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AXL Acoustic Guitar Transducer Pickup with Endpin Jack
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- Connects to your instrument via 1/4” jack with 9 foot cable.
- Easy to use on most acoustic instruments
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Electrify your acoustic guitar with this piezo transducer pickup. Installs easily inside the guitar. The female endpin jack replaces the strap button for a convenient and attractive looking way to plug in.
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Unfortunately the narrow portion of the barrel is not long enough to fit through the end/tail block; and I didn't want to drill a new hole in my not-so-cheap guitar just to test out a relatively cheap pickup.
So I attached the pickup in the regular position inside the body behind the bridge, and just ran the cable out from the sound hole. The jack is held onto the pickguard with some scotch outdoor mounting tape (which is kind of like really strong gum, it can be removed without leaving sticky residue); which holds it in place well enough to plug in a cable and move around as long as I don't jerk the guitar quickly.
I plugged it into my cheap, regular guitar amp, and whoa! The package mentions two locations you can place the pickup, and because I needed to run it through the sound hole, I could only place it where more treble is picked up. So I have to compensate on my amp by turning down the treble to 7 or lower
Because the pickup is a transducer, no electrical feedback/interference is picked up, so the sound will be very clear and crisp. It would probably sound even better on an amp with better electric shielding; the only noise I get even at max gain, max input volume, is from the amp itself, heard with every instrument I plug into it if I turn the master volume up too high.
Another thing to consider is that transducers pickup vibrations, so it won't pick up sound when placed a millimeter away from the guitar body, but will when touching it. So with that in mind, the pickup will strongly output every sound you make to the guitar body; like it brushing up against your body, a zipper hitting the guitar, your fingers sliding on the strings etc.
A couple of secrets to installing the mike pickup:
After you drill the hole, and are trying to figure out just how to get the
jack into place from the inside of the guitar, do this;
Get a guitar/patch cable and run it through the hole you just drilled until you can grab it through
the sound hole. jack into the AXL and then pull it out the hole using your cable. You may have to do
this a couple of times to get the jam nuts set for the right depth, so having a way to make this process
easier is a big help. Also, I did not use the giant endpin collar that came with the assy, as it just takes
up a lot of thread space to accomplish nothing.
Finding a sweet spot on smaller guitars/ukulele/mandolin's can be close to impossible because the sound
hole is actually so small, you can't get your hand in, and finger length is as far as you can go, so in most cases, go in the direction of the low E string side as this is what is typically lacking on the smaller instruments unless you have Jimi Hendrix hands and in that case, congratulations.
Finally, on Travel guitars; GET RID OF THE GIANT STRINGS THAT COME ON SOME OF THESE THINGS!
My SX traveller came in with 11-54's and I could not even hear the low E string. I had an old set of electric 10-46's I took off of a BB King Lucille, and just for the heck of it swapped them out; Man what a difference; actually so much difference that I really didn't need the AXL I just installed even though it's a fun addition.
As far as an amp, I have a little HoneyTone that has been feeling out of place alongside my very large amp arsenal, and just may have found a home, as it is about as small as you can get to go along with the Travel guitar.
That said, there is only one piezo element, unlike a K&K pickup, for example. So it is limited in giving you optimal sound, no matter where it is placed. Also, in case you cannot tell from the image, the soldering connection and wires are exposed on the jack, so it can only be used inside your instrument, which means drilling a hole.