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Installing pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jonstervader, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. jonstervader


    Apr 18, 2010
    Is it possible to expand the pickup rout to install a pickup onto a bass that doesn't fit it? Maybe cutting out the wood a little?
  2. bassnneed


    Apr 18, 2010
    jonstervader -
    Hope you don't mind - if I piggyback on your post with a similar question. I just joined (1st post) to get a bass fixed up too!

    Was thinking of either cutting away - or looking for right fitting pick up.
    Years ago I bought (ebay) a Mighty Might - the big Music Man type, and was thinking of putting in the bridge position on a late model solid body dual pick up Gretsch - the thing needs a bigger deeper voice :crying: This would make the bass look strange, stock are the chrome soapbars - then to have the eight poles of the one MM p.u. poping up near the neck :eek: My bass is like new......should one do something like this :confused:
  3. I wouldn't do any serious physical modifications that involve routing on a valuable bass.
  4. I don't mean to be rude, but it's kind of common sense that it's possible to route wood.:meh:

    You will need a routing template, handheld router and the appropriate routing bits.
  5. Labi


    Jun 14, 2006
    My guess is that the question wasn't about the routing itself but will it do any damage to the bass. So I agree that if you use proper tools combined with some skills, no damage can be done. Stay away from chisel hammer etc :smug:
  6. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    When doing mods of this type, it's best to stick to an inexpensive instrument like a Rondo. Less regret if you screw up.
  7. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666

    This is before routing for the new pickup. Notice the prior routing for series/parallel switch done in the early 70s. I used a dremel tool with 2 different sized sanding barrels, heavy grit sandpaper. The smaller barrel is great for corners and pickup adjustment cutouts. I used a hardened steel ruler for the long straight edges as a guide. Fine point white out for the outline. This came off easily with a small wire brush.


    After routing


  8. jonstervader


    Apr 18, 2010
    What bass model is that?
  9. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    It started life as a cherry red Gibson 67 EBO. Single pickup. Woof city. Even the mighty 360 couldn't tame the mudbucker/gibson thunder. Changed that out for a DiMarzio model one and now it sports a Kent Armstrong wired series/parallel. Last rehearsal everyone commented positive regarding it's new tone. Strung with Daddario Chromes.
  10. bassnneed


    Apr 18, 2010
    rumblethump -
    Nice carving, looks great! :cool:

    Well, I put the MightyMite in the Gretsch - sound is better but still not the thump I'm looking for. Was harder then I thought, and also gained a few nicks/dings.....scratches (should have padded the front!) Overall; a good learning experience.

    Attached Files:

  11. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    Nice Job! Can the new pickup be wired series/parallel? What tool/s did you use for the rout?
  12. Asking your opinion - I've got two S/P Fenders, one MIJ and the other is MIK - so I'll play with the
    Korean one for this idea.

    The MIJ might be worth something someday - if I live to be 1100 years old, that is if I keep it in a
    sealed case in the back of my closet. Some times I make myself laugh.

    Where would you put a Music Man pup for better lows? Bridge or neck or somewhere in between?
  13. bassnneed


    Apr 18, 2010
    I used a jeweler's quality Dremel tool - a Foredom, with a 3/16" drill bit......was not the best cutting tool. But the the Foredom is very controlable and smooth!

    I wired it the same as stock - I think that would be parallel. Switch in down position; bridge on - mid position both on, then up position; neck on.
  14. bassnneed


    Apr 18, 2010
    I was wondering the same thing! but since MusicMan mounts theirs in the bridge, and guitarist reccomended not to vary from that - he thought it could ruin the sound. I chose to go with the bridge too. I've seen that They (MusicMan) now have a dual pup bass with one high on the neck. Before I made my final decision - I had the pup wired up by itself and then held it in front of the strings. First, I did take time to tune it well - then checked the stock pup holes on the Gretsch. The leads where too short to go to the base of the neck. The sound was very good through-out the range, slightly richer towards the neck and some twang towards the bridge. I think both my pups are currently too far away from the strings - nearly a 1/4". Raising them may help, but in the past - I've had the stock pups so close they sometimes hit the E string or the other way around :meh: ......and even that did not help much. The body of the Gretsch is laminate composite plywood......thinking that might be the biggest problem.

    But I do plan to mess with it some more. The MightyMite pup is double sided foam taped and screwed into place - I need more tape and longer screws!
  15. I like the idea of using the D/S tape - not permanent, but sturdy enuff to get a good test on the placement. Thanks!

    That alone was worth registering on TB in itself! But then, I'm easily pleased unless I'm distracted by a bright, shiny object.

    I've gotten my S/P to a place where I am re-loving it and this time I want it to be something special. In my eyes, it will never be equal to my SR500, or even my AEG, but it has a certain 'character' -- and besides it might come in handy in a bar fight as a WMD.

    Not that I actually go to bars any more..

    Not that I actually PLAY in bars any more.

    Not that I actually look for a good reason to El Ka-bong ! someone any more either.​

    <last comment MAY need translation for younger persons>

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