Ben Morris modifies his Martin guitar for TriplePlay
August 07th, 2020
Here is a really interesting submission from TriplePlay user Ben Morris. I will start with the following disclaimer:
1) In Fishman’s testing, we did not get optimal tracking with acoustic guitars and TriplePlay. So, this is not an approved Fishman pairing. Ben’s suggestions are his own, and are neither tested nor condoned by Fishman. Feel free to try it at your own risk, but your own results and expectations may vary.
2) Additionally, some of the information below involves altering your mounting hardware or your nice acoustic guitar. We haven’t tested these combinations, and if something goes wrong and damages your TriplePlay or your guitar, it isn’t our fault.
3) Finally, as we mention in our FAQ, to get better tracking, I’d add the suggestion to use ferrous (ie magnetically sensitive) strings instead of bronze on your guitar. GHS White Bronze and DR Zebras are two such types of strings.
My own personal comment on the information below, as a luthier, is wondering how well the metal mount is attached using only double stick tape. Doesn’t seem secure enough to me. I might prefer to change to a screw in type endpin that would hold our bracket more securely. And WE LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. Feel free to send any TripleTalk submissions you may have to us through email@example.com with TriplePlay in the subject. But, enough of my disclaimers, onto Ben’s installation and results:
I previously had a Roland GK-3 pickup installed on this guitar, so I was no stranger to installing this type of pickup on an acoustic guitar. By the way, thanks for the string tips too! Currently, I have a set of Elixir NanoWeb strings with the anti-rust coating, and it is tracking like a dream. If things go south, I will try the strings you recommended.
Items needed for the job:
a. 90 end pin bracket
b. Razor blade to modify the 90 end pin bracket
c. Double-Sided Tape (3M extreme mounting tape works well)
d. Plastic controller mount with magnets
e. Pickup Mounting pad (mine was a #2)
f. String spacer tool
Installation on Martin Acoustic Electric:
I prepped the mounting surfaces on the guitar by wiping them with a slightly damp cloth, then a dry cloth.
I installed the pickup mounting pad as close to the bridge as possible, of course using the mini-screwdriver to adjust the hexaphonic pickup height, and checking the string tolerances with the string spacer tool.
Next, I needed to install the 90 end pin bracket. Since the end pin bracket does not reach the end pin on an acoustic guitar, I had to affix my bracket directly to the surfaces of the guitar using double sided tape. The top of my guitar is softwood; therefore the laminate side of the guitar was a better choice on which to use the double sided tape. This required a slight modification to the 90 end pin bracket.
I used a razor blade to remove the protective cork on the side of the 90 end pin bracket that had the slot for the end pin.
Next, I acquired some double sided tape. The 3M Extreme Mounting Tape works well, as it is advertised to hold more than .5 lbs per inch used.
I put double sided tape on the end pin part of the bracket where I removed the protective cork. And, I used the razor to cut the slot out so that the tape is not visible after installation.
I checked to make sure there was enough distance from the 90end pin bracket location to the bridge. In my case, the hexaphonic pickup came with just the right amount of cable. There wasn’t a centimeter to spare!
I peeled the protective coating off the double sided tape, and pressed the 90 end pin bracket to the guitar, making sure to press and hold it in place long enough that the double sided tape had good adhesion.
Once the 90 end pin bracket was in place, I affixed the plastic controller mount (with magnets) to the 90 end pin bracket. Then, all I had to do was slide the hexaphonic pickup into the pickup mounting pad, and stick the TriplePlay transmitter onto the magnetic mounting surface of the 90 end pin bracket.
As you can see, the TriplePlay pickup looks like it was tailor made for my guitar. I played with the unit for hours last night, and it tracks like a dream. Best of all, I can use the TriplePlay sounds along with my onboard guitar pickup (also made by Fishman) to get that rich acoustic sound that I love.