Can't Adjust P Bass PUP Height

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Afandrewflanagan, Mar 25, 2018.

  1. Afandrewflanagan


    Dec 29, 2015
    I recently put in Seymour Duncan SPB-3s in my P Bass, but now I can't adjust the height of the PUP, when I turn the screw all that happens is it gets very loose. WHat should I do?
  2. DanBass81


    Mar 26, 2012
    The old foam under the pickup has probably lost its 'sponginess'. Replace it with new foam.

    Edit: did you remove the old foam with the old pickup?
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
    Coolhandjjl likes this.
  3. DanBass81


    Mar 26, 2012
  4. Coolhandjjl


    Oct 13, 2010
    Are they binding in the pickguard cutouts?
    DanBass81 likes this.
  5. DanBass81


    Mar 26, 2012
    That's another possibility. Do the pickup screws pass through the holes in the ears of the covers without force?
    If not then use smaller diameter screws or widen the holes in the ears of the SD covers with a drill. Use your old covers as a size guide for the drill bit
  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Get some new foam and, ideally, some springs.
  7. Afandrewflanagan


    Dec 29, 2015
    I didnt put new foam in thank you thats probably the problem - sorry very much a noob to this kind of thing
  8. Yep. You definitely need foam in there to help push up on your pickup or your pickup will remain bottomed out in the cavity.
  9. inanimate_carb


    Aug 11, 2016
    With SBP-3 (the quarter pounder pickup) the usual thing is that you need LESS foam. The polepieces on the SBP-3 are much longer than the usual found on P pickup and this makes the pickup deeper from top to bottom than other ones on the market, because the pole pieces stick way out from the bottom flatwork.

    You typically need less foam to get the SPB/3 to sit right in the P-bass pickup cavity. If you stuff it full of foam and then try to stick the SPB-3 on top of it, it will never get low enough. This will cause over-tightening of the screws, which won’t be able to screw the pickup any further into the wood. This will cause the pickup mount holes in the body to strip, which happened to the OP, and it’s why they’re just turning and doing nothing.

    A potential fix is to remove the pickup and reduce the foam being used. You’ll also have to glue some toothpicks into the pickup mount holes and let them dry overnight so the screws will have wood to bite into when you try to put them in again.

    If this is above your range of skills, it’s best to take the bass to a reputable technician that doesn’t have a sign that says “Guitar Center” above the door to his or her shop. Good luck!
  10. DanBass81


    Mar 26, 2012

    Just to clarify, what exactly do you mean by 'gets very loose'. Are you tightening the screws (lowering the pickup), or are you loosening the screws (highering the pickup)?

    If you are loosening them and the screw just gets loose with the pickup not getting any higher then all you need to do is replace the foam.

    If you are tightening the screws and it just keeps turning then the threads in the screw hole are stripped and the solution is a little more complicated - not much though!
    If this is the case then the holes will need drilling out and dowelling ideally but you might get away with the toothpick method.

    If drilling out and dowelling then be carefull as there's s not a lot of thickness between the bottom of the pickup cavity and the back of the bass.

    If going the toothpick route then remove the pickup from the bass, dip a toothpick in wood glue and stuff it into the hole. Trim off the excess. Drive the screw into the hole while the glue is wet and leave for 24hours for the glue to cure. Do this for all holes that are stripped. When the glue has cured, remove the screws and put the pickup back in place with foam in the cavity and then drive the screws back in. Adjust height to taste.

    I don't have any experience with the SPB3 though so see the reply above regarding the thickness of foam.

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
  11. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    It's a pain in the butt 'cause you're gonna have to just about take the strings off of the tuners so that you can pop up the pickup high enough to stick some rubber sponge in there.

    Ya got rubber weather stripping at your hardware store there in England?

    Also excellent are wet/dry automobile sanding sponges. Sold at auto parts stores.

    Cut to size with scissors.

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