Author Topic: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?  (Read 17991 times)

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Offline mooncaine

What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« on: October 05, 2011, 07:18:57 PM »
I'm with Elantric on this issue, I don't see the 13 pin guitar dominating the marketplace anytime soon.

Something's gotta change on the GK to make it easier for a newbie to put one on the guitar, or that'll never happen. The downsides that confront a potential GK user are:

1. Can't get the pickup in the spacing that fits your guitar's string spacing
2. Control box (the 'wart') is big
3. GK volume knob and GK switches aren't where you'd want them
4. Switching virtual pickups doesn't work as quickly and well as the old-fashioned, 5-way or 3-way toggle switch because you can't do it 'by feel.' You can't feel when the pickup switch is on neck or bridge pickup
5. Related to #4: the controls aren't in a convenient place, like a guitar's 'normal' controls.
6. Cable is huge.
7. Considering those drawbacks, the pickup costs too much.

I'd like to see a modular pickup set: you buy a pickup that fits your guitar's string spacing, and plug it into the same wart they all use.

The volume knob, and a pickup switch, would be on a second, very flat wart that can be plugged in to the main wart using cables that are easy to find, like 1/8" stereo cables. You can put it where you want, or leave it off (the GK should work without them). Sell it separately. The wart comes with a 5-way switch, like a Strat's, or a 3-way like a Les Paul's.*

All these things need to be cheap enough to rival a 'normal' pickup's cost, and easy enough to install that it won't take a newbie all weekend.

Nowadays, you can use Velcro, putty, double-stick tape or maybe even nylon zip-ties to attach stuff to your guitar, if you want to avoid drilling holes or routing. You can buy a wide variety of knobs, faders, switches or buttons. Seems like a modular system might cut costs, for those who want to try it out, and yet also offer enough options, using ready-made parts, to make it easy for players to put the controls they want, where they want.

*Use the same switches guitars already use, but wire them to resistors, so that a 5-pos switch is basically just changing resistance on a 5-volt circuit, and you only need a mono 1/8" cable, or even smaller. That way, the field is wide open for alternative controls, for the players who'd want that.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2015, 10:39:52 AM by Elantric »

Offline Elantric

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2011, 07:36:06 PM »
Its my opinion its the poor 1989 decision to use that damn FRAGILE DIN 13 pin circular connector, (with Zero Analog Ground pins?) and the ugly "Borg" GK-3 controls which restricts the ability to put the guitar in a hardshell case, and negates mass acceptance of Roland Guitar Synth  / VG systems.

As a test -
1) Using your foot (wear shoes!),  put out a cigarette. Observe the results  - a flattened cigarette.

2) Now replace the cigarette with a DIN 13 connector (as used on a Roland GK13 cable) under your foot, and use the same physical motion with your foot employed as in step #1 above,  Observe the results  - a flattened damaged connector, making the Roland VG-99, GR-55 useless.

3) Now replace the cigarette with a Neutrik Ethercon XLR connector (as used in the Variax) under your foot, and use the same physical motion with your foot employed as in step #1 above,  Observe the results  - no damage to the robust  Neutrik Ethercon XLR connector, making the Line6 Gear far far more road worthy that Roland gear.

Its that simple. Its these basic fragile elements to the Roland GK User experience, that negates its use by many major artists when on the road.



 
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 08:44:26 AM by Elantric »

Offline MCK

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2011, 08:03:22 PM »
#1 - Ouch, my feet burned. Blisters forming...

#2 - Ouch, blister popped, blood oozing.

#3 - Double ouch, that neutrik XLR was so strong it is now permanently embedded into my feet. Blood still oozing...

Moral of the story, make sure to keep your shoes on before trying Elantric's experiment posted above!  ;D

Joke aside, I really like how Tronical solved the hex signal over stereo cable riddle. mux/demux is the way to go. You can then even offer wireless capabilities.

Offline gumtown

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2011, 08:23:36 PM »
1) Either wireless, or use of a standard 6.5mm jack.

2) A GR/VG unit that can detect a GK or normal guitar plugeed into it, if normal - mono modeling + effects only, if GK compatable is sensed, provide 12 volt DC supply and a multiplexed bi-directional signal to the guitar on the same standard TS 6.5mm plug/cable.

3) Make drop-in replacement bridge pickup for strat or LP which operates as a combined normal PU plus a hex PU, and still looks like the guitar's original single coil or P90.
Same for the knobs and PU switches, after market 'dual purpose' 3 or 5 way selector which does the normal PU plus position data to the controller.

I am sure it is the specialised 13pin cable and the black cancerous growth on the guitar that is 'off putting' to 'traditional guitarists'.
I am also surprised that Roland haven't invested in polyphonic pitch analysis from a mono composite signal, such as seen in computer based software (TS-Audio2Midi) which as of 7 years ago worked very well, no need for a GK guitar at all.
Free "GR-55 FloorBoard" editor software from http://sourceforge.net/projects/grfloorboard/

Offline aliensporebomb

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2011, 08:28:56 PM »
Its my opinion its the poor 1989 decision to us that damn FRAGILE DIN 13 pin circular connector, (with Zero Analog Ground pins!) and the ugly "Borg" GK-3 controls which restricts the advance of Roland systems.

As a test -
1) Using your foot,  put out a cigarette. Observe the results  - a flattened cigarette.

2) Now replace the cigarette with a DIN 13 connector (as used on a Roland GK13 cable) under your foot, and use the same physical motion with your foot employed as in step #1 above,  Observe the results  - a flattened damaged connector, making the Roland VG-99, GR-55 useless.

3) Now replace the cigarette with a Neutrik Ethercon XLR connector (as used in the Variax) under your foot, and use the same physical motion with your foot employed as in step #1 above,  Observe the results  - no damage to the robust  Neutrik Ethercon XLR connector, making the Line6 Gear far far more road worthy that Roland gear.

Its that simple. Its these basic fragile elements to the Roland GK User experience, that negates its use by many major artists when on the road.



 

Elantric:  How about:

Roland 13-pin connector to Neutrik adapter with Neutrik cable then on the other end the adapter switches back to a Roland 13-pin?  It would be doable, no?  Maybe more complicated than I think just thinking about it.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2011, 08:37:42 PM by aliensporebomb »
"this is aliensporebomb" - my instrumental debut with the vg99 now on itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/this-is-aliensporebomb/id391880218
More online at http://www.aliensporebomb.com/

My VG-99 based music projects:
http://www.aliensporebomb.com/

Offline aliensporebomb

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2011, 08:36:59 PM »
1) Either wireless, or use of a standard 6.5mm jack.

2) A GR/VG unit that can detect a GK or normal guitar plugeed into it, if normal - mono modeling + effects only, if GK compatable is sensed, provide 12 volt DC supply and a multiplexed bi-directional signal to the guitar on the same standard TS 6.5mm plug/cable.

3) Make drop-in replacement bridge pickup for strat or LP which operates as a combined normal PU plus a hex PU, and still looks like the guitar's original single coil or P90.
Same for the knobs and PU switches, after market 'dual purpose' 3 or 5 way selector which does the normal PU plus position data to the controller.

I am sure it is the specialised 13pin cable and the black cancerous growth on the guitar that is 'off putting' to 'traditional guitarists'.
I am also surprised that Roland haven't invested in polyphonic pitch analysis from a mono composite signal, such as seen in computer based software (TS-Audio2Midi) which as of 7 years ago worked very well, no need for a GK guitar at all.

The "wart", as I like to call it - if we must be forced to use the 13-pin setup why not set up a series of service centers to do GK-KIT internal installs since I don't really want to try such a complicated procedure myself and I'd rather pay someone who knows what they're doing unlike myself who would just try to convert the external GK3 to an internal in a failure ridden explosion probably.

But yeah, since the FC-300 uses an ethernet connection why couldn't the GR and VG products?  Even maybe doing some kind of 13-pin adapter on the GR/VG end to a "more convenient form factor cable" then converting back on the guitar end.

It's not ideal but I only have one 13-pin cable and it's amazing how much I've been gigging with the VG99.  I guard the cable like it's the most expensive part of the
setup short of the VG itself.
"this is aliensporebomb" - my instrumental debut with the vg99 now on itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/this-is-aliensporebomb/id391880218
More online at http://www.aliensporebomb.com/

My VG-99 based music projects:
http://www.aliensporebomb.com/

Offline mooncaine

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2011, 09:20:19 PM »
Good discussion and good ideas. :)

Offline acousticglue

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2011, 05:43:40 AM »
Yes specialized 1/4" cable that goes to device and receives at the 13 pin (receptor) so the device (VG99) does not have to be modded and guitar does not have to be modded.

Offline Gastric

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2011, 06:03:51 AM »
The biggest hurdle is the cost. All of the related GK gear simply costs way more than the average musician can afford in one lump sum. Most musicians I meet are broke.

Beyond that installing and setting up the friggin' pickup is head bangingly difficult. Stickers and spacers to adjust height of the pickup? Insane! And insanely difficult! Drilling holes in my guitar? Insane! But 2 screws and 2 springs are so much easier to adjust. And then there's the string spacing and individual string height adjustments, or lack thereof. The whole thing is INSANE! They need to spend some time engineering the hardware in a more robust, and yet more easy-to-install package. And shrink the controller somehow as it's so huge it's hard to install on some instruments, namely just about every bass guitar in the world other than a Jazz bodied bass.

Really the entire GK pickup/controller/cable from a hardware perspective is INSANE. That's the biggest turn off.  Note I have 2 basses and 1 guitar with the GK pickup so it's not like I can't do it or it's impossible. But it's challenging and time consuming and I feel pretty handy/technical. An average user simply won't try.

And this is all before you even get to plug it into the unit and start trying to setup the GK parameters in the GR unit. :) INSANE!

Offline tekrytor

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2011, 08:18:54 AM »
Great discussion, and tip my hat to mooncain, another old timer in the GR landscape.

Just wanted to add that the14th conductor on the 13-pin cable is the shield, and my Variax cable is now flat and useless. I stomped it a little to hard I guess. Damn python boots!
SY-300/BeatBuddy/VoiceLive 3/GR-55(v1.50)/33/1/50/700/VGA-7/V-Bass, Yam-G10, GPK-4, DIY X-Bee HighlyLiquidCPU "Cozy-Lil-Footie", FCB-1010, other MIDI stuff, Godin Freeway SA and various other GK equipped controllers, Sonar X1, Audacity, KXstudio, Misc devices

Offline mbenigni

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2011, 09:46:43 AM »
My god, wireless GK would make me SO happy.   :o  It's a costly proposition though, encoding 7 audio signals + control signals into one broadcast signal.  Then receiving and decoding at the GR/VG/whatever.

Going analog wireless you'd run into compression/fidelity concerns, going digital would mean moving lots of A/D to the guitar (an external beltpack-type transmitter would kill much of the appeal) which would be a killer on whatever battery solution you arrive at.  And these days a rechargable onboard battery is a must, which in itself is pretty costly.  Then there's all the mechanical engineering in figuring out a modular solution for an external kit, a reasonably approachable DIY solution for an internal kit...

Expensive to engineer, expensive to manufacture.  It would be more appealing for sure, but the resulting price would probably result in fewer sales.  I'd buy it!  (Probably sell everything else to pay for it.)

(You can probably guess by my rambling here that I've considered trying to tackle this problem myself.  It's way beyond me, is what I concluded.)

Offline mbenigni

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2011, 12:49:42 PM »
Quote
I am also surprised that Roland haven't invested in polyphonic pitch analysis from a mono composite signal, such as seen in computer based software (TS-Audio2Midi) which as of 7 years ago worked very well, no need for a GK guitar at all.
I've said the same thing!  PC's with general purpose audio interfaces were doing this years ago; surely if a veteran company like Roland paired a purpose-built preamp with filtering with a fast embedded system optimized for code like this, they could get the job done quite well and offer a cheap, accessible solution. A stompbox with a guitar in, a guitar thru, and a MIDI out.  Maybe throw an expression pedal on it for good measure.

And WIDI works even better than TSAudio!  http://www.widisoft.com/english/widi-audio-to-midi-vst.html   It doesn't do multitrack analysis based on different timbres the way TS-Audio can (a pretty amazing feat) but it's fast enough to use in real time.  For a while I was using it to track MIDI from my analog guitar signal.  Because it was all one signal, I could get guitar audio + MIDI over wireless.  I had a guitar bug transmitter, and a tiny wireless receiver velcro'd to a laptop with an Echo Indigo IO, running Ableton Live, Guitar Rig, and various softsynths.  We're talking about a rig that could theoretically do anything - amps, effects, synths, backing tracks, looping ... even recording and post-production - and it weighed a couple pounds and could be run completely wirelessly, save for headphones or your runs to a PA.

More than anything it's kind of a cool parlour trick, to make your friends go "How are you doing that??".  I should get it set it up again; I still have all the parts.  But of course WIDI doesn't track anywhere near as well as a hex solution - good for slow pads and backing strings where you don't mind the stray 5th or octave, not too good for anything more precise.  And obviously you're not going to replace guitar modeling, alternate tunings, etc. with a solution like this.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 02:54:16 PM by mbenigni »

Offline datsunrobbie

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2011, 02:27:27 PM »
I definitely agree with Elantric on the durability issue. The flimsy 13-pin connector has always been a concern. Lack of installers is another big issue. Most of the players I know won't even attempt their own setups on a "normal" strat, so the thought of setting up even an an external GK stops them cold. But if you really want to see more success for GK-equipped gear somebody famous is going to have to use it and make a big deal about it, like Clapton/Hendrix/Dale with the Stratocaster or Clapton/Page/Slash with the Les Paul. I've had my old G-707 hanging up on the wall for nearly 10 years, and my daughter (almost 15) never took note of it until she saw one in a music video on Disney channel last week. Suddenly it's the coolest of all the guitars in the studio, and she has no idea it's a synth controller  :P

Offline Gastric

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2011, 04:10:26 PM »
Going beyond the hardware. How about doing everything LINE6 does regarding supporting their user community?

* Providing a company hosted online community for questions, support, chat, etc.?
* Providing software editors for their products?
* Providing easy upload/download/search for factory, artist, and user patches for their products?
* E.G., all the things to make using the products so much easier.

When I meet non-technical guitarists that want multieffects I always steer them towards LINE6 products as they're typically much easier to use and program thanks to the editors. Not that Gumtown's editors are bad, they're excellent. But Gumtown shouldn't even need to be spending hundreds/thousands of man hours programming them.

Offline drbill

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2011, 07:43:37 PM »
Going beyond the hardware. How about doing everything LINE6 does regarding supporting their user community?

* Providing a company hosted online community for questions, support, chat, etc.?
* Providing software editors for their products?
* Providing easy upload/download/search for factory, artist, and user patches for their products?
* E.G., all the things to make using the products so much easier.

When I meet non-technical guitarists that want multieffects I always steer them towards LINE6 products as they're typically much easier to use and program thanks to the editors. Not that Gumtown's editors are bad, they're excellent. But Gumtown shouldn't even need to be spending hundreds/thousands of man hours programming them.


All so true. There are even actual Line6 employees answering questions and following up on problems in the forums -- not to say that the guys here are not amazingly friendly and helpful. Roland basically throws the products over the wall and walks away.

GP-10, KPA
BM i2.13p, '76 Les Paul Deluxe w/GK-3, MiM RRS, Ibanez RG420GK, Charvel strat copy w/GK-2a, FTP

Offline aliensporebomb

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2011, 07:58:19 PM »
Definetely.  And with more and more companies using social media to stay connected with their users and building customer bases (heck, Steve Jobs even personally answered emails from customers if you emailed him) the "Big R" folks tend to stay somewhat remote and disconnected from their user bases - there are some signs of communication here and there (twitter in particular) but really Roland in the UK is more connected than US and who knows about Japan?  After what BillR said about "don't even try to contact Roland Japan, it will just make it worse". 

Yeah, great customer service attitude there.  Great products but leaving bugs unsolved as "unproven" or the like doesn't help the user base.  Look at Fractal - users report a bug and it's fixed that afternoon.  Frequent updates, etc.  I'm preaching to the choir, I know.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 08:01:16 PM by aliensporebomb »
"this is aliensporebomb" - my instrumental debut with the vg99 now on itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/this-is-aliensporebomb/id391880218
More online at http://www.aliensporebomb.com/

My VG-99 based music projects:
http://www.aliensporebomb.com/

Offline Macciza

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2011, 08:52:10 PM »
Hi All
I must admit I don't have too much of an issue with the 13pin connector - it is a somewhat necessary evil. It has greater pro's than cons
The only better system I have seen was the Passac Sentient Six - which used TRS connectors and mux'd the piezo outputs but this required replacing your tremolo with a Kahler unit with builtin electronics. The system did work very well unless you left the cable at home - no-one else would have a stereo guitar lead . . . .

As to the install comments - I don't buy it - it is pretty simple to install and setup; and could easily been done by any half-decent guitar tech imho. Or you can buy guitars with it builtin so I do not see the problem here either.

From the limited exposure I have had to Line6 gear I have never been as impressed as the Roland stuff - To me, lot's of updates suggests a half-baked initial release that needs fixing. And this 'HD' stuff?? I can't find anything to explain the 'HD' claim - it's advertising MumboJumbo to make you think it's better than other presumably SD stuff . . .
Oh and all there claims about 'inventing' amp modelling and being first with guitar modelling really shits me, particularly when the punters start repeating it.
The Ethernet connector on Variax is sending mono digital audio from the guitar not polyphonic. 
The WIDI system seems very poor after a quick look at it and could never provide the sort of info that individual pickups gives.

I love the fact that the Roland gear is far more complex than the others - it does not need to be 'easier to use' imho . . .
If you want a guitar multi-effects get a GT10 or similar , if you want futuristic options the VG99 is the only way to go.

Just my opinion . .
MM



'70s Strat, Brian Moore iM, VG-8, VG-99, FC-300, VL-70m, StringPort, SoftStep, Sentient6, iMac QC i7 27".

Offline mbenigni

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2011, 09:14:32 AM »
Going beyond the hardware. How about doing everything LINE6 does regarding supporting their user community?

* Providing a company hosted online community for questions, support, chat, etc.?
* Providing software editors for their products?
* Providing easy upload/download/search for factory, artist, and user patches for their products?
* E.G., all the things to make using the products so much easier.

When I meet non-technical guitarists that want multieffects I always steer them towards LINE6 products as they're typically much easier to use and program thanks to the editors. Not that Gumtown's editors are bad, they're excellent. But Gumtown shouldn't even need to be spending hundreds/thousands of man hours programming them.

All good points.

While Roland has done a lot of great work in modeling guitars, amps, and effects, the one cue they haven't taken from Line 6 is how to "model" guitar-playing culture.  They tend to pitch their gear as if they were sterile computing devices, whereas Line 6 knows how to spin things so they are in context with a guitarist's experiences, e.g. vintage gear, etc.

Roland's anachronistic user interfaces and reluctance to provide modern accomodations like PC/Mac editing software, etc. is all an extension of this problem IMO.  "Throwing the products over the wall", as drbill puts it, sums it up pretty nicely.  It's like they don't quite know who we are.

Offline vanceg

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2011, 06:55:17 AM »
I absolutely agree that the 13 pin standard is silly. I'd much rather see an RJ-45 connector or a 1/4" connector.

I absolutely DISagree that installing a GK pickup is difficult or cumbersome. 1000% disagree.  I mean, I hear people say that it's a pain to set the 13 pin pickup at the right height and angle because they are using the plastic spacers to adjust the height of the pickup. Why not drill into your guitar and put the GK pickup on screws with springs under it?  These are included in the install kit?  Oh, you don't want to drill into your guitar?  Well - Frankly - Too friggin bad!  I mean, to me this is like saying "I had to COMPLETELY RUIN my strat because I  had to ROUTE A HOLE IN MY GUITAR to put the magnetic pickup in it".  Nobody would ever say that.  If you feel like the 13 pin pickup is part of your instrument - then MAKE it part of your instrument. Dont plan on ever taking it off. If you want to add any part to your guitar, and want it to be reversible, then you have to use some temporary affixing technique, and these will be less sturdy than something you plan to attach forever. How is this a surprise or disappointment to anyone?

So what we are REALLY saying is - How do we add hex capabilities to guitars whithout altering the guitar at all, so that people can remove them later.  I'd say we should be encouraging people to have hex pickups as permanent installations. 

Then there is the string spacing issue - this is a tough one - we simply need more types of hex pickups to be available on the market.  THere are several humbucker sized hex pickups available on the market but most of these cannot be mounted close enough to the bridge and suffer from crosstalk and loosing signal strength when strings are bent.  That's problematic.  So I do really approve of the little GK sized pickups in that they can be mounted so close to the bridge. Perhaps there needs to be a GK3 that has adjustable pole positions.  I can imagine that this is possible.  Or perhaps just several string spacing sizes....


Offline guitarhelper

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2011, 07:25:02 AM »
wireless based on gk/13 pin(?)maybe at Namm 2012


by the inventor of the Axon

USB???Why Not?

Brian

Offline aliensporebomb

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2011, 08:48:34 PM »
I absolutely agree that the 13 pin standard is silly. I'd much rather see an RJ-45 connector or a 1/4" connector.

I absolutely DISagree that installing a GK pickup is difficult or cumbersome. 1000% disagree.  I mean, I hear people say that it's a pain to set the 13 pin pickup at the right height and angle because they are using the plastic spacers to adjust the height of the pickup. Why not drill into your guitar and put the GK pickup on screws with springs under it?  These are included in the install kit?  Oh, you don't want to drill into your guitar?  Well - Frankly - Too friggin bad!  I mean, to me this is like saying "I had to COMPLETELY RUIN my strat because I  had to ROUTE A HOLE IN MY GUITAR to put the magnetic pickup in it".  Nobody would ever say that.  If you feel like the 13 pin pickup is part of your instrument - then MAKE it part of your instrument. Dont plan on ever taking it off. If you want to add any part to your guitar, and want it to be reversible, then you have to use some temporary affixing technique, and these will be less sturdy than something you plan to attach forever. How is this a surprise or disappointment to anyone?

So what we are REALLY saying is - How do we add hex capabilities to guitars whithout altering the guitar at all, so that people can remove them later.  I'd say we should be encouraging people to have hex pickups as permanent installations. 

Then there is the string spacing issue - this is a tough one - we simply need more types of hex pickups to be available on the market.  THere are several humbucker sized hex pickups available on the market but most of these cannot be mounted close enough to the bridge and suffer from crosstalk and loosing signal strength when strings are bent.  That's problematic.  So I do really approve of the little GK sized pickups in that they can be mounted so close to the bridge. Perhaps there needs to be a GK3 that has adjustable pole positions.  I can imagine that this is possible.  Or perhaps just several string spacing sizes....

I don't have a problem mounting a GK3 to any of my guitars.  What I do have a problem with is removing the GK3 guts and trying to turn it into a GK internal type setup.  I have no backups and I gig too frequently to find out that two hours before a gig I've wrecked a working GK3 and turned it into a non-working GK3.

I'd love to make my GK3 an internal mounted setup on my strat - that's a setup I could live with. 

I never did manage to find a Roland Ready strat locally so I ended up with a Strat with GK3 - that's just my dumb luck.  No matter though.
"this is aliensporebomb" - my instrumental debut with the vg99 now on itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/this-is-aliensporebomb/id391880218
More online at http://www.aliensporebomb.com/

My VG-99 based music projects:
http://www.aliensporebomb.com/

Offline gumtown

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2011, 09:54:50 PM »
I don't have a problem mounting a GK3 to any of my guitars.  What I do have a problem with is removing the GK3 guts and trying to turn it into a GK internal type setup.  I have no backups and I gig too frequently to find out that two hours before a gig I've wrecked a working GK3 and turned it into a non-working GK3.

I'd love to make my GK3 an internal mounted setup on my strat - that's a setup I could live with. 

I never did manage to find a Roland Ready strat locally so I ended up with a Strat with GK3 - that's just my dumb luck.  No matter though.
Perhaps the Internal GK-3 Kit might be better??
http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.php?ProductId=235


And as with normal gigging guitar setups, it is always good to have a spare guitar and lead on hand too.
Free "GR-55 FloorBoard" editor software from http://sourceforge.net/projects/grfloorboard/

Offline Rorster

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2011, 07:26:40 PM »
I've got a Fender power Tele that came with a fishman bridge. Soon after, I switched to a graphtech set up because the piezos on the Fishman were unreliable. They shorted out due to moisture (So says the guys at Graphtech). Needless to say the new setup worked good. Years later I then tried adding the Hexpander and couldn't get it right even though a guitar tech was doing the work. Finally I myself had to remove the acoustiphonic as it sounded like crap even though they were a newly updated boards from Graphtech and I tried a couple of different ones that they sent me. Their stuff is not usually unreliable and is just basically plug and play.  I'm wondering if another guitar tech did something with the mag pickup wiring I had done around the same time.  I got the Hexpander working but the 13 pin jack has a really poor connection where you plug in the 13 pin cable. And when I spoke with Morgan at Graphtech he in as much stated that their 13 pin jacks were not the same ones that my Godin uses (Nice and tight click) . He said that they buy their's from their own distributor and that they don't lock the same way that the Godins do. I now enjoy the GK3 I installed on a Korean made PRS and would like to install an internal GK3 on the tele (and maybe restore if possible the acoustiphonic parts as well if I can find out what it's problem is).  Since the Tele has been modified with the small switches that came with Graphtechs gear, I wonder if the internal GK3 can be easily connected to the small up/down switches I already have on the guitar as well as the MIDI volume that came with my Hexpander...? Does anyone have experience connecting these switches and volume pot/Graphtech components with an internal GK3? This is a project I'd like to resolve once and for all! Thanks for any advice/suggestions.

Offline gumbo

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  • Changing the 13-pin interface - one Jack at a time
Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2011, 03:40:05 AM »
Hi Rorster..

In my own experience, connecting the GK3 Internal kit bits to your switches and pot should not be that much of a drama...I have attached the GK3 Owners Manual for you to look at.....connections to these items are by soldered tails in the standard Internal Kit Installation anyway.

Be aware however, that the 13-pin socket that comes with the kit involves a LOT of wood removal from the edge of a Tele body (mine's a 72 Custom RI) in order to clear both the 'body' of the socket AND the PCB under it...I chose in my case to take out a ton of wood and cover it all with a custom-made jack plate which contains both the 13-pin and a normal 1/4" jack  (pic attached).

I was also 'lucky' that I was using the Custom which already had significant routing in the general area to accommodate the LP-pattern pots layout...in a standard Tele layout, that might (?) prove a little more difficult.....   bear also in mind that you have to work out how to get enough room to connect the TWO multiplugs that go onto the trailing edge of the PCB to connect with the Roland main board.

WARNING:  Shameless Self-Promotion follows:-

Because I am doing some other weird stuff as well as learning a few lessons along the way with the Custom, I decided that I could 'improve' a few things...well, here & there, anyway...

I am presently in production of (what I believe to be!) a far more easily installed 13-pin socket that will lessen the need to take to one's axe with a chainsaw in order to get it where it's needed.  This will also include a positive locking function when used in conjunction with the appropriate 13-pin plug.

The item will hopefully go on sale before the end of this year and will NOT be massively expensive....it will include solder connections that can be modified to suit a wide range of applications, and will open up greater possibilities for people wishing to modify stuff and / or marry-up dis-similar Synth/Midi equipment.

Watch this space..field trials are beginning!!!   :o


HT  (& the pics) H

Read slower!!!   ....I'm typing as fast as I can...

Offline datsunrobbie

Re: What would make 13-pin guitars more appealing, more successful?
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2011, 11:18:06 AM »
I'll be looking forward to seeing your new 13-pin jack. The amount of routing required to mount the 13-pin in the GK-kit is certainly intimidating. On my strats I started with a drill, then just kept expanding the hole with a dremel tool until the assembly fit through the hole. All it takes is time and patience (and a dremel tool) once you commit to actually doing the installation, but be prepared to route out a LOT more wood than it looks like when starting  :o

 

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