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Old 06-24-2013, 05:22 PM   #1
irishman
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Pickup cavity too shallow, can I swap baseplaves and polepiece screws?

Hey lads,

So I have a lovely set of SD alnico II pickups, that are just going to waste in my epi les paul, so I'm going to throw them into my Ibanez RG1570. However, the SD pickups are too "long", for want of a better word. Here's a picture:



As you can see, it's a good bit longer, so to put those in would put the pickups higher than the fretboard!

Now, first,I was thinking could I change the baseplates between pickups, so the newer one isn't as long, and should slot in nicely? IF YES, that brings us to my second question...

The polepiece screws in the SD pickup, will then be longer than the new baseplate legs, see here how long they are compared to the stock pickup?



So can I also swap the pickup screws, or will the whole thing fall apart if I do that?

TL: DR Can I swap pickup baseplates and polepiece screws without destroying 2 perfectly good sets of pickups?

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Old 06-24-2013, 07:07 PM   #2
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Without any experience in pickup creating or modifying, the short answer is no. I had this problem too and solved it by using pliers to bend the plate extension that the screws go into. After this I had to drill a hole into the metal to allow me to get the pickups in.

This may not work for you if you're not direct mounting. I direct mounted so just needed to drill a hole wide enough for a screw to go through and get to the wood.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:59 PM   #3
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If you try to swap the base plates (if they line up properly), you would have to submerge them in wax after the re-assembly to re-pot them.

I would use a dremel and rout the pickup cavities a little deeper in the areas where the pickups' mount plates are.
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedJamaX
If you try to swap the base plates (if they line up properly), you would have to submerge them in wax after the re-assembly to re-pot them.

I would use a dremel and rout the pickup cavities a little deeper in the areas where the pickups' mount plates are.


Just use a drill bit... Measure how deep you have to play with, then drill the corners just deep enough.
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Explorerbuilder
Just use a drill bit... Measure how deep you have to play with, then drill the corners just deep enough.


this all day long
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:28 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies guys! Before I get stuck into routing things, I saw on another forum that I could shim the neck, then that would mean I'd need to raise the bridge a bit, which might give enough clearance. What do you think about that? It's a less permanent mod, but I'm not sure how much clearance I'd gain out of it. Thoughts?
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:36 AM   #7
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Routing the cavity (assuming you wont drill trough the body) is a lot easier if you ask me. And although it is permanent, you will never know even if you replace the pickup someday. Unless you screw up that is
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket-Man66666
Routing the cavity (assuming you wont drill trough the body) is a lot easier if you ask me. And although it is permanent, you will never know even if you replace the pickup someday. Unless you screw up that is


Haha no pressure, eh?

On a serious note, shimming seems like it'd be the easier option though, no? I mean, it seems a lot simpler to me to take off the neck, slip a shim in, then screw it back on and raise the bridge than drilling holes in it?
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishman
Thanks for the replies guys! Before I get stuck into routing things, I saw on another forum that I could shim the neck, then that would mean I'd need to raise the bridge a bit, which might give enough clearance. What do you think about that? It's a less permanent mod, but I'm not sure how much clearance I'd gain out of it. Thoughts?


This would only work if it's a bolt-on neck. Even so, I think it's a lot easier just to drill out the pickup cavities.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:20 AM   #10
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If you shim the neck as much as you say you need to, the sustain will suck and it will look like shite.

Use a drill/router and enlarge the cavity.

I'm taking it the guitar is a Fender strat of some kind. They are notorious for shallow routing.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:21 AM   #11
RedJamaX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishman
Thanks for the replies guys! Before I get stuck into routing things, I saw on another forum that I could shim the neck, then that would mean I'd need to raise the bridge a bit, which might give enough clearance. What do you think about that? It's a less permanent mod, but I'm not sure how much clearance I'd gain out of it. Thoughts?


Shimming the neck that far, imo, would create a quite undesirable look for the guitar. Your neck, bridge, and pickups would be jacked up really high... Just something to consider...

Drilling out the pickup cavities really is the best way to go.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbgnarly
If you shim the neck as much as you say you need to, the sustain will suck and it will look like shite.

Use a drill/router and enlarge the cavity.

I'm taking it the guitar is a Fender strat of some kind. They are notorious for shallow routing.


It's an Ibanez RG1570 actually... as mentioned in the OP
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:38 AM   #13
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Looks like it's a landslide victory for the routing / drilling option! Thanks for the input lads, I'll hopefully get something done this evening and let you know how it goes!
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:42 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by eddiehimself
It's an Ibanez RG1570 actually... as mentioned in the OP

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Old 07-13-2013, 06:21 PM   #15
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Hi lads, so an update:

I went with the suggestions, and actually chiselled out the cavity a bit (I don't have a router). The neck pu went in easily enough, but I (VERY fortunately) had the foresight to see if the bridge pickup cavity had the depth to accommodate the pickup, as the trem springs sit behind it. It's great that I did as there wasn't enough wood there, so I just had to bend the legs back and drill holes in the new bend so I could fix it down and then I was sorted. All in all, it sounds great now, gave the guitar a new breath of life. Thanks again for the help!
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:07 PM   #16
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Whoah... nice save! Have fun with your modded guitar!
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