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GK Guitars / Re: GK Ready Guitars
« Last post by Tony Raven on Today at 10:35:02 AM »
Mostly from abject curiosity ;) but is anyone keeping a current list of Roland-ready guitars that are available -- as in, someone sends them credit-card info & a ready-to-play instrument arrives within ten days?

I really enjoy my Switch, but it's got some niggly wiring issues I've not got round to, & anyway I'm concerned about longterm stability (which of course has never been tested) of the body material, particularly the headstock. While I can readily stick a GK onto another guitar, it's still an inelegant solution (& doesn't fit so nicely into a case). So, I'd like to consider my ACTUAL options.

Some of these guitars are so totally beautiful that I wonder if the GK-KIT wasn't possibly an afterthought, to make it look more "weird." And the prices are generally high enough that I seemingly ought to contact a luthier (& have an ACTUAL custom axe built for the price) or stick to known brands (I love the Parker BUT find their trem a bit niggly) or have some major dealer like Ed Roman make the effort for me (search or mod or build from scratch).

Speaking of Ed Roman (the company, not dear dead Ed), here's a commissioned Abstract "Bolero" semihollow (:o) of korina/purpleheart with inlaid maple fingerboard, plus Stenberger TransTrem -- apparently with both mag AND piezo outs.

Ed once posted that they'd sold a few hex-kit Abstract "Pagan" guitars, which are super-thin. I've heard base price is like $2,200, but it's built-to-need --

And there's always Old School --

GK Mag Hex (GK-2A,GK-3) / Re: How does GK3 volume knob works?
« Last post by philjynx on Today at 10:16:47 AM »
It's a very smooth conventional rotary potentiometer. Pretty well sealed from the world but it'll wear eventually. It does not have the slot you see on cheaper pots, so dust can't get in that way, but for the same reason you can't blast it with air or switch cleaner!
GK Mag Hex (GK-2A,GK-3) / How does GK3 volume knob works?
« Last post by together on Today at 10:01:03 AM »
How does GK3 volume knob works?
Is it a contact ribbon like other volume pots, that can get dirty and needs to clean from time to time.
GK Mag Hex (GK-2A,GK-3) / Re: GK3 volume knob crackles
« Last post by together on Today at 09:33:08 AM »
The sound crackles when moving the volume knob of the GK3,
Similar to a bad contact of guitar volume pot.
General Discussion / Re: My Experience at Ambicon 2013 [VG related]
« Last post by Tony Raven on Today at 09:29:56 AM »
Upon rereading this thread, I thought I might expand on one point.
Ok- I'll start with:  THE GUITAR. It's one I bought in 2002- a Route 101 Solimar.
Best I can tell, the company folded ~2003. They had the Solimar (Strat) & Rincon (Tele), with some hardware upgrade paths & variants, as well as their "Made in U.S.A." line. (There's much online conjecture that Route 101 got in trouble for assembling their "U.S." guitars from foreign-made components, but I have yet to see proof of that.) Their homepage remains, though, titled "A Custom Guitar from $329!" --

As a gear hound, I have Route 101 on my "watch for" list because it's one of the few brands that offers a hardtail Stratoclone (& is MUCH less pricey than a Fender or even Squier).

GK Accessories / Re: External Expression Pedals / External CTL Pedals
« Last post by Elantric on Today at 09:12:24 AM »
DIY EV-5 Expression pedal

1.  Use a TRS jack
2.  Use  a linear (B-taper) 10K Linear pot
3.  Wire ground to the jack sleeve like normal
4.  Wire the high side of the pot to the jack ring terminal
5.  Wire the pot wiper to the jack tip terminal
6.  Low side of the pot goes to ground

Welcome to the first post of our new Strymon Tech Corner series! I will be posting technical articles on music electronics as part of our blog at least once a month. Pete, Dave and Gregg from our team may also write an article here and there when they can get time away from their PCB layout programs and DSP emulators. Hopefully you’ll find these posts helpful and informative.

In this first edition I’ll be going through the inner workings of the common expression pedal. Once we know how one works, then comes the fun stuff … tearing them apart, modding, etc, etc. But that will be left to next month’s article 🙂

expression pedal from moog

We knew from day 1 that we wanted some of our pedals to feature expression pedal inputs. So, the question was “what’s the standard?” That is, do all manufacturers make their expression pedals the same way? Luckily the answer is yes … mostly.

Expression pedals work by feeding a control voltage to a device, such as a guitar pedal or synthesizer. The voltage is read by the device and then used to change some type of parameter. The voltage range depends on the design of the pedal or synth. Our Strymon pedals, for example, read control voltages from 0 to 5 volts DC. Turns out that this is a fairly common voltage range, especially in music electronics where MIDI (a 5V system) is still popular and widely used after over 25 years. The expression pedal itself, however has nothing to do with the voltage range. It’s only function is to manipulate that range and control the control voltage. The way almost every expression pedal out there works is that it takes a reference voltage from the device it’s connected to, divides that voltage down by a certain amount and then feeds it back to the device. In electronic terms, this is most commonly accomplished with a TRS (tip / ring / sleeve) 1/4″ cable where the reference voltage is on the “ring,” the control voltage is fed back to the device on the “tip” and the “sleeve” is ground.

Here  is what a standard 1/4″ TRS plug looks like:

As you can see from this 1907 diagram, TRS has been around for a long long time 😉

Here is the schematic for a typical expression pedal:

As you can see, the simplest and most common method is to use a passive potentiometer. A reference voltage from the device would enter the expression pedal jack on the ring. Then that voltage gets connected across a 10k load which is the resistive element of the potentiometer. When you move the expression treadle up and down there is a mechanical mechanism that physically turns the treadle potentiometer or “pot” as it’s commonly known. You can visualize the arrow at pin 1 of the treadle pot moving from pin 3 to pin 2 as one moves his/her foot back and forth on the pedal. This is what varies the voltage at pin 1. This is the control voltage which then travels out of the pedal on the tip of the jack. R2 is only present as a current limiter and not applicable to this discussion.

The Moog EP-2, Roland EV-5, and M-Audio EX-P all work in this manner, and therefore, work with our pedals. The nice thing about this standard design is that the control voltage is very stable and the value of the potentiometer in the expression pedal doesn’t matter so much. The Line6 EX1 is the only one we’ve see that works differently, with only a simple resistor divider and a mono cable. The nice thing about their solution is that it uses a mono cable. Two disadvantages are: 1. The expression pedal input circuit is highly dependent on the value of the potentiometer in the expression pedal.  2. Their products won’t work with other manufacturer’s expression pedals and vice versa.

GK Mag Hex (GK-2A,GK-3) / Re: GK3 volume knob crackles
« Last post by Elantric on Today at 09:06:47 AM »
GK3 volume knob crackles when changing volume,
Is there any possible fix?
thank you

Thats often a result of poor 13 pin contacts

follow steps  in this thread

GK 13 pin Cable Maintenance Tips.
GK Accessories / Re: External Expression Pedals / External CTL Pedals
« Last post by snhirsch on Today at 08:55:07 AM »

I suspect that M-Audio EXP1 scheamtic is drawn wrong

Schematic is correct.  I just received an EX-P and the switch must be in "M-Audio" position to function properly with GA-FC and Katana.  Mechanically, the pedal is almost identical to the OnStage unit. 
GK Mag Hex (GK-2A,GK-3) / GK3 volume knob crackles
« Last post by together on Today at 08:44:30 AM »
GK3 volume knob crackles when changing volume,
Is there any possible fix?
thank you
Got a real good deal on the Helix and could not resist:

(Image removed from quote.)

I was hoping to make a "Helix version" of the VController or add Helix support to the VController, but that is not likely to happen. The Helix editor uses a proprietary protocol to communicate with the Helix. A quick peek with a USB sniffer did not give me much hope. The communication may be encrypted.

The Helix does have midi for control of external devices. And the VController can do basic control of the Helix (patch change/ effect and looper control), but it can not read patch names and parameter states. The Helix does not respond to a universal system inquiry command on MIDI, so there is definitely no sysex implementation there.

So I will see if I like the Helix as it is. I do have a 60 day return policy on it, so I can't go wrong really. And the Helix is praised for its user interface, so I should be able to get some new ideas for the VController.

Impressions so far:
- It is big and heavy.
- Displays are nice and bright.
- I do not like the clicking noise of the switches.
- I think the presets of the GP10 were more inspiring to me than those of the Helix.
- The older amps are not that good out of the box. The newer ones are great. Really like the litigator.
- It does look like a well thought out complete solution with a lot of options. I/O is great, routing of effects is excellent.


My annoyances with Helix are the patch to patch change gaps , and the joystick can get bumped by a guitar cable which can change the Helix patch settings mid song ( I move a lot on stage)

and fresh out of the box - I found the patches cold and uninspiring.

The Helix can deliver good tone, but you have to work at it  - Load third party Cab IRs helps.

I find the Headrush User interface with the color touch screen FAR superior, but the the Headrush lacks an intelligent harmonizer, and the reverbs are average.

I recently acquired a Kemper Remote , and  need to update the FW in my Kemper. I know a few pros who have gone full circle and are now back on a Kemper  thanks to this year's Kemper Firmware updates.
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