Installing JJB 220 pickup on Cort Earth Mini

Installed the JJB 220 pickup on a Cort Earth Mini last month.

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The Cort Earth is the brand’s answer to uber popular travel guitars such as Baby Taylor and Little Martin. This one’s got the usual solid spruce top/laminated mahogany body construction.

The owner had taken time to install a bone saddle and some new gold hardware to the guitar prior to the pickup installation, and I must say that he did some great job.

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One thing to note is that this model (2012 made) has a very pronounced V shaped neck. Guitarbear cannot remember if any baby guitars from any brand that come with such a neck profile. All others seem to have that usual C profile.

On to the project…

Installing the end-jack

We got to drill a 12mm hole. The Cort has a really thick end block.

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Carefully sand the rough edges for easier end-jack installation. I use a copper wire to help “fish out” the end-jack into position.

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Okay, we got the end-jack nicely screwed on.

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Mounting the transducers

Make a jig from some cardboard. Cereal boxes are really good for this purpose. Trace out the saddle line and poke through the bridge pin holes.

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Mark “x” on the spaces between E/A and B/e strings. Then use two bridge pins as anchors for easy mounting.

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In the photo above, you’d see that the bridge pins are now poked in on the reverse and now we have a useful jig to help. I use BluTack to set the transducers on the desired positions marked earlier. At this point, it’s a good idea to clean the contacts using Zippo fluid.

Carefully apply some gel super glue and mount the transducers through the sound hole. It’s important that you do plenty of dry runs so that you get a good sensing of how best to mount the entire jig. The end result should look like this.

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(photo from previous installation)

Let the glue set while we work on some guitar TLC.

Bearclaw Special

Lemon oil and 0000 steel wool for that fretboard massage.

Before: Dry and dirty

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After: Cleaned and nourished

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Pencil lead on nut slots and saddle crown, and final clean up on the satin body of the guitar before restringing and tune up.

Soundcheck went great, and Scotty was happy to pose with it.

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