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NEWER GIBSON SG BASS, MIDTOWN ETC NECK PICKUP FIX

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by t-ray, Feb 6, 2016.


  1. t-ray

    t-ray Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Alabama USA
    After much research, trial and error etc, 2 Gibson bass HB issues resolved and thought I'd pass it along.

    1. The notorious rattle in the big neck HB on newer SG, Midtown, EB3 etc: A piece of very thin foam or soft cardboard cutout for screws and poles fitted inside the big pickup cover. Rattle resolved. However...

    2. The low output of the E string: Forget the "pole" screws on these newer models. They do nothing and are apparently for looks mostly. I've even heard people say use a heavier gauge E or even that it's a natural, inherrent and unavoidable aspect of the pickup, short-scale bass blah, blah. Now it's true that the magnets are just wide enough and some people even put bent nails or allen wrenches, under the cover, to extend the magnetic width (yuck!). Shouldnt be so on a new $1K bass...

    The problem is this: the foam is too thin and the pickup isnt high enough on the bass side. Treble output is fine on my 2014 SG, so I simply removed the cover, lifted the big HB out and replaced the bass side foam with a piece from a J-bass pup. It's thicker and denser. Put the pup back in and screwed down the chrome cover and presto! Both problems solved. The pup now is tight to the cover (eliminating the rattle without any of the above) AND the output is greatly improved and equal to the other strings. My SG roars like a beast on the low E now, like it's supposed to. Always the first string I listen to on any new bass (or upright bass for that matter). That's where we live fellas, when you get right down to it. My Gibson now sounds like it should with short scale D'Addario chromes (yes, gotta take off a little silk for the bridge saddles). Hope this will help someone. If you're worried about warranty, and such, I cannot advise. Use your own judgement, but it worked for me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  2. LowNloud1

    LowNloud1 Commercial User

    Jun 11, 2012
    Wilmington NC
    I am a hobbyist making stone picks that I occasionally sell but mostly give away. They made me do this anyways.
    Thanks. I've been scratching my head about how to approach the rattle on my '13 SG and decided to look for an answer on TB this morning!. This will kill 2 for the price of one. Can you remember about how wide your foam was under the pup? Did you go half way across the pup? 25%? 33%?
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  3. t-ray

    t-ray Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Alabama USA
    Full width of the cavity on the bass side worked for me.
     
    LowNloud1 likes this.
  4. t-ray

    t-ray Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Alabama USA
    ...with a piece of foam from under a J-bass pickup (aprox 1/2" wide).
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016

  5. How did this fix work in the long term? Still happy with it? I just picked up a new 2018 SG and tried it out at rehearsal the other night, the E was definitely underwhelming. All the other strings roared like a beast though, and it sounds even and full when its unplugged. Still have to change out the stock strings, I'm thinking that might be part of the problem as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018

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