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  #1  
Old 05-26-2020, 04:28 PM
lowrider lowrider is offline
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Default Improved my Sonotone

A lot;



When I got my Road Series, I didn't have an amp and there was so much disdain, not just dislike for the Fishman Sonotone, that I just pulled the whole thing out.

Then I got an Loudbox Mini and put a JJB pickup in the guitar and everything was good. I also had a MartinX with a Sonotone. I had taken the UST out and taped it inside the guitar. I put it in and it was pretty harsh so, rather than mess with the saddle height again, I taped it inside again. I planned to get another JJB

Then someone here posted about adding a generic Aura UST to another pickup. I ordered one from Ebay to try replacing the Sonotone UST. I had nothing to lose, it was coming out anyway.

I slipped the new pickup in place, cut the wires on the Sonotone and soldered the new pickup wires to them and it works like a dream.

I played both guitars today; back to back to back. And to me after about an hour, it sounds a little different but just as good.

Success! I just wanted to try it and it works just fine!
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Old 05-28-2020, 04:09 AM
lowrider lowrider is offline
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Yup, I played it again yesterday for about 2 1/2 hours. I got the settings just right. The tone control on the guitar doesn't really do much. I just left it in the middle. But I got the guitar volume, amp gain and volume set and it sounds full and deep and like a loud acoustic.

This is a really easy fix for a Sonotone pickup and probably any guitar with that same soft braided UST.
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Old 04-12-2021, 01:28 PM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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Could you explain a little more in detail about what you did? I have a Martin Road series with the MXT (sonitone) and want to replace it badly. You got some generic Aura UST? What exactly is that and where can I get it from? So you left the preamp for the Sonitone alone and only replaced the undersaddle part? You just cut the wires and resoldered them? Did it really improve the overall sound that much?
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Old 04-12-2021, 01:56 PM
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Chriscom Chriscom is offline
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Sounds tantalizing but I, too, am a little confused. Are you saying you replaced the Sonitone pickup with a "generic Aura UST" pickup then cut the old wires and connected the soundhole control wires to that new UST?

I'm definitely interested since I've expressed probably too much disdain about my gig Martin's Sonitone, to the point where I should have changed my handle to Dreaded Sonitone.
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Last edited by Chriscom; 04-12-2021 at 03:03 PM. Reason: fixed quote
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Old 04-12-2021, 02:26 PM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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let's hope he explains Chris...I'm really interested. To me, it sound like he just replaced the undersaddle part and wired it into the existing Sonitone preamp. But I could be wrong. Normally I just replace these for gigging guitars with a Baggs Anthem SL because they are so easy to install yourself, but I have a new Martin with the MXT system and I'm not sure about this one and how it's laid out.


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Originally Posted by Chriscom View Post
Sounds tantalizing but I, too, am a little confused. Are you saying you replaced the Sonitone pickup with a "generic Martin" pickup then cut the old wires and connected the soundhole control wires to that new UST?

I'm definitely interested since I've expressed probably too much disdain about my gig Martin's Sonitone, to the point where I should have changed my handle to Dreaded Sonitone.
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Old 04-12-2021, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackB1 View Post
let's hope he explains Chris...I'm really interested. To me, it sound like he just replaced the undersaddle part and wired it into the existing Sonitone preamp. But I could be wrong. Normally I just replace these for gigging guitars with a Baggs Anthem SL because they are so easy to install yourself, but I have a new Martin with the MXT system and I'm not sure about this one and how it's laid out.
Me too, and I appreciate the info from lowrider and any additional info when he has the time. I also edited my sloppy quote, he said "generic Aura UST" not "generic Martin", my mistake, apologies.
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Old 04-12-2021, 03:33 PM
lowrider lowrider is offline
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There's not much more to explain. I searched on Ebay, for Aura UST. I made the mistake of ordering it from a China source so it took forever to get here. You can also look on Amazon. I think they have them also.

It works better both acoustically and plugged in because it's solid not a braided wire like the Sonocore. I have a JJB in my Road Series and I just sold the MartinX. The Road Series sounds better but it's a better guitar. Replacing the UST was much easier than removing the whole pickup and installing the JJB. I cut the wires and soldered them back together. If you pulled the Sonotone pre-amp out, you could de-solder and solder the new UST in but my way was easier.

I cost less than 20 bucks and it took about a half-hour. It was a nice improvement. The girl I sold the MartinX to, loved the acoustic tone, and so far she hasn't called me up complaining about it plugged in so I think it was a nice improvement all around.
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Old 04-12-2021, 03:57 PM
lowrider lowrider is offline
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I just looked on Amazon. Take your pick;

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Aura+unde...ref=nb_sb_noss
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Old 04-12-2021, 04:00 PM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowrider View Post
I just looked on Amazon. Take your pick;

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Aura+unde...ref=nb_sb_noss
I think the confusion comes from ďAura USTĒ. Never heard of one of those before. It sounds like a cheap Chinese knockoff thatís trying to get potential buyers by making them think itís the same as the Fishman aura systems. Makes sense that you noticed some improvement from a braided to hard UST but I wouldnít think it would be a huge difference.
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Old 04-12-2021, 05:09 PM
lowrider lowrider is offline
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I used that term because thatís what the poster in the original thread called it but I really liked the change.
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Old 04-12-2021, 06:13 PM
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This is something I am very interested in too. I emailed Fishman over the weekend asking if you could wire a Matrix or AG125 to the Sonicore preamp and am waiting for a response....
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Old 04-12-2021, 06:32 PM
MrErikJ MrErikJ is offline
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The OP is mistakenly referring to a Fishman Matrix as an Aura. The Fishman Aura is their modeling preamp technology, not a pickup. Their flagship under saddle piezo is the Matrix, which is used to create the models in the Aura system and you can buy stand-alone Matrix pickups and knock-offs on Amazon all day.
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Old 04-14-2021, 10:30 AM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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Anyone try adding a strip of something hard below the under saddle piece (like a shim)? I heard a thin strip cut off a credit card works well for this. Does this improve the sound of a Sonitone?
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  #14  
Old 04-14-2021, 10:58 AM
lowrider lowrider is offline
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I think you got it wrong. If you remove the UST, you can make a shim to bring your saddle back up to height with a strip or two cut off of an old credit card.
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Old 04-14-2021, 11:24 AM
jricc jricc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackB1 View Post
Anyone try adding a strip of something hard below the under saddle piece (like a shim)? I heard a thin strip cut off a credit card works well for this. Does this improve the sound of a Sonitone?
Jack, I have heard of people doing this. I'm not sure about it working with the Sonitone "braid". However, I'd also like to hear from anyone who may have tried this.

On a side note, today I was in touch with Fishman about just replacing the Sonitone pickup element and wiring a Matrix to the Sonitone preamp and battery box. He said they are compatible and is doable.

jricc
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