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Thomann's Cool Online Guides: MIDI and Modelling Guitars

5. Retrofit Pickup Systems

Fortunately, if you already own an electric or acoustic guitar or bass you can make it work as a synth controller using an external pickup or a retrofit kit combined with the module of your choice. Choices include Roland’s GK-2, GK2a and GK-3 pickup systems, a piezo bridge, the Axon AIX-101, Graph Tech Ghost or Yamaha’s G1D divided pickup.

Roland GK-3 PickUp

This pickup is suitable for the installation into virtually any six-string guitar. The pickup can be fastened with double-sided tape, glued or screwed to the guitar. The pickup’s curved shape may be adjusted to suit different guitars in order to maintain a uniform distance between the string and sensor; a clever attachment plate allows mounting to the bridge screws of Les Paul style guitars. The connection cable retracts for a clean look. Roland’s GK-3B is a similar product designed for bass.

Yamaha G1D/B1D Divided Pick-Up

The G1D guitar pickup attaches to a 6-string electric or steel-strung acoustic guitar and transmits the signal generated to the guitar processor. It was designed to work with Yamaha’s G50 guitar to MIDI converter and mounts easily with double-sided tape or permanently if so desired.

AXON AIX-101 Pickup-System

Like the Roland GK-3, the Axon AIX 101 is a magnetic pickup design, which can be adapted to any guitar. The Axon system uses an early recognition process that analyses the impulse at the very instant a string is played, recognizing the pitch of a string before it fully vibrates. Dynamics and length are then computed as the string continues to sound.

Piezo Re-Tool Systems

This type of system involves inserting the components within the guitar body and may involve some additional routing or drilling so the use of a qualified luthier is strongly recommended – don’t attempt to do this work yourself unless you’re a skilled woodworker.

RMC

The RMC Pickup Company supplies pickups for many GK-compatible guitars and they offer a number of high-quality replacement pickups for acoustic and electric guitars.

Graph Tech Ghost

This unit features custom-engineered piezo crystals for better acoustic output, ‘String Saver’ saddles for longer string life and a proprietary harmonic dampening feature for more accurate and faster tracking. The Ghost is compatible with a variety of MIDI controllers including Roland and Axon systems and is available for a variety of bridge types.

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Terms and Conditions for participation
in online competitions

Note: Participation in an online competition runs independently from any purchase at Thomann GmbH. The following Competition Rules apply when participating in any online competition run by Musikhaus Thomann:

  1. Competition

    1. The competitions are organised by Thomann GmbH, CEO: Hans Thomann, Hans-Thomann-Straße 1, 96138 Burgebrach, Germany.
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    1. Competitions are only open to persons of full age.
    2. To take part in the competition you must answer all questions correctly, fill in the registration form and submit your entry to Thomann GmbH by pressing the "send" button.
      By pressing the "send" button the participant accepts the aforementioned terms and conditions.
    3. The participant is responsible for entering their email and/or postal address correctly. Entries to the competition will be logged electronically.
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    2. Should these conditions of participation be violated, especially by using illegitimate means, Thomann GmbH reserves the right to exclude persons from the competition. In case of such violations prizes can be withdrawn and claimed back subsequently.
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    1. The winners will be notified by Thomann GmbH by email or in writing and their names may be published on the homepage www.thomann.de. The winner accepts this form of publication explicitly.
      Should for whatever reason the winner not claim their prize, then a new winner will be drawn.
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      The delivery is free of charge. Only extra transport costs and customs/duties must be covered by the winner. In the case that the delivery has to be made through a freight forwarding company the freight forwarding company will contact the winner to arrange delivery timings.
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      Thomann GmbH
      to the data protection officer
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      96138 Burgebrach, Germany
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MIDI and Modelling Guitars overview

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