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Narrowing/sanding down a Bart pickup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by blaxquid, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. blaxquid


    Jul 18, 2013
    Hey guys!
    Not sure if this should be in the Luthier's Corner, hardware&repair or pickups so I'm gonna dupe it here! Mods, let me know if this is against policy!

    So I've searched around for a thread like this - haven't found anything so I'll ask the question. I wanna upgrade my Ibanez GWB35 but found the same pickup with a different casing for about 40$ less, which is quite significant savings.

    Only problem: the casing is about 4mm too wide to fit into the pickup cavity.

    They are the BC5CBC and BD5CBC. BC fits, BD doesn't.

    I really don't wanna route the bass but the pickup, at this price, I don't mind at all. So, 2mm on each side, do you think would work? (I figured yes, since it's the same pickup and the other one is 32mm vs 36mm)

  2. 1st - I would start with some kind of magnet tape to locate the internal magnets before I did anything. You might not have 2mm to work with. 2nd - Your talking about sanding plastic and epoxy...which to me sounds unhealthy. I think Id look at routing before I modded pickups.

    What about the original pickups do you dislike?
  3. Don't sand the pickups and don't use a router.

    I went through this - needed an extra 3mm to put some Bart P2s in an Ibby BTB. My woodworking neightbor used a very very very sharp chisel to widen the pickup slot. Took about 15 minutes. I was left with large gaps at both ends which I filled with black epoxy putty. I used conductive paint for shielding. I'll post a direct link when I get access to something besides a blackberry but you can look at my recent posts to find the thread if you need to see it right away. I included some nice pics of the whole procedure.
  4. blaxquid


    Jul 18, 2013
    It is generally way too weak, compressed and muddy sounding for me. I really like the description Bartolini give about it:

    "...extended and more resonant frequency range. They have far more "air" and definition at the top without sacrificing lows and low mids."

    Exactly what I'm looking for but I'll start by swapping the pre for a Bart NTBT - should solve the "compression" issue. The mailman should bring it by tomorrow so hopefully it'll do.

    And Rob, the ramp on the GWB35 makes it troublesome to widen both sides of the cavity inconspicuously and I'm not sure I even have the tool to do the job right. But then... it might just be worth 40$... :D

    Man that mod looks great! Lines are STRAIGHT!
  5. Seeing that the body is basswood a chisel may be an option..albeit may look like a hack job when your done.

    Also we're talking about a fretless bass...which can be muddy to my ears...can you experiment with round wound strings perhaps?

    With mods like this dont hope to ever get a return on your investment if you plan to sell / trade the bass.
  6. My woodworking friend simply scored the top of the bass to outline the cut, then followed the scoring to make a nice even cut. We only trimmed on one side of the original rout. The corners weren't NC smooth but it's not noticeable unless one looks real close.

    I still have to get in and sand the epoxy putty smooth and even with the top but the BTB is certainly giggable. The sanding will have to wait until I change out the strings. That will be a while because I just installed new elixirs.
  7. blaxquid


    Jul 18, 2013
    Eh, I don't plan on reselling it since it was my fiancé's 30th bday present to me! Thanks for the tips Rob!

    I'm just done on the NTBT install and it seems like a big improvement so far! Basswood body/maple neck is inherently bright and helps cutting through (especially through my GK 400RB) but the pre seemed to have helped in the headroom dept.! I only played it a few minutes but I'm quite happy with the results - def. don't regret the upgrade. Sounds meaty, punchier and clearer.

    Maybe I just don't like the Ibanez pickup voicing but I think I'll just spring for the correct sized pup, since the pre upgrade made things a lot better. Let's say I'm in less of a hurry now!