Gibson electronics in a Fender

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by The Lurker, Sep 14, 2009.


  1. The Lurker

    The Lurker

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    Ankh-Morpork
    'Ello all,

    I've accumulated some various bits and pieces over the last couple of years-- Jazz body, various hardware, etc.-- and thought I'd try my hand at a frankenbass.

    What I had in mind was putting an EB-3 style setup into a Fender body-- big mudbucker where the neck Jazz pickup would go, humbucker in the bridge position.

    In theory, something like this:

    [​IMG]

    (hat tip to some guy at vg.org.uk He mentions using a Schaller roller bridge to make the string spacing match the Gibson polepieces.

    [​IMG]

    The inspiration is .... yeah, Mel Schacher. :)
  2. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Very cool, how's it sound?
  3. The Lurker

    The Lurker

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    I have no real idea-- I haven't built mine yet! :( I'm guessing it'll sound distinctly Gibsonish. I like the mudbucker--tube amp sound, but don't really care for the way EBs feel....

    I'm just fishing for ideas and suggestions.....:meh:
  4. carrythetradish

    carrythetradish

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    new york
    very interesting. i've thought about doing this before. im excited to see how it turns out
  5. The Lurker

    The Lurker

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  6. Number27

    Number27

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Framingham, Massachusetts
    ok.. i did this:

    [​IMG]

    ('cuse the crappy cell phone pick)

    i got the pickup from a chinese ebay dealer, cuz it was cheap. turns out the pole spacing on the humbucker was already dead on perfect for the jazz bass and i didn't need to alter the string spacing at all. i used a chisel to make the pickup cavity big enough (since this was an sx when it started life the pickup cavity was already pretty big), which was easy. altering the pickguard was not however and took hours of sanding, filing, dremeling, and swearing to get the right size. i enlarged the pickup hole in the already existing jazz guard, which is actually a wee bit wider than the mudbucker.. but you can't tell unless you're really up close to it.

    i connected the mudbucker and the bridge pickup to a jazz bass varitone i got from rawsounds on ebay ($120), here's where i ran into a problem. the great thing about these varitones is that you don't need to do any soldering, you just screw the wires into these little connecting thingys, which is awesome for oafs like me with super duper crappy soldering skills. course being an oaf i screwed this up: i connected the bridge pick up fine but ****ed up by sticking to much of the lead wire of the mudbucker into the connection port of the varitone. then tightend down the screw. course when i went to test it out it didnt' work, cuz you need the bare wire to touch the screw not the shielded part (duh). when i went to unscrew it i spent 5 minutes tightening it while wondering why the hell it was on so tight, in the process i cut the lead wire in half. so when i finally did it properly i only had a couple tiny copper wires to stick under the screw. when i tested it out the output from the humbucker was really weak (sounded nice and creamy though :) ). i went back and tinned the end of the wire, and tried it again, this time the output was through the roof, but was waaay to sensitive. so i went back and gouged some more so i could lower the pickup (it was a pretty tight fit, and i had to shim the neck to get the strings to clear it when i first installed it). i lowered the pickup, set it all back up and it was a little better but still not as nice sounding as when it was first in there. plus the g string was signal was very weak for some reason. so by this time i said **** it and replaced it with a dimarzio model one i had lying around, and that's worked nicely so far (especially now that these pyramids have broken in).
  7. andk5591

    andk5591

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    Mar 9, 2009
    Location:
    State College Pa
    I had done one a very long time ago, but installed it closer to the neck and used a 5 position strat switch. This was a long time before Sheehan was around. Anyway, closer to the neck makes the polepiecs spacing less of an issue. Can't remember how I wired the switch. But I agree that a Model One would be a better choice and use the series parallel switch to give you more or less mud.

    Over the years, I have done all kinds of crap (like done the opposite - putting Jazz Pups in an EB3L) and you get some interesting stuff. Entwsitle played around with his Fenderbirds for the same reason. The Fender construction is brighter sounding that a mahogany, set neck Gibson. Go for it and have fun.
  8. The Lurker

    The Lurker

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    The help is very much appreciated:)

    I'm willing to try different pickups for the neck one (e.g. Gibson, Artec, DiMarzio, etc), but I had the thought that I'd like to use a setup roughly comparable to an EB-3, with the VVTT, varitone, etc., rather than a Fender setup and a jazz pickup for the bridge position.


    How easy is it to physically fit a mudbucker into a bass, as far as setting it far enough into the body that there's still room for decent separation from the strings?
  9. Number27

    Number27

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Framingham, Massachusetts
    the stock route was deep enough for the actual pickup, but it was the metal shroud that was the problem. because i only routed out enough space for the pickups guts i had to make a groove in the body of the bass so that the shroud would sit low enough to get the strings over it. also: my bass has a warmoth neck that is just a little to thin for the neck pocket it sits in so i had to shim it anyway. on a stock fender body you might not run into that problem.

    and again i'll reiterate how difficult it was to alter the pickguard, especially without the cnc machines that the proshops use.
  10. The Lurker

    The Lurker

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    so the shroud is wider than the pickup itself then...hmmm.... I can handle that.

    Any pointers on siting the pickup? Center the pole pieces where the jazz pickups' were, or set it closer to the neck?
  11. Number27

    Number27

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    Framingham, Massachusetts
    well if you already have a pickup and it's a gibson then i would site the pickup right under the neck so that the pole spacing best matches the string spacing. that way you can also still have the neck jazz pickup :) ... course you'd probably need a router to make the best job of it.
  12. The Lurker

    The Lurker

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    Oh joy, time for a micrometer.....:ninja:
  13. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered 8er Supporting Member

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    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    MS Gulf Coast
    IMO, it's more important to site the pickup correctly based on your tonal aims, rather than being a slave to polepiece spacing. For instance, I would never put the pickup right up against the neck, because I don't like the extreme emphasis on low frequencies. I would pull it back towards the bridge some, even if the polepieces didn't exactly line up. As long as the string is within the magnetic field, the pickup will work just fine.
  14. The Lurker

    The Lurker

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    That's a good point.... what I was wondering about was the extent to which 1/4" one way or the other will make a difference, the way the conventional wisdom says it does with jazz bridge pickups.
  15. Number27

    Number27

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
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    Framingham, Massachusetts
    maybe an inch back then? whatever. imo the mudbucker gets it's great sound from being so close to the neck. my italia sounds way better than the telejazz when the mudbucker was in it. if it's good enough for gibson.....
  16. The Lurker

    The Lurker

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    Where do you have one in an Italia?
  17. Number27

    Number27

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    Mar 29, 2008
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    Framingham, Massachusetts
    right under the neck.
  18. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Location:
    Ankh-Morpork
    An obstacle looms
    The ^*#$ pickup is busted
    it emits no signal

    Luckily bench test
    Spared Lurker embarrassment
    of a silent bass

    To buy an Artec
    or to hunt for NOS Gibson
    That is the question

    Routing is tricky
    Jazz bass only just so thick
    Limited string room

    Spacing is tricky
    Round peg fits in a square hole
    Only with some tweaking

    Thirty ohms makes the tone
    happy warm bass shakes booty
    Loud sound of goose farts

    Mel Schacher played well
    Farner's shirtless antics sucked
    Homer Simpson was right

    I appreciate
    All your help and good advice
    Will post finished pix

    Lurker has bad luck
    with haiku when strong beer flows
    Prompts a lame faceplant

    Incidentally,
    Railyards are quite polluted
    Ha Ha told them so
  19. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered 8er Supporting Member

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    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    MS Gulf Coast
    That's funny as hell!! :D
  20. The Lurker

    The Lurker

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    Aug 16, 2002
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    Thanks:)

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