Taylor Big Baby....amplified


Lately I"ve been installing MagPi systems in "straight" acoustic guitars. A Taylor Big Baby was a recent candidate, and a good example of how to set up a "modest" guitar for live sound. My philosophy on this pickup system is that it's designed for the "average" Joe...the everyday guy who can't afford, or doesn't want to afford, a $3K guitar with a pickup system that will require a ton of outboard gear to get the "right" sound.

This particular instrument belongs to a friend of mine who owns a restaraunt, Cafe Ole, in Puerto Aventuras on the Mayan Riviera. His requirement was for a simple low/easy maintenence system for this admittedly modest guitar. His main requirement was NO BATTERIES. Also, he needed a system that didn't require any modification to the action of the guitar.

The guitar lives in a heavy salt air, Carribean environment, with the closest real "luthier", that he felt he could trust, an airplane ride away.

The install: for easy maintenence, and since the guitar has fairly stout plywood sides, we chose a side mounted output jack, as it's easier to not only find a replacement, but to pull and replace, if necessary. The tone control system is just two pots, a balance between the magnetic pickup and the specially designed SBT; and a volume pot. Both of these are common values, and should be very easy to locate, should the need arise. The magnetic pickup( a narrow aperture humbucker), is cast in epoxy, with an expected half life of a hundred years or so....photos below.

The sound: you can be the judge...this ___MP3___ was recorded flat, with no compression or added eq. The balance between the two pickups is set about 50/50. A light gauge(12-52) nickel wound Martin string set is used on the guitar. I'm hitting this thing pretty hard with a heavy gauge flatpick...something you're not supposed to do with a piezo based system.

So if you're ever in Puerto Aventuras on the Yucatan, stop by the restaurant and say hi to Gary...most weekend nights he'll be strumming away and generally having a good time....





Silver Supporting Member
Sounds great, I want to do this to a Yamaha I have that sounds great but isn't worth too much to modify.

Can you be more specific and outline the parts I would have to buy to duplicate this? Also, how did you mount the pickup, isn't there a beam there?


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