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Project: MIM J getting new pickups and some love

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by rojo412, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    So rogerbmiller and I, we chat often and he mentioned that he got this bass recently and wanted some Dimarzios in it. He just so happened to have some and decided to send me the whole mess to work on.

    Here's what he sent, a late 90s MIM Jazz, with the one piece guard:


    If you don't know, most of the MIM stuff that exists uses same-sized pickup routs and the bridge pickup is narrower than on MIA. Most aftermarket pickups typically come in staggered sizes, so it's either a special order or a trip to the wood shop.
    Roger opted for the wood shop.

    The day I got it, despite having band practice in only a short time, I ripped it apart before I had to leave...





    With that out of the way, I test fit the pickups...


    Yeah, UltraJazz, in CREME!!! But no fit out of the box, sorry Charlie!
    Took the bridge off to make room for the template.


    I measured out the center line and positioned the template


    As you can see, the amount to remove could barely choke a hamster.


    And just to make sure, I test fit the template


    I taped the template on and whipped out the router. It's my new favorite tool, by the way.
    The only top pattern bit I currently have is a 1/2" and this would really benefit from a 3/8"...



    Unfortunately, that meant I had to trim the corners with a Dremel. I think I'm going to order a smaller pattern bit for the next time.

    After some fine work, I dropped the pickup in to see if it fit...


    All good! So I painted the edges with nail polish. Basic black does the trick!



    I put some added ground connection on the ground wire...


    Polished up the bridge to a fine mirror finish...


    Put that back on and wiped out the cavity...


    Truth be told, I did go to band practice at some point, but forgot when. The pics were all on the camera!
    So, back to the pickups, I twisted the wires all pretty like and ran them to their places...


    And Roger wanted these with push/pull series/parallel, which I always love doing!



    Once I got the wiring close, I added a conductive strip for grounding the pots together...


    And put it back together.



    Now what I'm NOT going to show is the fact that there was something amiss with the bridge pot. It flat out wasn't working.
    BUT... as a part hoarder, I just so happen to have a push/pull 500k lying around. From a Westone, which Roger can tell you, is one of the famed Matsumoku brands that he covets so... but that's a story for a different forum.

    I tested the pickups out by plugging the bass in and tapping them with an allen wrench. All functional!

    With that done, I decided to lemon oil the parched rosewood board. MAN, was she thirsty!



    I barely had tome to snap the pics before it was soaked up.
    I took the polishing Dremel wheel and shined up the frets, which were already in pretty good shape, but I like them to shine, like the bridge!


    And that's where I got to so far. More to come once I get some rest :smug:
  2. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    Nice work Adam! This looks like it is shaping up to be an amazing player!!!