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Can Electronics – Pickup, Built-In Microphone, Controls, Tuner – be fitted retrospectively to a Classical Guitar, and What is Involved?

Really the title of this article is asking a naive question: electronics are (almost) always fitted after the guitar is finished.

So what’s involved?

Typically the electronics consists of several parts which are fitted as follows –

  • A thin pick up which fits under the saddle: to fit this the strings are removed, the saddle is taken out, a very small hole is drilled in the saddle slot through the bridge and the soundboard (taking care to avoid any struts underneath!)
  • A controller box and battery holder (which in better models has a condensor microphone attached on the inside) : To fit this a rectangular piece (about 8cms x 6cms) is cut out of one side of the guitar and the controller slotted in and tightened up so that the hole is air-tight.
  • A socket which doubles as a strap post. To fit this a hole has to be drilled through the base of the guitar
  • To complete the job the 3 parts are wired together and the cables tied together to stop them rattling or buzzing inside the body
end-pin-jack-socket-to-connect-guitar-pickup-to-amp
end-pin-jack-socket-to-connect-guitar-pickup-to-amp

The whole process is best done by the original maker but is not a complex job for any competent luthier or even for the guitar’s owner if he or she is experienced in fine woodworking and a reasonable toolkit.

pre-amp-and-controls-fitted-to-side-of-classical-guitar
pre-amp-and-controls-fitted-to-side-of-classical-guitar