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Author Topic: Installing a K&K  (Read 3293 times)
Denis
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« on: October 11, 2007, 09:28:05 PM »

After having paid to have a couple of these installed in the past, I thought I'd try my hand at installing it myself. Save some $ and not have to bring it in and leave it there for days, not having to go without it.

I followed the instructions very carefully and everything to be able to do it yourself is included. Made the little jig, practiced without any glue before hand...etc. Man! That was easy!!! Took about an hour and a half with all the prep and clean up afterwards. Tested it a couple of days ago and WOW!!!

I have one in my L-03 as well and a while back, someone was selling a K&K Pure Preamp on the AGF for like 1/2 of what they cost new. Now I have one in both the L-03 and my new Martin 000-15S. I can use the same preamp with both and if I buy any other guitars and want to have a pickup in them, I can get another K&K and install it myself. These pickups are awesome but add the preamp and it's an altogether different story. I'll be using the Martin for my gigs this weekend. I haven't tried it with the preamp yet but I'm sure it will be amazing!
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rbpicker
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2007, 03:08:24 AM »

I've been thinking about one for my L-03 Denis.  If you get a chance, could you post a sound clip of the K & K?

Thanks,
Roger
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bluesman67
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2007, 12:46:31 PM »

You are far more courageous that I.  I paid to have them installed in my guitars, but it was quick and painless.  Did the endpin hole need to be widened? ...that was my source of fear, and I am very comfortable w/ power tools.
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kdonovan
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2007, 05:34:58 PM »

I use to pay to have these K&K pups installed until I came across this tutorial showing the installation . I gave it a try and it's a piece of cake. If I can do it anyone can. http://www.frettech.com/kk/

kdonovan
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kdonovan

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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2007, 06:00:21 PM »

Now that's something I can use!  Thank you for the link.

Ron
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Denis
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2007, 07:43:58 PM »

I used the one on the K&K website.  If you go to the bottom of the page:

http://www.kksound.com/purewestern.html

Got to the Pure Western Mini Manual pdf and there are pictures of the part of the installation that includes the super glue.  I was really much simpler than I would have thought. 

I did have to enlarge the endpin hole but that was the only "stressful" part of the install.  And even at that, it wasn't so bad.
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rockstar_not
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2007, 03:15:39 AM »

Hey - K+K have changed their installation instructions since I bought mine about a year ago.

I followed the fret-tech install guide.  It's still less involved than the K+K jigged install instructions as you only have to use the jig one time.

Here's some photos that I took of my install.  I did not have to drill out my end-pin jack.  And I left the useless fishman UST in place so I wouldn't have to fit a new saddle.

Here's my Larry with the saran wrap covering the top - just in case some of that super glue gets loose!


You can also see the jig posts coming through the top on the two E- end pin holes

Here's a photo of the jig in place from inside the guitar- sorry about the lighting.


And the final photo taken off of a small mirror laid inside the body of the guitar (I lined the inside with waxed paper, but removed it for this photo.  Note the small black wire protruding through the bridge - that's the wire from the useless Fishman UST that I had Larrivee install at the factory.  Actually, I never sorted out whether it was the UST or the pre-amp that went south.  Shame I ever had them install that thing, they butchered the side of the guitar with their cutout.


And you might not want to look at this one if you are considering having Larrivee install your pre-amp at the factory.  Note the butchering of the mount hole at the top left of the hole:


-Scott


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djsonovox
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2007, 11:15:18 PM »

The polyfilm is a great idea! I wish I'd done that prior to slopping a blob of superglue on my old l-03!!! The solvent to get it off left a mar in the satin finish, too.

DJ
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rockstar_not
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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2007, 01:12:17 AM »

The polyfilm is a great idea! I wish I'd done that prior to slopping a blob of superglue on my old l-03!!! The solvent to get it off left a mar in the satin finish, too.

DJ

The plastic wrap idea is from the fret-tech site farther up the thread.  It really is an excellent guide to installing the K+K, and in my opinion, easier to follow.

-Scott
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2007, 07:02:11 PM »

I never even thought of paying to have mine installed after I saw frettech's instructions. I took my time, made sure I had everything lined up. It went in perfectly and sounds amazing.
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2007, 07:19:00 PM »

The instruction sets look good with one exception... Maybe others will chime in on this, but I would be extremely nervous about pushing a power drill with a 1/2 inch bit into any guitar.  Stewart MacDonald sells a nice hand reaming tool for this job, or someone could probably use a round 1/2 inch file.
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2007, 08:32:38 PM »

The instruction sets look good with one exception... Maybe others will chime in on this, but I would be extremely nervous about pushing a power drill with a 1/2 inch bit into any guitar.  Stewart MacDonald sells a nice hand reaming tool for this job, or someone could probably use a round 1/2 inch file.


That was the only advantage of having Larrivee install the fishman in the first place - the endpin jack hole from the factory installed Fishman system was the same diameter as the as the new K+K endpin jack.

-Scott

EDIT - NEW INFO FOUND ON THE K+K Site:

They now have a 'no-drill' end-pin jack that is approximately the same size as a traditional bone or plastic end-pin jack.  See here:

http://www.kksound.com/vintagejack.html

It adds 80$ to the price, but for those who don't want to drill, it might be worth it.
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Queequeg
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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2007, 07:26:40 PM »

The instruction sets look good with one exception... Maybe others will chime in on this, but I would be extremely nervous about pushing a power drill with a 1/2 inch bit into any guitar.  Stewart MacDonald sells a nice hand reaming tool for this job, or someone could probably use a round 1/2 inch file.

Good point. Do not use a drill. Ream it.
But every Larrivee I have every seen already has a two-piece chrome end pin through a 1/2 bore hole, so no reaming was required. They fit perfectly.
I put one in my BT-60 baritone and another in my OM-50TSB on the same Saturday morning. Since both have the enlarged sound hole my big ol' hamhands were OK with this.
The first one took about an hour. The second one took me around 45 minutes, since i already had the jig and I knew what I was doing by then.
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kwakatak
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2007, 09:29:25 PM »

I use to pay to have these K&K pups installed until I came across this tutorial showing the installation . I gave it a try and it's a piece of cake. If I can do it anyone can. http://www.frettech.com/kk/

kdonovan


That looks pretty easy to do, but I wonder: does the Larrivee OM-03R have the same proportions for the bridgeplate in order to make the cutout? I'm about to put one in mine.
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Neil

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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2007, 06:19:52 PM »

That looks pretty easy to do, but I wonder: does the Larrivee OM-03R have the same proportions for the bridgeplate in order to make the cutout? I'm about to put one in mine.
If you use the mini, it will fit nicely on the bridgeplate, Kwak. The standard K&K was a bit large for many of the bridgeplates especially on the smaller bodied guitars.
I put a standard on the baritone and a mini on the OM. But I think the bridgeplate on my OM would have handled the standard, anyway. I was just playing it safe, since I bought them sight-unseen.
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kwakatak
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« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2008, 03:29:43 AM »

OK, I've made the jig and have the transducers affixed and had a thought: how hard is it to get the endpin jack in place once the transducers are in place on the bridge plate? I had no idea how tight the inside of my OM-03R was. I'm thinking that I'm gonna have to measure twice and be sure to hook the guide wire through the endpin hole before going through with the superglue step.

BTW - I couldn't find 1/8" dowels and had to use 1/16" BBQ skewers so there's a little wiggle room. How much of an issue is this gonna be?
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Neil

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« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2008, 10:30:06 PM »

FWIW...  I got an Irwin Unibit for this.  It is a stepped bit that goes from 1/8" thru 1/2".  I have done several endpin jack installs (some K&K, some others) with it using my power drill (Ryobi 14.4v cordless).  I have had ZERO problems.  Be sure, hold it straight and steady and let the tool do the work.  It will work fine.  If you push the drill and try to do it too fast, you *can* (not *will*) botch it.  Use a little common sense.  I think you can get someone to install it for the price of the reamer.  Unless you plan to do a half dozen, I hardly see the need and it is possible to botch the job with a reamer also.

Personally, I think those $80 1/8" jack endpins are a load of hooey.  Quarter inch jacks fail easy enough...  eighth inch jacks are just asking for trouble.  IMO of course, YMMV.  On a vintage instrument you are trying to maintain the integrity of, it *might* be a "quaint" touch.

Also, the K&K elements are very forgiving placement-wise.  The only real bad thing that can happen (again, IMExperience), is getting too close to the bridgepin holes where the string ball ends could sit on them (resulting in breakage.)  The jigs sound like a good idea but all the ones I've done (3) have been without and have worked perfectly.

Try not to worry yourself into failure.

Ed

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kwakatak
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« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2008, 04:58:43 PM »

FWIW...  I got an Irwin Unibit for this.  It is a stepped bit that goes from 1/8" thru 1/2".  I have done several endpin jack installs (some K&K, some others) with it using my power drill (Ryobi 14.4v cordless).  I have had ZERO problems.  Be sure, hold it straight and steady and let the tool do the work.  It will work fine.  If you push the drill and try to do it too fast, you *can* (not *will*) botch it.  Use a little common sense.  I think you can get someone to install it for the price of the reamer.  Unless you plan to do a half dozen, I hardly see the need and it is possible to botch the job with a reamer also.

Personally, I think those $80 1/8" jack endpins are a load of hooey.  Quarter inch jacks fail easy enough...  eighth inch jacks are just asking for trouble.  IMO of course, YMMV.  On a vintage instrument you are trying to maintain the integrity of, it *might* be a "quaint" touch.

Also, the K&K elements are very forgiving placement-wise.  The only real bad thing that can happen (again, IMExperience), is getting too close to the bridgepin holes where the string ball ends could sit on them (resulting in breakage.)  The jigs sound like a good idea but all the ones I've done (3) have been without and have worked perfectly.

Try not to worry yourself into failure.

Ed



After much ado - and needless worry - I finally got one installed in my OM-03R. I tried experimenting with the tape installation first but the wires were too taut and twisted, causing two of the transducers to work themselves free. Finally, at about 1AM this morning I gobbed on the superglue and with shaky hands got them all perfectly in place with help of the jig. I haven't tested it out yet but already I've breathed a sigh of relief and wondered what all the fuss was about. Heck, my guitar even smells the same - which for some strange reason is important to me.  I can't wait to plug it in and eventually take it out to an open mic.

BTW, I think it's great that Larrivee has had the foresight to make the endpin hole big enough to easily allow the swap for a jack. The only issue I have is that the interior of my OM is much too small to accommodate my forearm so I can't reach all the way inside. As such, there's a bit of jiggle in the endpin jack. I think I'm going to have to use some needle-nose pliers to how the jack still while I tighten the outside mounting bolt. Have the rest of you had this issue, and if so how did you solve it?
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Neil

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2006 Larrivée OM-03R

1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster, Ash Body, Natural finish

1989 Kramer 610

1973 Takamine F-360 ("Martin Lawsuit" all-laminate D-28 clone)
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« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2008, 08:22:04 PM »

Hi Neil.  There should be a hole through the threaded part of the jack that sticks out.  Thread the nut on and hand tighten, then use an Allen wrench, or some other skinny piece of thin diameter metal - like a tiny screw driver.  Stick that through the hole, and it will keep the jack from turning while you tighten down the nut with a small open end wrench or crescent wrench. You should be able to make it good and tight.  But not so tight that you dent the wood! Then put the round threaded cover over the whole thiing and hand tighten. 

Does that help?
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kwakatak
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« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2008, 09:50:42 PM »

How embarrassing!  ohmy duh!

Thanks, Dave! I guess I need a LOT more sleep than I've been getting, huh?  wacko
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Neil

2009 Martin D-16GT

2006 Larrivée OM-03R

1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster, Ash Body, Natural finish

1989 Kramer 610

1973 Takamine F-360 ("Martin Lawsuit" all-laminate D-28 clone)
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