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Pickup help for Les Paul Junior bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by MPU, Aug 1, 2005.


  1. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    Hello all,
    I'm planning to make a bass Gibson never made; Les Paul Junior double cut mahogany body with 30" scale mahogany/rosewood neck. I'd like to keep it simple like Juniors, so there'll be only one pickup and volume+tone pots. I've been trying to find some Gibson-like pickups, but so far I've only found Bartolini Thunderbird replacements (not a bad option) and some EB-0 like pickups(which I don't like). If possible I'd like the pickups look like Les paul pickups, with those chrome rings. Is there any round-headed pickups around or should I make a new cover from ebony to J-pickup and make the chrome cover as well?
    There's a pic of Les paul pickups below, I'm searching something similar.
    Marko
     
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
  3. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    Thanks for the info. I didn't know that! Thanks for the pic also. Now I know on what fret the neck meets the body. That pickup also looks a bit similar to the one I've found.
    Marko
     
  4. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    I like the shape too. Warmoth go a guitar body in that shape, which you could order without all the pickup and bridge routs. Might save some work. Just noticed you're in Finland, so that might make Warmoth a bit pricey.

    WRT the pickup, i'd suggest making a cover that suits the look you want to give some flexibility in tonal options. You might find one you like the look of but hate the tone. I'm a big fan of shortscales, but my experiments with pickups that close to the neck mean you have to be careful or you end up with that dull, thuddy sound that lots of shorties are associated with. A couple of suggestions I know work well - Dimarzio Fast track 1 or EMG FT (used in Chapman sticks). Both are guitar pickups but they have excellent bass and a lot of top end clarity that most bass pickups don't have when used in this application. The DM is also 4 wire so you have the series/parallel/single coil option. It also looks like it would be easy to make them fit inside a cover of your dimensions to get the aesthetics right.
    The DM's turn up on ebay secondhand regularly for $30 or so ($60 new) and the EMGs are $80 new but still get most of that secondhand.
     
  5. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    No need for Warmoth parts, I have planks of mahogany and machines to make the bass myself from the beginning. Thanks for the pickup advice. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to place the pickup on the same place as Gibson did, instead I'll place it like on P-bass.
    Marko
     
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
  7. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    My pickup suggestions still work very well there too. I originally got the idea from a guy who owned a Fender Musicmaster bass and swapped out the pickup with a DM FT1.