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Pickup Foam

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bhubb3rd, May 15, 2008.


  1. bhubb3rd

    bhubb3rd Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Location:
    Philly
    Guys - what kind of foam are you using under your replacement pickups and where are you getting it?

    I have a couple of basses that are going to be getting new pickups and the foam in the basses now is compressed and the pickups won't adjust up, there is no "spring" left.

    Any help / suggestions will be appreciated!

    Thanks.
     
  2. RickBlair

    RickBlair

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    North Easton, Mass.
    I prefer using springs under the pickup screws. You can get them at any hardware store.

    Rick B.
     
  3. Rob L

    Rob L Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Chilly ND
    I use what the pickups come wrapped in (foam) if the other has worn out. I just pack a fair amount in the route, I guess I have never had any troubles.
     
  4. Parabolic Box

    Parabolic Box

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Location:
    Burnaby, BC, Canada
    I use a sponge, but I just got some adhesive foam stripping. I think I'll replace the make-shift sponge next time I change strings...
     
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  6. Fretlessboy

    Fretlessboy

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Location:
    St Augustine Florida
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    I iether use the foam the pickups are wrapped in or I go to a place like "Michaels" crafts and buy high density craft foam. Also as stated above, weather stripping works good too. You can roll it how ever thick you need it. I hate the springs because they give to much for my style ( I am told I am slightly too aggresive) of playing so the pickups are always being shoved in to the body and changing the pickup height.
     
  7. itzs

    itzs

    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Location:
    Singapore
    Old mouse pads work for me. =)

    Just cut them into size.
     
  8. mrman740

    mrman740

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    I've used the springs from some old clicker type ink pens I had lying about.
     
  9. bhubb3rd

    bhubb3rd Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Location:
    Philly
  10. Toastfuzz

    Toastfuzz

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I replaced my foam with cardboard, which leads me to believe you can use just about anything.
     
  11. miner49er11

    miner49er11

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Jagsonville
    I'm buying two strips of "pickup foam" ($1 each) so that my purchase of a set of Big Splits for my 5'er from BBG just goes over $250... FREE SHIPPING!!
     
  12. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Cardboard will work, but you can't use "anything"! The problem with cardboard or many types of foam is that it doesn't compress easily. This means that if you want to adjust the pickup height you'll ALSO have to adjust the amount of foam under the pickup. In fact this tends to be true with most foams that don't compress well. And there's more. Urethane foams (which are the common type you can find everywhere) tend to self-destruct after a couple of years. That means eventually the pickup gets loose, the foam gets crumbly, and you have to put new foam in. Hence there are only TWO types of foam that I've found work decently. One is real rubber foam. You usually buy it on a roll as weather stripping. It's about 1/2" wide and black. The gray stuff is softer and polyurethane. You don't want that. The other decent foam is polyethylene foam. It's commonly used for packing in shipping. It's white and compresses harder than rubber, but has the advantage of being excellent at damping vibrations so works very well under a pickup.

    The other choice is springs. BUT, understand that spring are steel and when they vibrate the pickup will pick that up. So IF you use springs you need to test the pickup for microphonics. Take all the strings off the bass. And then tap on the pickup with something non-metallic. You should NOT be hearing any noises in the amp. If you hear boing-boing that is the springs. The way you fix this is to cut a rectangle of polyethylene foam so that it presses against the springs or punch 4 holes in it so the springs are forced through. That damps all spring vibration. Springs are nicer than foam because they have a lot of compression range which means you can adjust the pickups up and down a good distance without changing foam or anything.

    But as I said the true test of your mounting method is to tap on the pickup with no strings on the bass.
     
  13. knucklehead G

    knucklehead G

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    Phoenix / Kansas City
  14. depalm

    depalm Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    Location:
    Rio
  15. Tommorichards

    Tommorichards

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Try an old hose pipe. or medical tubing.
     
  16. remo

    remo

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2005
  17. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    Upstate, South Carolina
    Best foam I ever used I got from a package we received in at work. It was something small...computer part or something. Anyway this stuff was awesome, very rubbery, very squishy, and impossible to ever lose it's squishiness because I think it was more rubber than foam. That stuff was perfect but I only got just a little bit of it and haven't found anything better yet.
     
  18. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Location:
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Disclosures:
    Owner, SGD Music Products
  19. iocari

    iocari

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2012
    i use a camping roll mat it cost about £5 ($10) it's almost the same density as the fender official stuff and i have enough to do a few hundred guitars
     
  20. Jamie_Funk

    Jamie_Funk Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    Nothing has ever worked as well for me as an old mousepad - layered to the appropriate thickness.

    J
     
  21. Mykk

    Mykk

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    Prescott, AZ & Hollywood, CA
    Every set of new pickups I've ever ordered came with new foam, even cheap chinese pups.
     

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