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Want to see exactly what we do when we install your pickup?
Gryphon's Mike Gold installs
The Fishman Matrix Pickup
© Frank Ford, 3/29/98; Photos by FF, 3/12/98
Nearly the standard of the industry, the Fishman Matrix is the most popular guitar pickup at Gryphon. It is the pickup of choice for the Taylor Guitar Company, and of C. F. Martin Guitar Company. (Martin calls it the Martin Thinline Gold Plus.)
This pickup combines good output, a natural acoustic tone, reasonable price and the lowest feedback of the best known pickup styles. It's the natural choice for the casual user and is equally popular among professionals.
The sensing unit is a small foil covered flexible strip that sits within the bridge right beneath the saddle. A tiny wire drops down through a hole in the bridge and connects to the preamp which is affixed to the inside of the endpin jack at the end of the guitar. Another wire connects the battery clip which is attached to the neck block on the inside of the guitar. About once a year, you just reach in, pull out the battery and clip on a new one.
To keep intrusive surgery to a minimum, there are no onboard controls. You can get an outboard volume and tone control unit, or you can use the controls on your amplifier or PA board.
Vintage style Martin and other guitars may have a "through-cut" saddle that presents a particular difficulty for pickup installation. Here's how we deal with that problem.
Because the pickup will effectively raise the saddle, Mike needs to remove exactly the same thickness of material off the bottom of the saddle. He sets his dividers using the pickup itself as a gauge, then marks the bottom of the saddle:
See, he's got a very nice mark to guide his work:
He'll carefully file the saddle right to the line, and then make sure that the bottom is absolutely flat by sanding it on a flat marble plate:
It's necessary that the saddle and the slot in the bridge be perfectly flat because the pickup sensing unit responds to the up and down vibration of the saddle, and we want exactly the same pressure under each of the strings.
Mike's checking the saddle for flatness, just to be sure:
He can see the tiniest variation by holding it up in front of a strong light. Any deviation will show light between the pickup and straightedge.
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