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Modifying my guitar with a movable pickup

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by digitalni, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. digitalni


    Mar 21, 2013
    Hi guys, I'm new here so don't go trashing on me.

    I have an Ibanez SR300DX iban98sr300dx-lefty.

    It has active pickups, bass boost and separate controls for the P and J pickups.

    Since I don't use the J pickup at all (my thin strings sound really fresh on the p pickup) I was thinking about changing the j pickup for something else. I love the sound of humbuckers, and since I'd need to make room for the increased size of the pups, I could maybe add a slide so that I could move them for a desired sound. I don't know where to start, and if I'd get laughed at by anyone who'd be willing to modify my guitar in that way (I don't have the tools needed to drill the wood.)

    What do you guys think about a movable pickup idea?
  2. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Why bother? I'm thinking its more the position you don't like the sound of. Lots of jazz bass players play the bridge J pickup on full and the neck off or on a bit. I hate it! Too thin. I like the neck on full and The bridge about 8

    With your P on, you're getting a deep tone. Roll with it.
  3. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    They say pickup position makes a bigger difference nearest the bridge. So that's a plus for it. But unless you have access to a machine shop and a really slick design, you're going to get a lot more ugly than anything.
  4. Here's a interesting approach for movable pickups. It's a guitar and a bass. It belonged to the band "Paul Revere and the raiders"
    The bridge pickups are stationary, but the neck pickups can be moved from the neck to the bridge pickup. I think it's a cool idea.

    I recently went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and they had quite a few instruments from the Grateful Dead. I was surprised at the number of guitars that had movable pickups.

    I'd give it a try.
  5. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Like this. ImageUploadedByTalkBass1363917626.294893.
  6. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Gibson did that with one of there basses back in the 70's. Doing that type of mod to a bass though would be quite difficult I think unless one had special pup for whatever sliding thing etc. And someone who was familiar with how gibson did theres.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    It's not as simple as you think. And to do it right, it would probably cost more than your bass did. However, if you were to install a bridge bucker that started where your J pickup route is now, and routed towards the P pickup, I would say you are getting closer to the "sweet spot" for a bucker and would notice a beefier tone as a result (depending on the pickup of course). That would be MUCH simpler and cheaper. A little routing and use the existing wiring and you are all set.
  8. I saw this on another site, and thought it might offer an easier option. Apparently Gibson used to make guitars and bass's that had movable pickups, and it was part of a pick guard. I'm sure you would have to route out an area for the pickup to slide in, unless you used something like a Lace Sensor for the pickup...
  9. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Yeah, Westone Rail and Gibson Grabber were some designs that tried the movable pup concept. I've played both. Without going into volumes of detail I'll just sum it up with... there's a reason you don't see this design concept more often. :D

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