Author Topic: Roland G5 Strat / Fender VG Strat- can 13 pin connector be added? (like GC1)  (Read 14170 times)

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Offline Phaze

Hi all.   I like a good project and enjoy thinking outside the box.  I’m acquiring a Fender VG Strat and wondering if there is some way to replace or modify the internal electronics and install an internal GK-3 kit so I can use it with my VG-99.  Has anyone attempted such a transformation?  Links to any resources will be appreciated.   Thanks!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 11:27:42 AM by Elantric »

Offline Elantric

http://www.fender.com/vgstrat/home.html

Below are the easiest methods to add an internal  Piezo GK setup to one of those.

GK Piezo Hex PU with External Electronics
===============================
RMC Piezo Saddles + RMC-Poly Drive II
http://www.rmcpickup.com/polydriveii.html
(As used with Breedlove Synergy Series)


GK Piezo Hex PU with Internal Electronics
===============================
RMC Piezo Pickups
http://www.rmcpickup.com/products.html

Graph-Tech Ghost Piezo Pickups
http://www.graphtech.com/ghost_info.php

Graph-Tech Ghost Hexpander Installation (Pics)
http://www.jimbobwan.com/guitar/hexpander.htm
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 06:32:19 PM by admsustainiac »

Offline A2theT

hey sustainiac, these graphtec floyds look wicked!  do you think there would be any more latency compared to the GK-3?
i'd love to buy one over a GK just to streamline it.  tired of my guitar looking like a robot.  lol
HEAVY on the METAL
Axe-Fx II, Roland VG-99 + FC-300, Roland GR-55, Digitech Jamman Stereo, Ibanez/ESP/Jackson Guitars

Online DeRigueur

Hi everyone,
This may be a dumb question, but can a VG strat be modified to have a 13 pin connector so it can be used with a GR unit?  I'm not sure what kind of pickup it has, but I assume it's the right sort of pickup.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2015, 11:35:59 PM by Elantric »
Fender VG Strat -- Boss GP-10 -- Alto TS112A

Offline vanceg

The VG strat uses a GK pickup...so I suppose adding a 13 pin connector could be done.  I don't know what the electronics inside the VG strat looks like, though. I could imagine that it might be as simple as splitting out the individual lines from the GK pickup so that they run to the internal VG electronics and to a 13 pin connector (which you would need to route into the guitar to install) or you might even need to add a GK type preamp (which are available as part of the GK-3 internal kit or available from Roland parts department separately...not cheap though).

But, since a GR-55 has a COSM modeling engine inside it (likely even more full featured than the one in the VG strat) why would you want to do this?  The only advantage i could see would be so that you could send your COSM modeled VG strat sounds into the GK as "standard" guitar signal.  I'm thinking that just a Roland Ready strat might be a much simpler and just about as powerful an option for you.  Just thinking.

Offline MCK

GK type preamp (which are available as part of the GK-3 internal kit or available from Roland parts department separately...not cheap though).

VanceG, if you've bought a GK preamp from Roland recently could you kindly share with us how much they were charging? I was about to buy a GK Kit to use the preamp in a project and didn't know the preamp is sold separately by the parts dept. Thanks for the info.

Offline Elantric

I recall $125 for preamp alone via Roland US Service Department.

Also Fender Service will sell you the RR Strat parts, including the GK PU with White Cover. It was $85 for PU alone - nothing else in 1998.


EDIT: Buy Internal GK-KIT-GT3 from Andertons UK for $135 with Shipping here
http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=12060.0

« Last Edit: March 17, 2015, 01:27:00 PM by admsustainiac »

Offline MCK

I recall $125 for preamp alone via Roland US Service Department.

Also Fender Service will sell you the RR Strat parts, including the GK PU with White Cover. It was $85 for PU alone - nothing else in 1998.

Thanks. Great info!

Online DeRigueur

But, since a GR-55 has a COSM modeling engine inside it (likely even more full featured than the one in the VG strat) why would you want to do this?  The only advantage i could see would be so that you could send your COSM modeled VG strat sounds into the GK as "standard" guitar signal.  I'm thinking that just a Roland Ready strat might be a much simpler and just about as powerful an option for you. 
Thanks for the reply.  Yes, a RR strat would be simpler.  At the moment I don't have a guitar to drive the GR unit, so I was simply considering options.  The GR unit does have more features than the VG strat, so that's why I was wondering if the 13-pin signal could be taken from the VG and processed through the GR.
Fender VG Strat -- Boss GP-10 -- Alto TS112A

Offline gumbo

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  • Changing the 13-pin interface - one Jack at a time
Here in Oz, the board from the GR internal pickup kit is available as a separate item, but as I once discussed somewhere else on the forum, it comes as a 'package' with the 13-pin socket.

The socket is available separately, but not the board....can't remember the price for the lot (think it was about AUD80)...the socket alone was a bit under AUD20...

...however, when you want to start buying the two multicore leads that go between the two, that's another story...seem to remember they were over AUD20 each...

I have no doubt that the VG-to-RR conversion could be done, but as a few people have said...it's probably easier to just find an old cheapo RR strat and upgrade the pickups, whatever....

..although I must admit that it all appeals to my sense of the ridiculously complicated..... ::)

(...slaps wrist, goes to kitchen to make a nice cup of calming tea.......)


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

Online DeRigueur

Thanks, gumbo.  Hope the tea was sufficiently calming. 
I wound up installing a GK-3 in another guitar.  Now I'm in business.
Fender VG Strat -- Boss GP-10 -- Alto TS112A

Offline audiotrax

I might be a bit late with this, but if you Google "Fender Service" they have parts and wiring diagrams in there in PDF format.  I found the ones for the Roland Ready Strat.  The VG should be in there.
Owner of: VG-88, GI-10, Cubase 5, Kontakt, SampleTank, var VSTI's, Roland JV1080.  Strat with GK-2A, two Roland GR500 analog guitar synths

Offline samandlyn

Hi guys,
Has anyone tried to attach the GK-3 pickup to a Fender VG Strat.
I spent all night last trying.    :'(First I removed the preinstalled Roland pickup on the VG, thinking I could use the same two holes in which to screw in the GK-3, only to find that to get the screws to hold it securely I had to put one of the plastic spacers under the holes .
I was trying to avoid the double sided tape thing.
But after all that, the GK-3 is in the wrong place such that the 1st and 2nd string just miss the yokes on the GK-3 pickup. :-[
I assume this won't work?

Thanks for any advice
« Last Edit: April 23, 2015, 10:28:57 AM by Elantric »

Offline gumtown

No, i have never tried that, but i am curious, isn't the VG strat Roland ready with an internal GK ? why would you want to remove it to fit an external GK-3?
Free "GR-55 FloorBoard" editor software from http://sourceforge.net/projects/grfloorboard/

Offline Elantric

Whacky as it seems, the Fender Roland VG Strat is a closed system, the only output is 1/4" phone.

Zero 13 pin connector.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2011, 10:03:57 PM by Elantric »

Offline samandlyn

No, i have never tried that, but i am curious, isn't the VG strat Roland ready with an internal GK ? why would you want to remove it to fit an external GK-3?

Gumtree,
Yes ,  as Elantric says the VG strat cannot connect to the GR-55 as it is.
It was a nice idea at the time, but now with the GR-55, the VG Strat's capabilities are markedly limited in comparison.
Still a great idea for the guitarist who is happy not to have to lug around another unit like the GR-55, and it will give you a few alternate tunings ( open G, drop D and DADGAD only) plus it will model a strat , tele, and humbucker for you.
But to be honest, I found I never used it other than as a single coil strat, so out comes the internal Roland pick up !
So  we are now spoiled by units like the GR-55.

IF I can get the damn thing to work right !!  :P

Offline vanceg

Whacky as it seems, the Fender Roland VG Strat is a closed system, the only output is 1/4" phone.

Zero 13 pin connector.

But, surely the PICKUP on there is a standard Roland GK-2 or GK-3 pickup.  The electronics inside aren't the same?  I suspected they used the GK internal kit and just routed the hex signal to another circuit board which contained the (limited) VG-modeling circuit.  No?


Offline samandlyn

But, surely the PICKUP on there is a standard Roland GK-2 or GK-3 pickup.  The electronics inside aren't the same?  I suspected they used the GK internal kit and just routed the hex signal to another circuit board which contained the (limited) VG-modeling circuit.  No?

That's what I thought , so I asked the question at the Roland support site.
Their reply was that the VG strat is not compatible with the GR-55.

Now what does that mean?

Are the electronics in the Roland pickups the same?

Maybe one of you electronics gurus on this site knows but I just had to accept their reply, hence I ripped out the VG strat pickup.

In any case , there was not room between the  bridge and the bridge magnetic pickup to install the Roland GK-3 next to the one that was there, so it was one or the other.

Offline gumtown

Doesn't the internal GK Kit pickup have the cable entry on the bottom rather than the side like the GK-3?
You may have to offset the pickup a few mm, you should be able to use the existing pickup.
 I would be so bold to make the assumption the circuit board connector plug of the VG pickup is the same as the GK-3 pickup?
Maybe you can re-route the old GK pickup into the GK-3 and unplug the internal pickup connection?
Just so rambling random thoughts.... there must be some compatability with the VG and GK-3 pickups. :)
Free "GR-55 FloorBoard" editor software from http://sourceforge.net/projects/grfloorboard/

Offline Elantric

The Fender VG Strat has the identical Roland white hex pickup as the Fender "Roland Ready GK" strat.

Fender "Roland Ready Strat"


Fender VG Strat"


To modify a Fender VG Strat for 13 pin output requires purchasing a Roland internal GK kit - connecting the existing Roland white hex pickup to the GK-Kit PC Board and a lot of wood work for carving out the 13 pin output jack.
http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.php?ProductId=235


Here is the inside of a Fender VG Strat:


Its probably better to sell the VG Strat and get a Roland Ready Strat - any year, and swap the neck out for a Warmoth.

 

« Last Edit: May 06, 2011, 01:02:56 PM by Elantric »

Offline samandlyn

The Fender VG Strat has the identical Roland white hex pickup as the Fender "Roland Ready GK" strat.

Its probably better to sell the VG Strat and get a Roland Ready Strat - any year, and swap the neck out for a Warmoth.

Gumtown and Elantric,
thanks for your thoughts.
I should have asked the question before I spent 2 days and a lot of heartburn tablets doing the mod myself.
after drilling more holes and ripping out the old pickup I managed to do it, but it's not pretty !!


Online DeRigueur

Gumtown and Elantric,
thanks for your thoughts.
I should have asked the question before I spent 2 days and a lot of heartburn tablets doing the mod myself.
after drilling more holes and ripping out the old pickup I managed to do it, but it's not pretty !!
fwiw, I have a vg strat and a gr-55.  It would be fantastic if there was an easy way to get the two to work together.  I wound up just putting a gk-3 pickup on another guitar.
Fender VG Strat -- Boss GP-10 -- Alto TS112A

Offline samandlyn

fwiw, I have a vg strat and a gr-55.  It would be fantastic if there was an easy way to get the two to work together.  I wound up just putting a gk-3 pickup on another guitar.

Now that I have done it I am glad I did. The possibilities of the GR-55 just blow the limited abilities of the VG Strat so far out of the water it's not funny. So there's no point leaving the old Roland pickup in the VG.  Some time ago I considered selling the VG strat because I hardly ever used its modelling anyway, but at the end of the day I kept it because it really sounds great as a single coil Strat.

Online DeRigueur

I'll probably keep my vr strat.  Even thought it only does a fraction of what the gr-55 modeling can do, it still covers a lot of territory in a convenient package.
Fender VG Strat -- Boss GP-10 -- Alto TS112A

Offline vanceg

If anyone else is attempting this modification: You might note that you don't have to buy the entire GK-Kit_GT3 (The GK-3 internal kit).  Instead, you could just order the main circuit board directly from Roland and not have to pay for the extra GK-pickup and other ancillary parts.  Just a thought.