If you are reading this, chances are you don't need to be convinced about how great guitar synths are and your only dilema is.... The standalone GK3 unit (Thomann item bumber 167114) or this Kit?
I have both on two guitars... and I have to say that the Kit is more practical and a better value while offering the same functionality. Consider this: with the standalone GK3 unit, even putting the guitar into the stand can be difficult as the controller gets in the way of guitar strap and the stand. You need to be extra careful when transporting the guitar ina gigbag or not-fitting hard case. With a fitted case, you will struggle with the extra bulk of the controller. And then there is the cable connecting the pickup and the controller. No matter how you mount it, it always gets in the way of playing.
This kit will blend in with your existing controls, it's less prone to damage, cable is hidden and doesn't get in the way - this is important as you will not be forced to drastically alter your playing technique by moving your palm elsewhere.
- (Optional) Buy a dedicated guitar that's as similar as possible to your regular guitar. It doesn't have to be an expensive with top-range specs. Example - if you have an Ibanez RG Prestige, get a regular RG, if you have a vintage Gibson, get a similar Epiphone? Just make sure the neck is stable. I bought a second hand instrument.
You can, of course, install it on your only guitar, if you are dedicated to the idea of guitar synths and don't mind permanently altering the instrument.
- Make sure there is enough space between the bridge pickup and the bridge for the GK pickup.
- Make sure that guitar is thick enough to install the connector socket - Ibanez S with its razor thin edges is a no no no.
- Unless you are an expert on soldering, woodwork and electronics, have the pickup installed by a professional luthier, ideally a person with some experience with installing Roland pickups.
- Work with luthier to make sure the controls are where you want them - this can be tricky as your options may be limited by the guitar's cavities, but your still more free than with the normal GK3. This kit gives you option to mount the controls where you want them.
Remember, a properly mounted and set up divided pickup will enable you to use the full potential of the guitar synth.
If you have a Roland GR-55 and Boss GP10, you can install the divided picku ?up-side-down? (the wiring will point downwards). Both GR-55 and GP-10 allow you to use the ?reverse? setting. The advantage of the upsidedown mounting is that your picking hand is less likely to accidentally touch the Roland pickup as it doesn?t protrude from beneath the low E string.
If you?re still unsure which unit to choose, the Kit or the standalone unit, check the vguitarforums.com.