#1
Hello,

I have a Limited Edition Taylor GS Mini that I would love to install a pickup into. I recently moved to Australia so unfortunately my choices are limited. The K&K Pure Mini, which I've heard is very good, is tough to get to Australia. All the LR Briggs are available and definitely an option. I've also found peterman.com.au piezo pickups to be quite intriguing. I have been doing a lot of research on him the last few days, but can't seem to find anyone that has installed his pickups into a travel size guitar, and a lot of his reviews are based on his stomp boxes.

I'm basically looking for something between $100 - $200. And easy installation is a HUGE factor for me. I'm really not into modifying my guitar at all, and I don't know how to solder, so having a pickup that i can just replace the current endpin with would be great.

It's basically between LR Briggs and peterman, cause I can't really find anything else thats good quality in that price range. I'd prefer peterman's internal pickups over his external, but still unsure about the quality for price, and I'm pretty sure id have to modify my endpin hole.

How easy is it to instal the LR Briggs pickups? Will I be able to just unscrew my endpin, and place that one inside? How much of the natural guitar sound will I get with the LR Briggs compared to peterman's piezo pickups? Is Active better than Passive?

I don't want to just amplify the guitar, I'd like to get its natural sound amplified.

Btw, how big is a GS Mini's endpin?

Would love some answers, been researching this for a bit and can't find anything about the difference between these two on this specific guitar.
#2
I installed a LR Baggs M1 Active on my old guitar years ago. for sound hole pic-up, it's actually quite easy to install. The only tricky part is the end pin. The pick-up jack is bigger than the hole for end pin. You have to use a drill to make the hole big enough to install the jack.

I haven't tried the M1 Passive yet, but it does not require a battery and no volume control. The M1 Active will also pick up the sound from the guitar body. It is essential for percussive fingerstyle players.
#3
Have you considered the one designed for the Mini? By all accounts, the first ones issued had some problems with hum.... But the current run is supposed to have eliminated that and been improved to boot. Simple installation... The mounting bracket is already there.
#4
I also live in Oz, and would import the K&K, plus a good preamp if I was keen. I had a look at the Peterman site, and would pass on it.

I think trying to accurately reproduce the sound of the guitar is a frustrating and difficult task, so I just aimed for something that worked for me and the audience. I have a Baggs M1 active in one guitar. I like it lot and would recommend it; the newer M80 might be better. I added a passive tone control so that I wouldn't have to change amp settings when swapping guitars.

I can't recall what the endpin design is on Taylors, but on most guitars you would have to enlarge the hole to install an endpin jack. A side mounted jack, as used by Maton, is easier to install.
Last edited by Tony Done at Nov 11, 2014,
#5
Hmm thanks for the suggestions.

Can I ask what's wrong with Peterman's pickups?? Aren't piezo, and what K&K offer pretty much the same thing? What's the difference between a transducer and a piezo?

I'm so bad at this stuff hahaha. I really don't want to have to make the hole bigger on my guitar, I don't know why, it just rubs me the wrong way. But it's starting to look like thats the best way to go. If I installed and active pickup from Baggs, I wouldn't need a preamp, correct?
#7
The Mini is designed to take a purpose-built endpin jack. You remove the screws holding the stock strap-pin in place, and replace it with the endpin jack that ships with the "ES-Go" pickup.
Modifying this further to take a conventional endpin jack would likely take some work and you might want to ask a good repairman about it.
As i recall, the Tayor endpin jack just takes a standard 1/8" plug and so you could conceivably adapt the wiring of nearly any pickup to plug into the Taylor jack.
#8
Quote by cnelsom144
Hmm thanks for the suggestions.

Can I ask what's wrong with Peterman's pickups?? Aren't piezo, and what K&K offer pretty much the same thing? What's the difference between a transducer and a piezo?

I'm so bad at this stuff hahaha. I really don't want to have to make the hole bigger on my guitar, I don't know why, it just rubs me the wrong way. But it's starting to look like thats the best way to go. If I installed and active pickup from Baggs, I wouldn't need a preamp, correct?


A piezo is just one kind of transducer, and they come in different forms. There are soundboard transducers (SBTs) like the Peterman and K&K and undersaddle transducers (USTS) like the Martin Matrix. They are also made of different kinds of materials that have piezo-electric properties. Magnetic pickups and mics are also tranducers, since they convert one kind of energy (sound or vibration) into another (electricity). The Peterman just looks like the old fashioned stick-on piezo bugs, and he doesn't even mention a preamp. I'm fairly convinced the you can't successfully use a piezo without a preamp, unless you have an amp with a dedicated high impedance input, so I'm thinking it could be mutton dressed up as lamb. However, I could well be wrong, that's why I'm just saying I wouldn't chance it, rather than outright criticism.
#9
Get the Taylor ES-GO. It's specifically made for the GS-Mini, and clips right into that little plastic frame piece you can see under the neck, inside the sound hole. No modification whatsoever has to be done to the guitar (except changing the endpin, but the one with the pickup is a direct replacement; you don't have to expand the hole), and the pickup sounds great.
Last edited by the_bi99man at Nov 12, 2014,
#10
Quote by cnelsom144
What are my options if I don't want to widen the hole?


Again, just get the one that Taylor makes specifically for the GS-Mini. You won't have to widen the hole, and it's probably your best option anyway.
#11
Quote by cnelsom144
What are my options if I don't want to widen the hole?


Isn't the GS Mini a 4"soundhole? If so it will take any standard soundhole pickup.

Bi99man, you might well be right about the Es-Go being the best choice, but I personally am deeply suspicious of soundhole pickups that don't have adjustable pole pieces. I've been had too many times with poor string-to-string balance to buy any of them on trust. My dislike of a too-hot plain string adjacent to too-cool wound string now borders on the pathological. However, if you can find an obliging shop, you could always try it in your GS Mini before buying it - that is one of the good things about soundhole pickups in general - you can try before you buy.
#12
Not interested in the ES-Go at all, just too many bad reviews. Although I may not even notice the difference personally between pickups, I still would like to buy the "right one" first off, and not have to spend more money down the line because I made a bad choice.

I guess I'll steer clear of Peterman's pickups then, it was just convenient cause he's based in Sydney. I know K&K and JJB are better quality, but isn't it pretty much the same as Peterman's? I could always still add a preamp afterwards (although I think I'm looking into active, I'd like to have to purchase the least amount possible).

Any thoughts on something like the MiniFlex?

Sucks I may have to enlarge the endpin hole on the GS mini, but I suppose you gotta do, what you gotta do. Either that, or I try and rewire whatever I buy and solder it to an endpin designed for the GS mini, which I'd feel a lot better about, but no idea what that would take/how difficult.