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Old 07-26-2021, 07:53 AM
Aspiring Aspiring is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 974
Default Silent guitar Fishman Aura conversion

A while back I picked up an EO folding travel guitar. I use it heavily as a couch guitar and it is an amazingly compact full scale travel guitar.

The only area I wasn't completely satisfied with was the plugged in sound. It has a combo headphone amp / output jack with a simple piezo pickup / pre amp and the noise floor was higher than I would like in addition to the piezo quack. It also caused quite a bit of interference with my two portable wireless amps (NUX and Yamaha thr30 ii)

After some research I settled on putting a Fishman Aura pro pickup in and using a Fender Micro headphone amp when I wish to use headphones

Very pleased with the results.

First picture is a test install of the Fishman with the old electronics ripped out. As you can see the barn door style doesn't fit very well in the guitar.

The install was a fair bit of work. I needed to split the pickup open remove the bottom cover and make larger openings in the guitar as well as build a back mounting plate for it.

Next pic is the final result.

I will add some sound samples to the thread as I get a chance to record with the setup. Overall very pleased with the improvements.

Next set of pics are a few of the pics along the way.

I basically used the barn door template to create a router template. I then used that to create the second board out of maple and enlarge the openings in the existing guitar body.

I had to remove the bottom cover from the pickup as that included the 9 volt clip and made the whole package way too thick.

The bottom included shielding so I needed to shield the entire pickup area with copper foil tape.

The new piece adds about 1/2" to the body and doesn't protrude beyond the tuners. The weight addition is pretty minimal.

I also picked up a Tonedexter.

The Tonedexter gives a few more options for shaping the tone and also has some great sounding results, however the power and packaging requirements meant it would be a much less portable solution. However, for those looking to do something similar and not wanting to take a router to their guitar body replacing the existing setup with a simple piezo and then using the Tonedexter outboard does provide a great sound.

Oh another unexpected bonus is the built in tuner for the Fishman. Turns out that by hanging the guitar from the strap from my shoulder and facing away from me I can easily see the tuner and get at the tuning pegs which makes tuning a breeze.

Last edited by Aspiring; 07-26-2021 at 08:49 AM.
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