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Pickups direct into wood. How do YOU do it?

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  • Gearjoneser
    replied
    Re: Pickups direct into wood. How do YOU do it?

    Originally posted by Leather Rebel
    I bought a NOS Kramer Baretta II body a couple of years ago that I modded to mount the pickup direct to the body. The paint and body had a few dings in it anyway, so I decided to strip the whole thing and redo it. I filled in the two pickup leg holes inside the pickup cavity with wood filler flush with the bottom of the pickup cavity. The wood filler was made by DAP and sets up hard enough to use screws. Once the body was prepped it was painted. To mount the pickup, I stacked up some flat hardwood popsicle sticks to set the pickup height to where I wanted it. I cut them to size for the width and length of the pickup mounting legs and marked them for drilling. I managed to find very small wood screws that wouldn't destroy the pickup threads but were long enough to go through the popsicle sticks and well into the filler. It looks cool and sounds good, but I have no way to compare what it would have sounded like mounted the conventional way since it has never been set up that way.

    The only bummer to direct to wood mounting is that it is very difficult to get the pickup height setup correctly on-the-fly. I've seen some mounting setups that use springs and foam or whatever to help do this but it's not really the same as direct-to-wood since these materials absorb vibrations to some degree. The main reason I used the wood sticks was because I felt that it would transmit vibration and tone better.
    That sounds like a good option. Just add some wood right above the holes, then use an extra thin screw, so you don't mess up the pickup. You'll just have to create the height exactly where you intend to keep it.

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  • Fusion1
    replied
    Re: Pickups direct into wood. How do YOU do it?

    Sorry MrJones I guess I misunderstood your suggestion. I guess reading too many threads on here is making me batty. I know RSPST14 suggests filling the thread holes of a previously drilled out humbucker with epoxy or super glue and then threading a machine screw in it, so maybe it was my own lapse of memory that got me off on that track. Thats what I thought you meant by filling the holes. I am guessing you mean the wood itself in the pickup cavity... Sorry for the misunderstanding.

    And on other forums people have long been suggesting to just bore out the hole and then if you want to go back to a machine screw just use nuts on the end or solder the nuts on the bottom of the baseplate. I guess the washer made me jump to that conclusion as well as a bored out hole would need a washer to fit the original 3-48 threaded screws and a nut needed on the bottom. Sorry bout that, you called me on it.

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  • mrfjones
    replied
    Re: Pickups direct into wood. How do YOU do it?

    Originally posted by Fusion1
    Mr Jones filling the holes and using a nut wouldn't be a solution for me. Once you drill out the hole and then decide to go back to a machine screw how are you going to adjust the height without the whole screw and nut turning, and also without having to preset the height in the mounting ring outside of the guitar as you'd need to hold the nut while screwing in the screw.

    In addition you'd have to use a larger screw and unless you used both the same sized screws (for neck and bridge humbucker) it's going to look ridiculous with one small and one large screw for height adjustment. Where I live I'd call that ghetto (not exactly something you'd want to see on a nice instrument).

    Like I said above a #2 sheet metal screw is what is the order of the day. See for yourself it works!

    FYI: Everyone stop drilling out those baseplates, you are ruining your resale value and customers like me won't buy your used pickup regardless of what "jerry-rigged" idea to make it work once it's drilled out.

    I really have no idea what you are talking about. I recommended that he use a smaller wood srew to drill into the body once it has been properly filled. doing this would bypass the threads on a new pickup or match them if the right screw can be found. You would adjust height just like i do with my tele neck, it is just like adjusting with a mounting ring or pickguard except that you are using the wood like a mounting ring. the suggestion to use a washer was only if the head of the new screw was too small making the pickup unstable. Since you can get uncolored washers the color of the metal will match pretty well and it works and doesn't look "ghetto", but that is only if the head of the screw is too small which will probably not happen. So to explain things in simpler terms, fill the holes and use a smaller wood screw so the holes on the humbucker do not get widened at all. Use springs or surgical tubing for tention and/or foam rubber like zerb said to keep tension and the height can be adjusted easily. The only part that looks a little "ghetto" is the place where the hole has been filled but it is also covered by the mounting tabs.

    Fusion, I still have no idea where you got the idea that i was suggesting using a machine screw or a nut and bolt. But i agree that a bolt and a nut would be really hard to use and would look really bad
    Last edited by mrfjones; 09-07-2004, 06:58 PM.

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  • Fusion1
    replied
    Re: Pickups direct into wood. How do YOU do it?

    Cool Leather Rebel, that gives me an excuse to get some popsicles at the store to make some layers for height adjustments. Thanks for the idea.

    Leave a comment:


  • Leather Rebel
    replied
    Re: Pickups direct into wood. How do YOU do it?

    I bought a NOS Kramer Baretta II body a couple of years ago that I modded to mount the pickup direct to the body. The paint and body had a few dings in it anyway, so I decided to strip the whole thing and redo it. I filled in the two pickup leg holes inside the pickup cavity with wood filler flush with the bottom of the pickup cavity. The wood filler was made by DAP and sets up hard enough to use screws. Once the body was prepped it was painted. To mount the pickup, I stacked up some flat hardwood popsicle sticks to set the pickup height to where I wanted it. I cut them to size for the width and length of the pickup mounting legs and marked them for drilling. I managed to find very small wood screws that wouldn't destroy the pickup threads but were long enough to go through the popsicle sticks and well into the filler. It looks cool and sounds good, but I have no way to compare what it would have sounded like mounted the conventional way since it has never been set up that way.

    The only bummer to direct to wood mounting is that it is very difficult to get the pickup height setup correctly on-the-fly. I've seen some mounting setups that use springs and foam or whatever to help do this but it's not really the same as direct-to-wood since these materials absorb vibrations to some degree. The main reason I used the wood sticks was because I felt that it would transmit vibration and tone better.

    Leave a comment:


  • crazytooguy
    replied
    Re: Pickups direct into wood. How do YOU do it?

    Originally posted by Fusion1
    Crazytooguy, those threaded inserts you pointed out are #6 threads, and most Duncans and Dimarzios use #3 - 48 threads. Seems you'd still have to drill out the mounting tabs on the pickups, no?

    There was a company called EZ lok or something that made these threaded inserts and they stop right at #4 - 40 arghhhhhhh!!!!!

    Anyways I did find a #2 wood screw fits the holes barely, but I didn't try mounting it to a guitar yet as I have to rig up a wooden block underneath since the #2 wood screws aren't long enough.
    Yeah, that's true. The #3 screw is a major PITA. I just deal with boring out the pickup mounting tabs - with the threaded inserts, I don't want the pickup tab to have threads anyway. I suppose that wrecks the pickups resale value, but the guitars I build are pretty high end custom instruments, so my clients aren't real concerned about the pickup tabs. I suppose you could add a small metal threaded clip to the pickup tab to use it in the conventional way.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gearjoneser
    replied
    Re: Pickups direct into wood. How do YOU do it?

    Yeah, I agree with that too. If that WEREN'T the case, strats with pickguards wouldn't sound any different than strats with the singles bolted straight to wood.
    My favorite tone equation....everything effects everything.

    Leave a comment:


  • DotNetTim
    replied
    Re: Pickups direct into wood. How do YOU do it?

    There is absolutely no doubt that all things being equal that direct mounted pickups sound better.. My 7 year old daughter could tell the difference. They also control feedback better at loud volumes with high gain in my experience.. Hence Eddies Amps and guitars! The pickup the resonance of the guitar better.. Everything should be connected on a guitar if you want it to sound better.. Floating or anything that doesn't touch the wood of the guitar will not sound as good.. I don't care what engineers say about the sound coming from the pickups only, blah blah blah. I've been playing real world experience with many many guitars for about 35 years and I can tell you there is a difference in contstruction techniques and wood types, etc.. Everyting matters including the wood, pickups, types of bridges, types of steels used in screws, bridges, etc..etc..etc.. You want the best of everyting you can afford and get everything to touch and you'll sound much better because of it.. Promise
    Just my two cents..
    Tim


    Originally posted by RG 2570
    is there ANY truth in the thing about the direct mount pups sounding better?

    Leave a comment:


  • Zerberus
    replied
    Re: Pickups direct into wood. How do YOU do it?

    Originally posted by Fusion1
    Zerberus I know you live in Germany but is it common to find inserts that fit #3-48 threads? I've yet to find one online or in a store.
    Puh, thatīs a toughie. I know mine are metric, and that they cleanly miss all of the pickupīs threads, 1 mmx20mm if that helps any, the inserts are 15mm deep by 2 mm Diameter

    FWIW

    ANd Jonesey, I use foam rubber and springs. The foam helps th pickup keep itīs angle, and the springs make sure the height stays put. Iīm under the impression that it transfers tone a bit better, but I seroiusly doubīt thereīs an audible difference between either one alone or both.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fusion1
    replied
    Re: Pickups direct into wood. How do YOU do it?

    Zerberus I know you live in Germany but is it common to find inserts that fit #3-48 threads? I've yet to find one online or in a store.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gearjoneser
    replied
    Re: Pickups direct into wood. How do YOU do it?

    Do you think using foam rubber under the pickup to keep it tensioned kills any tone or resonance? Screaming Daisy said he uses springs, I presume fairly fat ones. Ive always been curious about this as well. I've seen guys use bent cardboard, bubblewrap, and companies usually use a couple strips of foam rubber.

    Leave a comment:


  • Zerberus
    replied
    Re: Pickups direct into wood. How do YOU do it?

    I use inserts and screws from a local hardware store, more or less the same as Crazyīs idea. No drilling out the pickup holes, and no more stripped mounting holes

    Leave a comment:


  • RG 2570
    replied
    Re: Pickups direct into wood. How do YOU do it?

    is there ANY truth in the thing about the direct mount pups sounding better?

    Leave a comment:


  • Fusion1
    replied
    Re: Pickups direct into wood. How do YOU do it?

    Mr Jones filling the holes and using a nut wouldn't be a solution for me. Once you drill out the hole and then decide to go back to a machine screw how are you going to adjust the height without the whole screw and nut turning, and also without having to preset the height in the mounting ring outside of the guitar as you'd need to hold the nut while screwing in the screw.

    In addition you'd have to use a larger screw and unless you used both the same sized screws (for neck and bridge humbucker) it's going to look ridiculous with one small and one large screw for height adjustment. Where I live I'd call that ghetto (not exactly something you'd want to see on a nice instrument).

    Like I said above a #2 sheet metal screw is what is the order of the day. See for yourself it works!

    FYI: Everyone stop drilling out those baseplates, you are ruining your resale value and customers like me won't buy your used pickup regardless of what "jerry-rigged" idea to make it work once it's drilled out.



    Leave a comment:


  • mrfjones
    replied
    Re: Pickups direct into wood. How do YOU do it?

    Originally posted by Jeff_H
    Jonsey....you could always go to the hardware store and find some small wood screws that will fit thru the mounting hole in the Duncan legs without touching the sides (threads). Once screwed in tightly, the head of the screw will hold the pup down.

    just fill those holes well and use a tiny washer if you have to. it will work well without damaging the guitar or the pickup.

    Leave a comment:

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