Taylor Expression System 2 Upgrade
Introducing The Taylor ES2
“The Taylor Expression System® 2 (ES2) pickup design is the latest in Taylor’s ongoing innovation in acoustic guitar amplification. The heart of the Expression System 2 is Taylor’s patented behind-the-saddle pickup, which features three uniquely positioned and individually calibrated pickup sensors.
Like the original Expression System, the ES2 features the same volume and tone control knobs. The preamp is similar but with a slightly different gain structure. As a result it will be about 25 percent hotter, which is more in line with other pickups. This makes it plug-and-play friendly both for artists and live sound mixers. The system also has a battery indicator light on the preamp and an internal phase switch.
Are Piezo Under Saddle Pickups Outdated Technology?
For decades, piezo-electric transducers have been positioned under the saddle of a guitar. Critics of traditional under-saddle pickups characterize their sound as thin, brittle, brash or synthetic, especially with more aggressive playing. Furthermore, many people feel that placing a pickup between the saddle and the guitar top can have a negative impact on the acoustic sound of the instrument too. In response, Taylor guitars relocated the crystals from under the saddle to behind it. The new positioning enables the crystals to respond more naturally to the guitar’s energy as it is transferred through the saddle. Three pickup sensors are installed behind the saddle, through the bridge, with three tiny Allen screws that calibrate the position of the sensors in relation to the saddle.
Taylor ES2 Retrofit Requirements
The Taylor ES2 upgrade is available for Taylor guitars that have either a AA battery box or 9 volt battery box installed already. This includes Taylor guitars that were factory equipped with earlier versions of the expression system such as the ES1 or ES-T. If your guitar does not fit this description, please checkout our article on the K&K Pure Mini to learn about another excellent pickup system that might be better suited to your instrument.
ES2 Upgrade Cost
Guitar Repair Long Island is proud to be the areas leading factory authorized service center for Taylor Guitars. Because of this special relationship, we are honored to be the only shop in the Long Island, NYC, Brooklyn, or Queens area that is able to offer this retrofit in house. You get the same quality of installation, at a fair price, without the added expense, risk, or wait time of shipping your guitar to Taylor.
ES2 Retrofit Installation
Before installation of the new ES2 system can begin, the original electronics must be removed from the guitar. We will also remove the saddle and place a piece of tape on the bridge plate inside of the guitar help prevent any wood from tearing out as we drill. Once the jig is secured in place and leveled, we will begin carefully drilling through the top of the bridge in order to create the three openings for the ES2 pickup.
Once the holes have been drilled, we remove the jig and gently clean the debris from the top of the instrument and saddle slot. We also clean the inside of the guitar and gently remove the masking tape under the pin plate and clean any debris left behind. Now we are ready to install the new electronics.
To install the electronics, we first inspect the pickup to make sure the elements are not exposed, before gentle sliding the pickup into position from inside the guitar. Once the pickup is in position, we will install the new battery box before connecting the wires from the box and pickup to the preamp. With that completed, we mount the preamp inside the guitar and secure it with threaded bushings. To wrap up installation, we secure the wires inside the guitar to clips to keep them out of sight and prevent them from rattling against the body of the instrument. With the pickup properly installed, it is a perfect time to preform a setup on the instrument to ensure it is playing its best.
If you liked this article, you might also enjoy our article on Taylor NT neck resets.
About Guitar Repair Long Island:
Guitar Repair Long Island is the area’s premier destination for fretted musical instrument care and maintenance. We fix all fretted instruments, including: guitars, basses, banjos, mandolins, and ukuleles. Conveniently located in Ronkonkoma NY, the shop is dedicated to providing quick, honest, and reliable service. Our vast experience in all aspects of instrument repair ensures that we can help with whatever your needs are. Contact us or book your appointment today