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P-Bass Pick-up Installation trouble

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Sock Justice, Jul 11, 2003.


  1. Well, I just got my Seymour Duncan Quarter pounders for my P-bass in the mail today. I pulled everything apart, took out the old pick-ups, and did all of the soldering needed. I just went to put the mounting screws back in, and to my suprise, they don't fit! The holes don't match up on the front one, the spacing is way too wide. Am I missing something? This doesn't seem normal, and everywhere says these pick-ups are direct replacements..."requires no bass modification."

    Were the standard pickups just irregular, and they drilled so that they could use them anyway?

    So you know, it's a MIM fender.

    Also, I know this is going to sound like a completely ignorant question, but I'm an ignorant kind of guy. What are the four little surgical-tubing like pieces that came with the screws? I've tried finding an easy guide to installing pick-ups (and form what I can tell, p-basses are about as easy as it gets) but all I can find are wiring diagrams. I already have that part down.

    Thanks for any help you guys can give me...I'm really in a bind with my bass sitting in pieces, and I know some of you have installed these pick-ups, so if anyone knows anything, lease chime in.

    -Dave
     
  2. Bump, because I have need of this bass tomorrow night...
     
  3. Not much traffic through the pick-up section I guess.

    -Dave
     
  4. filter

    filter

    Jun 7, 2003
    Atl, GA
    From what I understand, when they say "matches up" they are talking about MIA Fenders.
     
  5. Yeah, I thought about that too. But, what I don't get is why the back one would fit fine, but the front holes don't line up. To me, they both look that have identical dimensions.

    Should I just re-drill and be done with it?

    -Dave

    P.S. Thanks for replying Filter.
     
  6. filter

    filter

    Jun 7, 2003
    Atl, GA
    As much of a pain in the ass as it will be, I would first call the company and see if you can exchange them for the right ones. I have the same bass and I have yet to see the MIM listed . They all say P-bass p'ups fits great! I did read the MIM had a different config. Let me know what happens as I want the same set-up.


    Phil
     
  7. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Well, I would see no problem with just drilling another hole. As long as it is not too close to the old one, it should be fine. And also, those pieces of tubing are to keep the screws in place, I suppose. Sometimes they are used in place of pickup springs. But the only case I have seen that is on stratocaster guitars.
     
  8. I ended up drilling a new hole, with no big issues coming up. I used the tubing on the back side of the pickup, around the screws, to help kind of stabalize, I guess. It was the only logical way I could see to use them.

    Got them installed and everything, put all the stuff back together, and it sounds TERRIBLE. But, no pick-up heights have been set. Also, a wire apparently went bad on the inside, since I now have no tone control. I'm going to gut it (the old pots were really scratchy, and the jack was beginning to go) new pots, new jack, new wires, and see if that helps any at all.

    Also, I had some issues with the pickup covers. They wouldn't stay on, and they don't sit flush at all, so it's pretty unbalanced.

    This supposed "drop in, no modification" in and out job has turned into a real project. I obviously won't be using this bass anytime soon, which is a huge bummer. But, hopefully I'll get it up and running, and learn a little while I'm doing it.

    Anybody have any suggestions on Pots, jacks, and wiring? Do they make a huge difference?

    -Dave
     
  9. rdhbass

    rdhbass

    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    Dont worry about "drill holes". As long as the pickups can fit in both holes you are fine. TIP: To fill the old screw holes get some glue and a toothpick and dip the toothpick in glue, stick it in the hole and break it off flush. Let it dry and re-drill for the new mounting screws. If you don't have drill get a small nail the same size as the new pickup screw, and nail it in and take it back out: being careful you don't whack your finish with the hammer! Then screw in.
    The surgical tubing you have, could be- "shrink" tubing that you can put over wires and acts just like electrical tape. If there are 4 of them, it could be to act as springs for pick up heighth.
     
  10. rdhbass

    rdhbass

    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    NO tone control? Sounds like you have a loose wire and perhaps grounding problem also. Soldering electronics right takes practice and you need to be neat about it. There are many threads in talkbass about grounding your bass and such. As far as pots go, I would stick with 250K pots and a .045 capacitor. These are standard on P-basses. I just wired mine and had to have help cause mine was sounding bad. I suddenly realized it wasn't my soldering but something else. My P-pickups came to me not joined together. Both had a red wire and a white wire. I first wired them like a Fender, they sounded bad then I joined both white wires and used both reds for hot and ground. Then it was a quiet pickup. Mine came with no instructions so i had to experiment. Good luck.
     
  11. filter

    filter

    Jun 7, 2003
    Atl, GA
    How did this end up? Everything OK?
    How much did you have to do?
     
  12. It ended up ok...but with a hell of a lot more work than it started out as.

    The pots were terrible, so, I just went ahead and bought all new guts for the thing, to go with the new pick-ups. Undid, everything, cleaned it all up, and went to wiring. every set of wiring instructions I got were absolutely terrible...but, with a little persistance (and a few near scaldings) I had it all put together.

    It really shouldn't have taken me all this work...a P-bass is about as simple as you can get for bass wiring, but it was all about the learning experience here. Any "normal" person would be able to do this without problems, I think. After all the junk I went through though, I know I can easily do it all again in short order. That's a nice feeling, you know?

    The pick-ups sound pretty nice. I still need to get levels correct, but I have the basic feel there. Easily worth the $75 (including pots, jacks, and wiring) that I put into making an old bass new.

    -Dave

    P.S. Thanks for all the advice guys!