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Humbucker Depth - 3/4"?

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after searches on this site it looks as though the humbucker routes should be 3/4". so right now my pup routes are at 3/4". however, i notice that some routes go deeper on the "ears" (heck, i don't know what else to call them). do i need to do the same and if so, how much deeper. btw, this is for a dual humbucker tele that i am building.

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Just a quick note....I see people being concerned about the depth of the pup routes and concentrating on this......forgetting there might be a big tremolo route underneath.

I have seen people not taking care of this and leaving no wood between pup cavity and trem cavity......so.....check total body thickness first, check trem cavity and consider how much depth you can accept for the pup cavity.

Just digging in and routing 1" or 3/4" might be bit stupid.

Think with every move you make, and not always take measurements given for granted. They may have worked for others......they may not work for you.

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Guest AlexVDL

Ok guys, there is really no standard depth for a humbucker or other pickup. The thing is that you want to remove as less wood as possible.

I'd say, draw up your guitar from a side view, draw the neck angle, draw the bridge, and draw the strings. Now measure the height of the pickup you're going to use and measure how high the pickup is going to sit in the body. Now you can see instantly how deep the route should be. Some humbuckers have long ears, some have short, so it depends on which one you're using. Ofcourse with the long ears you need to route a bit deeper (not the whole route, just at the ears).

If you use mounting rings and the height adjustment screws (the ones that go thru the ears) are too long, just cut them off and don't route deeper.

I've seen too many standard depths and most of them are too deep. For instance a Gibson les paul. It has a big neck angle, so the bridge pickup sits high in te body. But the bridge pickup route is almost as deep as the neck pickup route. And the neck pickup route is also too deep. Just watch when you unscrew the height adj. screws. The pickups will fall deep into the body... these big routes give you unneccesary feedback and woodloss :D

So the depth really depends on the pickups you're going to use and your guitar (neck angle, bridge height, string action etc.).


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ok, thanks for the advice about keeping the routes depth as shallow as possible. during my planning i have taken the trem route into consideration. also, on production guitars, i have often found myself cutting the screws to install the pups.

all good advice. i will take it all into consideration.

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Sometimes I'll drill a little hole for screw relief instead of cutting the screw or routing deeper. I don't like it when the cavities are too deep. Then again on factory guitars, I've been frustrated several times during pickup swaps, because their cavities are only intended for "stock" pickups. So I like having "universal" cavities on factory guitars (not as deep as Gibson's though) and I like tight, custom routes on my own guitars.

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