Q. How do I install this?
A. Simply remove the jack end cap by turning counter-clockwise and replace it with the Acousti-Lok strap lock adapter. Spin clockwise until the Acousti-Lok is snug tight. Like the picture on the front of the package, the strap button should be aimed upward or angled slightly back toward your body when the guitar is in playing position. If Acousti-Lok does not spin snug tight to the recommended position it’s ok to apply a little force to spin it further. If the jack feels too tight to spin without applying excessive force, it will be necessary to loosen and reposition the jack. To insure a successful installation, make sure the jack is tightened securely to the guitar before installing Acousti-Lok. Acousti-Lok was not designed to be used on recessed or flush mount jacks.
Q. How do I tell if I have a Metric or Standard Output Jack?
A. It's difficult for us to say definitively which size your guitar will take. Most manufacturers change systems over the years and have used both on their factory installs. There are also many guitars with an aftermarket pickup installed and if you purchased the guitar from a previous owner it'll take a little effort to figure it out. Here are some tips to help.
1. Your existing jack end cap that unscrews will have either a flat top surface found on most standard jacks or a slightly rounded top surface found on most metric jacks.
2. Contact the guitar manufacturer and ask them to give you output jack spec (standard or metric) or the brand. The two most popular output jack brands are SWITCHCRAFT® that uses a standard size jack and LR BAGGS® that uses a metric size jack except their Element Bronze system uses a standard size jack.
3. Use a micrometer to measure the Outside Diameter of the output jack with the jack end cap off. The standard jack measures approximately 9.3mm and the metric jack measures approximately 8.75mm. A noticeable difference when using a micrometer.
4. If you or a friend have a guitar with a system that you know is a FISHMAN® or LR BAGGS®, you can remove that cap and try to install it on the guitar in question. FISHMAN® threads match up with the Standard Acousti-Lok and all LR BAGGS® threads match up with the Metric Acousti-Lok except their Element Bronze system match up with the Standard Acousti-Lok.
5. You can look inside the guitar with a flashlight and inspection mirror to see if there are and markings on an internal preamp or barrel jack cover. Many of these parts are branded.
6. MARTIN® Guitars tend to have a FISHMAN® system installed from the factory. The Standard thread Acousti-Lok is your best bet.
GIBSON® has used both Metric and Standard jacks.
BREEDLOVE® guitars tend to have LR BAGGS® pickups installed from the factory.
Q. Which pickups are compatible with the Standard Acousti-Lok (MN270)?
A. The following pickup system are compatible with the Standard Acousti-Lok (MN270): Fishman Pickups (Rare Earth, Matrix System, etc.), 90's-2000's Taylor Guitars with slider controls mounted on the body, system is made by Fishman, The Amulet Dual Mono, Dimarzio Black Angel, Seymar Duncan - Mag Mic, K&K Sound Pure Mini & Pure Classic, LR Baggs Element Bronze.
Q. Which pickups are compatible with the Metric Acousti-Lok (MN271)?
A. The following pickup systems are compatible with the Metric Acousti-Lok (MN271): LR Baggs except their Element Bronze system take a Standard Acousti-Lok (MN270), Shadow pickups, K&K Sound Universal Sound Board (Hot Spot, Big Shot, Big Twin, Twin Spot), Esonic, Esonic II, KFFN Schatten, Godin QIT.
Q. I have the LR Baggs Element Bronze system so which Acousti-Lok do I need?
A. While LR Baggs systems have historically used metric jacks, in 2021 they created an exception. Their "Element Bronze" uses a standard thread jack so you'll need to choose Acousti-Lok model #MN270 for guitars with this system installed. The Element Bronze is only available to manufacturers and is currently being factory installed by Gibson but will soon be used by other manufacturers too. This exception is specific to the Element Bronze system, not the standard Element or Element VTC.
Here are some tips to help you figure out if the LR Baggs Element Bronze is installed in your guitar.
1. Check the specs of your guitar with the seller or manufacturer to see if they list the LR Baggs Element Bronze as the pickup system.
2. The standard thread jack cap used on the Element Bronze is curved just like their metric jack caps so the rule of "curved cap surface equals metric and flat cap surface equals standard" does not apply. However, the Element Bronze cap has a unique gun metal colored plating instead of their usual antique bronze colored plating. (See picture below)
3. The Element Bronze has a simpler remote volume control than other Baggs systems. See picture below and compare to yours.
Q. Where should the Acousti-Lok strap button be pointing to be in the ideal position to avoid unwanted loosening?
A. For the Standard (MN270) and Metric (MN271) Strap Lock Adapters the Acousti-Lok must be snug tight on the output jack and strap button be pointed back to the player when in the playing position (See photo below). Depending on the size of your gut, the strap button should be pointing somewhere between the 9:00-11:00 position. If it is not, then you will need to reposition the output jack thread and try again. See our video on how to do this. Once you get Acousti-Lok set in the right position you should not have to adjust it again. The reason for this strap button positioning is to avoid unwanted loosening of Acousti-Lok.
Q. Will Acousti-Lok work on my acoustic bass, ukulele and other string instruments with this problem?
A. It will work if it has the output jack specification listed on the product page.
Q. Will this work on recessed or flush mount jacks?
Q. Will the end of my strap block the output jack?
A. The amount of extra material that goes beyond the strap pin opening on a guitar strap varies considerably. While this material may seem to partially block the output jack opening, it is flexible and can rest against or lay over the guitar cable with no issue. If you’re running into an issue with your strap you may be able to trim the end of the strap, depending on how it’s made. Also, consider using a right angle plug into your guitar if you’re not doing so already. That may allow a longer strap end to rest over the jack once it’s plugged in. Acousti-Lok was designed to be as stealth and unobtrusive as possible while serving its ultimate purpose, securing the strap to the guitar with strap locks. A longer or larger design may not fit into some guitar cases as well and would protrude further off the guitar.
Q. What Acousti-Lok would work for K&K SOUND® pickups?
A. K&K SOUND® Pure Mini and Pure Classic work with the Standard Acousti-Lok (MN270)
K&K SOUND® Universal Sound Board Pickup (Hot Spot, Big Shot, Big Twin, Twin Spot) works with the Metric Acousti-Lok (MN271)
Q. What size allen key wrench is needed to tighten the strap button?
Q. Will Acousti-Lok work with DUNLOP® Straps Locks?
A. It's easy to convert Acousti-Lok to be used with DUNLOP® strap locks, but you will need a shorter screw. Simply loosen the screw holding the Acousti-Lok strap button in place and replace it with the DUNLOP® strap button.
We use and recommend a socket head cap screw #6-32. Screw lengths needed are 1/4" long for FISHMAN® and LR BAGGS® style (MN270 & MN271) and 3/16" for the TAYLOR® 9v EXPRESSION SYSTEM® (MN272).
If you're handy you can file or grind down the original screw to the appropriate length. Please note the screw can not protrude beyond the surface of the underside at all or it will scratch your guitar.
For more details on how to convert the Acousti-Lok to work with DUNLOP® Strap Locks CLICK HERE for a tutorial video.
Q. Which Strap Locks can Acousti-Lok work with?
A. Your Acousti-Lok strap lock adaptor is equipped with a high-quality Schaller style strap lock pin. If you intend to install Schaller style strap locks on your guitar neck and strap, then you’re all set. By the way, when we say “Schaller style” we’re referring to the design Schaller came out with in 1981. Since then, many companies have made copies of this design. Some are better quality than others but most importantly we want you to know you have many options in choosing a Schaller style set of strap locks. Fender, Grover, Guitar Center, Thomann, Warwick and Seismic Audio are some of the companies making these. Check Amazon, Reverb.com or Ebay and you’ll find even more choices at great price points.
Tip for using Schaller S-Locks: The strap pin and mounting screw are fused together with this design and the screw is too big to use in the neck heel of most acoustic instruments without the risk of cracking the neck. We recommend using a Schaller style button that uses a separate screw. These buttons can be purchased separately and allow you to use a screw that’s sized appropriately for your installation.
If you like the idea of using strap locks on your acoustic guitar without having to modify it but prefer another style other than Schaller, Acousti-Lok is still the right choice! You can easily replace the stock button on your Acousti-Lok with the strap lock button of your choice. It’s simply a matter of removing the button using a 7/64” Allen key and installing the replacement. Different buttons require different length screw to mount correctly. You want to use a screw that is long enough to securely attach but it can’t be so long that it protrudes past the bottom surface of the Acousti-Lok at all. If it sticks out even a tiny bit, it WILL scratch your guitar, so check carefully when converting.
Some players choose Acousti-Lok as a way to avoid the tough job of fitting the strap around the oversized output jack on most acoustic/electric instruments. If you’re in this camp, you have a couple options. You can simply hook your strap onto the Schaller strap lock button and be done with it since the button is designed to also work as a non-locking strap pin. This works ok, but honestly doesn’t give the most secure fit. We recommend that if you’re using your Acousti-Lok this way, choose a replacement button that has a wider top that’ll make it more difficult for the strap to accidentally slip through. The D’Addario Elliptical button has been a popular choice with our customers for this conversion. Just like replacing the button with a different brand strap lock, you want to use a screw that is long enough to securely attach but it can’t be so long that it protrudes past the bottom surface of the Acousti-Lok at all. If it sticks out even a tiny bit, it WILL scratch your guitar, so check carefully when converting.
Q. Do I have to buy Schaller brand strap locks to be compatible with Acousti-Lok?
A. No. You can use Schaller brand strap locks, or one of the many copies of their original design that are readily available. Here are several options:
Grover Strap Locks
Available in four colors: Black - GP800B, Nickel - GP800N, Chrome - GP800C, Gold - GP800G
Fender Strap Locks
Available in three colors: Black - Model #: 0990690006, Chrome - Model #: 0990690000, Gold - Model #: 0022043049
Note: “Fender ‘F’ Strap Locks” are a completely different design and not compatible.
Guitar Center’s Proline Brand Strap Locks
Available in three colors: Black - Item #1275860129318, Nickel - Item #1275860129329, Gold - Item #1275860129634
Framus & Warwick - S-Style Security Lock System
Available in five colors: Black - SP 30315 SB, Gold - SP 30316 SG, Chrome - SP 30318 SC, Satin Chrome - SP 30317 SS, Nickel - SP 30319 SN
TAYLOR®, MARTIN®, FISHMAN®, SWITCHCRAFT®, SCHALLER®, BREEDLOVE®, LR BAGGS®, GIBSON®. DUNLOP®, K&K SOUND®, DIMARZIO® and all other third party brand names are trademarks of their respective owners. Music Nomad LLC is not affiliated with those owners, nor claims ownership of those marks.