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windship5x5

roland gk3 install

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I purchased a new ST2FPA this summer and I could'nt be happier GREAT guitar. Every sound and key possiblity.In my quest for new sounds I'm going with the Roland GK3.I'm very good with my hands so I,m going with a self install.If anyone out there has been down this road before I'd like to hear your input before I start. Thanks alot.[cool][woot]

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The traditional Steinberger "paddle" body shape has always been a bit limited when considering outboard GK installations.

But if what you do really intend, is to install the GK internally, then why don't you go for a GK-Kit instead, as that one was though for internal installation indeed and does come with all parts split and also the necessary instructions?

 

http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.php?ProductId=235

 

Cheers, JPB

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Thats what I'm getting is the kit.Thanks for the info I've already got the specs on the unit.I'ts just after being a carpenter for a long time I know sometimes its best to hear from someone who's done it already. Possible control locations etc. since the guitar shape is unique as you said. thanks

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I have been thinking the same thing, and actually reached out to Ned Steinberger about MIDI. There are other options than the Roland GK-3 / GR-20 or VG-99 combination, such as Graphtech.com where you can check out the Ghost system which has a bridge that contains midi pickups per string as well as piezo capability. This also is the fastest tracking MIDI system in the world today, and is in use by Carvin on its SH-575 series as well as by Parker Fly Mojo MIDI and the MOOG EV-1M. I have a GK-3 self installed on my Epiphone Black Beauty, and it tracks well for slow playing but will skips notes when you really start moving on scales and tapping or hammer-ons.

 

http://baatkarlo-aol.spaces.live.com

http://graphtech.com

http://carvin.com - look under custom shop for SH-575

http://moogguitar.com

 

Do let us know how your internal kit install goes regardless of which one you choose to install. The Graphtech Ghost kit will also require replacing the beautiful sounding original piezo bridge designed by Ned, so be prepared for your sound altering drastically, although your MIDI tracking will be astoundingly close to real time.

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One other point - take a look at http://www.rmcpickup.com/RMCprices2008.pdf - this is the bridge/preamp combination going into Breedlove and Godin Multiac guitars, and likely the bridge going into the Gibson Robot as well. Expensive but extremely fast tracking for MIDI. There is an internal preamp option for $250 and two versions of the acoustic bridge (std and tall) for another $250 plus $50 for back plates. You would still need a Roland GR-20 for $650 so you're looking at turning your Synapse Custom F2PA from 900 to something that totals 1450 plus labor plus GR-20 - about $2000 if you do it yourself or upwards from $2500 if you get a luthier to do it.

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Ahoy mates, Finally I’m able to get back to the Steinberger nation from below deck on the S.S. synapse. There are pictures available thanks to my computer god nephew Al. I’m very bad with computers and typing. I’m learning. Perhaps check out the pictures first. It is possible, but very mad scientist and midi- evil. After much thought, and not many choices I went with the battery compartment to hold the new controls. The initial hole I drilled was for the pickup wire, unfortunately the hole has to be wider than the pickup but the connecter is a little large. The fun part was creating the tunnel between that hole and the battery space. Then drilling and cutting out the holes for the volume and selector switch. I was afraid of the wear and tear on the 13 pin Roland input so as you can see I replaced the ¼” input with the input in the kit. To do that you have to cut a slot in the guitar deep enough and tight so it will hold the plastic piece the output is mounted to. As I mentioned in my earlier message I’m a carpenter so I’ve got the tools to make my mad scientist experiments go a little less mad. I used a Fein cutting tool for the slot and other areas making slots for the wiring to run. The tool is one of those vibrating tools that everyone and their mother has out now, but Fein is the best I’ve found. As you can see putting in the little computer board in the main compartment is kind of like sitting on a suitcase and zipping it shut. If you do this maneuver the way I did you will need to put in a kill switch for the battery. I actually had that done by a guitar tech who thought I was crazy (more about that later)so of course he put in that giant toggle that doesn’t match anything. Also I’d like to say right here THANKYOU to Gibson for sending the matching knob along to my local store at no charge I was very impressed. I took the guitar to 2 of the best guitar techs in my area because one day the guitar fell silent. They checked out everything and the guy who thought I was completely out of my mind for trying any of this diagnosed that the preamp had died. He laughed when I brought up warranty because he worked for Gibson for a long time and he said not a chance. He said after many years of owning and dealing with EMG pickups he’d never heard of a preamp going out. EMG was also anxious to see what the problem was 80.00 later plus the install and the kill switch I was back making music. I myself do not see any way the pickup could have caused the preamp to blow but maybe some of you seasoned Steinheads have a theory. All I know is for me it was all very well worth it. I feel bad when I see the video of Mr. Steiberger say the synapse does’nt really sound like an acoustic guitar. When I put it through those 13 pins into the GR-20 then into the Native Instruments guitar rig 4 on some of the presets I stay up all night grinding out (instead of learning how to type) I get an amazing acoustic guitar sound that can burn your house down. I wish he could hear it! Thanks for going out on the technological limb Mr. S. If anyone out there is planning on taking the midi- evil trip I took and has questions, perhaps I can be helpful but remember this was my first voyage. Playon. Windship5x5

 

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Thanks for posting those photos. I've got a GK3 internal kit on the way that's going in my transcale Custom. I've also got a Fein tool, which will help immensely. Your photos have provided me with a road map for the project. Much appreciated. I'm trying to figure out where to put the 1/4" jack. But using your approach, it should be much easier to install the 1/4" jack in another location than hogging out a bunch of material for the 13-pin jack. Very clever install on the 13-pin!

 

Looking closely at your photos, it appears the wings on the black transcale are made from particle board? Is that correct or just the way the photos look? It especially appears that way around the holes in the battery cavity photo.

 

I thought all of these were made with a rock maple neck and rock maple wings. Maybe that's the difference between the black/white transcales and the transparent finished customs.

 

Nice work!

 

Jim

www.kozelguitars.com

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Thanks for your kind words on my mad scientist project.I bought a ZT3 about 6 months ago I have'nt decided if I'll try it again but I got a great deal on the GK3 some weeks ago out of the U.K. on Ebay.Nope that is not particleboard it's just old Dave's gnaw marks from the fein, it probably is rock maple it was pretty hard but I did'nt taste it or anything. Hah! Good luck on your project just take it nice and slow. Dave.

 

Thanks for posting those photos. I've got a GK3 internal kit on the way that's going in my transcale Custom. I've also got a Fein tool, which will help immensely. Your photos have provided me with a road map for the project. Much appreciated. I'm trying to figure out where to put the 1/4" jack. But using your approach, it should be much easier to install the 1/4" jack in another location than hogging out a bunch of material for the 13-pin jack. Very clever install on the 13-pin!

 

Looking closely at your photos, it appears the wings on the black transcale are made from particle board? Is that correct or just the way the photos look? It especially appears that way around the holes in the battery cavity photo.

 

I thought all of these were made with a rock maple neck and rock maple wings. Maybe that's the difference between the black/white transcales and the transparent finished customs.

 

Nice work!

 

Jim

www.kozelguitars.com

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