K&K pure floating bridge modified install + quick review

Hi there,
I really liked a no modification to instrument approach in these pickups but I wasn't happy having to take the jack off the velcro every time I needed to put guitar back in the case and velcro itself bothered me a bit being stuck to the tail piece.
So I decided to try to do something about it. After a few days of brainstorming here it is:
I figured why not do it with a 1/8" jack so I ordered materials to replace original 1/4" jack and to make a custom guitar cable with 1/8" on one side and 1/4" on the other.
I'm very happy how it turned out and now I can fit the guitar inside case without removing anything.
As you can probably see I also removed rubber sleeve from the pick-up cable so I can hide it better under the tail piece and make it even more minimalistic looking. I cut the cable shorter as well. The jack is attached to the tail piece with double sided sticky tape. I filed a little bit of jack where the tape attaches flat so it would stay more securely on there.
The sound of it in my sophisticated technical terms is described as "I like it". I don't have much to compare it to, well I do have Parker Fly electric with Fishman piezo transducer but I don't know how objective it would be to compare the two. I any case K&K sounds fairly natural. I hear some references to it as wet sounding and as I understand it that would refer to its natural reverb. With reverb on amp at 0 I can't really detect much of this quality of sound. But then maybe I've yet to hear what dry sounds like.
I have 20W tube amp (H&K 20th anniversary) and with flat eq I can get about 1/3 volume without feedback. If I dial the bass all the way to 0 it'll go to 1/2. Even with bass at 0 I think the sound of guitar is good, full sounding, not thin.
I have Fishman pro-eq platinum pedal (which I got for Parker after the pre-amp built in guitar died) that has feedback squelching feature and it works. After setting it up as recommended I was able to get some bass back on the Amp itself and go to 2/3 volume before the body started to threaten with wolf pack howling. Mind you this is extremely loud little amp and I'm pretty sure that volume would be enough for small club performance way before any feedback would ever cause earbleeds in the audience. In bigger clubs you'd probably go through PA system so it would be even less on an issue.
Of course action got raised and I measured 3.6mm after install. I decided to keep it that way and after about a week I got used to it to the point if I go back to without pickup I would probably get extra bridge to keep the action where it is now. I like the sound much better with raised action, very tight.
I'm liking my beauty "R. Ivanovski" better and better every day.
All in all if you're looking for a good sounding pick-up that you can install in 5 min yourself without making any holes in your dear instrument knowing you can always go back to stock without any signs on pick-up ever residing there this is it.
Plus the price that Michael offers on it can not be found anywhere else.
Thanks for reading,
Bon Swing
PS I can post a list of materials used is someone is interested
Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel


  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,777
  • Posts: 2,431
    Well thank you!
    It's nice to have a forum that will host pictures/files itself so...nicely done.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • BohemianBohemian State of Jefferson✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 303
    Can you describe what happened to the acoustic unplugged sound considering the bridge no longer touches the top ?

  • Posts: 2,431
    Hmmm, your question triggered a memory when a friend of mine heard it after I installed a pick up he said that he thought the guitar has lost some of its sparkle in sound but I thought if anything changed it would have been caused by higher action.
    If indeed it does affect the sound that would be strike for this pickup and plus for pure archtop system.
    I'll check it and report back.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Posts: 2,431
    I would say that yes this pick up will change the sound of instrument. After I pulled it out timbre of guitar changed, it brightened. Though I don't think it makes the instrument quieter it definitely changes the color of sound, dulls it a bit. I don't think this matters much if you play amplified most of the time cause I like the sound through pick up, it is nice.
    Now here is my remedy and I'm almost a 100% happy with it.
    I used some decorative furniture strips that I had on hand and stuck them on a top of the pick up. That made the pick up just thick enough to sit snug between the sound board and the bridge. And that's where the trick is.
    Too thick and bridge feet will not touch the soundboard; sound will change.
    Too loose and pick up will vibrate and buzz when instrument is played loud/aggressive, only on certain notes though. In my case the high strings piece is just right, but on the bass strings side it could be a hair thicker because this is where I get a buzz sometimes. I'm still very satisfied with a final result. I think I have best of both: unmodified instrument and unchanged acoustic sound (says the guy who didn't notice anything the first time around :) ) as if I used a "pure maccafferi".
    Hope this helps some of you who are thinking of going this route.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • BohemianBohemian State of Jefferson✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 303
    Thanks Buco for the updated information
  • Posts: 2,431
    You're welcome. Over weekend I went to see the same friend who first spotted sound anomaly and he was pleased to hear it got fixed, saying; "yeaaah that's it"
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • kenj8789kenj8789 Washington DCNew
    Posts: 1
    So....with the new 'fix' you put the pickups within the arch, not under the legs of the bridge, right? Still getting a good amplified sound and acoustic sound as the legs are in full contact now with the soundboard.

    Thanks so much for this helfpul post and photos
  • Posts: 2,431
    Yes, pick up elements are ˝under the bridge˝.
    I believe it is just as loud but it's hard to know without careful comparison. Sound when amplified is very truthful to it's acoustic counterpart. I know this is where it's at for me.
    You're welcome.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • HCQHCQ Northeast NJ✭✭✭
    Posts: 216

    Thanks for the details regarding you modification. I tried what you had come with for my K&K pickup and it works great. I used Basswood to build up the 4.5mm gap between the guitar top and the bottom of the bridge.

    This result still effects the acoustic tone to a far lesser extent than using K&K's recommended installation under the bridge feet. Additionally, the pickup elements do not have to be wedged in tightly. Just enough to keep them in their place works great. All the notes sound clear as I have no rattling of the pickup elements. I still use the velcro to mount the stock 1/4" jack.

    The plusses of your intallation method outweigh the minuses in that:

    The pickup can be easily and rapidly mounted or dismounted. This really simplifies using this pickup. No slacking of strings and string action doesn't change at all. Any perceived change in acoustic tone disappears just by removing the pickup.

    I believe the "plugged in" tone benefits a lot through my Fishman Loudbox 100. The EQ controls can now be set nearly "flat" for a good, accurate sound up 2/3s of the Master Volume's range before I feel I have to tweak the EQ. The Gain knob can now be set to a lesser amount while producing the same volume.

    There is much less pick and handling noise, as well as being able to more easily get rid of that midrange ghost tone the eminates from the guitar body that can ride on everything you play. This is the best part of your mounting idea.

    Lastly, I lucked out in that the distance between the guitar top and the bottom of the bridge is pretty much the same on my 2 Dell'Arte guitars, so I can use the K&K easily on both.

    Thanks for posting this. It was of great help to me.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Home  |  Forum  |  Blog  |  Contact  |  206-528-9873
Follow Us
The Premier Gypsy Jazz Marketplace
Banner Adverts
Sell Your Guitar
Follow Us
© 2019, all rights reserved worldwide.
Software: Kryptronic eCommerce, Copyright 1999-2019 Kryptronic, Inc. Exec Time: 0.041861 Seconds Memory Usage: 3.230377 Megabytes