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Easiest/safest way to install a preamp with battery pack

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When my wife and I first got together some 25 years ago, I didn't have a guitar. I had lost them in a divorce. When she found out that I played, she bought me one for father's day. It was a laminate Oscar Schmidt OG 2, which I still have. We added a under saddle pickup so I could play at church, but the sound was bad. Real bright, no lows. Even an acoustic amp didn't help much. So I bought another guitar. Now I have several. But now to the point of my post. I want to add a preamp/eq and was given a good quality unit that requires a hole to be cut in the body. I've seen several videos about it and they have shown several ways to cut the hole. I just wanted to get other opinions on the best way to do this. Thanks in advance.

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Do you mean something like a rectangle on the side of the upper bout? For such I'd first look inside to find out if there's braces on the side. Usually not but you never know!

Then I'd try to find a good location for the preamp. If the collar is curved I'd try to find a matching curve on the body. Masking tape can be handy in marking the location of the hole. It can also prevent tearout to a measure. After having marked the location I'd drill the corners off. I'd do that with a brad point drill bit after carefully having marked the drilling spots with an awl or similar remembering to take the diameter of the drill bit into account. I'd start drilling backwards in order to prevent tearout and splitting. As the side is pretty thin I might even go backwards all the way through. Drill bits have the tendency of going fast forward which can be very hard to control on thin woods.

Before sawing between the holes I might use a steel ruler and a knife to draw the cutting lines, with the masking tape still attached. Running the saw inside the lines should also prevent tearout as it cuts the fibres on the surface. A small pulling action keyhole saw might be my choice, something like shown here: https://youtu.be/zdQoBsWGc9U

What else? Careful, careful, careful. Measure, measure, double check before cutting. Good luck!


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the "Best" way is the way that makes sense to you.  I do lots of things in ways that would not be the best for others... but are def the best for me.  that said, I've actually done similar to this before.  in my case it was replacing a pre with a new bigger pre.  what worked for me then... was to carefully inspect the inside of the guitar to make sure I was going to avoid braces... and then used a dremel cutoff wheel to cut it.  if I had to do from scratch, I'd drill 4 corner holes first, then use the dremel.  I would avoid leaving corners that are not rounded.  there's my 2 cents.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The best way and safest is to have someone else that knows how do it. ;)

Now that I screwed with your head,

Did the pre-amp, you have come with a template for the hole? If so, locate the the correct curvature that the pre-amp will go on the side of the guitar. put some tape on the side and draw lines that correspond to the square in relation to the pre-amp. on the side by projection. This will then allow you to locate the template correctly. Drill small holes in the corners on the inside of the square and then using what a hand type saw, you will slowly cut that out. DO NOT USE A JIGSAW though. A small coping or hand saw will work, just be deliberate and slow. If needed, clean up the cuts with a file/fine rasp and sand paper.

Hope that helps?


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