mounting pickups directly on body?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by redgold, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    Try stiffer springs or rubber tubing, and also try immobilizing the pickup with bits of dense foam (like mousepad foam) on the sides of the pickup to wedge it into the hole in the body. Don't put foam underneath, that just lifts the pickup up off the springs.
     
  2. pinfloi

    pinfloi Member

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    I was going to open a new thread, but I've made a search and I've decide to practice necromancy with this one

    I have ordered Warmoth parts for my first custom build and I have chosen the "Wood Mount" for the humbucker pickups.

    I have bought a set of M2 self tapping inserts and screws. I hope that this will work.

    The M2 screws are smaller than the pickup threaded holes, so they will be able to spin freely when adjusting the pickup height.

    I plan to use small springs (if I find them) or foam to maintain the pickups lifted

    What other systems are you using for directly mounting the pickups on wood?

    [​IMG]

    In case of interest, I've bought them here:

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000218933147.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.3da24c4d0ECc51

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32897376497.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.3da24c4d0ECc51
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
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  3. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    On one hand that looks very cool.
    OTOH once you go to spring support don't you lose part of the reason for direct mount?
    OTOH for aesthetic purposes, while retaining adjustability, you insert system looks very good

    Can you get those inserts inserted into that tight space, squarely?
    I might add- be aware that leg length is not standardized.
     
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  4. pinfloi

    pinfloi Member

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    Thank you for the suggestions. I will keep that in mind when I mount it. I am still waiting for the Warmoth body and neck. Hopefully no more than 3-4 weeks

    This is how they route the pickup cavity for wood-mount option
    [​IMG]

    And this is their routing for mounting the pickup on a frame at the top:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    bless you for that :)
    those are neat!

    the only problem is that they turn more easily than the normal method of wood screws into the wood, they might drift out of adjustment over time; i suppose a tiny bit of the mildest loctite could serve to keep them in place. also, you gotta be sure to have enough clearance under the inserts that tightening down the screw doesn't just bottom it out and push the insert out of the wood

    finally, do they include the special driver to install the inserts? you're not supposed to use a regular flathead screwdriver to crank those in (though maybe not a big deal for inserts that small and low-stressed)
     
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  6. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    If worst comes to worst you can still put on rings and cover your misdeed.:D
     
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  7. Timtam

    Timtam Member

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    I use M3 threaded inserts where the socket is threaded internally but not externally (called a rivet nut), on guitars where Fender in their wisdom decided pickup screws direct into wood was 'good enough' (eg Jaguars). Just needs snug holes, with a dab of wood glue (otherwise the whole shebang could fall out if the guitar is inverted). Insert and screw length for the available cavity wall thickness obviously needs to be just right. Precise hole positioning and verticality are also important, otherwise your pickup can end up oddly angled. Springs push the pickups up.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
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  8. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    ehh, my P bass has pickup screws directly into the wood and it's frankly about the most stable and reliable way out there to mount pickups.

    assuming sufficient springs or foam to hold the pickup tight and screws long enough not to strip out in the wood, once adjusted it will not move
     
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  9. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    If we have to have pickup holes, soapbar p90's are the most efficient, aesthetic pleasing type.
    If we had something similar, but smaller, getting it down to Tele size it would be even better.
     
  10. Timtam

    Timtam Member

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    Pickup screws into wood just offend my sensibilities .... whether they 'work' or not is kind of secondary. ;)

    And I have seen them get stuck/break off, and require lots of effort to remove.
     
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  11. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    it is kinda crude isn't it? still, crude methods with minimal parts count that work reliably for half a century count as good design in my book
    as have i

    i see this on cheaper guitars where they use screws that are too small so they get stripped or don't use the right size holes in the wood so they get stuck
     
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  12. NamaEnsou

    NamaEnsou Supporting Member

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    On the one hand I agree, but then I also put wood screws into my JEM when I removed the pickguard.
     
  13. StockRock

    StockRock Gold Supporting Member

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    Drill out the holes on the humbucker legs to match whatever wood screws you use, or use brass threaded inserts. I have done it both ways, and inserts are great but more work. Use springs to give you range and I found that a little rubber tubing on the screw head side of the humbucker leg helps really stabilize the pickup:
     
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  14. skydog

    skydog Supporting Member

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    Maybe repurpose a few from old ballpoint pens?
     
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  15. pinfloi

    pinfloi Member

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    I do not want to drill holes on the humbucker legs, so they won't lose their resale value. That is the reason why I have selected M2 screws that can spin freely at the hole.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    a worthwhile consideration

    i've dealt with this before by using humbucker pickup ring screws that just barely fit through the pickup tabs, then carefully grinding the threads away in a little zone just under the screw head. that way once i negotiate them all the way through the tabs they'll spin freely in the tab, allowing for height adjustment
     
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  17. Gevalt

    Gevalt Member

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    The screws that hold the ring, those are narrow enough to mount a humbucker. Philadelphia Luthier Tools sold me a pack for cheap.

    Is it a coincidence that the pickup I adored the sound of sounds like crap, now that I made that change? Going back to bolts and will report findings.
     
  18. ant_riv

    ant_riv Supporting Member

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    I did a direct mount on a neck/body strat that I didn’t want a pickguard on.
    My local Ace Hardware had inserts with a rough outer thread and the same size inner thread as the strat pups I was installing.

    I drilled holes that were the same size as the OD of the inserts. The inserts had an Allen hole to screw them into the wood.
    I used a piece of foam to support the pups. This was not necessary for any reason other than I didn’t want them to be able to rock back/forth, if contacted.

    The difficult part was calculating how far to insert the screw into the pickup before starting to thread it into the insert. The foam helped to hold the pup in position for this.

    It worked really well. I didn’t notice any significant contribution to ‘tone’ but it is aesthetically pleasing.
     
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  19. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Could Strat pups be mounted p-90 soapbar style?
    Drill a couple of holes through, trim off all the extra extrusions and they might fit into a tidy smaller rout. Maybe??
     
  20. Chad11491

    Chad11491 Supporting Member

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    What i've done when doing this on a few warmoth bodies is:

    drill the hole for the pickup screw in the body
    coat the screw in wax
    pour super glue or epoxy in the screw hole, make sure there's no bubbles etc
    thread the screw in
    after it's pretty much set up, unthread the screw

    presto, super strong "inserts" that have never stripped out on me.
     
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