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Pickup Cover Question.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by MNbassist, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. I know its for a guitar and this is talkbass, but this is gonna be my project for the next few months. I want to use Gibson pickups, specifically the 496r neck pickup and the 500t bridge pickup. These pickups are meant to mount under a pickguard and are not in a cover. I want to put them into a solid body guitar. My question is if I use wooden pickup covers will I distort the tone? Should I drill holes for the magnets to show through?
  2. Kennethfaria

    Kennethfaria Banned

    Mar 12, 2008
    guitars are weird :S

    not sure about distort, but make sure the wooden covers aren't to thick. And yes drill some holes for the poles.
  3. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Wooden pickup covers have no effect on magnetic fields, and are nominally noncoductive and so do no develop eddy currents, hence they have no effect on tone.
  4. Bassisgreat


    Feb 23, 2008
    Dallas, Tx
    I will agree that they don't affect tone, that I know from experience. The next part is just from my logic, so take it with a grain of salt...

    The only reason I would drill holes for the pole pieces is if they stick up far enough from the top of the bobbin to sit at least flush with the top of the cover (about 3/32"). Otherwise, it won't look right and would serve no purpose at all.
  5. If I dont want screw holes showing, how to I go about securing the pickup covers and pickup to the body?
  6. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    Builder: ThorBass
    You could mount them from below if you don't mind holes in the back of the instrument.
  7. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    Most Gibson pickups are often mounted using "pickup rings", as opposed to using pickguards. The pickups you are referring to are generally used in what... Les Paul's and SG's? Les Paul's use mounting rings, SG's use either pickguard mounting or rings, depending on the application.


    GFS makes some pickups with "wooden covers", but they just look like a veneer with a chrome frame around it.


    I would probably make covers for these similar to what I'd do with a music man humbucker (just scaled down). I'd make a wooden frame for the pickup, and place a thin piece of wood on the top (probably less than 1/16" so you can still get the pickup close to the strings). I would probably make them screw-adjustable from the top, and just have the screws visible at the top of the cover, but I understand that you might prefer them without the screws visible. You *could* make these with no screws showing, and you could do it a couple of ways:

    First, as mentioned before, you could adjust them from the back of the guitar, like the old Danelectro guitars did...

    Second, you could actually design the covers to simply "press on" to the pickups, and screw the pickups directly into the body... this is becomming a popular idea, as some people feel that it adds "resonance" to the sound. Me, I think it just contributes to making less-well-contructed pickups become microphonic sooner (say, if they are not well potted).

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