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  #1  
Old 06-11-2022, 09:14 PM
PRW94 PRW94 is offline
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Default How do I add an acoustic pickup to a J-160E, keep the magnetic pickup, have one jack?

I have a 1991 Gibson J-160E, solid top not the plywood top model, with a P100 magnetic pickup in the usual place at the top of the soundhole.

I want to add some type of acoustic pickup to this guitar ... I want to be able to use it as the wonderful, broken-in 31-year-old acoustic that it is ... while keeping the magnetic pickup for when I want to play "I Feel Fine."

I would also like to have the same jack (mine is on the endpin, not the side like the old J-160E's) for both pickups.

Years ago, I was told that the easiest way to make this work was to use the Baggs IMix system but instead of using the Element pickup that comes with that set, run wires from the existing volume and tone pots on the J-160E to the Element terminal on the IMix box. In other words just use the IBeam pickup for the acoustic sound.

I never got around to doing it, though, and now that I want to get around to doing it, it appears the IMix system has been discontinued (it's not on the Baggs website anymore) although it still seems pretty easy to get.

Just seeking input ... would that still be the optimal way to go for what I'm seeking to do, or is there a more recent system that would be better?

In my "perfect world" I'd like to have some kind of mic setup (Lyric?) more than an undersaddle pickup, but I realize this is an imperfect world.

Last edited by PRW94; 06-11-2022 at 09:21 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2022, 02:51 AM
TheSaint TheSaint is offline
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I have Lyric on my Dreadnought and a M1A on a concert. Love them both for different gigs.

I've often thought about combining them onto one guitar, so watching this thread for ideas.
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Old 06-12-2022, 06:20 PM
varmonter varmonter is offline
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I think a kk or a matrix type under saddle
Might work for you..
If your willing you could drill a hole
And put a 3 way switch..like a tele or a strat.
Use it to switch to only mag only kk
Or both....
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  #4  
Old 06-12-2022, 07:31 PM
PRW94 PRW94 is offline
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What concerns me is that so many of these pickups have proprietary endpin jacks with preamps attached to them to where it seems to be impossible to use the same endpin jack for both pickups.

The advantage of the IMix setup … and those are still available even if they have been discontinued by Baggs … is that I wouldn’t even need to have the magnetic pickup running to a jack, it would be going to the internal preamp.

I guess I could have two jacks in the guitar, have one drilled where the J160 jacks were traditionally at and then use the endpin for the acoustic pickup. It wouldn’t be that big a PITA.

This is just a great acoustic guitar … again it’s the solid top X braced version, has a little different mojo with the 15-fret neck … but not with the magnetic pickup engaged.
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Old 06-13-2022, 05:50 AM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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I have a magnetic pickup and a piezo SBT on my Eastman archtop. I have them both wired to a 1/4" TRS output jack, with the SBT going to the tip and the mag to the ring. I use a short TRS 1/4" TRS cord to a belt clip mounted Baggs Mix-Pro preamp.

The preamp allows me to mix the two pickups or select just one. Output is a mono TS cord from the preamp to final amp or PA.

You can also run both pickups to a TRS jack and run a TRS cord all the way back to a dual (or multi) channel amp or mixer and use a splitter right before to send the tip signal to one channel and the ring to another.

If there is some reason you can't wire both pickups to the same jack you can use a splitter again so a single TRS cable can send the two signals to whatever is next in your chain.
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Old 06-13-2022, 06:56 AM
PRW94 PRW94 is offline
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I'm gonna run this past the guy who works on my guitars today and get his take on it.

I guess my question remains that it seems like a lot of these active pickup systems ... and that would be my preference for convenience's sake instead of having an external preamp, but I would not totally rule out a passive pickup ... have proprietary jacks where the preamp is basically attached to the jack or in some cases (Fishman) look like they're practically the jack itself.

I'm questioning if it's even possible to connect another pickup to one of those jacks, assuming that the acoustic pickup jack would have to replace the existing, stock jack for the magnetic pickup since the acoustic pickup jack carries the preamp. (If that makes sense.)
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Old 06-15-2022, 02:31 PM
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James May James May is offline
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The Ultra Tonic would work perfectly in this situation. I has a spare solder pad for connecting any 2nd passive pickup to the RING connection in the TRS jack.

I personally have this on my beloved Gibson AJ. It has a P90 in the soundhole that I put in, plus an Ultra Tonic. I use an external TRS breakout and an A/B selector to choose between the acoustic sound (Ultra Tonic) and the electric sound (P90).

It's the best of both worlds, and I regularly perform "I Feel Fine" as well.
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Old 06-15-2022, 04:23 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRW94 View Post
I'm gonna run this past the guy who works on my guitars today and get his take on it.

I guess my question remains that it seems like a lot of these active pickup systems ... and that would be my preference for convenience's sake instead of having an external preamp, but I would not totally rule out a passive pickup ... have proprietary jacks where the preamp is basically attached to the jack or in some cases (Fishman) look like they're practically the jack itself.

I'm questioning if it's even possible to connect another pickup to one of those jacks, assuming that the acoustic pickup jack would have to replace the existing, stock jack for the magnetic pickup since the acoustic pickup jack carries the preamp. (If that makes sense.)
If you look at the installation guide for the Fishman power jack it specifically states that a passive magnetic pickup can be wired to one of the pad connections to make the output of that pickup available on the ring connection of a TRS plug inserted into the jack:

"A second source such as a microphone or magnetic soundhole pickup may be added (figure 3).
The output will appear on the ring connection when a tip-ring-sleeve jack is inserted."


https://www.fishman.com/wp-content/u...tall-Guide.pdf
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Old 06-17-2022, 08:13 AM
PRW94 PRW94 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
If you look at the installation guide for the Fishman power jack it specifically states that a passive magnetic pickup can be wired to one of the pad connections to make the output of that pickup available on the ring connection of a TRS plug inserted into the jack:

"A second source such as a microphone or magnetic soundhole pickup may be added (figure 3).
The output will appear on the ring connection when a tip-ring-sleeve jack is inserted."


https://www.fishman.com/wp-content/u...tall-Guide.pdf
But I wouldn't be interested in the Fishman Powerjack, I'd be more interested in the Fishman Infinity pickup system and I don't see where you can do that with it.
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Old 06-17-2022, 08:14 AM
PRW94 PRW94 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James May View Post
The Ultra Tonic would work perfectly in this situation. I has a spare solder pad for connecting any 2nd passive pickup to the RING connection in the TRS jack.

I personally have this on my beloved Gibson AJ. It has a P90 in the soundhole that I put in, plus an Ultra Tonic. I use an external TRS breakout and an A/B selector to choose between the acoustic sound (Ultra Tonic) and the electric sound (P90).

It's the best of both worlds, and I regularly perform "I Feel Fine" as well.
I actually was intrigued by your line of pickups. Would you suggest the regular Ultra Tonic or the one designed for archtops which specifically mentions adding in a magnetic pickup?
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Old 06-17-2022, 08:30 AM
tbirdman tbirdman is offline
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I would wire the pickups to an stereo end jack. Use a short breakout cable to create two mono signals and use which lead of the pickup you want to use.
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  #12  
Old 06-17-2022, 01:28 PM
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James May James May is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRW94 View Post
I actually was intrigued by your line of pickups. Would you suggest the regular Ultra Tonic or the one designed for archtops which specifically mentions adding in a magnetic pickup?
The standard steel string model V3.2-ST is the one you will want. I don't recommend trying to blend the mag with the Ultra Tonic on the guitar.
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