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Author Topic: Baggs Ibeam Active Install Questions  (Read 689 times)
Alpione
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« on: December 28, 2007, 05:49:22 PM »

Hey folks...

Thinking of taking the plunge and installing the Ibeam Active myself in my L-03R. Anyone have experience installing this pickup? I'm a little apprehensive about it, considering the need for drilling.

How difficult is the overall installation? I don't suppose I can really damage anything unless I somehow screw up the drilling?

Does the current endpin just pop off, or will it need some special handling? 

Any suggestions on placement of the volume control and battery bag?

Any suggestions on placement of the Ibeam itself for best performance? Best way to test the performance?

Any other hints would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks..

Adam
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drathbun
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2007, 09:50:36 PM »

Hey folks...

Thinking of taking the plunge and installing the Ibeam Active myself in my L-03R. Anyone have experience installing this pickup? I'm a little apprehensive about it, considering the need for drilling.

How difficult is the overall installation? I don't suppose I can really damage anything unless I somehow screw up the drilling?

Does the current endpin just pop off, or will it need some special handling? 

Any suggestions on placement of the volume control and battery bag?

Any suggestions on placement of the Ibeam itself for best performance? Best way to test the performance?

Any other hints would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks..

Adam

I've installed iBeam actives in four different guitars (L03, L05, L03/12, Yamaha FG720-12).

Each time was a cinch!

Is your L03R a new one? I believe the new Larrivees already have a hole drilled for an endpin jack. If not, you'll need to be confident with drilling a hole through your tail block.

If you are drilling, use a Forstner bit. It is worth the extra money to go pick up this bit. Otherwise, you'd be better off using a reamer to make the hole necessary for the endpin jack of the iBeam.

Put masking tape over the area you are drilling, so it makes a nice clean cut through the finish. Gloss finishes chip easier than the 03 satin finish but might as well be careful.

I feed the preamp/endpin into the hole by inserting the Larrivee truss rod wrench handle through the hole and sliding the endpin jack on to it inside the guitar. This gives you more extension and by pushing with your fingertips inside the guitar and guiding with the wrench from the outside, it slips into the hole nicely. You have to do this a few times anyway to get the lock nuts positioned correctly for the thickness of the tail block/rosewood side. When you have the nut set right, slide the endpin through the hole and put a small nail through the hole in the jack to keep it from falling back inside while you work on the rest of the installation (or just put the outside washer and nut on at this point).

Use a small hand mirror to check the underside of the bridgeplate to ensure it is clean and clear of glue. The appliance for installation works like a charm. Use very light pressure to attach the iBeam to the underside of the bridgeplate to start. Use a brand new quality 9v battery. Hook it up and play. Check the volume of each string. If you find the volume falls off on any string, you can reach inside and pull the iBeam off and try again. The installation manual has suggestions for placement.

If you remove the strings from the bridge side, leaving them attached to the tuners (use an overhand loop to secure all six strings together up near the headstock), you can put them back in, tune up and check, take them out again and repeat, a lot faster than completely removing them.

Once you have the iBeam set where you like it, reach in and press firmly along the length of the pickup to set in place. Even after a few months of playing, if you want to change it, LRBaggs supplies the iBeam with additional double sided tape pieces so you can remove it and try again. Just scrape the tacky film off the bridge plate by rolling it down to one end. The same with the pickup side if there is residue there - but be careful, the pickup is sensitive.

I love my iBeams... warm acoustic sound with no quacky piezo harshness.
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Alpione
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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2007, 10:12:14 PM »

Excellent.  Thanks so much for the detailed information.

My L-03R IS a new one and you're right, I discovered that the stock endpin can be removed with a regular allen wrench.  Step 1 - complete!  :-)  Makes me feel much better without drilling.

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to wait to do the actual installation.  My wife's (very generous) uncle gave me a $250 gift certificate to Guitar Center and none in the entire state of Georgia has the Ibeam Active.  Figures.  And it's backordered until 1/3 onlne.  Oh well - "free" is definitely worth a week or two of waiting. 

Also just got a new bone saddle from Colosi that I'm going to sand down and try tonight.

Adam
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