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ES-B™ Acoustic Electronics (pre-2022)

Your Taylor guitar comes equipped with Taylor ES-B™ acoustic electronics, which blend Taylor’s proprietary pickup design with an onboard preamp, a built-in chromatic tuner, and onboard Volume and Tone controls. The ES-B enables you to plug in your guitar and enjoy great-sounding amplified acoustic tone. The built-in tuner makes it easy to tune your guitar anytime, anywhere. The Volume and Tone controls allow you to shape your tone to suit your personal preferences. Together, the ES-B components give you an all-in-one system for a seamless plug-and-play experience.

The Pickup and Preamp

The heart of the ES-B is Taylor’s patented behind-the-saddle pickup, which features three uniquely positioned and individually  calibrated piezo sensors. Their placement is optimized to capture a natural, dynamic range of acoustic sound. A battery-powered onboard preamp unit, installed in the side of the guitar (facing you when you play), boosts the signal and houses the tuner and tone controls.

Chromatic Tuner

The ES-B’s built-in digital chromatic tuner allows you to tune your guitar quickly and accurately in both well-lit and dark environments. Simply press the on/off button on the preamp/tuner unit to the “on” position  to tune your guitar. If the tuner is left in the “on” position, it will automatically turn off  after three minutes.

Volume and Tone Controls

Two control knobs allow for simple, accurate adjustment of your guitar’s amplified sound. Using the knobs to adjust the volume and tone will give you the ability to shape your sound considerably. We encourage you to experi-ment with different control settings.

Volume and Tone Controls
Onboard preamp with chromatic tuner and tone and volume controls
Plugging In

The ES-B is designed to be plugged in using a standard quarter-inch guitar cable, which will work with an acoustic guitar amplifier, a standard direct box, or any other guitar-ready application. The guitar’s endpin jack is located at the tail end of the guitar body, opposite from the neck. Follow these simple steps to set the proper volume and tone levels when you first plug in.

1) Turn the tone control on the guitar all the way up to 10 (far right position), and the volume to the “MIN” or low (far left) position.
2) Turn the volume knob on your amplifier or mixer all the way down. Plug in the guitar.
3) Set the tone controls on your amplifier or mixer to flat or a neutral position. Note: Some acoustic guitar amplifiers do not have an active EQ (tone controls). If so, finding a neutral tone spot can be a bit more challenging but is not impossible. Setting all the tone controls on the same number is a good place to start.
4) Slowly raise the volume level on your guitar to a comfortable level, and then adjust the controls of your amplifier to suit your per-sonal taste.
5) Adjust the EQ settings on your amp to taste. After those are set, use the tone control on the guitar to roll off the treble or high end frequencies while playing. The most dramatic changes will be between 1 and 5, much like an electric guitar’s passive tone control.

Using the Tuner

After turning on the tuner, pluck an individual open string and note the display on the LED indicator. It will show the frequency of the note (A through G). If the light next to the # symbol is lit, the note is a half-step sharp (e.g., G#, see below). Three additional lights on the LED indicator will help you calibrate the tuning for each note. When the note is accurately tuned to pitch, the green light next to “OK” will be displayed. Do this for all the strings until they correspond with your preferred tuning. (Standard tuning is, from low to high, EADGBE).

Battery Usage

The ES-B is powered by a 6V power supply, featuring two button cell 3V lithium (CR2032) batteries housed in the preamp/tuner compartment. A new guitar comes with two pre-installed batteries in the compartment. Two new batteries will provide approximately 300 hours of use. The ES-B conserves battery life using a standard on/off system that will automatically turn off if left on over three minutes. A low battery indicator on the LED display will display an “L” when the battery reaches 4.5 volts (see far left photo). To change the battery, pinch the clips on the front of the preamp/tuner unit inward and pull the tray out. Remove the batteries and replace with new ones, paying close attention to the positive/negative orientation shown inside the carriage.

Customer Service

United States and Canada


Monday - Friday

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. PST

Our El Cajon, California and Amsterdam, the Netherlands Factory Service Center staff can help with any service, maintenance or repair questions concerning Taylor guitars.


+31 (0)20 667 6033

Monday - Friday

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (CET)