Your Taylor guitar comes equipped with Taylor ES-B™ acoustic electronics, which blend Taylor’s proprietary pickup design with an onboard preamp that features a built-in chromatic tuner, Volume control and 3-band equalizer (EQ). (If your guitar features the pre-2022 ES-B design, you can view that guide here.) 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 EQ 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 heart of the ES-B is Taylor’s patented behind-the-saddle pickup, which incorporates Taylor’s Expression System® 2 piezo design elements — three uniquely positioned and individually calibrated piezo sensors. Their placement is optimized to capture a natural, dynamic range of acoustic sound. The individual pickup pressures are factory set and will likely only need to be adjusted if the saddle is being removed or replaced.
A 9v 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.
INPUT IMPEDANCE: 1Mohm
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE: 1Kohm
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. Activate the tuner by moving the switch next to the LED display to the “on” position to tune your guitar. While the tuner is on, the output will be muted. Please note that there is no automatic shut-off if the tuner is left on.
A Volume slider allows you to adjust the volume level of your guitar’s amplified sound. A 3-band EQ (low, mid and high frequencies) features sliders that allow you to shape your amplified tone considerably. We encourage you to experiment with different control settings.
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 personal 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.
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 [photo needed]). 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 “OK” display will light up. Do this for all the strings until they correspond with your preferred tuning. (Standard tuning is, from low to high, EADGBE).
A 3-band equalizer enables you to shape your amplified sound to suit your musical preferences and applications. Feel free to explore the range of each band to find amplified tonal flavors that work best for you.
Low: +10dB to -10dB @ 100 Hz range
Mid: +10dB to -10dB @ 800 Hz range
Treble: +10dB to -10dB @3 kHz range
- To push your amplified guitar sound forward in a mix: Try increasing the midrange.
- To accommodate vocals: Try reducing the midrange slightly for a scooped effect, which will allow the vocals to be fit cleanly in the mix.
The ES-B is powered by a 9v battery housed in an easily accessible preamp/tuner compartment. Each new guitar equipped with ES-B electronics comes with a pre-installed 9v battery in the compartment. With an alkaline battery, battery life expectancy when using the preamp only is over 500 hours, and when using the tuner is over 50 hours. Plugging in the guitar will activate the battery, so be sure to unplug the guitar when not playing amplified to keep the battery from draining prematurely. A battery voltage light (located on the preamp circuit board) will flash one time to indicate adequate power. If the battery light remains on continuously, it means the voltage has reached 4.5 volts, indicating that the battery should be changed.
To change the battery, open the preamp/tuner unit from the bottom to expose the battery compartment. Remove the 9v battery and replace with a new one. Note: Installing the battery with the terminal facing the lower bout instead of the upper bout (see photo) makes it easier to remove and replace and should prevent battery rattling.
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)