Getting a Takamine preamp out of the guitar body is something that’s confusion to many. There are no obvious screws or clips. There’s a hole that might do something but, just one. What gives?
If you ever need to remove certain Ovation preamps, you might find yourself scratching your head as you look for the fixings/mountings. The first time I encountered one, it took a little thought so I'll pop this quick tip up in case it helps others.
The OP-24 preamps actually hide their screws underneath a stuck-on plastic sheet with the control legend printed on it.
Get a sharp knife and run it along the edges of the front panel, inside the bezel.
You should be able to pry up the left and right ends to reveal two screws either side. Be careful not the ‘fold’ or kink the plastic as you remove the screws.
Do what you gotta do and, after reinstalling, the panel cover will stick back down itself if you’re lucky, or might need a little contact adhesive if you’re not.
An acoustic guitar with a dodgy, onboard preamp that had to be replaced. What should have been a straightforward job became a little more complicated becauset the original preamp had a particularly large footprint. It was an older, discontinued model and the manufacturer was unable to supply a replacement that was as large. As it turned out, it was pretty difficult to find any manufacturer that had a unit that would cover the existing hole (and patching and recutting wasn't favoured for cost reasons).
After quite a bit of internet rooting, a unit was found that would cover the hole in the guitar's side. Great.
Just one problem though… Although the bezel covered the hole, the mounting screws were located such that the front two had nothing to screw into (see the locations marked on the blue masking tape).
The solution: glue in some wood for the screws to mount in. As this is the shoulder of the guitar though, the wood patch needs to be bent, or curved, to mate properly with the guitar's side.
No problem. Out comes the trusty bending iron. I cut a piece of mahogany a bit larger than needed for the final patch as tiny pieces are very difficult to bend. Even larger pieces need gloves as that iron gets hotter than the surface of the sun. Making sure to keep the mahogany damp, I gradually worked the wood until the heat and steam loosened the fibres—you can feel this happen. Then, working along its length, I bent the piece to the right curvature to match the guitar shoulder.
Once it was there, I clamped the bent wood in an acoustic mould (I picked a suitable position to mate with the bent wood) and waited for it to cool and dry. I could then cut it to shape and glue it in place.
The sides of an acoustic—and in particular, this area—play a very small part in its overall tone. This is why it's possible to cut bloody, great holes for preamps in the first place. This patch is not going to have any effect on the guitar's sound. It will, however, allow the new preamp to be mounted and will get this guitar gigging again.