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  #1  
Old 06-14-2019, 06:04 AM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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Default J45 Owners/ K&K Pickups

I'm seriously considering removing the stock pickup and replacing it with a
K and K. Anybody do this? Results? Opinions? Advice?
Thanks
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:05 AM
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brencat brencat is offline
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I literally just had this done a month ago. My J-45 is 5 years old. I had the Baggs element system removed and replaced with a K&K. Also had the bridge slotted, new bone saddle, and solid bone pins installed. Guitar sounded incredible before but came back even better! The immediate tonal differences I noticed from not having a wire sitting between the bottom of the saddle and the bridge base is a 40% increase in sustain and a softening of the edginess in the bass response. The K&K is great and the guitar overall weighs a touch less too not having the battery pack and extra wires.
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:11 AM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brencat View Post
I literally just had this done a month ago. My J-45 is 5 years old. I had the Baggs element system removed and replaced with a K&K. Also had the bridge slotted, new bone saddle, and solid bone pins installed. Guitar sounded incredible before but came back even better! The immediate tonal differences I noticed from not having a wire sitting between the bottom of the saddle and the bridge base is a 40% increase in sustain and a softening of the edginess in the bass response. The K&K is great and the guitar overall weighs a touch less too not having the battery pack and extra wires.
Oh oh....
I've read many of your posts and have respect for your opinions.
Looks like a K&K will be ordered today!
I also wondered about the bone saddle. My tech already said that he would make me one and that was the way to go.
Can you elaborate on the tonal changes any?
Thanks
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:39 AM
llew llew is online now
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Another big fan of K&K Mini. Brendan had all the right stuff done to his J-45. It's a blueprint for satisfaction IMO.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokdog49 View Post
Can you elaborate on the tonal changes any?
Thanks
Not sure I can add too much to what I already wrote. J-45s are not the loudest guitars as you probably know. Volume has improved modestly, but the biggest change is in the sustain. J-45s typically have short sustain, but after the work, the guitar sustains much better all over the neck... close to a 50% improvement, and I attribute that primarily to having full contact between the saddle and the bridge, not having that Baggs Element wire sandwiched between them anymore. I'm sure the slotted bridge, ramped G, B, and high e string slots to improve break angle, and solid pins also contribute to the improved sustain.

The bass response is also more refined...rounder, more bloom, slightly deeper tonality, and less thumpy than before. Much better!

The K&K is great -- very natural sounding. I didn't mind the Baggs Element either.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:39 AM
Cole Allen Cole Allen is online now
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About a year ago I put in a K&K active in my 53 J45. With the onboard EQ I can get it sounding pretty good, but I wouldn't say I love it. The only thing I have to compare it to is my HD28E Retro, and the fishman aura system in it sounds much better, IMO.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:48 AM
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Yeah... I the J45 has an under-saddle pickup you'll be far better off. Can you run the K&K into the existing onboard preamp?

I'll bet that bone saddle will really help, especially after ditching the under-saddle wire. I've never heard a piezo pickup that I've loved.
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:07 AM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1 View Post
Yeah... I the J45 has an under-saddle pickup you'll be far better off. Can you run the K&K into the existing onboard preamp?

I'll bet that bone saddle will really help, especially after ditching the under-saddle wire. I've never heard a piezo pickup that I've loved.
Yep, not onboard but...
I'm gonna run that K&K into my Red-Eye twin preamp which I already use for my D18. I went with the twin so I can run other instruments without preamps if I need to.The D18 has a JJB installed which I like a lot and does a great job. The issue I had with that one was a poor quality input jack which I ended up having to replace.
As an aside, and for anyone considering a K & K or JJB basic pickup..use a pre amp with some EQ. You will be much happier with your tone.
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Last edited by rokdog49; 06-14-2019 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:40 AM
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Another fan of the K&K in my J45. These pickups seem to have been designed for the J45. Such a natural sounding reproduction of my guitars tone, rather than a “colored” pickup tone. Nothing against Baggs. I simply prefer the K&K.
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokdog49 View Post
As an aside, and for anyone considering a K & K or JJB basic pickup..use a pre amp with some EQ. You will be much happier with your tone.
Agreed! I have had numerous JJB pickups. Fantastic pickups....and not just for the money! Theyíre truly great pickups. I have one in my Yamaha office guitar. Iíve loaned it to students to play onstage and it always surprises me how great these little pickups are.

It seems Iím often overtaken with the tones of the little Yamaha as well. Itís a cheapie FS720 TBS with a bone saddle. And pins. JJB 330. Itís nothing high end but it is such a great sounding and playing little fella.

You hit on the key...a good preamp. Itís worth noting that impedance is something to be looked at when matching pickups to preamps. IMHO anyway.
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:53 AM
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I put one into a customers J-45 a couple months ago. I thought it was a big improvement over the stock pickup. I ran into him playing a farmers market last weekend and though it sounded great. In between songs he told me how much he loves the pickup vs. the stock one that was in there.
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  #12  
Old 06-14-2019, 11:12 AM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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I ordered the K&K just a bit ago. Got it from CME. Got the one with the volume control. I have to have that. Ian gave me great service and a good deal.
Should be here on Monday and installed sometime next week.
I'm going to go with a bone saddle and maybe some bone bridge pins.
At the moment, I'll stick with what I have which is a combination bridge pin material mix. I'll do an evaluation for all interested parties as soon as possible.
Thanks to all for past and future responses.
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  #13  
Old 06-14-2019, 12:04 PM
uriah1 uriah1 is offline
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Yea. Have those in both J45s
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:01 PM
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I had (actually have again) a Gibson J50 where I replaced the Baggs with a K&k. I never looked back. Itís probably the best mod you can do... combine with bone nut and saddle, and your guitar will ring more, and sound seasoned if that makes sense.
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  #15  
Old 06-15-2019, 04:30 PM
The Kid! The Kid! is offline
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The Schatten HFN passive sounds better to me. I would also use a preamp with either pick up.
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