Installing a PUTW #27 Pickup

This short article describes the installation of a Pickup-The World model 27 in an acoustic guitar as it is being built.

As you can see, the area we will install the pickup in is on the bridgeplate below the area where the pins will be. Since this pickup is being installed before the holes are drilled, we want to keep it away from where the holes will be so we don't drill through the film. If the guitar was already built we'd install it a little closer to the pins. This installation will actually be a dual-source system. There will be an Air-Core™ installed under the saddle. The system will be controlled by a Stereo Power Plug™ pre-amp.

The pickup comes nicely packaged in a foam-filled plastic box:

The pickup comes pre-wired to the endpin jack. We will have to de-solder the lead from the jack prior to installation. For the remainder of the building process the lead will be dangling inside the guitar. Once the guitar is completely finished and ready to string up, we will fish out this lead and the one from the Air-Core™, solder them to their respective lugs on the jack, and install the jack.

The instructions have 3 different mounting suggestions (note - these are to be viewed as if the top were transparent and you're looking down at it):

Position 1 is recommended for lightly braced tops. 2 and 3 are for medium and heavily braced tops, respectively. I opted for a slight variation of position 2:

My reasoning for the altered position is that I wanted a little more of the lows to be transmitted by the internal pickup. The more balanced tone will come from the Air Core™ that will be installed under the saddle. I will post pictures of that pickup when I receive it. Additionally, I will update this page with the installation of that pickup, the wiring and final installation of the jack.

A note on the "red tape"
The instructions contain an addendum which tells you to take a piece of the red tape that comes with the pickup and place it over the brass end and up onto the brace (if necessary). This tape takes the place of the latex or silicon caulk that is mentioned in the instructions. The tape goes over the brass piece to hold it down securely. I found the adhesive on the pickup itself to hold the brass down nicely. I added the tape as a precautionary measure.

Another installation note
I spoke with David Enke and he advised me to install the pickup in position #3. I decided that it was too risky - that I might drill through it when drilling the bridge-pin holes. Your mileage may vary, however, but I know myself all too well! Murphy lives in my shop!

There is no doubt in my mind that this system will provide a very well balanced sound from this guitar.