Did a JJB330 installation last week on the Big Baby.
This guitar previously had an LR Baggs Element system in it but the owner wanted something that requires no batteries, so the passive JJB system seems the right choice. Here’s a well-used guitar that has really opened up. Plenty of marks on the top that kinda adds character.
Mounting the end jack.
Since the guitar already had a 12mm hole drilled due to the previous pickup, we can go straight to work without bringing out the drill.
I use a copper wire to enter through the base and exit the soundhole.
Here I attach the end jack of the JJB 330.
Pull out through the base again.
Okay, we got the end jack screwed in nicely.
Mounting the transducers
Let’s make a jig from the good ol’ cereal box.
Trace out the saddle line and punch through the bridge pin holes. Mark X on the spots the transducers are mounted. Note that one marking is a bit nearer to the high E to accentuate the thinnest string.
Use some blu-tak to mount the transducers on the jig. It’s a good idea to clean the shiny contact surfaces with Zippo fluid at this time.
Do many dry runs to ensure you get a good sensing of how the jig would fit before applying the glue. Once you’re confident, apply gel superglue on the shiny surfaces and stick it in!
When you see this, you know that everything is in the right place. No mirrors needed.
Hold the jog in place for a few minutes while the glue dries.
It’s time to pamper the guitar. Let’s start with the fretboard and bridge.
Steel wool and Ax Wax to the party.
Bob was assistant today.
Pencil lead on nut slots and saddle crown.
I also took time to tighten some of the tuner buttons. I actually find the Taylor stock tuners quite well-made.
Fresh Elixirs, what else?
Guitar was ready to go on stage. 🙂
Cookie came out to pose.
The Big Baby is a fun guitar that can fill the gap between a full-sized dreadnought and a Baby Taylor/Little Martin genre. It’s main strength is the full 25.5″ scale. Some players may find the extremely cramped 22.5″ too uncomfy and the Big Baby fits the bill perfectly here.
In the tone department, don’t expect this to sound as full as a 110e. But hey, it still has decent bass and does have the dreadnought sound to it. I’d say it’s a better strummer than an OM or 000 type.
If you really need the smaller bodyshape, this is actually a good idea.
See some pictures for comparison with a regular dread. Here you see that it is just a bit shorter in terms of overall length.
The BBT is also shallower. However, the bowl back creates more volume and bass than you’d expect.
Perhaps the only thing going against the BBT is the $599 retail price here in SG. In today’s market, many full solid guitars (albeit China made) can be had for $699 onwards if one were to look beyond the brand name.
With the introduction of the Academy Series in 2017, one wonders if the Big Baby will be discontinued.