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This paper is concerned with the design of magnetostrictive transducers for the excitation and detection of guided waves in metal pipes of small diameter (mm) and their application to the study of wave propagation in pipes filled with water or supercritical CO2. Optimized system design is based on a simulation of the overall signal pathway which includes the electric circuit conditions at the transducers, mode excitability, and the wavenumber filtering effect of the spatial distribution of the exciting alternating magnetic field. A prototype system was built, and experimental observations on small diameter pipes indicated good agreement with expected results from simulations. The reassigned spectrogram has been used to compare expectation on the basis of guided wave dispersion curves for fluid-filled pipes with experimental data.