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When you plug in and some strings are much quieter or louder than others...

When your guitar is plugged in, each string should be relatively the same volume. Expect a slight variance as you would hear when the guitar is played acoustically. If there seems to be a serious balance issue, test the guitar through multiple amps or systems. Some amps accentuate certain frequencies which can make a particular string seem louder or quieter than the others. If the problem persists, acoustic guitars and T5s will require service by the Taylor factory or other qualified repair professionals. Electric guitars have exposed pickups that are easily adjustable.

Here are a few things you can try at home.

  • Expression System 1 - equipped guitars: Make sure the strings are fresh and the recommended gauge.
  • EST and ESN equipped guitars: These guitars use an under saddle piezo pickup. A precision fit is required between the saddle, pickup and bridge. An uneven fit means uneven pressure and uneven output. You can try to loosen all the strings and tighten or retune each string a few turns at a time, gradually putting even pressure on the pickup as you tune to pitch. Start with the middle (D an G) strings and work your way out. When changing strings remove and replace them one at a time. This will help hold the saddle in place, maintaining the string balance.
  • Expression System 2 - equipped guitars: (You'll need a .050 Allen wrench to make adjustments to the pickup.) ES2 guitars use a piezo pickup with three contact points behind the saddle. A precision fit is required between the saddle, pickup and bridge. An uneven fit can mean uneven pressure and uneven output. Very light pressure on the sensors is all that is needed to make the system work well. Changing the tension on the sensors will change the timbre of the sound and volume of the pickup slightly. Approximately one full turn of the tension screw is the maximum amount of pressure variance. We suggest that any adjustments for sound be made using the following process: 1) Plug the guitar in and turn the volume up. 2) While plucking sets of two strings at a time, turn the adjustment screw associated with those strings (E/A - D/G - B/E) one turn counterclockwise until the sound of those strings diminishes. This will loosen the pressure on the sensor. 3) To engage the pickup for those strings, turn the screw back again clockwise 1/4 turn at a time while plucking the strings until the sound of the strings returns. This will increase the pressure on the sensors. Repeat the process for the other string pairings (D/G - B/E). Additional Note: The pickup system is held in place in the guitar by the pressure of the sensors against the saddle. If the pickup is accidently pushed out during saddle replacement, it can easily be put back into the bridge by pushing it up through the three pickup holes. The top of the pickup housing should be flush with the top of the bridge to be accurate.
  • T5 models: While you can use any string you like on the T5, you'll get the best string balance with electric guitar strings.
  • SolidBody models: These electric guitars have adjustable magnetic pickups. The closer the pickup is to the strings, the louder the output will be. You can adjust each end of the pickup independently to affect the output level. Note that the magnetic field of these pickups is very strong. Adjusting the pickups too close to the strings will cause the magnets to pull the string out of tune.

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

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