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How to Install the Roland GK-Kit-GT3 Divided Pickup Kit

(I have reposted this article that appeared on my old site because I don’t want it to get lost when I shut the old site down…..so here you go.)

One weekend I spent a day  capturing on video my adventure in modifying my brand new Fender Modern Player Marauder to install the Roland GK-KIT-GT3 permanently, internally in the guitar.  Last year I wrote about my first venture into GK land and how I installed the Roland GK-3 external pickup on an Epiphone Dot semi-hollowbody guitar.

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Per Roland’s product description:

This kit includes all parts for permanent installation of a GK-3 Divided Pickup into an electric guitar: a GK-3 Divided Pickup, circuit board, switches, power indicator LED, 13-pin connector, wiring and hardware. Professional installation is required.

  • Divided guitar pickup for use with Roland V-Guitar System, GR-20 Guitar Synthesizer, or BOSS GK Effect Pedals
  • 3-position switching between divided pickup, natural bass pickup, or mix of both
  • Mounts on any electric or steel-stringed acoustic guitar

Fender-Marauder-closeup-with-GK-3-pickup4-550x412

First here is my video….wow, I surprised myself….I am actually getting a little better at camcorder action and iMovie editing….and then I have transcribed below my 40 steps from my spiral notebook to install this unit.  Due to YouTube’s rules, I had to split this into two parts to stay under their “10 minute rule”:

Part 1

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Part 2

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Since this is what I did specifically for my Fender Modern Player Marauder all of the steps might not apply to your guitar if it is not a Marauder or you decide to wire things differently than I did.  By the way, there is a great resource on all things related to V-guitar and DIY guitar projects at the V-guitar user forums site at www.vguitarforums.com.

  1. Plan the layout.
  2. Disassemble guitar. (be careful not to scratch or damage anything!)
  3. Mask the guitar as needed to protect it while you are working on it.
  4. Mark the locations for the GK components.
  5. Remove the volume and tone pots and guitar cord jack from the metal face plate.
  6. Drill test holes in scrap material.
  7. Verify the fit of all GK parts in the scrap material.
  8. Adjust hole sizes if necessary.
  9. Drill the metal face plate per your planned hole locations.
  10. Drill the S1 and S2 switch holes.
  11. Countersink the S1/S2 holes.
  12. Drill and route the GK 13 pin connector opening.
  13. Drill an opening from the GK 13 pin connector opening over to the existing guitar control cavity.
  14. Make final routing adjustments to fit the opening to the GK 13 pin connector.
  15. Route a groove in the existing guitar control cavity to all the GK preamp board to fit installed on its side.
  16. Do a test fit of all the GK parts. Make any needed adjustments.
  17. Solder the wires (per the Roland wiring diagram) to the GK select switch and the S1/S2 switches.  Be sure to route the wires through the holes you have drilled prior to soldering.
  18. Solder the wires to the GK volume pot. (per the Roland wiring diagram)
  19. Solder the guitar signal wires. (per the Roland wiring diagram)
  20. Attach the connectors to the GK 13 pin connector.  Route the harness through the tunnel and into the control cavity.
  21. Drill pilot holes for and install the GK 13 pin connector into the guitar.
  22. Install the S1/S2 switches into the 5/8″ holes.
  23. Reinstall the original guitar pots and jack.
  24. Install the GK LED.
  25. Install the GK volume pot.
  26. Install the GK select switch.
  27. Drill or route an opening for the GK divided pickup cable near the bridge pickup.  You will need to make a notch also in the guitar’s pickup ring.
  28. Temporarily mount the GK divided pickup and route the cable over to the guitar’s control cavity.
  29. Tuck all wires into their final locations and secure them as needed with tie-wraps.
  30. Attach all connectors to the GK preamp board.
  31. Place the preamp board into the control cavity.
  32. Reattach the metal plate to the guitar body with screws.
  33. Reattach the pick guard to the guitar body with screws.
  34. Install strings.
  35. Tune and set intonation.
  36. Determine proper location for GK pickup according to the string location.  Note:  Maximum distance from bridge to the pickup is 20 mm.
  37. Mark pickup screw hole locations and drill pilot holes.  Install pickup screws.
  38. Use springs or spacers as needed to obtain a 1 mm clearance between the GK pickups and the strings.
  39. Adjust the GK pickup settings on the GR-55 according to the Roland instructions.
  40. Have fun playing your GK equipped guitar.

Fender-Marauder-w-GK-3-pickup-412x550

 

 

Finally, here is a tune I recorded using the Roland GR-55 for the cello portion and along with a mic’d ukulele.

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