K&K Pure Western Mini Acoustic Installation


Rob DiStefano - FretTech Guitars & Cavalier Pickups

The EF-500MVS Epiphone Masterbilt.

We'll start by drilling out for the strap jack - first, remove the lower strap button.

Apply masking tape over the strap button's screw hole and punch through the tape at the hole.

Using a variable speed hand electric drill with a sharp 1/2" bit that you know will cut properly into hardwoods, slowly drill out for the strap jack - check to make sure you're drilling as close to 90 degrees to the guitar body as possible. I've been installing strap jacks this way for decades and it's second nature for me to use a hand drill and free-hand drill out strap jack holes. Alternatively, you could start the hole with a smaller drill bit and use progressively larger diameter bits 'til you finish up with 1/2", and/or jury rig a drill press to aid in the operation. Testing out your drill bit on a scrap wood block or board before attempting to do so on your guitar is a very very wise idea. If you have doubts about your own drilling skills and/or tools, get a pro to drill your guitar's butt hole.

All done - the masking tape keeps the hole edges tidy.

The K&K Pure Western Mini transducers w/attached strapjack, including a bag with double stick tape (NOTE: as of 2015, K&K no longer supplies a tube of super glue).

Cut out a 3" x 1-1/4" rectangle of cardboard - I've cut mine out from the USPS Priority Mail box that the K&K was shipped in - and on one long edge mark in 3/4" from each side and cut off, forming a trapezoid.

With a pencil, mark about 1/4" in on the long side of the cardboard the string hole spacing by lining up the cardboard to the string holes.

Poke pencil holes only in the outer E string marks.

Using a 1/8" dowel or bamboo BBQ skewer, cut off two 2" long posts and poke each into a jig E hole, leaving about 1/2" poking thru.

Test fit the jig by placing it into the sound hole and poke the posts up thru the E string peg holes. You wanna make sure that the cardboard template will sit flush to the bridge plate - if it doesn't, no problem, just trim off the cardboard 'til it sits flush to the plate. For the most part, it'll work fine as is.

Put the jig back on top of the guitar and into the E string holes. Draw a line on the cardboard template that corresponds to where the saddle lies. You can cut off any excess cardboard that extends over the bridge (see next image).

Using the K&K supplied double stick tape, take one tape and cut off a 3/16" strip.

Peel off one side of the double stick tape and lay the tape down directly over the cardboard jig's saddle line.

Snip off the excess tape ends.

Remove the top film layer off the double stick tape, revealing the sticky side and trim off the cardboard within about 1/8" of the black saddle line that you marked on the cardboard jig.

With the gold foil side of the transducers facing UP, place each transducer down on top of the double stick tape, on the center of the saddle line, with each transducer situated about in the middle of each pair of string holes.

NOTE: K&K Sound now recommends placing the B/E transducer closer to, or directly over the high E string plate hole, to augment the the treble ...

Clean each transducer foil with a clean paper towel - naphtha (lighter fluid) is a good cleaning agent. Also, using naphtha on a piece of paper towel, clean the area on the bridge plate (inside the guitar) where the transducers will get glued. Apply a generous amount of superglue to each gold foil. NOTE: before opening up a tube of superglue (CYA) near your beloved guitar, do what I didn't do and cover the entire guitar top with plastic food wrap film or painter's low tack masking tape, cut out for the sound hole and poke through at the bridge E string holes. You wouldn't wanna take a chance of dripping that nasty goop on yer guitar top!

Lower the jig into the sound hole and push the posts up thru the E string holes, press the jig onto the bridge plate and hold for a good 30 seconds. Wait at least five more minutes for the goop to set up hard.

Pull out the jig dowel posts, get your hand into the sound hole and carefully peel away the cardboard jig. The strip of double stick tape may or may not remain on the cardboard - either leave or wait a half hour or so for the superglue to fully cure and then peel off the tape. Most importantly, you can see the each transducer is perfectly located. You can see in this image that I peeled off the double stick tape and it also pulled off one of the logo decals on the far right transducer - no big deal.

Run a wire (a plain G string works fine) through the 1/2" strap jack hole, put a slight 3/16" bend on the inside end and hook it onto one of the strap jack end holes. Using this jack "fish" wire, pull the jack through the guitar's strap jack body hole. Adjust the jack's body length for the best fit on your acoustic - this may mean test fitting the jack several times after adjusting the body length. When the fit is right, lock it on *tight*.

All done!