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Spec Updates: Changes to the Taylor ES-B Acoustic Pickup

Taylor ES-B preamp unit on acoustic guitar with three-band EQ and digital chromatic tuner

The ES-B pickup/preamp has long been a staple of the Taylor line, bringing faithful plugged-in acoustic tone—plus a built-in tuner—to an array of guitars in our layered-wood catalog. This year, we’ve made some changes to the ES-B preamp unit—the battery box on the guitar’s upper bout that powers the behind-the-saddle pickup (our proprietary ES2 pickup) and allows the player to control their volume and tone. 

Here’s what you need to know about the changes. Click here to learn more about using the ES-B pickup.

Which Taylor guitars feature the ES-B pickup?

The ES-B pickup and preamp unit is used in certain layered-wood models in the Taylor lineup. As of today, there are three areas of the line where you’ll find the ES-B:

BBTe (Big Baby Taylor)

A narrower, dreadnought-style acoustic-electric guitar for players who want a full-size playing experience at a more accessible price point.

BTe (Baby Taylor)

Our three-quarter-size guitars make it easy to take bold acoustic tone on the road. Acoustic-electric models include the ES-B pickup.

Academy Series

You’ll find the ES-B pickup in acoustic-electric models from our beginner-focused Academy Series, including the Academy 10e and Academy 12e. Note that the nylon-string Academy 12e-N uses the ES-N pickup, which is not changing at this time.

GS Mini-e

Most of our compact GS Mini-e guitars feature the ES-B pickup, with the exception of the GS Mini-e Koa Plus, which features the ES2.

What’s different about the new Taylor ES-B pickup?

You’ll notice two primary differences between the old and new ES-B pickup/preamp units.

Image of ES-B controls on acoustic guitar
The new ES-B features a three-band EQ, volume control and digital tuner.
  1. Three-band EQ controls: Instead of basic Volume and Tone controls, the new ES-B preamp features an active three-band EQ that allows you to dial in your sound with more precision. The unit still features a volume control as well.
  1. 9-volt battery: The previous version of the ES-B preamp was powered by two 3-volt lithium CR 2032 batteries. Now, the ES-B is powered by a single 9-volt alkaline battery, which provides a considerably longer battery life when using only the preamp (not the tuner) of roughly 500 hours. Used only with the tuner, the battery life clocks in around 50 hours. The new unit includes a low-battery indicator light that will illuminate when your battery reaches 4.5 volts. The battery activates when you use the tuner or plug a guitar cable into the output jack. (Please note that there is no automatic shut-off if the tuner is left on.)
Image of guitarist opening ES-B preamp unit on acoustic guitar to expose 9-volt battery
The new ES-B is powered by an easy-to-install 9-volt battery.

What’s the same about the new Taylor ES-B pickup?

In terms of functionality, the ES-B pickup has hardly changed. It still features the same piezoelectric design found in the ES2 pickup featured on higher-end guitars, offering organic, clean live sound whenever you need to plug in through an amplifier, PA or soundboard. 

Like the previous version, the new ES-B also features a built-in digital chromatic tuner, making it easy to tune up on the fly.

Questions about your ES-B unit?

Our customer service team is always here to answer your questions. Head to our contact page to drop us a line.