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FiggyPudding18

Newb Question on Removing Pickup from J45

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Hey everyone, seems popular to remove the Baggs VTC from Gibson acoustics.  Is it necessary to replace the saddle or anything else on the guitar after removing the pickup, or is that just personal preference?  Thanks!

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I’ve removed 5 pickups from 5 Gibson’s I haven’t had to do anything . It just made the action a little bit better. Other than that you might want to replace the saddle if you prefer something other than Tusq. I didn’t do anything. That’s just me.

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   I use soundhole pickups, so have dispensed with the undersaddles in every Gibson I've owned over the last few years. I find that unless the action is super slinky-low already, more often than not it simply makes the guitar slightly easier to play. I would strongly advise against shimming a saddle as anything other than a temporary fix, in my experience shims interrupt the resonant connection between saddle and top, and hinder tone and sustain.

I have found that removing a UST pickup is one of the best things you can do for a guitar to improve tone, sustain and depth of soundstage (to use a nerdy audiophile term!). In every guitar I've removed them from its been an improvement, for some (Dove and L-00) a mild upgrade in tone, and for others (J180, SJ200, Maple AJ) a huge quantum leap in volume and response. 

I personally like to install a bone saddle during the process as it is sort of a "finishing touch" that I like to apply, but the stock Tusq unit is more than good enough. Enjoy your upgrade!

If you choose to employ a pickup for gigging in the future, I'd heartily recommend the Sunrise, it's pickup which I was very kindly gifted by a forum member here a few years ago, I installed it in my Maple AJ and have never been more impressed with a pickup in all the 22yrs I've spent earning my crust with a guitar. I now have them fitted in all of my acoustics bar one, and love them. They're a simple magnetic passive soundhole pickup (so need a preamp) but somehow manage to create a tone which is acoustic but bigger and wider, with remarkable player response and feel. Plus, if you get the long wire version, you can fit it for a gig, then remove it quickly and easily and stash it in your case. 

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Had the UST removed from my J-35 last year and haven't regretted it one bit. The guitar just sounds better without it. Feels lighter and more responsive.

Before that, I had replaced the stock (and ill-fitting) Tusq saddle with a Bob Colosi offering and that was a great improvement, too.

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