectricity

Electric guitar pickups turn string vibrations into electricity. So do the piezo pickups often used in acoustic. The only difference is the way they do it.

We’ll talk more about the properties and problems of different acoustic pickups over the next few weeks so, for now, a piezo primer…

How to install jacks, pots and switches in hollow guitars

How to install jacks, pots and switches in hollow guitars

If you've ever had to wire or replace components inside a hollow or semi-hollow guitar, you probably know what a pain it is. You have to fish all the wiring and components through the f-hole to work on them. Even worse, then you have to get them back. It's like building a ship in a bottle but there are some tricks to make things a little less annoying.

Hum and Guitar String Ground

Hum and Guitar String Ground

So here's the problem: 

You’ve got your guitar plugged in. You’re not playing it and there’s a noise. A hum. It’s not terribly pleasant. 

Thing is, you touch the strings and it’s gone.

The response: It's ok. It's not a problem. That’s all as it should be. Guitars pick up interference and that comes out the amp as a hum. When you touch the strings, it's supposed to get quieter. 

Because, 'grounding'.

Electric Guitar String Ground

Electric Guitar String Ground

In an electric guitar or bass, it's usually necessary to 'ground' the strings. 

By this, I mean that all the strings should have a path to ground — a wire that connects them to a ground point inside the instrument. Usually that ground point will be the back of a pot or the sleeve of the output jack. 

When it's properly grounded, you can touch the strings of your guitar and you'll usually hear the background hiss reduce. Yay.

There’s a common misconception that by touching the strings you are grounding the guitar.