Questions about installing a bridge pickup in my Lakland Bob Glaub....

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ElBajista, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    I'm thinking about routing for and dropping in a hum-cancelling Fralin Jazz Bridge pickup to match the Fralin P pickup in my Lakland Bob Glaub sig. I have a plan, but I need to know if I'm on the right track.

    Couldn't I just take my SX jazz and measure out the distance between the headstock side of the nut and the bridge side of the bridge pickup? It measures out to 32 1/4".

    Am I right in assuming that I could just take a Jazz bridge pickup template and tape it down so that the bridge side of the template matches the point I measured out?

    How would you recommend measuring so the pickup is centered? I can't seem to think up any way to do this.

    Also, I have a regular router with a variety of bits, and I was planning on using one of the larger ones for the bulk of the work, then a small one for the detailed work, and finish up by sanding it all smooth. Is there any trick to routing out the cavity? Am I missing anything?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    a little help, anyone?
  3. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    A couple of points to consider.

    Remove as much material as possible with a Forestner bit before routing.

    Two straight edges, one on each side of your neck and devide space in two will get you your centerline of your bass.

    Hope this helps a bit.:bassist:
  4. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    What's a Forestner bit?

    good idea about the straight edges! thanks!
  5. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada


  6. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    thanks for the help, greenman!

    About the location of the pickup between the neck pickup and the bridge, would it be a good idea to use the location of the bridge pup on my SX as a reference?
  7. rdhbass


    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    Why? Your resell value will go down if you ever decide to resell it, and you may not be able to get as much ever again. I would leave it alone and get me another bass if I was not happy, this is the only way. Let me tell you what I did one time when i was younger. I got a 1986 patent pending G&L SB-1 bass and completely stripped a perfect two tone sunburst finish and painted it with granite looking rock paint. (This was the 80's remember.) I engraved the letters "RIP" on the body part and also stripped the pickguard for some odd reason. Did I ever get my money out of it when I was in a financial bind? NO i got about 1/3 of its worth. Just something to think about.
  8. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    Honestly, I don't think the resale value will go down. I'm not doing anything drastic or unappealing, in a way I'm actually improving the bass by giving it more versatility. Also, I don't plan on selling this bass anytime soon, and I would hope to not get myself in any financial situation where I might have to.

    I wouldn't think you'd get much out of a bass after all that. I'm not carving huge holes for batteries or onboard preamps, and I certainly will not touch the finish. This is a relatively small project compared to some.

    I actually think it would raise resale value for me to do this, or at least make the bass intriguing to more potential buyers. But again, I'm not doing this to raise value, I'm doing this because I love the feel of this bass and I want to milk as much tonal variety as I can out of it.
  9. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    How are your bits going to follow the template? You need a pattern-following bit to do this job right. They typically come in 3/8" or 1/2" diameter. Keep this in mind as the radius of the pickup's corners will probably be much tighter.

    Otherwise, sticking the template with carpet tape is what most people would do. I don't see any reason why not to use the SX measurements as far as distance from bridge. As long as the strings are over the polepieces, you should be fine.

    Doubtful that adding a pickup will increase the resale value. You may not hurt it if you do a pro job. There's very little you can do to increase the resale value of an instrument unless if it is a collectable and you leave it alone.
  10. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I'd make sure that the SX bridge J pickup is the right size, too. I know some cheap JJ basses use the same size pickup for both bridge and neck positions. Cort, for example (earlier MIM Fenders, too).

    As for the resale value, a modification has never added to the resale price of a bass what it took to do said mod. So, if you do a pro level job and use a matching Fralin pickup, you might be able to add $40-$50 to the sale price for the right buyer. But, it will turn away a large selection of "it's not original" folks, too.

    But, as you said--you aren't worried about resale of the bass. In that case--knock yourself out. :D You certainly won't be the first, or last, person to add a J pickup to a PBass.
  11. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    You may also need a long bit to drill from the pickup cavity to the control cavity for your pickup wire.:)
  12. Skorzen


    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    The issue I see is that in order to get a really "pro" job you are going to have to finish the wood you expose when you rout the cavity for the new pup. I would also be worried about what the router would do to the finish around the cavity, I havn't done this, but I would think there is a possibility of the paint getting chipped.
  13. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    Pattern-following bit? I've never heard of those. I imagine that it follows the edges of the template?

    I was thinking that I would tape down the template in the proper spot after measuring, and then cut out the majority of the wood with the Forestner bit as recommended by Greenman, do the corners and detailed work with a smaller routing bit, and then finish up by smoothing with sandpaper.

    As I said before, I'm not worried about resale value therefore I'm not trying to raise it. What I said is that I don't see how something like this would be detrimental to the resale value. I figure that a bass should be played, and since this bass is a "keeper," I want to make this bass as versatile as possible in order to play it in many different situations.

    SX Jazz pickups aren't made in the MIM style, meaning that the bridge pickup is longer than the neck pickup. This makes it easy to use drop-in replacements on SX basses.

    Ah yes, of course. Let's hope I don't drill out through the back of the bass, hm? :D

    Hmmm......I don't think that will be too much of a problem. The only wood I expose when routing for the pickup will be the wood on the sides and the bottom of the cavity, which in turn will be covered in shielding tape and the pickup itself.

    I don't think that I have to worry about paint chipping. My Glaub is finished in the discontinued Natural. :D

    Thanks for all the replies! Still looking for any more input.