The TruPlug™ System

 
 

Here, I intend to educate customers on what the TruPlug really is and how it works.  It’s really very simple, although having some pictures showing the steps always helps.  First, I’ll detail the removal of the AA Expression System (The 9V is nearly the same), and then go on to show how easy it is to install the TruPlug System. 


The Power Supply:

                                                                           


 

The TruPlug System

The power supply is very simple to remove.  First, remove the battery cap with a quarter.  Just insert a coin in the slot, and turn counter-clockwise.  Next, I use an awl to get under the stick on cover.  It just peels right off, exposing the screws (four for the AA version, and two for the 9V version).  Keep these screws for later.  Once the screws have been removed, you can easily slide the power supply out, and disconnect the ethernet style cable.  Note: On the most up to date 9V version, there is also a small black wire running from a bridge plate ground to the power supply.  This is easily removed by loosening the small screw on the power supply.  The bridge plate ground can then be peeled away as well. 

The Preamp:

All-in-all, it’s a pretty simple operation.  Trust your gut.  If you don’t feel confident doing the work, please do take it to someone you trust, or contact us for more assistance.  No sense in jeopardizing the guitar you’re trying desperately to get to where you want it to be.  Thanks for checking this out!

The preamp takes a little bit more, but is still not all that difficult.  The knobs slide right off of the pot shafts.  Next, the sleeves that tighten the preamp into place from the outside of the guitar must be removed.  This isn’t that easy if you don’t have the right tool.  I custom made a small tool with two teeth to do this.  Be careful here.  Any slip with the wrong tool can put a nasty scratch in the finish.  Once the sleeves are loosened completely, you can easily pull the preamp away from the body edge and lay it down on the inside of the guitar back.  You can now unplug all of the cabling, and remove the preamp. 

Note:  It is also very common to see some finish chipping around the holes for the preamp.  You can see the small area around the holes in the picture above, where the finish has lifted away from the wood.  This is an easy repair for a skilled repair person.  All it takes is wicking some very thin CA glue (super glue) against the interior edge of the hole.  The glue will go right under the lift, and the milky look will go away.  If you haven’t done this before, I highly suggest you take it to a professional.  Below is a picture of the holes after this repair has been done.

Last, we have to remove the remaining top sensor harness, and the humbucking pickup located under the fingerboard extension.  This is really simple, but you still need to be mindful of what you’re doing.  The top sensors are stuck on pretty well with 3M style tape.  Getting them off isn’t easy.  Gently pry to one side, being careful to not put too much pressure on the sound hole edge with your arm.  If you’re not careful, you can crack the top around the edge of the sound hole where the bracing is light.  Carefully pry the top sensors away from the top, and remove the harness.  Next, you can remove the ‘dummy’ coil by doing the same: gently prying it away from the underside of the first lateral brace just under the end of the fingerboard extension.  Discard.  Finally, we

remove the main humbucking coil.  To do this completely, we would need to remove the neck.  Not a big deal here at my shop, but I’m assuming most of you at home would like to stay away from this.  So, you simply cut the wire to the final pickup as close to the underside of the guitar interior as possible.  Discard the wire. 

Now, we’re finally ready to start installing the TruPlug.  The TruPlug, although very simple, does several major things simultaneously.  First, and most obviously, it covers the otherwise ugly holes left from removing the ExpSys.  Second, it stops the loss of sound and energy if the holes were to remain open.  And third, it makes a potentially long-time frustrated Taylor player happy with their guitar again.  All good things.

The TruPlug parts are machined from high grade, airplane quality aluminum, then coated with a black anodized coating.  The fit is perfect, and both parts look great when installed.   For now, both of the parts are shipping with the proper 3M, laser cut tape already applied.  This stuff is REALLY sticky, so I figured I’d remove that step for the customer!  It’s extremely simple.  We’ll start with the preamp:  This part is referred to as the TriPlug.  Just peel back the top layer on the tape, and gently (but firmly) push the plugs into place.  Done.  Next comes the end plug.  Simply peel back the film on the tape, carefully install the jack to the new pickup going in, push the plug into place, and using the existing screws left over from the ExpSys, screw it down.  With the screws and the tape, you have

extra insurance where the guitar is supported by your strap.  Now, you’re all set to install the rest of the pickup of choice.

The Rest: