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Lyric Installation Snafu!

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  • Lyric Installation Snafu!

    Has anyone else encountered this problem? Read below.

    I recently purchased the Lyric for my 1970 Martin D-28, it sounds great and I'm very happy with my purchase. I've been playing the guitar for over 50 years (and in my earlier years, professionally), and my Martin for over 40. After reading the installation instructions carefully I decided to do the install myself. My background, besides music, is in (hands on) electronics and computer technology, and the install did not appear to be that complicated, especially considering that the hole for guitar jack had been previously bored out for an earlier internal contact pickup.

    The only problem the installation presented was one that surprised me. When installing the guitar jack/preamp through the tail block, I found that it would not go far enough through to attach the strap ring. I looked at the threaded section carefully and found that it actually screwed into the preamp canister, so I gently unscrewed it as far as it I could without decoupling it. After many failed attempts I finally had to remove the internal flat and star washers that are meant to contact the tail block inside the guitar. This provided me with barely enough room to slip on the external washer, retaining nut, and strap ring.

    After completing the installation I did some research on older Martin guitars of my vintage, and found that many have a reinforcement strip glued onto the tail block (done when manufactured) that increased its already substantial thickness by about 3/8" to 1/2". After positioning my exploratory mirror into the guitar, sure enough mine had such a reinforcement stri

    I would like to suggest that the threaded section be lengthened by a half inch or so, to accommodate such vintage instruments as mine, or any others that have an unusually thick tail block. Other than that snafu, the installation was quite straight forward.

    My only other suggestion, would be to supply a simple jig (I made one myself, out of two small pieces of wood and a little removable adhesive ) that could butt up to the string pegs and help center and distance the mic from the string pegs with ease. The whole thing could even be made out of cardboard. I realize that placement is not critical, but installation time would be cut with such a simple device.

    If Larry and the gang over at L.R. Baggs would like a design idea on how to do this with a simple piece of cardboard, just let me know. I was a Technical Applications Manager for a small technology company for many years.

    Comments welcomed.

  • #2
    Hi Webb,

    Thanks for your comments.

    I don't know if it is for a specific reason but the vast majority of guitars that we hear about having thicker than standard tail blocks happen to be Martin guitars from the late '60s to the late '70s. This is the first time anyone has mentioned a reinforcement strip as the reason the block appears thicker. Previously, we assumed it was just a thicker single piece of wood selected for the tail block.

    We are not aware of a longer-than-standard endpin jack, let alone one that could be used in place of the stock unit supplied with all of our pickup systems. A very similar jack is used by nearly all acoustic pickup makers. I'm sorry to say this situation doesn't come up often enough to warrant designing a longer jack.

    The only way we know of getting around the thick tail block issue is to countersink the hole on the inside surface of the tail block. This is not easy. In fact, not many guitar repairmen or builders have a method in mind or a tool to achieve it. It comes back to how seldom this issue arises.

    It certainly can be done, however, and I would mention it to your favorite local guitar repairperson or luthier. See if they have a method or a suggestion.

    As you acknowledged, microphone placement isn't criticall but I'll relay your suggestion and offer to our engineers.

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