Yamaha DW-5S bone saddle & JJB 330 pickup installation

Worked on this old Yamaha a couple of months back.

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Owner wanted to put in a bone saddle and install the JJB 330 passive pickup for his vintage piece. The DW-5S is a 90’s model which was made in Taiwan. It has a pretty standard solid spruce top with laminate rosewood body.

Let’s work on the pickup installation first.

Preparing the hole for end-jack

We gotta drill a 12mm hole for the generic end-jack. Remember to use tape to prevent chips and cracks.

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These days I drill a smaller pilot hole first, then work upwards from  3-6-10 and finally 12mm. It’s faster and safer this way than using a step bit.

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Some sanding to do especially on the inside because there could be splinters. I use a small file for this purpose.

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Okay, we got the end-jack nicely done. The dust and all can be cleaned up later.

Mounting the transducers

It’s time to get some cardboard to make a jig.

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I marked out the spots along the saddle line where the transducers will be with X. This gives a very clear idea of where the correct placements should be – between E/A, between D/G, and between B/e (but slightly closer to e).

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Reverse the anchoring bridge pins and use some blu-tak to stick on the transducers. Now we have a really useful jig for mounting them. Do many dry runs to ensure you get a good sensing of where to place your hand. You’ll mess things up if you miss or drop those anchoring bridge pins. Finally, apply gel superglue on the shiny sides of the transducers and stick them in.

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It’s all good when you see this. This means everything is nicely in place. I still prefer to hold the entire assembly in position for a minute or so as the glue dries.

Fitting a new bone saddle

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The guitar came with a badly fitted saddle. It was too short and could moved along the slot. No worries, Guitarbear can adjust a bone saddle to fit properly. It’s important to mark out the string positions in order to get a good fret radius.

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OK, we have a nice smooth bone saddle installed. Fresh Elixirs installed as well.

Bearclaw Special

Time to pamper the guitar with some TLC. Fretboard and bridge to get some lemon oil and Ax Wax. Edward was assistant today.

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Gave the guitar a good clean and polish after the soundcheck. IMG_7464

Some parts of the finish have become cloudy but that’s the way it is with some older guitars if you didn’t do due maintenance.

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Scotty was happy to pose with the old guy. 🙂

 

 

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New Cort Earth 50

Cort has introduced a 7/8 sized dreadnought in their popular Earth series.

Earth50

Comes with a solid spruce top and laminated mahogany body. The main attractions here are undoubtedly the smaller size and shorter scale (24.75″).

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With its matte finish and and non-bound top, this actually looks like a smaller version of the Earth Grand OP.

It’s obvious that the Earth 50 is out to compete with guitars such as the Martin DJR and Taylor’s GS Mini and Big Baby. But we can expect a more pocket-friendly price for the Cort. 🙂

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*photos from Cort