K&K Pure-Mini Acoustic Guitar Pickup Installation
This article will explain a bit about the K&K brand and their popular “pure mini” acoustic guitar pickup. We will also give a quick overview of the pickups installation into a Guild dreadnought style acoustic guitar.
About K&K Pickups:
K&K Sound Systems makes high quality acoustic amplification products. Founded in Germany in 1984, K&K relocated their headquarters and manufacturing plant to Coos Bay, Oregon in 1995. Within a couple of years, K&K’s product line shifted from drum triggers and mics towards acoustic guitar, upright bass, and other acoustic string instrument’s pickups. This is the product line K&K is best known for today. K&K built its reputation on its authentic, high-quality products and personal caring customer service. Guitar Repair Long Island is proud to be an authorized dealer for K&K as well as many other popular pickup brands.
The K&K “Pure Pickup”
The Pure Pickup is K&K’s award-winning, signature pickup for acoustic guitars. Installed on the guitar’s bridge plate, the Pure Pickup is the the best choice for achieving a rich, natural guitar sound. Our customers tell us that it’s the best passive pickup on the market. Which means it’s the perfect plug-and-play solution for the musician who wants a warm, full-range signal.
The pickup is available in three formats designed for 6 string, 12 string, and nylon classical guitars. All of the base models are passive, which means no batteries to change! Of course, if you are looking to expand your system, the modular nature of the design permits K&K to have multiple options available. A passive volume control add on is available. As is the “pre-phase”, which is a basic pre amp offering a sound hole mounted active volume control and phase switch. For the most serious tone tweaker, we carry the “ultra pure”. This model adds a three band EQ for tonal sculpting as well as a “low battery” indicator light.
Pickup Installation Overview:
This pickup installation is fairly straight forward and K&K does provide detailed instructions with the pickup. However, it does require some specialized tools, and incorrect installation could certainly cause permanent damage to the pickup and/or the instrument. As such, we always recommend professional installation. To see the cost of this as well as many other commonly requested jobs, be sure to visit our repair price list.
When installing any type of electronics on an instrument for the first time, our first step is to remove the stock endpin and prepare the hole to accept a combination endpin jack. This new style endpin requires a significantly larger hole than the original. In order to accomplish this quickly, and with minimal risk of chipping the finish around the hole, we like to use a specialized reamer bit chucked into a variable speed drill. After drilling, vacuuming out the inside of the guitar, and taking the necessary precaution to protect the top of the instrument, we are ready to start installation.
Installing The Pure Pickup:
This portion of the job is unique to the pure mini style pickup. Using the pickup mounting jig, we begin positioning the first of the three transducers for installation. The first pickup will be located underneath the saddle and in line with the first string. The second and third pickups will be set between the third and fourth, and fifth and sixth strings respectively. Positioning the jig on top of the bridge, outside of the guitar, allows us to find the proper location on the bridge plate ahead of time, because we will be working blindly during installation. Proper positioning and contact with the bridge plate is essential, so we will often take a dry run to be certain that everything is in order before we glue the transducer in position. Alternatively, the pickups can be installed with double sided tape, to allow for easy removal and reinstallation in a different instrument. However, for the best sound transmission, K&K recommends installation with superglue. Once this is finished, we will follow a very similar procedure for the second and third transducers, until all three are firmly in place on the bridge plate.
After cleaning up the bridge plate of any glue squeeze out from the pickup install, we are ready to mount the jack in place. To do this, we use a special tool, essentially a male 1/4″ jack on a flexible metal rod, to help us feed the jack through from inside the body. Once we have adjusted the internal nut to the correct position, we are ready to install the outside nut and washer that will firmly fix the jack in place. An additional specially designed strap button nut then screws on top of these to allow the jack to serve double duty as a strap holder. The jack is the only externally visible sign of installation.Pictured below you can see a photo of the finished pickup installation on the bridge plate. With the pickup installation done, it is a perfect time to perform a setup on the guitar to make sure that she plays as good as this pickup sounds!
About Guitar Repair Long Island:
Guitar Repair Long Island is the area’s premier destination for fretted musical instrument care and maintenance. We fix all fretted instruments, including: guitars, basses, banjos, mandolins, and ukuleles. Conveniently located in Ronkonkoma NY, the shop is dedicated to providing quick, honest, and reliable service. Our vast experience in all aspects of instrument repair ensures that we can help with whatever your needs are. Contact us or book your appointment today