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Thread: Hot k&k pickups and pickguards

  1. #1

    Default Hot k&k pickups and pickguards

    Hey everyone
    Just installed a k&k twin fusion (with the carpenter jack) into my mando. The provided sticky tape didn't hold so I ended up using super glue for the transducers. This is my first time doing this is so I probably did it wrong!

    I think I may have stuck the treble side transducer in a bad spot because now that whole area on the face of the mando is EXTREMELY sensitive and loud to even the slightest tap of my fingers. I'll have to change my playing style since before I would sometimes rest the pinkie and ring fingers of my picking hand to the face of the mando for a kind of anchor point. I don't really feel like trying to remove the super glued transducer so I guess I'm stuck with it there😉.

    I feel like feedback will definitely be an issue in live settings from the monitor sound hitting the extremely sensitive face of the mando. I have a red eye preamp and can always EQ some stuff out, but I feel like this is abnormally sensitive in this case.

    My question: would installing a pickguard help with this issue? Since it covers the space where the treble transducer is. If it's worth doing, is there any considerations to drilling the small hole in the side of the mando for pickguard installation? I'm new to all this mando repair stuff. Thanks everyone. Any help is very appreciated

  2. #2
    Maurice McMurry
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    Default Re: Hot k&k pickups and pickguards

    The transducers are very tricky to install. The type and thickness of the glue or adhesive effect the preformance. I use RTV silicone when possible. Putty, or two layers of the tape cools them off. Super glue makes them extra hot. It is also hard to reposition the transducers if super glue is used.

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  4. #3
    Registered User
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    Default Re: Hot k&k pickups and pickguards

    You may not have gotten the treble p/u pushed flat to the top and that will make them sensitive. If is not flat it will make it easier to come off, but you will have to clean the area before reinstalling. Worst case scenario is you break the p/u. K&K will sell you a single to replace it.

    I use two pieces of tape when gluing the p/u in to soften the sound, but it shouldn't be as sensitive as you say it is.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  5. #4

    Default Re: Hot k&k pickups and pickguards

    Thanks y'all. Anyone know if installing the pickguard will help? I've never drilled my mando before..is there any considerations I should know about before I drill the hole in the side for the pickguard bracket?

  6. #5

    Default Re: Hot k&k pickups and pickguards

    Installing a pickguard should help with having less finger contact with the soundboard. If you're using the old fashioned wide pickguard, then yes, the outboard part of it fastens to a bracket that is screwed to the rim of the mandolin. I this instance, it's advisable to glue a small cross-grain piece of wood to the inside of the rim at the point where the screw is to go through the rim. Since the rim is likely only 80-100 thousandths of an inch thick there, it would be prone to splitting or the threads stripping out without the reinforcement.

    There are more narrow modern style fingerrests that only attach to the bottom edge of the fingerboard/neck. If you don't have savvy woodworking skills, you may wish to leave this to an experienced luthier, as some very precise drilling is involved.

  7. #6
    Registered User
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    Default Re: Hot k&k pickups and pickguards

    I would opt to have the pickguard installed without drilling into the side. You could drill where the kerfing is so you have more support, but may have some sound transference if the top is so hot. Installing it only to the fingerboard would insure that is not the case.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  8. #7

    Default Re: Hot k&k pickups and pickguards

    Thanks y'all that's super helpful 🙂

  9. #8
    Registered User McIrish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hot k&k pickups and pickguards

    I have K&K pickups in most of my instruments. Due to the way they are attached by glue instead of being sandwiched under a saddle, they have much better tone but the top will be pretty sensitive to tapping or any other type movement. The preamp you use should roll off a little of the extreme low end which helps. I'm not sure you did anything wrong. All mine are super glued in as well. It gives a brighter sound than if the tape is used. It also has a slightly louder output if glued.

  10. #9
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hot k&k pickups and pickguards

    Yea very sensitive to what they are attached to turning vibration to electrical pulses..
    Piezos have a rather high impedance signal, so,
    many use a preamp that handshakes with that signal [K&K makes one of those too]

    then you get some tone shaping options



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