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DiMarzio Model P&J - Change Covers?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Wallofbasses, Dec 17, 2017.

  1. I have the black set and have ordered some Allparts cream covers. Thought I would swap them out. I just took the pickups out and it looks like I’ll have to use a screwdriver to pry out the pickups from the black covers. They don’t slip out like other pickups that have worked with. I don’t want to damage the pickups, and I’m a little worried about being able to fit them back into the cream covers. Has anyone had any experience doing this? Is this possible with these pickups? Anything I should watch out for? Thanks.
  2. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    It should be possible. The myth, as far as I'm concerned, is that Dimarzio pickups are 'epoxy potted'. I've stripped down a Model J and Model P pickup today and, beyond the splodges of epoxy on the back, there isn't a whole lot holding the covers on. If you are happy to destroy the stock black covers then you could install the cream covers. Just make sure the pole-piece holes all line up.
  3. Thanks so much for the advice, Axstar. I don’t care about saving the black covers. So would you suggest that I use small wire cutters to snip and then peel off the covers, rather than prying out the pickups with a screwdriver?
  4. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    I worked carefully and slowly. A screwdriver could slip and damage one of the pickup coils. I would peel the pickup carefully. I used small wire cutters and just nibbled the plastic a bit at a time.
  5. If you have access to a linisher, you could potentially (gently, carefully!) sand off the original covers. I've done this with emgs etc. But those magnets on the model J are very wide, so I'm not sure this would work.

    Besides, as Axstar said, the old 80's cream one's that I've seen aren't actually epoxy potted. (Although I haven't seen the current black ones up close.) The glue looks very like hot glue to me, so I'd try a little heat. I have a precision heatgun which would be ideal, but without this, you'll have to be very careful.

    Mark the magnets before you try anything. One very common problem that people have with these is when a magnet falls off, and they put it back orientated incorrectly. Like poles should point in towards each other, one coil north, the other south...

    A third option is to paint them cream. There's plenty of spray paint that self-primes to plastic these days. You may need a coat or two of satin clear as well.
  6. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    Slide an X-acto knife around the edges a few times. They will slip off.
    Axstar and sikamikanico like this.
  7. knigel


    Apr 20, 2009
    Hopedale, MA
    I'm the Squier of Fenderbirds
    This is exactly what I did, and pushed down on the pole pieces and they slid right out. Be careful though--this could damage the pickups (but I didn't damage mine).
  8. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    +1. Did this on old PAFs with cream covers. You don't have to go deep/ towards the coils anyway, but be careful.
  9. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    It was a brand new black Model P/J set that I skinned down. I'm wary of using heat. I had good luck removing the glue/epoxy stuff by shaving it down with a small knife. I had to be careful not to kill the hookup wires as they are quite thin and have an odd floury, frangible quality to them.

    Actually I don't get on with Dimarzio hookup wires. I dislike 4-wire hookup as a rule of thumb anyway (all sorts of humbucker pickups come with it, but most of them only sound good in straight-ahead series wiring), but Dimarzio send their pickups out with a yard of fine, fiddly wire to hook it up with. There isn't a lot of difference between the temperature needed to solder a wire to the back of a pot and the temperature needed to get the insulation melting off of Dimarzio hookup wire and go skulking away into the corner like a scolded cat. Then you have to piss around with heatshrink tubing (or sticky, ratty masking tape or electrical insulation tape if you are a sadist) in a bit to try and make the long, trailing wires neater. With Dimarzio Model P pickups you have to either cut down the two wires you need for the series link between the coils (which removes the resale value and means that you will only ever have the pickup wired in one configuration) or you run the series link wires right into the control cavity, solder (watch that insulation!) and then slide over the heatshrink.... Jeez what a faff.
    RobbieK and coronado3 like this.
  10. Thanks everyone! I think I’ll use an X-acto knife and slice through the ends if they don’t slip out. Will definitely mark the magnets as one has already come loose.
    RobbieK and Axstar like this.
  11. Well, here’s how my Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass Special turned out. I’m pretty happy with it! Thanks so much for all your help, everyone.

    Hipshot tuners and Xtender, Badass bridge, Jockomo block stickers, the DiMarzios popped into the cream covers, and cream knobs. I haven’t been able to source knobs that are a perfect match to the covers (these are a bit too light in colour), so this is the best I can do for now. I have black pickguard screws on order.

    It sounds really good with the DiMarzios. A nice compliment to my 1982 Japanese Squier JV Jazz don’t you think?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  12. knigel


    Apr 20, 2009
    Hopedale, MA
    I'm the Squier of Fenderbirds
    Looks good!
    Wallofbasses likes this.

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