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Dave B



Joined: 03/04/03
Posts: 5544
Loc: Maidenhead
GK3 Pickup
      #1021024 - 27/11/12 10:50 AM
OK, so I now have a collection of 13pin pickups - 2 GK3s and I have a guitar with an old GK2 system inbuilt courtesy of Max's incredible voodoo (I miss Max ...) skills. Which is handy as I now have a small connection of Roland devices to plug them into : GR33, GI20 and I've just taken delivey of a VG99 which is my current favouritest new toy in my collection (literally hours of fun have been had with it).

So now I've started wondering whether I should properly sort out a(nother) dedicated GK equiped guitar from the collection and the shape of the GK3 is bothering me. It's curved / arched which means that it is uber cool if you are fitting one to a 335, but for everything else, the outer pickups are quite a bit lower than the inner two.

I just don't understand why this is the case?

I prefer the flatness of the GK2 and even though I've screwed my 3 as low in the center as it can go, it still has the large variation in levels. Am I missing something?

Should I be looking to slightly raise the saddles on the bridge to compensate? (which seems a bit of an odd thing to do - or am I missing something (again)?

How else do other people set up theirs?

--------------------
Veni, Vidi, Aesculi
(I came, I saw, I conkered)


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BJG145



Joined: 06/08/05
Posts: 3068
Loc: Norwich UK
Re: GK3 Pickup new [Re: Dave B]
      #1021037 - 27/11/12 12:06 PM
Quote Dave B:

...the shape of the GK3 is bothering me. It's curved / arched...



It doesn't have some kind of optional adapter fitted does it?

http://www.roland.com/support/article/index.cfm?q=faq&p=GK-3&id=18 31756


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Dave B



Joined: 03/04/03
Posts: 5544
Loc: Maidenhead
Re: GK3 Pickup new [Re: Dave B]
      #1021051 - 27/11/12 12:51 PM
that adapter is for attaching the flat bottomed gk3 to an arched top guitar. I've tried that mounting plate on a Les Paul shape before, but LPs are a tad heavy and I'd probably have to get another one to use and I have various other options which are flat bridges.

Anyone out there with a gk3 and a strat?

--------------------
Veni, Vidi, Aesculi
(I came, I saw, I conkered)


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zenguitarModerator
active member


Joined: 05/12/02
Posts: 8499
Loc: Devon
Re: GK3 Pickup new [Re: Dave B]
      #1021059 - 27/11/12 01:29 PM
Hi Dave,

I've only got a GK2B bass pick-up to hand, so I've downloaded the manuals for the GK2A and GK3 from Roland to double check the fine details.

As a comparison, the GK2A has a radius of 298.5mm

On the GK3; with the centre adjustment screw turned fully clockwise the radius should be 184mm, with the adjustment screw fully anticlockwise the radius should be 400mm.

So, when working properly the GK3 should be flatter than the GK2A when adjusted clockwise, and more curved when adjusted fully anticlockwise. The GK3 manual does carry the following warning.

Quote:

Be sure not to turn the adjustment screw too much.
When raising the yoke, rotate the adjustment screw
slowly clockwise, and stop turning the screw at the
point where you feel further resistance. Continuing
to turn the screw beyond this point may result in
damage to the unit.




I have resisted the temptation to fully dismantle a GK3 so I'm not sure exactly how the adjustment mechanism works, but my guess is that the tighter radius is built into the moulding and the adjustment screw drives a piece of plastic or metal against the moulding to press it flatter. Over adjusting the screw might strip the thread in that piece or let it fall out.

You could adjust the action as a quick fix, but I would get a quote from your tame Roland dealer for a replacement pick-up section and then compare that price with second hand GK3's on ebay and get the cheapest. Replacing the pick-up section is very easy. Just remove the screws to open the case of the lump with the knobs that you plug the 13 pin cable into. The pick-up connects with a small 8 pin connector on the circuit board inside.

Andy



--------------------
When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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zenguitarModerator
active member


Joined: 05/12/02
Posts: 8499
Loc: Devon
Re: GK3 Pickup new [Re: Dave B]
      #1021063 - 27/11/12 01:35 PM
Oh, and you might be interested in this mounting plate for strats.

Original

The ripoff he mentioned.

Andy

--------------------
When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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Goddard



Joined: 04/04/12
Posts: 896
Re: GK3 Pickup new [Re: zenguitar]
      #1021123 - 27/11/12 08:14 PM
Quote zenguitar:

I have resisted the temptation to fully dismantle a GK3 so I'm not sure exactly how the adjustment mechanism works, but my guess is that the tighter radius is built into the moulding and the adjustment screw drives a piece of plastic or metal against the moulding to press it flatter.




Here's a link to Roland's patent, which illustrates how the adjustment mechanism of the GK3 operates:

http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?FT=...

(in the menu at left, click on "Original document" to view the full patent, or click on "Mosaics" to access the drawings)


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zenguitarModerator
active member


Joined: 05/12/02
Posts: 8499
Loc: Devon
Re: GK3 Pickup new [Re: Goddard]
      #1021129 - 27/11/12 09:02 PM
Thanks for that Goddard, I've always used the US Patent Office site in the past.

I did manage to download the illustrations, but for some reason Acrobat keeps crashing in my browser, probably 'cause it's such an old machine now.

But it does look like the adjustment is something along the lines I imagined.

Andy

--------------------
When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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Goddard



Joined: 04/04/12
Posts: 896
Re: GK3 Pickup new [Re: zenguitar]
      #1021136 - 27/11/12 09:44 PM
Andy, the US patent number is 7375276 at uspto.gov (or you can access US application publication number 2005126377, same info).

I'd linked to the European Patent Office rather than the US one because it offers PDFs including the entire patent as a single download rather than single page TIFs which require a separate browser plug-in. Also, linking to the US office is a pain.

No problems here viewing the PDFs in Firefox with Adobe Reader plug-in, Maybe you need to update your browser's plug-in.

Anyway, it's a very simple mechanism, the adjusting screw raises/lowers the center of the pickup coil carrier board's backing spring plate within the casing to alter the spring plate's curvature.


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zenguitarModerator
active member


Joined: 05/12/02
Posts: 8499
Loc: Devon
Re: GK3 Pickup new [Re: Goddard]
      #1021153 - 28/11/12 12:25 AM
The browser plug in and firefox are both up to date. Regretably this PC isn't. But it does the day to day internet stuff so I'll put up with it for a little longer

Andy

--------------------
When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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Gary_W



Joined: 18/10/06
Posts: 446
Re: GK3 Pickup new [Re: Dave B]
      #1021169 - 28/11/12 09:31 AM
Probably a no-go as they don't make them any more, but Axon used to do a pickup which is the equivalent of the Rolands. They come up occasionally on eBay though....

http://www.dv247.com/news/PU100%20Hexaphonic%20Pickup%20from%20Axon%20Seym our%20Duncan%20/131704

tells you a bit more about it - it's a long shot but I thought it may not have the curvyness of the Roland but TBH I just don't know.

For this reason, if it's the wrong tree then apologies for barking up it

Reason I know about these is that I have the Axon AX100 mk2 for my guitar to midi needs. I did get a pickup with it (one of these) but stupidly sold the pickup..... I have a 13 pin out on my Godin. I'm now kicking myself as for a couple of songs we're doing live these days the Axon would be good but I don't really want to gig the Godin.... A cheapy with a pickup would fit the bill though!


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Dave B



Joined: 03/04/03
Posts: 5544
Loc: Maidenhead
Re: GK3 Pickup new [Re: Dave B]
      #1021195 - 28/11/12 12:27 PM
Cheers Gary but that looks suspiciously like a GK3 shape to me!

I've re-checked the GK2 and Andy is right - it's just as arched as the GK3 if not more so. Funny, I could have sworn it was flat. Ah well, I'll just have to do the proper setup thing that the Roland boys expect me to do to sort out the various heights. And may have to get a cheap axe to fit one on.

Saying that, one of the things that I love is the changing of tunings, so I'm digging out my old Variax and trying to get that back to life to see if that can be used as an alternate tuning(s) guitar. Open G is such fun - instant Honky Tonk Woman!



--------------------
Veni, Vidi, Aesculi
(I came, I saw, I conkered)


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Goddard



Joined: 04/04/12
Posts: 896
Re: GK3 Pickup new [Re: Dave B]
      #1021474 - 30/11/12 12:05 AM
Hi Dave B,

As best I can tell, all of the GK sensors (at least the guitar variant, dunno about the bass versions) have the same profile (arch) wrt top curvature.

I didn't catch what guitar you are trying to fit with the GK pickup, but afaik Roland have (at least since the GK-2, dunno about on the original Roland/Ibanez 24-pin synth guitars) always designed the GK "sensor" body to conform with a stock Strat wrt string clearance adjacent the bridge and fingerboard radius. The GK-3 adds the capability to adjust the spacing between strings and polepieces, among other features.

That said, on my "GR Ready" Strat, the GK sensor, whichever version it is (white, with molded raised Roland name) is mounted from below the plastic pickguard and protrudes up through a slot in the pickguard. OTOH, on my "GR Ready" Ovation flattop acoustic-electric, the GK sensor, whichever version it is (black, with Roland name in white), is mounted on top of the soundboard with double-sided tape (and is a headache to keep stuck down!), with the cable led down through a slot in the soundboard. However, despite these mounting differences, they both appear to have the same profile as the sensor of the GK-3 which I also have.

There is a GK-3 "kit" version for building-in:
http://www.rolandus.com/products/details/235

There are also piezo bridge divided hex pickups from RMC, Baggs, Shadow (and Fishman?) which can retrofit Fender and Gibson type bridges. Not necessarily cheap, but at least alternative options to using a GK. I have the RMC and Baggs pups in my Godins and they work, but piezos can be problematic with the VG boxes (requiring input filter circuit fixes for the VG and/or bridge stabilization).

Of course, nowadays, if one hasn't already invested in a VG box, one can just buy a VG Strat with the guts all onboard, but that's fairly limited in capability compared to a full VG box.

You might find some useful info in the VG group on yahoo.

Btw, I'm a big fan of the VG alternate tunings too! And 12-string is also nice...

Edited by Goddard (30/11/12 12:20 AM)


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Dave B



Joined: 03/04/03
Posts: 5544
Loc: Maidenhead
Re: GK3 Pickup new [Re: Dave B]
      #1021490 - 30/11/12 08:06 AM
G - I hear you loud and clear re attaching a GK3 with tape. I've done that on one of my Gordon Smith Ts and it has been fine until recently but is now starting to float up a bit. Time to (carefully) strip it off and clean up the residue. I've just blagged a cheap Vintage strat to attach it to and I already have the mounting plates for both types of guitar (I was a boy scout : I am prepared! lol) so I'll build a proper VG ready guitar.

Having said that, my mad home brew that Max made is pretty darned good and tracks incredibly well. So that may have to be the primary unless I can get the new one set up really well. I suppose the smart thing to do would be to dangle cash or beer in front of Max and get him to tweak the new one as well ...



--------------------
Veni, Vidi, Aesculi
(I came, I saw, I conkered)


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