Graph Tech News

Take Your Music to the Next Level: The Graph Tech Ghost® Modular Pickup System

by Adeel Ahmed | Aug 10, 2017
Graph Tech’s Ghost® modular pickup system is a set of modular components that add acoustic or MIDI capability to your guitar without altering your magnetic pickup tone.


Graph Tech’s Ghost® modular pickup system is a set of modular components that add acoustic or MIDI capability to your guitar without altering your magnetic pickup tone. This professional sounding pickup preamp system is guaranteed to change your musical life with only a few adjustments.

Ghost® pickups are installed within the bridge saddles – ideally using the permanently lubricated String Saver saddles, leaving your magnetic inputs unchanged. Acoustic or MIDI capability, or both, can be added to your sound repertoire.

Watch Burr Johnson demonstrate Ghost® in use in the video below.


Will it work with my guitar?

The system is designed to fit most guitars and basses. You’ll need to use a saddle that’s compatible with the Ghost® pickups.

Graph Tech makes these saddles for:

  • Strat and Tele-style guitars
  • Guitars with Tune-O-Matic style bridges (Gibson, Epiphone)
  • Wilkinson
  • PRS
  • P-bass
  • Jazz Bass
  • Any bass that can accept a Hipshot A-style bridge or ABM saddles
Floyd Rose Original and licensed bridges can be replaced with our pickup loaded Ghost® LB63 locking bridge. You can see and hear them on Gibson’s Alex Lifeson and Chad Kruger Signature guitars.

Once you’ve chosen the pickup saddles that fit your guitar, they can be connected to the Acousti-Phonic or Hexpander modules. The Acousti-Phonic will create an authentic acoustic sound from your electric guitar. The Hexpander will interface with MIDI and virtual instruments. You could also bundle the two modules together to increase the variation of controls for your instrument.

If you replace the ¼” output jack with the stereo switched jack that comes with the Acousti-Phonic, you will have the ability to create the output of two signals, magnetic and acoustic, through one jack.

QuickSwitch functions

The system’s two three-position switches provide fast, intuitive changes between any of the possible sound combinations. You can play a single type of sound, a combination of two, or all three at the same time. The QuickSwitch function allows you to play a sound at the volume level you’ve chosen, or just turn the sound off entirely.

Planning the installation

Adding new parts to your guitar should be a mindful process. Use the following checklist before drilling any holes:

1.      What kind of music do you make? In what ways would you like to expand your style or repertoire?

2.      Choose the optional controls that suit your style. Identify the locations on your guitar that would be most convenient for you to incorporate them.

3.      Plug the modular components into each other and lay them out carefully on top of your guitar to decide the location of each component. Be sure to watch for conflicting spaces and ensure all harness wires are long enough to reach the location of each component. You don’t want to drill a hole in the wrong place!

4.      Which arrangement will work best for your instrument? The Ghost® boards are pretty small (about the size of a matchbox), so they fit inside the control cavity of almost any guitar without any special routing.

Les Paul and hollow bodies

Since Les Paul guitars have roomy control cavities and rear mounted controls (with a cover plate), routing is usually not required to install an Acousti-Phonic. In a hollow body guitar, install the board and 9v battery for the Acousti-Phonic underneath the magnetic bridge pickup. If you want to install the Hexpander, the board can be inserted through a hole you make in the edge of the guitar for the 13-pin jack.

Shielded cavity caveat

Some guitars have control cavities that are sometimes shielded, with a metal foil or conductive paint to improve noise immunity. This shielding can sometimes cause problems for the Ghost® system. Because the boards are not coated or insulated, they must not have direct contact with the cavity shielding. However, mounting the boards with some kind of foam tape on the back will create sufficient shielding.

Get the professional touch

Your guitar is important to you, and is probably one of your most expensive possessions. Messing around with installations can be dangerous to your instrument if you’re not confident in how to do it. 

The Ghost® system is ready to transcend your music to the next level – as long as you install it correctly! If you’re unfamiliar with the process or are unsure of the correct tools to use, please visit your nearest guitar shop or consult a professional to make the installation as seamless as possible.

Watch the below video for a detailed review of our Ghost® modular pickup system and get your own here

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