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NJ Tom

Help removing electronics from a J-15

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I recently acquired a used  J-15.  The factory electronics were removed and replaced with a Trance Amulet stereo pick-up system.
 
I don't play plugged, never will.  From what I can see there's a tangle of wires and a pre-amp, no doubt adding unnecessary weight and possibly affecting sound, not to mention the annoying rattling of loose cables inside. 
 
I can't locate installation instructions on-line.  Does anyone have instructions so I can reverse engineer the electronics? 
 
Thanks in advance.
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When I got my 2008 J-50, first thing I did was have a luthier remove the under-saddle pickup and do a proper setup. Best money I ever spent! 😁

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3 hours ago, dhanners623 said:

Does this page have what you need?

http://www.tranceaudio.com/manuals.html

Had the pickup removed from my J-35 last summer. Sounds better without it....

Yes it does.  Thank you.  I'll have to get a deep 9/16" socket to remove the jack nut on the inside maybe a long hex wrench to install a replacement end pin and plug but it'll be less expensive than outsourcing the job.  Might have to hire one of the neighborhood kids to get their tiny hands through the sound hole, but I'll try it first.  Hope I can hear and feel the difference afterwards.

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Good for you… don’t underestimate the psychological factor – you’ll feel good just knowing all that “stuff“ is not clinging to the underside of the bridge plate, wires lacerating the sound while in there. Luckily, it does not look like that system has an under saddle transducer- when people remove a UST ribbon from under the saddle,  string action height could be reduced by .030”. 

StewMac sells some oversized end pins if/when you feel like plugging up the hole in the tail. 

Edited by 62burst

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Please take care in removing the Amulet system...it's a fabulous pickup and valuable to the right player. Definitely worth removing if you don't play plugged in, though. If you decide to sell it, please let me know!

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The more I think about it, un-installing a pickup -- especially one as sophisticated as an Amulet -- is a job  for a competent repair person, not a neighborhood kid with small arms.

Even when I had my relatively simple Baggs Element removed from my J-35, I had it done at St. Paul Guitar Repair in St. Paul because I felt it was a job for a pro. And it turns out it was because Gibson saw fit to glue the tone & volume control to the inside of the soundhole instead of using double-side tape. I probably would've broken something trying to figure out why the double-sided tape wasn't coming loose.

Edited by dhanners623
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2 hours ago, dhanners623 said:

The more I think about it, un-installing a pickup -- especially one as sophisticated as an Amulet -- is a job  for a competent repair person, not a neighborhood kid with small arms.

Even when I had my relatively simple Baggs Element removed from my J-35, I had it done at St. Paul Guitar Repair in St. Paul because I felt it was a job for a pro. And it turns out it was because Gibson saw fit to glue the tone & volume control to the inside of the soundhole instead of using double-side tape. I probably would've broken something trying to figure out why the double-sided tape wasn't coming loose.

Didn't mean to suggest that I'd let a young kid do the whole job....just to help remove the inside jack nut way down deep in body.  It looks like I can reach everything else.  The pre-amp, for instance, is Velcro'd.  

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15 hours ago, Salfromchatham said:

I have na oversized pin I’ll be happy to ship to you free .  Email me...

 

Thanks Sal.  I much appreciate the offer.  However I got an end pin plug from Stew Mac like the one described in this post.  Just got to find a long enough hex wrench that'll fit the inside screw.

 

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I took the battery out when purchased and nothing else, then I forgot about it...

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20 minutes ago, jvi said:

I took the battery out when purchased and nothing else, then I forgot about it...

If this J-15 still had the factory set-up I'd probably have left it alone.  But the Trace Amulet system has a lot of stuff and it's a distraction, especially the little bit of weight that makes the guitar seem bottom heavy.  My D-18 is as light as a feather, the J-15 not so much.  Walnut might account for some of that though.  But I'm really liking this Gibson enough to go through all this trouble.  It's a nice guitar.

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This video shows the trick for allowing a deep 9/16" socket to get the internal jam nut:

 

 

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If the hole has been made bigger where the plug goes in. Stew Mac makes a product called Nojack that goes in the hole and accepts the standard size shove in kind strap button. I ripped the electronics out a guitar and it worked like a charm.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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On 2/7/2020 at 11:58 AM, NJ Tom said:
I recently acquired a used  J-15.  The factory electronics were removed and replaced with a Trance Amulet stereo pick-up system.
 
I don't play plugged, never will.  From what I can see there's a tangle of wires and a pre-amp, no doubt adding unnecessary weight and possibly affecting sound, not to mention the annoying rattling of loose cables inside. 
 
I can't locate installation instructions on-line.  Does anyone have instructions so I can reverse engineer the electronics? 
 
Thanks in advance.

 

Took a shot at uninstalling the Trance Amulet electronics from the J-15....much easier than I anticipated.  I also installed the Stew Mac end-pin and plug for the jack hole.  I had to modify the shaft of the plastic end pin with a coarse file (no other tools were required for the  job)) so it'd fit flush against the body once the grommet plug was inserted, and didn't need to use the screw on the inside of the plug.  It fits very snugly, no worries about it pulling out when a strap is attached,  but the metal jack left a bit of a raccoon eye in the finish.  I can live with it.   Modifying the end pin and continual test fitting actually took longer than removing the electronic guts.  

Quite a noticeable difference in weight,  no longer bottom heavy and almost as light now as my D-18.   No doubt a difference in sound too, or at least I think so.  Seems brighter, not as warm as it was before taking out the electronics.  But it could be my imagination .

Thanks for the reference links....it was a huge help.

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Glad it worked out. And, yeah, I know my J-35 sounds better with the pickup gone, so your J-15 may, too. For one thing, it is just lighter, and lightness has been a consistent quality of every great guitar I've ever played.

In the case of my J-35, having the bone saddle in direct contact with the wood of the bridge was an improvement, too.

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9 minutes ago, dhanners623 said:

In the case of my J-35, having the bone saddle in direct contact with the wood of the bridge was an improvement, too.

I didn't have that issue.....pickups were glued inside the guitar under the bridge.   I really can't tell though if the compensated saddle is original or bone, but it does have a thin shim glued to it.  Perhaps down the road I'll have a luthier determine that, and if it's Tusq (I think that's the original material) maybe have a new one made, perhaps a bone nut too.

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Nice. Acoustics need to stay acoustic. I understand if you are a gigging musician and need it. 

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8 hours ago, NJ Tom said:

I didn't have that issue.....pickups were glued inside the guitar under the bridge.   I really can't tell though if the compensated saddle is original or bone, but it does have a thin shim glued to it.  Perhaps down the road I'll have a luthier determine that, and if it's Tusq (I think that's the original material) maybe have a new one made, perhaps a bone nut too.

Check out Bob Colosi's offerings. I had one of his saddles installed in the J-35. Money well spent.

http://www.guitarsaddles.com/gen_info.asp

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