Author Topic: Going for a lightweight minimal installation.  (Read 150 times)

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Offline Astroman

Going for a lightweight minimal installation.
« on: July 05, 2017, 07:16:20 AM »
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I play in a church band and lug quite a bit of gear around – Mesa Boogie F30, Yamaha Pacifica 1221, pedal board and a case for all the cables – it gives a great sound, but is all a bit heavy.
Forum member Gumbo, who is my cousin, was over in the UK and put me on a road where the result would be much a lighter setup and the sounds would be just as good (the congregation were never really into an overdriven blues tone!)
I managed to pick up a GP-10 on Gumtree which was virtually new, so I needed a dedicated guitar and decided to look for a good used one.  The Yamaha RGX A-2 fitted the bill with a clean design that plays well and it’s light.  There is no tone control, just a volume and pickup selector, which uses LED lights to show which pickup is being used.
My goal was to build in a GK Kit while retaining the look and playability of the guitar.  I should say that I’m always building stuff and I have a decent collection of tools so I wasn’t put off by the DIY aspect of the project.  Just follow the mantra “Measure twice and cut once” and with a bit of planning it will be fine.
I’ve taken photos of the build – the copyright notice on the images is because I don’t want them used for anything else.

Uploaded at Snapagogo.com

The first job was to spray pickup white, just giving it a good light clean with thinners and then spray with an aerosol tin of appropriately coloured car paint.  The paint doesn’t affect the sound at all.

Uploaded at Snapagogo.com

The pickup connector would have to come off to get the wire through the hole, so I photographed it first, then carefully with a modelling knife lifted back the nylon clip for each wire and took the wires out.  I suggest you wrap the bundle of loose wire ends in aluminium cooking foil to pass them through the hole in the guitar body.  Masking tape will stick to the wires, and could be a nightmare to remove.

Uploaded at Snapagogo.com

If you can, use the holes in the guitar that are already there so after some careful marking up, I drilled a hole from the position of the GT pickup to the recess for the existing pickup and brought the wire through from there.  The GT pickup isn’t symmetrical, so I could only mount it one way or the long side would interfere with the controls.

Uploaded at Snapagogo.com

Uploaded at Snapagogo.com

I decided on a Fender stacked concentric pot for the two volume controls.  The outer volume would be for the standard pickups and the inner one for the GK pickup.  Either could be turned right off instead of having switches.  The pot is 500K for the outer which is fine but 250K for the inner.  This had to be reduced to 50K to work with the GK pickup.  for a useful video on how to do it.
Changing patches would be done with the foot switch.

Uploaded at Snapagogo.com

Uploaded at Snapagogo.com

The guitar already had two recesses in the back and I decided to put the preamp board in the recess for the battery (which powered the LED’s in the original guitar).  Rather than subjecting the board to some abuse getting it to fit, I made up a cardboard dummy the same size and worked with that, routing out the hole till it would squeeze in.
The top shot shows the first trial fit of the components.

Because the threaded spindle of the concentric pot wasn’t as long as the original, I had to move the green LED board to the selector switch but power came from the LED outlet on the preamp board, and it all works fine.

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Here’s the preamp board fitted in the battery hole, and the controls with one of the excellent cables from Gumbo all neat and tidy.  http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=8888.0

Uploaded at Snapagogo.com

Uploaded at Snapagogo.com

And here’s the back finished, complete with a new cover for the former battery compartment.

Uploaded at Snapagogo.com

The 13 pin socket from Gumbo was a direct replacement for the original jack socket.  It was just a case of drilling the hole out carefully for a tight fit.  The cable goes past the new concentric pot and into the battery compartment for the connections to the preamp board.

Uploaded at Snapagogo.com

That just left making up some customised knobs for the controls which were still in the original place on the guitar body.  Here’s a shot showing the LED’s under the pickup selector – blue for the front and green for the rear.  I couldn't use standard buttons as they were too big to fit into the control recesses on the guitar.

Uploaded at Snapagogo.com

The other forum member who deserves a mention is CodeSmart for his 13 pin cables.  http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=13234.msg139031#msg139031
The right angle connector allows the cable to be fastened to a clip on the guitar strap screw, making the whole thing a bit more robust.  The cable remains plugged into the guitar all the time and is unplugged at the GP-10 end.
Overall, an interesting project which has been very satisfying to finish.  I’m pleased to say all works as it should, and I can now spend many happy hours programming the Boss GP-10 with suitable sounds.




Offline HecticArt

Re: Going for a lightweight minimal installation.
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2017, 10:46:53 AM »
Nicely done!

Online whippinpost91850

Re: Going for a lightweight minimal installation.
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2017, 01:09:29 PM »
Excellent job and very nice pictures