Installing JJB 330 on Taylor 714ce

Did an installation on this older Taylor guitar last month.


This 714ce has various features that are very different from current guitars. It has dot inlays and the ancient ES System that uses AA batteries.


The ES System has failed and owner wanted to have a passive pickup which doesn’t require any batteries. Of course the JJB 330 is a good choice. There are some opinions on such passive pickups but I reckon they sound very natural and great when paired with a DI/EQ.

Removing the ES System


The first hurdle would be deciding what to to do with the existing ES System. There is no way the current end block can be used to install the new end-jack, and drilling a separate hole would be nothing short of a disaster cosmetically.

So, we had to purchase a set of ES Plug. This thing costs US$35 but the shipping was about US$46 (ouch!!). Full marks to the guys from Stratosphere Part who shipped this to SG in record three days.


We”ll see why these two pieces of wood are so important later. Now, we need to remove the ES System.


After unscrewing the end-jack and removing the battery cover, gently pull the plastic frame which is attached via double tape. Yes, this thing was fixed at the factory using double tape.


The four screws holding the end block are now visible so we gotta remove those.


The entire end block will slide out nicely after the screws are removed. Bear in mind that the RJ19-looking connector can be disconnected, so DO NOT cut anything here.


WHOAA!!! We got a huge gaping hole in the guitar now.


So that’s where the Plug comes in. You need to replace the end block and also provide the screw holes and a 12mm hole for the new end-jack which could be of any pickup you like.


Lousy photo showing the body sensor mounted under the guitar top. Simply pull and wiggle gently for it to come off. They come off fairly easily.


Next, we gotta remove these knobs which are also linked to the preamp unit. Pop off the rubber knobs (just pull them off).


These collars must be unscrewed and NOT pulled out. They are screwed in, so if you try to yank them out with pliers, good luck. Upon unscrewing the collars, the entire preamp assembly can be removed from the inside. Here we need to disconnect some cables as well.


At this point, Guitarbear reckons those three little holes make a nice soundport. But owner thinks it’s better to just use the plug to fill them up. There are also two loose cables coming from the neck pickup sensor that needed to be anchored.

A look at all the ES components are were removed.


Absolutely no cutting of wires in such projects. You either remove cleanly or you tape them down. No butchering allowed in Guitarbear’s work ethics.


I used thick foam double tape for mounting the plugs.


This is how it looks with the holes plugged.

Installing JJB 330 pickup. 

We start with installing the end-jack. There is no drilling required as the plug already has those holes drilled out nicely.


Insert the sensors from the end. (Staged photo here, I’m very much right-handed)


Screw in the end plate.


Mounting the sensors

Use some old cardboard to prepare the mounting jig.


Mark the spots where the sensors will be. After many dry runs, use gel superglue to mount them.

A detailed post on this can be read here:


Once the anchors are in place, we know for sure the sensors are also in place.

Bearclaw Special

Gave the guitar a good clean and polish. This is a player’s guitar so there’s quite a bit of “mojo” to clean up.

Scotty helped with oiling the fretboard.


Restrung with fresh Elixirs and guitar was good to go. It weighs much lighter now that the ES components are removed.

Edward and Clover posed for this.


A look at the rosewood back.


Owner was happy to do away with all the hassles of the previous pickup.


Seymour Duncans at 35 Guitar Ave

The good people from 35 Guitar Ave are running an SD pickup promotion so better make a rush for it if you’re looking to get some good deals.


Prices are really good – SSL for $65, Jazz/JB/Distortion for $85 – including installation. These are insanely good prices. Thank you 35GA!


*photo from 35 Guitar Ave FB Page

*prices accurate at time of blog entry

PRS Custom 24-08

Touted as a combination of a Custom 24 and a 408, the new 24-08 is a versatile guitar with eight pickup combinations.


With the help of two mini toggles and a 3-way switch blade, there’s a wide variety of tone coming from this guitar.


You get to choose from 18 colours and most of them show off the figured maple top really well. Just beautiful guitars from PRS.


Read more:

*photos from PRS


PRS SE 2018

PRS has announced the new 2018 SE lineup.


A host of premium features such as fretboard binding and exotic veneers are introduced as PRS continue to elevate the quality of their SE line. Here’s a look at some interesting additions.

SE Standard 24 Multi-foil


Striking colours on this one. The interesting finish goes all around the guitar so we have a matching headstock, neck and back.




One for the 7-stringers. Has a 26.5″ scale and two finishes (Black Cherry and Grey Black) to choose from.

SE Custom 24 Exotic Veneers


Following the exotic veneer series launched in Europe this year, these two beauties join the standard production range.

se_custom_24_spalted_maple_2018_straight1SE Custom 24 Spalted Maple above


SE Custom 24 Zebrawood above

Both spalted maple and zebrawood are really pretty to look at and look right at home even among the higher-end PRS models. Well done!

Read more at PRS:

*beautiful photos from PRS