Guitar Synths & the GK-2 pick-up
What are Synthesizers?
A device that generates sound by creating waveforms electronically (such as subtractive or FM synthesis) or from stored samples of musical instruments (wave table synthesis). - Definition of Synthesizers
Evolution of Synths
This pioneer was unique for the ‘infinite sustain’ that took the signals from the divided pickup and then sent them back up the strings so they could react to the magnet that takes the place of the neck pickup. In short, it was like having six e-bows built into the guitar. - Roland UK Blog
The Evolution of Guitar Synth
A year after the release of the first MIDI, Roland designed a newer model that would work with all guitars, letting the guitarists us their own guitars instead of the special ones that were the only models made available to work with the synths. This model still had the charm of the first model, with its substantial cord and the size still of a large scale. The same year, Roland released the first every Guitar-to-MIDI converter that stood on its own. This converter let the guitarist control up to eleven MIDI parameters. it had inputs that allowed the musician to have two more foot switches for the ultimate experience. This model of converter is still used today and is sometimes referred to as the best converter to date. Vintage Roland Guitar Synthesizer Resources
Roland UK Blog. It was an example of the digital era that was about to take over how things were developed. It had digital sounding that had on-board effects, fast pitch-tracking as well as full ability as a MIDI controller. This was a breakthrough in that it was the first synth that had a "great sound" and was more appeasing to guitarists everywhere. The pitch and the effects of strings and piano were top of the range. The GR-1 was released at the same time as the GK-2A Pick-up was. The GK-2A used a much slimmer cable to connect to the synth which was more of a convenience to guitarists.
Synthesizers TodayToday the Synthesizers GR-D and GR-S have 13-pin inputs, compatible with the Roland GK-2, GK-2a and GK-3 pickups.Roland UK Blog
GK-2, GK-2A and GK-3 pick-up
The GK-2 pick-up is the same pickup as the Roland GK-1 pickup, offered as part of the Roland GK-1 kit which included the GK-1 pickup, GK Driver and special 24-pin cable. The GK-1 was the last of the original Roland 24-pin hardware. Unlike previous Roland guitar synthesizer pickups, the GK-1 was designed to be easily added to the top of any guitar, without requiring any special routing. The GK-2 was released in 1989 with the Roland GR-50. Shortly after the original GK-2 shipped, Roland released the more familiar GK-2A pickup. The GK-2A pickup was more versatile than the GK-1 (or GK-2) pickup, and could be installed either on top of the guitar, or internally installed. The GK-1 (or GK-2) did not lend itself to internal installation. The GK-2A was used as the factory hardware on the Roland-Ready Stratocaster. The GK-2A was replaced by the GK-3 in 2005. The GK-3 pickup is the factory installation kit for the Roland GC-1, GK-Ready Stratocaster. All Roland pickups are actually made up of six, small, individual humbucking pickups to allow the output of each string to be processed separately.