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Humbucker Pickup Cavity Depth

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Hi everyone. I've lurked here for a while but I don't often post. I have a question I just can't seem to find an answer for.

I'm building my first guitar and I've come to the point when I need to route out the cavity for my pickup.

The only pickup I am using is a Seymour Duncan Duncan Custom Humbucker pickup in the bridge position. I'm not sure how deep I need to route the pocket though. I'm using this website for the other dimensions.

My understanding is that there is no specific depth because I can adjust the height of the pickup by adjusting the two screws anchoring it.

If I am mistaken please let me know. I am really in need of some expert advice.


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You really need to look at your humbucker in profile ... as well as the specifics of your build and the proposed action ... and then measure how deep you need to route to allow for the depth of the humbucker and also for the ears.

I generally route the cavity deep enough for the body of the humbucker (plus a couple of millimetres) and then carefully drill a few millimetres deeper at either side for the ears.

Are you using a mounting ring? If so, you can route as deep as you like as long as you don't have a tremolo cavity on the other side or you don't route all the way through the body :D

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Yes it depends on your build. If the neck is angled and you are using a tall bridge the depth will be shallow. With a straight neck pocket the pickup will most likely be deeper. It is really a subjective measurement that depends on how much work you want to do. If you are screwing the pickup to the body then you need to be precise.

I for one would rather rout a shallow channel and if the humbucker legs are a bit too long for the hole I use a fostner bit to deepen the hole under each leg.

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Like said, look at the profile for the body and the ears of your pickups. Then route accordinglly. Also remember the screws are usually longed than the ears are deep. I usually route deep enough for the ears to barely bottom out at the lowest point I would place it at and then drill a hole out deep enough in the center of the ear route for the screw to sit in.

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I always do things the hard way and have the guitar almost finished before I route the pickups

I set the bridge and tailpiece up and put on the first & sixth string so I can line up the pole pieces accurately. I measure the depth I need for the routing and if I need to, I cut the screws shorter

By the way, excellent choice of pickup!

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