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When changing pups is it safe to take all the strings off?

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  • When changing pups is it safe to take all the strings off?

    Hey guys.

    Tonights the night I put the Seths I bought from Peter in my Gibby LP

    I was just wondering if it's safe to take all the strings off when I change pups or if I should just slacken them off while I change the pups and then re-string?

    Thanx for any opinions

    Craig

  • #2
    Re: When changing pups is it safe to take all the strings off?

    I personally take the strings off first. Haven't heard of anyone keeping the strings on while changing the pups. If you keep the strings on, and they vibrate just a little while you're changing pups, it creates an electromagnetic field that heats up the strings to a point where it will snap and rip through your flesh. It'll definitely hurt. That's how Legless Joe lost his arms. So take your strings off.

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    • #3
      Re: When changing pups is it safe to take all the strings off?




      Yeah, I agree. You are just asking for more trouble than it is worth trying to salvage the strings. Just wait until they wear out. If you are new to changing pups out, you will need to make it as easy an experience as possible. It is simple, but you will not need the added aggrivation.

      Good Luck!!!!

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      • #4
        Re: When changing pups is it safe to take all the strings off?

        I think what Craig's getting at here is that with an LP if you take all the strings off there's nothing to hold the bridge and tailpiece in place.

        Usually if I'm changing strings I leave the D string on to hold the bridge and tailpiece while I clean up the guitar, then remove it after I've fitted the new low E.

        When I'm changing pickups (happens from time to time ) I leave the low E on. This allows me to get the pickups and their rings out of the guitar without the bridge coming off, though you do have to detune a bit to get the bridge pickup out, and be careful the pickup mounting screws don't scratch the top of the guitar. Be careful also that you don't knock the thumbwheels that set the height of the bridge. Then I put new strings on once the pickups are in place.

        Sometimes if I'm feeling lazy I'll leave the old strings on when I change pickups (just slacken them off and pull them to the sides), but usually I try to resist changing pickups until I'm due some new strings.

        You can of course get those fancy Tone Pros locking bridge and tailpiece sets, but I haven't invested in those (yet).
        Simon_F
        Super Moderator
        Last edited by Simon_F; 06-29-2004, 03:21 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: When changing pups is it safe to take all the strings off?

          There was some mention of removing all your strings at once 'may' affect your neck being all the string tension is removed. I've had to tweak the truss rod a few times being I've repainted most of my guitars and it could be true. I do change strings one at a time.

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          • #6
            Re: When changing pups is it safe to take all the strings off?

            I've taken all the strings off of my Kramer and my acoustic and neither of them needed any adjustment afterwards. When I put a JB in my V I was lazy and just slackened all the strings and pulled them aside. It worked alright but you might as well take them all off(there wouldn't be any tension difference). It'll be ok I promise
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            • #7
              Re: When changing pups is it safe to take all the strings off?

              Well I've never found it necessary, but I don't think it would be harmful either. I just slacken the strings. I'm always swapping magnets in and out of my pups to, I still never really found it necessary to take the strings off altogether. Just seems to me like it'd e too much of a hassle.
              Originally posted by Pink Unicorn Horsey
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              • #8
                Re: When changing pups is it safe to take all the strings off?

                Simon and Butnut mentioned the 2 things I was thinking about when I made this post:

                1. Leaving atleast 1 string on would stop the bridge falling off, and also keep some tension on the neck.

                2. Loss of tension on the neck by removing the strings.

                This isn't the 1st guitar I've changed pups on, but I'm not sure how I did it when I changed pups on my Epi LP .I can't remember if I took all the strings off or if I kept a few on! *doh*

                I think I'll prob just take em all off. I can't see it doing that much damage for the short amount of time my LP will have no strings on

                Thanx for the replies guys.

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                • #9
                  Re: When changing pups is it safe to take all the strings off?

                  just buy new strings and then put the pickups in along with the strings
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                  • #10
                    Re: When changing pups is it safe to take all the strings off?

                    I always planned to change the strings!

                    I just wondered if it'd save the neck some if I slackened the strings off instead of removing them.

                    Its done now, so thanx for your help

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                    • #11
                      Re: When changing pups is it safe to take all the strings off?

                      Originally posted by Number One
                      I personally take the strings off first. Haven't heard of anyone keeping the strings on while changing the pups. If you keep the strings on, and they vibrate just a little while you're changing pups, it creates an electromagnetic field that heats up the strings to a point where it will snap and rip through your flesh. It'll definitely hurt. That's how Legless Joe lost his arms. So take your strings off.
                      Ha HA Brilliant...

                      Legless Joe!!!
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                      • #12
                        Re: When changing pups is it safe to take all the strings off?

                        Remove all the strings. Remove the bridge, and remove the tail piece. Cover the body so when you work you won't drop a tool or a blob of solder on the guitar!!!!! don't worry about the neck. A truss rod adjustment is a normal adjustment that should be made 3 or 4 times a year as the climate changes anyway. Check the relief before you start any work, chances are it won't need any adjustment. Removing all the strings just gives you more room to work without running the risk of damage to your guitar. After you have installed the pups restring it and bring the guitar to pitch. Once that is done press the 6 string down at the 1st fret, and press the string down where the string crosses over the body. At the 7th fret there should be a little bit of clearance between the bottom of the string and the top of the fret. The amount of clearance or relief is a matter of personal preference. So if the guitar is playing the way you like it to play check the relief before you start so you can keep it there. To adjust the rod if you tighten the rod it will decrease the space between the string and fret(removing relief). An easy way to remember which way to turn the rod is "left lowers the center of the neck" When making this adjustment make small turns of the rod.(1/8thturns). Checking the relief frequently. After you have the relief set the way you like it, check it again after a couple of days. Guitar necks have a tendancy to move a little after the rod has been adjusted. Good Luck!!
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                        • #13
                          Re: When changing pups is it safe to take all the strings off?

                          You should be ok as long as you don't leave the strings off the guitar for too long, ie hour or so not days never had any problems with my Les Paul just be carefull not to Knock any of the setting's on the bridge and gently lift off the bridge and stoptail to avoid any damage when you remove the last string.
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                          • #14
                            Re: When changing pups is it safe to take all the strings off?

                            what???

                            i always take all my strings off to polish the neck and frets, i dont see another way...

                            how bad does it damage the axe?
                            My clips

                            Originally posted by Rid
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                            • #15
                              Re: When changing pups is it safe to take all the strings off?

                              I change pickups frequently. I never remove perfectly good strings. Loosening them up is fine. I've never had to tweak a truss rod after loosening strings for 20 mins during a pup change, or whatever else I might be doing under the hood. If you're careful, the strings don't pose any problem whatsoever.

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