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How dumb was this?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Visirale, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    Ok, I have no mechanical or electrical inclination. I'm just not good at it. Hot melting metals scare me. The possibility of screwing something up scares me too.

    I had a replacement pickup for my SR5, a nordy mm5.3. I've had it for a while now, and I've been wanting to put it on, and didn't feel like paying a tech $100 for a 30 second install.

    So I got a soldering iron. I've never soldered anything before, just watched my friend. I read up on everything. The first solder I ever performed was directly onto the preamp circuit of a $1000+ bass.

    Very stupid? Yes.

    But I did it. I just took plenty of time (probably 45 minutes overall) to make sure everything was clean and I didn't burn anything that wasn't supposed to be melted... And it works! I have signal and it is back in tune. My amp is at our practice space so I don't know the tonal differences yet, but I know I have the signal so that's at least half the battle.
  2. Soldering isnt really that hard, but if I were you I probably would have practiced soldering on something useless first before I attempted the bass. Sounds like you had no problems though. Congrats! let us know how you feel about the swap once you get used to it a bit more.
  3. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    I can't solder to save my life.

    Then again, it'd help to have all the right stuff.
  4. spode master

    spode master

    Jan 21, 2007
    I think the main things you need to know about soldering are:

    You don't paint or wipe solder on.
    You have to head both the surface and the pin, solder flows to the heat.

    Lead Free solder is a pain in the ass.

    Stick with the lead.
  5. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    Ok, maybe I spoke too soon.

    First off, the pickup sounds GREAT. Exactly the tone I was looking for. BUT... certain notes on certain strings are distorting. And it's coming from the pickup. Really nasty distortion...

    The pole pieces aren't all flush on the pickup, and the distorted notes seem to be coming from the string that has the most non-flush pole pieces. Is this part of the design of the MM5.3 or is it something else?

    I guess I need to shoot Nordstrand an email...
  6. stewart8980


    Apr 11, 2008
    Rhode Island
    Well, if there's someone coming at you, just stick the solder in their eye. It's quite simple, really.
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Bring it over here. I love to solder.
  8. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    No one should charge $100 to install a pickup. Should be about $30. And it takes longer than 30 seconds if you want it done correctly ... took you longer than 30 seconds, right?

    And with a good tech, the pickup would work right the first time. :D

    Check to see if the pickup is too close to the strings.
  9. I love soldering too but I need a good iron...I keep forgetting to buy one when Im in town :(
  10. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    True, I could have probably gotten out for $50 at my local shop, but they also have a one month backlog of work...

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