Replace PUPS, DIY or Pro??

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Da5Id, Mar 15, 2006.


  1. Da5Id

    Da5Id Member

    Messages:
    1,502
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Location:
    Germantown MD
    Hi,

    I just received two Lollar Imperial Humbuckers for replacement of stock pups in a 92 les paul standard.

    Is this a difficult job to do? I have to decide whether to try it myself or take it to a shop (with a 1 week turn around time). I am mainly concerned about getting stuck in the middle of the job and also proper setup upon reinstallation (IE pickup height and such). I haven't soldered anything in about 20 years or so.

    Any suggestions?

    Thx!!
     
  2. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,128
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    Mineola, NY
    IMO, replacing pickups is pretty easy. If you mess up, you'll just have to take it to a tech and pay them what you would have had to pay them in the first place. Also, I wouldn't worry about setting pickup height; if you have trouble setting them to taste, just ask folks on this board how they setup their Lollar Imperials overall height-wise and screw-height wise.

    -Austin
     
  3. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,618
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    It is very simple.
    make sure you have a soldering iron and solder and make sure you remember where the leads go and besides that it is fairly simple.
    As far as height and orientation, plug in, play, adjust, play .. repeat till you got it the way you want.
     
  4. ScottB

    ScottB Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,316
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delaware
    +3 on DIY.

    After you do a few, you can even make them look nice!
     
  5. Fuzzdawg

    Fuzzdawg Member

    Messages:
    448
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    +4 on DIY.

    installing pickups is very easy and there are dozens of wiring diagrams all over the internet. it's SUPER easy, even for a beginner. if you're really worried, practice by removing and then re-installing the old pickups. plug it in once you're done to test em: make sure you did it right. if you didn't, take em to a tech to install.

    whenever i replace pickups i always find it a good excuse to replace the pots as well. they are a relatively inexpensive upgrade that you can do yourself fairly easily. plus, pots WILL get scratchy after a while, anyway. for a les paul, i reccommend long-shaft pots. can't tell you the problems i've had trying to get short-shafters screwed down on a rear route. of course, you'd want to use 500k pots.


    as far as pickup height goes, it's really quite simple, and i found it had a huge impact! here's what i did:

    press both E string on the highest fret. use the humbucker screws to get the pickups about 2 millimeters away from the string when pressed, on both sides.

    now the fun begins! plug in your guitar (clean, no effects) to your amp, and turn your amp up pretty good... like 7 or 8 (not max, though). place the pickup selector on the pickup you want to adjust. Strum a chord. it will most likely sound bright, harsh, loud, and a bit crappy. GREAT!

    now, turn the screws counterclockwise about 1/2 to 2/3 of a turn (on both side of the pickup). strum again: WOW! it already sounds better, doesn't it! keep doing this, and it will keep sounding better and better... until suddenly it starts sounding not as good. STOP! now, screw back until you hit that sweet spot again! also feel free to adjust the bass and trebble sides of the pickup differently.

    repeat with other pickup.

    rock and roll.

    (i find it easiest to use an open tuning while doing this, so i can just strum without having to stop and play a chord.)
     
  6. Da5Id

    Da5Id Member

    Messages:
    1,502
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Location:
    Germantown MD
    Thanks everyone for your input and especially for the detailed instructions on adjustment. I'll take a crack at it this weekend!

    Steve
     

Share This Page