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Jag with Tbird pickups= Thundercat

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Toptube, Mar 12, 2013.


  1. Toptube

    Toptube

    Feb 9, 2009
    I'm putting Lollar Thunderbird pickups (black chrome covers) in my crafted in Japan Fender Jaguar because I have no shame. I measured the front pickup to match the location of a vintage Gibson Non-reverse Thunderbird. I couldn't do the rear pickup in the NR spot, because the existing Jazz pickup route would show. So I just went over the top of it, biasing the T-bird pickup towards the neck (you'll see).

    To make the routes, I used a Dremel Trio, which worked extremely well and is very easy to use and control. I bought pickup rings from Thunderbucker Ranch, to go over the routes.

    th_jaguarbass.

    Prep'd and ready for surgery. Time to give this girl bigger boobs!
    th_0311131927.

    th_0311132000.
     
    Doctor Hugocat likes this.
  2. SactoBass

    SactoBass I like all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    Niiiiice!

    IMHO, Lollar pickups are the best on the planet!
     
  3. Hello, my name's Edgar and i am a lollar pick ups junkie. <3
     
  4. btw, some clips of that boobs would be awesome.
     
  5. This is gonna sound interesting.
    Can't wait to see those pups in place.
     
  6. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    That's going to be nice.
     
  7. pudge

    pudge Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    NY
    You can't go wrong adding A thundebird p.u. to anything!:hyper:
     
  8. Toptube

    Toptube

    Feb 9, 2009
    working on the Pickguard tonight, which means I will be able to put everything in place and basically take "final" shots, as far as "look" is concerned.

    Wiring these will be interesting, due to the unconventional setup with the wires from Lollar (which may actually be more "true" to vinatage. i don't actually know) and the extra long cabling needed for a Jaguar. I will show and explain in a later post.
     
  9. Toptube

    Toptube

    Feb 9, 2009
    My posts are lagging the actual progress, but here's a new pic:

    post op', getting the pickguard ready to accommodate the new bustline:
    0314131505.
     
  10. Cool :)
     
  11. hover

    hover

    Oct 4, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Toptube likes this.
  12. Stealth

    Stealth

    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    This I gotta see. :D Sub'd.
     
  13. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Very cool! Me, I prefer braless, but still, very cool.
     
  14. Toptube

    Toptube

    Feb 9, 2009
    Just like many pickup routes, the original J-routes have a little groove coming from the wire hole, into the cavity. To give the wires somewhere to rest nicely, so they aren't smashed by the hole.

    Unfortunately, the little trough lines up with the bottom screw screwholes on each pickup. This doesn't leave enough material for the bottom screws to anchor into. So I'm currently thinking of ways to make this work.

    Along with the lollar pickups, I bought their Epiphone TB pickup cavity spacers. I will probably cut on these and make something for the pickups to anchor into.

    Very cool! I noticed your issues with cutting pickguards. The Dremel Trio also worked well for this. It has adjustable speed and somewhere between "4" and "5", it cut the pickguard material pretty smoothly, without melting it!
     
  15. Toptube

    Toptube

    Feb 9, 2009
    technical difficulties. I tried wiring these things up, but I get a ton of noise.

    these lollars came with a weird wiring setup. The hot and ground are combined into a single cable. The "hot" is the center wire and its insulated. The "ground" is braided around the outside in a metal mesh. But it has no cover/insulation.

    I"m not really sure what the problem is. Due to the complex wiring setup in a Jaguar, I cannot just solder the hot and ground to the same pot, as you would in a Thunderbird or a Jazz bass. They split off different directions and connected to switches and stuff.. So I had to solder extra wires to the ground braid wrap to get things connected. I think I did a good job with all that, though.

    I think the problem is maybe this: My signal is clear, as long as I let the control plate dangle. As soon as I put it into place, the noise starts. All the cavites are painted in conductive shielding paint, which is how the bass comes from Fender Japan. I think maybe the un-insulated ground wrap doesn't like that.

    I checked and checked and checked for any loose wires or otherwise bad connections and can't find any. So I dunno. I'm about to try covering the cavities in electrical tape, while also sending a message to Lollar for help.
     
  16. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    get some shrink tubing to cover the pickup lead wires
     
  17. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    I honestly thought that somebody more knowledgeable than myself would have replied by now. I can tell you that it's not a problem for the braided shield to remain uninsulated, since it is at ground anyway.
     
  18. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    It sounds to me like one of your hots is coming into very slight contact with ground when you put your cover on. Try wiggling the cover around and try and completely ground it out. If you can ground it out you should hear no sound at all.
     
  19. Toptube

    Toptube

    Feb 9, 2009
    bingo. I get no sound if positioned just right. Otherwise its just a bunch of distortion and noise.

    I'll start checking all of the "hot" wires.
     
  20. Toptube

    Toptube

    Feb 9, 2009
    Man this is frustrating. I can't get rid of the distortion.

    Using this diagram
    http://johnkvintageguitars.homestead.com/jaguarbass/jaguar_wiring.jpg

    I want to try completely removing the pre-amp. I'm not actually engaging it, but I think the Jag is setup so that even in passive, a battery has to be in place.

    Can someone mark that diagram to show me how to cut out the pre-amp?


    Even though I'm getting a bunch of distortion, these pickups seem extremely transparent. I mean, they are big and full of lows, but it sounds like you would expect, after hearing it unplugged.
     

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