DiMarzio The Angel Active User Manual

The angel™ active dp231 installation instructions

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The Angel™ Active combines The Angel™ magnetic soundhole pickup with a specially
designed preamp. It includes a volume control which is mounted within the soundhole for
easy access. The preamp is powered by a 9-volt battery (not included), which is mounted in
the guitar on or near the neck block in a battery pouch. The Angel™ Active works with
standard bronze strings, but nickel-wound and compound strings can also be used. It will
not work with nylon strings. [FIG. 1]

The soundhole must have a minimum diameter of 3½ inches (89 mm).


(1) The Angel™ soundhole pickup
(1) The Angel™ preamp module and endpin jack
(1) Self-stick volume control assembly
(1) Self-stick battery pouch
(1) 20-inch (50.8 cm) pickup-to-preamp cable
(1) 12-foot (3.5 meter) cable for no battery operation
(1) 3⁄32 - inch Allen wrench

(4) Self-adhesive cable retainer clips
(1) Spare set of pickup mounting cushions
(1) Alcohol wipe
(1) Instruction sheet
(1) Warranty card

Please read the installation instructions carefully. Installation of The Angel™ Active requires
the use of the included preamp/endpin jack.


The Angel™ preamp has an output jack for a standard guitar cable and three inputs to
connect the cables from the volume control, the battery, and the pickup. All three cables
must be plugged into the preamp before the preamp is installed in the guitar.

VOLUME CONTROL: Look carefully at the volume control connector before plugging it into
the preamp so that you insert it in the correct direction. Attempting to force the connector
upside down will damage the preamp. The volume control cable connector must be
inserted firmly into the 3-pin port on the side of the preamp. [FIG. 2]

BATTERY: Look carefully at the battery connector before plugging it in so that you insert it in
the correct direction. Attempting to force the connector upside down will damage the
preamp. The battery cable connector must be inserted firmly into the 2-pin port on the side
of the preamp opposite the volume control cable.

PICKUP CABLE: The pickup cable must be inserted firmly into the mini jack on the end of the
preamp. [FIG. 3]

When the pickup, volume control and battery cables have been connected to the preamp,
install the preamp in the guitar.


First, remove the strings and place your guitar on a flat surface.

The preamp [FIG. 4] requires a clean


⁄32 - inch (11.9 mm) hole in the tail block of the


IMPORTANT NOTE: If your guitar already has a hole of the correct diameter for
an endpin jack in the tail block, proceed to the paragraph below to complete
the installation of the preamp. If your guitar does not already have a hole of the
correct diameter, we strongly recommend that a qualified guitar technician

install the preamp as follows:

• Remove the existing endpin and place a piece of masking tape on the

outside of the instrument over the endpin area to prevent chipping of the

guitar finish.

• Enlarge the hole with a


⁄32 -inch (11.9 mm) tapered reamer, available from

Stewart-MacDonald (www.stewmac.com), part number 4323.

• Remove the masking tape and proceed with the installation.

Remove the strap nut, hex nut, and one flat washer from the end of the preamp assembly.
There should still be one locking washer, one flat washer, and two hex nuts remaining on the

Using care to keep the washers on the jack, bring the preamp down through the soundhole
into the body and insert it into the hole in the tail block.

Adjust the internal nut so that the larger threaded section of the jack remains recessed



inch (0.8 mm) below the outside surface of the instrument and most of the smaller
threaded section protrudes from the guitar. The nut on the jack closest to the preamp is
factory installed and must not be adjusted. Adjusting this nut can damage the preamp.

With the preamp in place, lay the remaining flat washer over the threads outside the
instrument and install the external hex nut hand tight.

Insert the included 3⁄32 - inch Allen wrench through the cross hole in the jack and hold firmly

while tightening the nut with a wrench. To avoid damage, do not hold the preamp itself
while tightening the nut. Use of a proper wrench instead of pliers will help prevent damage
to the guitar. To avoid cracking the guitar finish, do not over-tighten the nut.

NOTE: If the jack will not tighten firmly, remove the external hex nut and re-adjust the
internal hex nut until the larger threaded section is recessed at least 1⁄32 - inch (0.8 mm)

below the outer surface of the instrument.

Finish by installing the strap nut hand tight. It should cover the retaining nut and washer. For
best results, the end of the jack should be recessed ever so slightly from the end of the strap

Once the preamp is installed, install two of the self-adhesive cable retainer clips on the inner
back surface of the guitar to hold down the pickup cable and prevent it from vibrating
against the guitar.


The battery pouch will be installed on the flat surface of the neck block or the side of the
guitar adjacent to the neck block as shown in FIG. 5. Clean the area where you will mount
the pouch using the included alcohol wipe or a cotton swab moistened with rubbing
alcohol. Let dry. Separate the battery pouch from the Velcro patch. Peel off the paper liner
from the Velcro patch and attach the patch to the chosen location. To set the adhesive,
press firmly on the entire area of the patch with your fingertip, especially around the edges.
Attach the battery clip to a 9V alkaline or lithium battery, install the battery into the pouch,
and re-attach it to the Velcro patch. Install one of the self-adhesive cable retainer clips on the
inner back surface of the guitar to hold down the battery cable and prevent it from vibrating
against the guitar.

NOTE: The adhesive under the Velcro patch requires 24 hours to achieve a full bond, so
take care not to stress the adhesive if you remove the battery pouch less than one day
after the initial installation.


Find a flat area on the underside of the soundhole where the volume control will fit. Clean the
area where you will mount the volume control using the included alcohol wipe or a cotton

1388 Richmond Terrace • PO Box 100387
Staten Island, NY 10310



swab moistened with rubbing alcohol. Let dry. Install the volume control by peeling off the
paper liner on the smooth side of the circuit board and pressing it firmly inside the soundhole
as shown in FIG. 6. The volume control should protrude from the sound hole just far enough
to be easily adjusted, as shown. Install one of the self-adhesive cable retainer clips on the
inner back surface of the guitar to hold down the volume control cable and prevent it from
vibrating against the guitar.


Loosen the clamp screws on both ends of the pickup top plate using a small Phillips
screwdriver until the clamps are open wide enough to mount the pickup on the top of the
guitar. [SEE FIG. 7] Then slide the pickup into the soundhole.

For small soundholes, it may be necessary to remove one or both clamps, slide
the pickup into place, and then reassemble the clamp(s) once the pickup is
correctly positioned. When reassembling the clamps, be sure they slide into the
slots molded into the pickup housing.

We recommend installing the pickup as close to the bottom edge of the fingerboard
(towards the neck) as possible.

Adjust the pickup so that it is centered in the soundhole and the pole pieces are aligned
with the strings. [SEE FIG. 8] A slight mismatch between your guitar’s string spacing and the
spacing of the pole pieces will not affect performance.

Tighten the clamp screws firmly, but do not over-tighten. Over-tightening can damage the
pickup or guitar finish.

Once the pickup is securely installed, plug the cable from the preamp into the pickup
output jack. Restring your guitar and you’re ready to play.


Plug your guitar cable into the endpin jack to power up the preamp. Adjust the volume
control in the soundhole all the way up, then adjust your amp volume to the level you want.
From that point, you can adjust The Angel™ Active volume control to reduce the level or turn
it all the way down.

You can expect about 600 hours of playing and standby time from a fresh alkaline battery, or
as much as 1000 hours from a lithium battery. To extend battery life, unplug the guitar cable
from your guitar when you’re finished playing. Remember, the preamp continues to operate
and uses battery power whenever a guitar cable is plugged into your guitar, even if you turn
down the soundhole volume control, unplug the cable from your amp or put your guitar amp
on standby. A weak or distorted sound from The Angel™ Active means it’s time to replace your

If you ever experience unexpected battery failure and can’t replace the battery before you
have to play, you can play The Angel™ without a battery by disconnecting the preamp cable
from the pickup and plugging the included 12-foot (3.5 meter) guitar cable into the pickup.
This backup cable connects The Angel™ directly to your amp without a volume control.


The pole pieces of The Angel™ are preset for standard bronze acoustic strings (four wound
strings and two plain), but this setting is only a basic reference point. The pole pieces are
adjustable with the included 3⁄32 - inch Allen wrench to provide the best balance for your

specific guitar and string set. Raising a pole piece will increase the output from its string, while
lowering it will decrease it.

IMPORTANT: The pole pieces have a maximum downward adjustment range. When you
encounter additional resistance at the bottom of the adjustment range, do not force the
pole piece further. This could result in permanent damage.

FIG. 1

FIG. 2

FIG. 3