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Routing Bridge J for MM Style Pickup

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by dave120, Oct 11, 2010.


  1. dave120

    dave120

    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    Hi all,

    I recently acquired an SX Jazz body that I want to modify a bit. Basically what I want to know is if it's possible to cleanly route the bridge pickup (which is currently a J pickup) for a MM style humbucker. It LOOKS like the MM pickup is just about as wide as a Jazz and then it has ears that go farther, and that the humbucker route will be big enough to cover up the whole J route. Without any templates or MM pickups to check it with, I'm curious if anyone knows the answer to this. I'm not super concerned with making sure the MM pickup is in the EBMM standard location from the bridge, I just want to see if I can make it look good wherever it ends up by routing the J out more.
     
  2. Stealth

    Stealth

    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Of course it's possible, the MM is about 6 mm wider than the jazz pickup, but it shouldn't be a problem to just dig from the existing route and broaden towards the neck.

    A template is still a very good idea, whichever way you look at it.
     
  3. dave120

    dave120

    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    I'm definitely going to get a routing template before I try and cut into it, I just wanted to know if I could do the task without having any remnants of the J route sticking out after I open it up. Sounds like I have another project to explore. There's only so many JJ configuration basses you can have before you want to try something a little different :)

    Thanks very much!
     
  4. Bassdirty

    Bassdirty Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    CT
  5. While the MM route is 6mm longer overall, it doesn't completely cover the footprint of the J bridge route. See here:

    bart_9.gif
    bart_mm.gif
     
  6. lethargytartare

    lethargytartare

    Sep 7, 2004
    Chicago
    I did this on an old Hamer body, and the MM route did not completely mask the old J rout. I didn't really care since I was using a MM pickguard too (and it was a hacked together project from a set-neck that had been otherwise destroyed) so I just over-routed. But I did set out to try to get it to be a direct replacement, and it wasn't going to work (without filling, etc.). Not all pups are the same AFAIK, so your next step might be to measure the existing rout, and compare the pup you want to use...
     
  7. xaxxat

    xaxxat

    Oct 31, 2008
  8. lethargytartare

    lethargytartare

    Sep 7, 2004
    Chicago
    I'm surprised he's charging so much for such basic black, $16??...metal, sure.

    I did find these templates:

    http://www.bestbassgear.com/bass-pickup-routing-templates.htm

    so for $9, you could rout the cavity first, then you could rout out a cover of your own to hide any gaps left by the J...assuming you're comfortable with a router ;)
     
  9. xaxxat

    xaxxat

    Oct 31, 2008
    Assuming you already have a router, correct bit, pick guard material, plus whatever else is needed...
     
  10. Looks to be machined by hand, good price if you ask me.
     
  11. Stealth

    Stealth

    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Either way, The J/MM is an extremely good combination, I can personally vouch for that as my main bass has that configuration and the tone spectrum is massive.
     
  12. Bassdirty

    Bassdirty Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    CT
  13. xaxxat

    xaxxat

    Oct 31, 2008
  14. dave120

    dave120

    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    That's exactly what I did, actually. I also bought a P Pickguard, and Jazz neck and bridge templates too since that guy combines shipping pretty nicely. I think it was like 30 bucks for all 4 shipped. They seem to be pretty good quality, though I'd like if they were a bit thicker. That's not really a big problem though as I think I have the router bits I need to use it anyways.

    I will probably route for the pickup in the body and if it looks like crap with some gap in it I'll make my own "ring" from pickguard material that I have already, similar to what's above. Hopefully I won't have to though since the body is a photoflame sunburst and putting a ring over it probably won't look that great. Better than gaping holes though I'm sure.
     
  15. xaxxat

    xaxxat

    Oct 31, 2008
    Those templates will work well with a top-bearing template following bit. Any other type of bit will melt the plastic. I like to use the plastic template to make another one out of 1/2" MDF. I've used the MDF templates with straight shank bits and they work OK. I've heard of folks painting superglue onto the bearing edges of the MDF templates to harden them and make them last longer. Using MDF templates will also let you keep the plastic ones as masters.
     
  16. Bassdirty

    Bassdirty Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    CT


    Good tip.
     
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