A customer has a lovely old 00-17. He'd like a K&K mini installed, but the bridgeplate is too small, I think(very little plate open in front of the pins: plus the front edge of the plate is very close to the 'x'). Can anyone suggest a suitable, similar internal pickup that will fit? I did temporarily install a Baggs M1A soundhole p/u, which does sound very good, but the owner doesn't want a permanent s/h pickup.
I would try the K&K behind the pins , the vibrations there cant be so different to the front side .
Hey Dave and Len (and anyone else who cares to learn by my experience),
I just tried this very technique (on the advice from K&K, I'm sorry to say) on essentially the identical guitar and the result was terrible. The guitar sounded as though it was being played inside the far end of a giant concrete sewer pipe! The pickup was securely adhered so it wasn't a question of installation. The distance from the normal location was maybe an inch, but the results were a continent apart. Of course, I had to remove the devil, and while I have had generally good luck with removing these intact, this one decided it wanted to challenge me for supremacy. I destroyed the pickup in the process of showing it who's the boss.
Find another solution!
Hi Mark, yes, I would have shied away from that method(despite what K&K said). The elements are supposed to be right under the saddle, as I understand it.
This one is a toughie: the customer does not like the appearance of the soundhole M1A, does not want a battery inside(wants a passive pickup), the options are very limited. After looking again at the bridgeplate(where there is barely, or just under, really, enough area for the elements, I may suggest to the customer that I install a K&K as normal, to try it...but with no guarantee it will work.
I've had luck letting maybe a quarter of the pickup hang over the front edge of the bridge plate with no ill effects noted. You are correct about locating them as close as possible under the saddle. I've noticed the same effect (lack of output and degradation of tone) on mandolins when installing the K&K's anywhere other than directly under the bridge feet. Some mandos and archtops I've installed these on have bracing which interferes with perfect placement. The results are "okay" but to my ear the tone suffers the farther one strays from the ideal location.
Great, I'm going to suggest this installation to the owner.
If there is room, you can prolong the bridge plate with a small maple shim in front of the bridge plate with the same thickness as the bridgeplate to get full contact between the top and the K&K pickup. The sound producing part of the pickup does not go all the way to the edge, the piezo circle diameter is about 2 mm smaller than the pickup.
I too have installed K&K elements on guitars with tiny bridgeplates. Where the wire is attached under the blob of epoxy can hang out in space with no problem at all.
You might check out the JJB piezos. They describe their Prestige 220 as a better fit for parlor guitars and a lot cheaper than K&Ks. You can try them with double stick tape or putty before committing to CA. http://jjb-electronics.com/prestige-220.html
The JJB I once tried had bigger transducers than the K&K.
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