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More Than Meets The Eye.


There is nothing like playing a instrument you have time in with. The one you have in the closet, that may not be as nice as the one you gig with, or the shiny "belt buckle" you told your wife you paid way less for than you actually did, but the one that has been with you for years. The one that you built calluses on fingers with. So being able to transform a guitar like that from a "stay in the closet" to a "mainstay" is a challenge, and an honor, and that's what I got to do this week!

This is a dreadnought "Martin" copy acoustic that Dillon Lankford brought me. He wanted to convert this from a traditional acoustic to an acoustic/electric, so he could use it to gig shows with. So after a quick inspection, and run down of the modifications he wanted, I got to work. He wanted a Fishman piezo pickup installed, with the input jack replacing the tail pin. A strap button installed on the back of the body. And there was some fret rattle that also needed to be addressed. I new that the fret rattle would probably lessen after raising the bridge, which would occur naturally by adding the pickup. So the first thing I focused on was the tail pin/input jack installation.

First I removed the original tail button, and then I needed to drill a hole to accomidate the new input jack.

Then I removed the bridge insert, and drilled a hole to run the wiring for the piezo pickup underneath the bridge into the body.

I wired the pickup to the jack and installed it at the tail.

Next I drilled a pilot hole for the strap button on the bottom of the neck before installing it, this really helps to avoid cracking and splitting of the binding material, because it gets extremely brittle.

Once the pickup was installed, and the strap buttons in place, I replaced the bridge insert, and gave the guitar a full setup. At this point I noticed that the fret rattle was still very prominent, and I thought I would need to file the bridge down to resolve the issue, but it turns out that the neck was actually over bowed. I loosened the truss rod to straighten out the neck, and this completely changed the play-ability, and eliminated the fret rattle.

This was exciting to work on because I don't normally use a drill on an acoustic guitar that often! But you cant argue with the results, this conversion was a complete success. I'll let you decide for yourselves in the video. Tell me what you think of this transformation, and let me know if you want to convert the one in your closet!


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