Jump to content

Adding A Pick-up


Recommended Posts

I plan on buying an alexi-600 from ESp but the problem is that it only has 1 pick-up and 1 volume switch, is it doable to add a neck-pickup, a toggle switch, a volume know and a tone for each pîck-up? I'm quite a noob at he configuration of guitar electronics and I don't feel 100% confident about drilling holes in my guitar :s


Neck-Thru Body / 25.5”

body: Alder

neck/fingerboard: 3-Pc. Maple / Ebony

nut: Locking / 42mm

neck shape: Thin U

fret inlays: Sawteeth

frets: 24 XJ

binding: White (N/H)

hardware: Black

tuners: Grover

Floyd Rose

pick-ups: 1 EMG HZ H-4 want to add a EMG 85 for neck and replacing the HZ H-4 with an EMG 81

electronics: 1 Volume, I want to add: 1 volums, 2 tones and 1 toggle switch

Can anyone tell me how to do this? I would greatly appreciate it.(Live in belgium, so don't point me towards american guitar shops)

Edited by Maxim
Link to comment
Share on other sites

unless you have had guitar building experience, starting out on a brand new guitar is a BAD idea.

why not buy a guitar with the config you want, OR build it all. i wouldnt want to spend $$ on a nice gat just to take it home and risk destroying it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

unless you have had guitar building experience, starting out on a brand new guitar is a BAD idea.

why not buy a guitar with the config you want, OR build it all. i wouldnt want to spend $$ on a nice gat just to take it home and risk destroying it.

I searched and searched but did not find any guitar with that things I want, the only option is adding those things :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're going to have to have the body routered. Which it doesn't sound like you are equipped for. You need the proper router and a template.

Then you will need a really long drill bit to make a channel for the pickup wire to go through to get to the rest of the wiring.

Adding the pots won't be too much of a problem, all you will need to do is drill a 3/8" hole in the location you want the pot.

However, You need to be sure there is enough room in the electronics control cavity to accept 2-3 new pots.

Also, the easiest thing would be to add a Les Paul style 3 way, because that's just a round hole. But where you put it could be the issue.

It's probably not going to fit in the control cavity area with the new pots. So it will need to be off to the side somewhere.

and you will need that long drill bit again for the wire.

Also it's a neck through, which of course makes it all even harder. Because it's going to be hard to have a flat working area for the routering of the neck pickup. You will need to shim up all the areas around the neck pickup area so the router has a flat working area.

The shims will need to be as thick as the neck is high off the body.

And of course protect the whole guitar with heavy duty Paper and plastic and tape. compeletely remove all the hardware and everything else that you can.

Bottom line. This would be a huge job. A tech would charge a lot of money to do it. There is no reason it could not be done. But just understand you are getting into a major undertaking. You can do it yourself. Why not, everyone has to start somewhere. But you are going to need a bunch of tools and I would practice routering on some scrap first.

You can do it, but make no mistake it's a big job. And a made more difficult by the neck through.

Normally you would drill from the neck pocket straight into the bridge pickup cavity for the neck pickup wire. But you are going to need to drill through the neck pickup cavity diagonally through the body to the control cavity. You need to be careful here so the drill bit is on the right path and doesn't pop out early.

Do you have a photo of the back showing how big the control cavity is?

If the control cavity isn't big enough as is for 3 new pots. You will need to enlarge it and make a new cover outof single ply pickguard material.

In fact, I would probably recommend enlarging the control cavity (if needed) so it's big enough for the new pots and the 3 way switch. So all your controls

and wiring is on one area. That would be the smart thing to do.

If you have to, I would consider scaling down to a Master Volume and Master tone so you can fit the 3 way switch in there as well. That will save you a real lot of work. I mean a really lot. I highly recommend that.

Adding the 3 way toggle will require a large hole in the back, with a cover made or purchased. That hole will need to be routered all the way until it's about 5/16ths from the top of the body. Then in the center of this hole. Which is about 2 inches, you need to drill the hole for the 3 way switch about 5/8" I think. Then you need a channel for the wire from that hole to the control cavity. That's why it would be best if you could fit it in with the pots. Adding to the existing control area would avoid a whole new area from having to be routered and given access to for wiring.

And all this needs to be done without marring the finish. When you drill the round holes for the pots and switch. I suggest using what is called a Unibit not just a drill bit. A drill bit will chip the finish and ruin it. A unibit will drill a nice smooth round hole without marring or chipping the finish.

Edited by TomN
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's the right move. You really don't want to completely ruin your beautiful new guitar. Settling for an explorer body instead of a V for the sake of getting the features you REALLY want is the smart decision IMO.

Now, if it were an OLDer "V" and you didn't mind the possibility of accidentally doing some "less than pro" work to it, by all means, I'd support that choice. But in a new fairly expensive factory instrument? Nah.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...