Taylor Expression System 2 Problems

Taylor’s line of guitars are the best ones available on the market and they launched the Taylor Expression System 2 recently. It’s an advanced and modern pickup system that guarantees great amplification for most acoustic guitars. The behind the saddle pickup design with three different pickup sensors is one of Taylor guitars recent addition.

It only results in reasonable tune amplification but also improved quality of the output. Generally, its has an exceptional design but comes with a fair share of limitations that should be conversant with before making a purchase.

Let’s delve right in!

Taylor Expression System 2 Problems

  1. Compatibility

One of the biggest problems with the Expression system 2 pickup design is that it works with Taylor guitars only owing to many compatibility errors. You can install it in other different guitar variants but it tends to affect the tunes negatively and in some instances, it doesn’t even fit in correctly.

This means that you can only use this pickup system if you own a Taylor guitar or are looking to get one.

  1. Buzzing Sound

Another common occurrence with this pickup system is the buzzing sound. The sound usually increases beyond the normal acceptable level especially when you play high notes on your guitar. The buzzing sound results from grounding wire problems.

For starters, you’ll need to check the guitar’s grounding wire and ensure it connects tightly to the guitar in question. You need to replace the grounding wire if it has a bend or is damaged. Plus, you should always ensure that the wire is properly grounded when playing.

Lastly, check the positioning of the pickup beneath the guitar strings to ensure they don’t come in contact during picking. Alternatively, replace the coils since they can cause a buzzing sound. In this case, you can go for humbucker coils to help reduce the sound. This is because humbucker coils feature two different wire coils to get polarity, which in turn, acts as a great noise-cancelling component.

Save for humbucker coils helping reduce the buzzing sound, they also soften the guitar’s default humming sound. The final solution to this problem is checking the height of the pickups. This is because, when the manufacturer installs the pickups too high, its magnetic field tends to create unnecessary noise.

  1. A Malfunctioning Pickup

You might need to check the battery if the pickup is not working properly. That’s because dead batteries are mostly associated with pickup functionality problems. Always ensure that the pickup is properly connected to a fully charged battery.

For this reason, you might need to check the wiring of both the pickup and battery to inspect for any damages. Additionally, you need to ensure that the pickup is tightly connected to the terminals of the battery to optimize current supply.

  1. Low Level Squealing

The pickup tends to produce a squealing sound when you use the pickup at low gain or lower volume level. For the most part, it happens when you turn up the gain on the amp. In this case, you might need to mute the guitar strings.

The tube might be damaged and needs replacement if the squealing sound happens upon setting the amp to a cleaner sound. However, before proceeding with these steps, you should try putting a tiny piece of foam underneath the pickup to see if the squealing issue will be resolved.

  1. Pickups Producing Shrill Sound

You might need to replace the guitar strings if you’re looking to create a sound with a more substantial and deeper tone when the pickups produce a shrill and thin sound. A sensor connects the pickup system that helps detect the vibration of the strings. So, ensure the right string promises great signals.

The strings fall in three different categories that is – heavy, medium and lightweight. Remember, heavy strings usually produce deeper tones since the pickups capture the string vibrations and sounds waves pretty well. However, there’s a downside to that since heavy guitar strings are not easy to manipulate regardless of your expertise.

  1. Incorrect Sound

You should inspect the strings if the guitar makes incorrect sounds especially when you try connecting Taylor Expression System 2. In such cases, the pickup system always uses the guitar strings to produce sound. That’s why the sound is bound to be incorrect if the guitar strings are bent or damaged.

Old strings usually create dull sounds that’s why you need to do an inspection to check for corrosion, discoloration or rust. It’s advisable to use guitar string cleaners to clean the strings. Besides, you can apply the cleaners on the strings directly. Plus, they help lubricate the fretboard for ease of using the guitar.

Go for guitar strings that are made of high-quality stainless steel when you choose to replace them. This because stainless steel springs are not only balanced but also guarantee a clean, nice and bright tone. What’s more, they are corrosion and rust resistant promising increased lifespan. Plus, these guitar strings usually have high tensile strength which makes them less susceptible to damage.

Alternatively, opt for nickel-plated steel strings if you’re going for a warmer tone. These guitar strings can’t break easily and are equally more flexible.

  1. Unsynchronized Sound

You need to control the gain as it plays a significant role in ensuring the sound is well synchronized with the pickup. When it comes to gain control, the volume of the guitar should be on the highest level and the amp at medium gain. At this point, you can lower the volume of the guitar gradually to level out the output which will result in the sound being in sync with the pickups.

  1. Very Loud Output

The pickups might be connected closer to the guitar strings especially if its producing louder music or sound. Plus, if the pickups are positioned incorrectly it results in distortion, feedback and echo. If you’re experiencing the same problem, the only solution is to try calibrating the pickup. If you’re looking to create bass and treble sounds, you’ll have to lower the position of the pickup.

Lowering the position of the pickups helps dilute the extremely loud output.

  1. Pickup Failing to Detect the Guitar String Vibrations

Pickups need to detect the guitar string vibrations to create a sound. However, the pickup cannot produce music if it can’t detect the frequencies of the guitar strings. In this case, it would be best to add a few pickup magnets for leveraging to help detect the frequency.

In most cases, guitars are usually integrated with alnico magnets but that’s not a viable alternative. For this reason, a ceramic magnet comes highly recommended because they are compact and extremely magnetic.

The magnets can detect string vibrations efficiently since they are integrated with stronger winding coils. Consequently, they will produce heavy and thick sound if that’s what you’re going for in the first place. A neodymium magnet helps boost the frequency response that’s why its best suited for acoustic guitars.

  1. Reduced Output

You might need to inspect for any phase cancellation if the pickup sound output reduces. For the most part, it’s usually the pickup wiring that’s installed backwards thereby causing reduced output. If this is the case, then you need to swap both the hot leads and ground. It could be a demagnetization issue if you can’t seem to find any problem with the wiring.

In case of a demagnetization issue, tap the poles with a screwdriver to check for magnetic resistance. Recharge the magnets if there’s no magnetic resistance.


Taylor Expression System 2 is an excellent pickup. However, most performance and sound issues usually result from using low quality guitar strings and incorrect height of the pickups. That’s why you need professional help when it comes to handling the installation process and keeping the pickup as clean as possible to prevent build up of dust that can lead to sound issues.

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