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Foam padding under pickups

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by NooN3000, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. NooN3000


    Feb 22, 2013
    I have an ibanez sra500 with humbuckers on it, but the pups are not lavel as I want. I looked under the pups and found some dence foam underneath. The foam is pretty much shot so I figured I would replace it. The problem is I can't find it anywhere. The tech at GC looked at me like I was ******** when I told him what I needed. He would not help me unless I brought the bass to him and he would "fix" it, for a price of coarse. Craft stores didn't have it, electronic stores didn't have it, I even tried home depot and staples for a suitable substitute even, nadda. So does anyone know what u can use to get the same kind of backpressure on the pups so I can adjust them correctly??

  2. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    I used weather stripping I had laying around and for another I found a soft sponge and cut it to size. Not rocket science here, it's just a cushion that gently keeps the PU flush with the screws.
  3. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    ^ That. They have it at Home Depot.
  4. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Yup. That's what I was going to suggest. You can get the dense stuff for sealing around air conditioners.
  5. drewish927


    Feb 21, 2013
    What I used recently with great success was the a little of the foam padding you get inside a pelican or storm case. It may not be as available to most as it is to me at work, but if you can get your hands on it, works great!
  6. ma4rk


    Jun 28, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Use a dish washing sponge. Easy to cut to size.
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    This is not difficult. Any foam dense enough to hold the pickup in place works. Go to Home Depot or Ace Hardware and get some random objects that have foam.
  8. wcoffey81


    Feb 3, 2012
    S/E Michigan
    be colorful and try part of a swimming noodle used in a pool
  9. NooN3000


    Feb 22, 2013
    Nice guys. Thanks. I finally found what I was looking for at joann's fabrics. Thanks again.
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Mouse pads razor'd to shape...#1. I have a whole stack of 'em imprinted with out company's logo and 2012 calendar.

  11. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Any kind of semi dense squishy foam will work. Like the gray to black kind often used on package padding of products. Cut peices just a little smaller then pup route cavity for size so fits easy. Layer it thick enough so pup springs up easy but not so much that is hard to get pups down to desired position.
    ThudThudThud likes this.
  12. Low Main

    Low Main Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    I never liked having foam pads under the pickups, so I was happy to get rid of the pads and switch to making small spacer sleeves out of surgical tubing, which slide over the pickup mounting screws.

    The ease and accuracy they allow make raising and lowering the pickups a real pleasure. The tubing is sold in a range of wall thickness, density, and compressibility, so you can choose the amount of springiness or stiffness you prefer.

    McMaster Carr has a nice selection of it.
    spiritbass likes this.
  13. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    There's something deeply ironic, in the OP's statement.
  14. southsounder


    Feb 13, 2012
    This. Pulled open an recently acquired MIM P to replace the Quarterpounder with a Bart and found this exact setup, with small metal washers between the tubing and the pickup. Cleanest and most solid pickup install I've ever seen.

    One word of warning though, I tried to duplicate this setup on some of my other basses and quickly found that there is actually only a narrow range of inner & outer diameter & wall thickness that will actually work.

    Most of the commonly available stuff is too thin or has too large an inner diameter, which lets the tubing deform as you tighten the mounting screw. Ideally you want the greatest wall thickness you can find that still has an inner diameter of 1/8" (roughly the diameter of the average mounting screw).

    I recently found some 5/16" OD x 1/8" ID x 3/32" wall that I think will work, but it took some searching to find it. I'll be trying it out this weekend and will report success/failure.

    I'm hoping it works, because the next step up is 7/16" OD x 1/8" ID x 5/32" wall, and best I can find that version is only used for spear-fishing guns! :)
  15. Johnny F

    Johnny F

    Jul 15, 2011
    If they fit, which they don't always, those conical springs Fender used to use to mount strat or tele pickups work great. The small end grips the screw, so it stays secure during mounting. They're available from various guitar parts sites.
  16. seang15


    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    Got it, and +1....
  17. Liam76


    Dec 28, 2012
    I did two recent builds, and I prefer screw springs over the foam, but trying to compress the springs while lining up the screws, or the surgical tubes that came with my SD pickups... I'll probably use foam next time.
  18. KhzDonut


    Jan 7, 2013
    One time I used Popsicle sticks. I just figured out how many I needed to stack to get the height I wanted, then glued them together with some TiteBond, then used a small drop of TiteBond to stick them inside the pickup cavity.

    I call it the "poor man's direct mount pickup" method, aka "The Rainy Day Fun Time Activity Shelf solution to Pickup Height Adjustment (With Optional Googley Eyes)"
  19. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    If you eliminate the foam, make sure the pickups are somehow held in place inside
    the pickup cover. With at least some pickups, that was also one of the purposes
    of the foam.

    Even if a spring or piece of tubing is of large enough diameter to extend under the end
    of the pickup itself, it could still leave the pickup loose inside the pickup cover.
  20. mflatau


    Aug 19, 2008
    In the craft section of Wal-Mart they sell craft foam pads with adhesive backing. I think the sheets were like 1/16th of an inch thick. I cut these to shape and layered them to the desired height. Because they are sticky backed, the pads stay attached to the pickups. Worked perfectly on my Fender Jag bass.

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