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Can I Rear Mount A Fender Single Coil Pickup?


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Hi all-

I'm on my first design - build here and need some help figuring out the pick-up mount. I am working towards a strat style set up with three single coils, however I would like to avoid using a pickguard. I could mount the pickups directly from the front and run the wires through to a cavity routed out on the back. But if possible I would like to mount them from the rear so that as little of the pickup shows as possible. In this post: http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.php?showtopic=21324&hl=rear routed&st=0://http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/i...routed&st=0 Dylan did an amazing job mounting a gibson pickup. I would like to do the same with Fender's single coils.

What I am thinking is I will route one access cavity for all three from the rear and then three openings from the front for the pickups to project through. I could run bolts through from the front and use either tubing or springs to keep the pickups at the right height. I would then cover the opening in the rear with a plate.

I guess my questions are: 1) Is there any reason I can't do this with fender single coils? They have that triangle type tab, but I can't see how that is a problem. 2) How much thickness do I need to leave? I would like to leave as much as possible but if I leave too much then the pickups will be to far from the strings....

Any insight would be appreciated!

Thanks!

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I think you're making way more work for yourself than is really necessary, and weakening your guitar as well.

Why don't you just make or buy a single coil router template and just route them individually from the top, it's basically the same thing you're trying to do with FAR less work involved.

The only time I would ever actually consider rear-mounting a pickup is if I wanted it HIDDEN under the top...if you're going to show the thing, then why are you going in from the bottom at all...it doesn't make any sense.

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What I am thinking is I will route one access cavity for all three from the rear and then three openings from the front for the pickups to project through. I could run bolts through from the front and use either tubing or springs to keep the pickups at the right height. I would then cover the opening in the rear with a plate.

I guess my questions are: 1) Is there any reason I can't do this with fender single coils? They have that triangle type tab, but I can't see how that is a problem. 2) How much thickness do I need to leave? I would like to leave as much as possible but if I leave too much then the pickups will be to far from the strings....

Any insight would be appreciated!

Thanks!

Sure, why not? You're basically making a pickguard of wood built right into the body so it should all go together fine, pretty much as it was designed in the first place. I wouldn't route the whole back out though, just what's needed to get the pickup in there and a single rectangle route just deep enough for a cover plate. I'd start with about .2" face thickness and see if the pickup seems to mount ok or not. I'd try to stay at least .125" final thickness depending on the wood you're using. You could also see if the pickup will mount in a pair of pickguards stacked up and measure that for reference... Better yet, do a mock-up with some scrap wood and you'll know exactly what to expect when you get ready to cut the actual body.

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I think you're making way more work for yourself than is really necessary, and weakening your guitar as well.

Why don't you just make or buy a single coil router template and just route them individually from the top, it's basically the same thing you're trying to do with FAR less work involved.

The only time I would ever actually consider rear-mounting a pickup is if I wanted it HIDDEN under the top...if you're going to show the thing, then why are you going in from the bottom at all...it doesn't make any sense.

I was thinking of going from the bottom so that the opening in the front of the body is as small as possible. I am going to make router templates for the front and back based on the single coil template.

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What I am thinking is I will route one access cavity for all three from the rear and then three openings from the front for the pickups to project through. I could run bolts through from the front and use either tubing or springs to keep the pickups at the right height. I would then cover the opening in the rear with a plate.

I guess my questions are: 1) Is there any reason I can't do this with fender single coils? They have that triangle type tab, but I can't see how that is a problem. 2) How much thickness do I need to leave? I would like to leave as much as possible but if I leave too much then the pickups will be to far from the strings....

Any insight would be appreciated!

Thanks!

Sure, why not? You're basically making a pickguard of wood built right into the body so it should all go together fine, pretty much as it was designed in the first place. I wouldn't route the whole back out though, just what's needed to get the pickup in there and a single rectangle route just deep enough for a cover plate. I'd start with about .2" face thickness and see if the pickup seems to mount ok or not. I'd try to stay at least .125" final thickness depending on the wood you're using. You could also see if the pickup will mount in a pair of pickguards stacked up and measure that for reference... Better yet, do a mock-up with some scrap wood and you'll know exactly what to expect when you get ready to cut the actual body.

Good suggestion on the routing. I can definately do that, I'll just make three templates. One with three openings for the pickups, triangle shaped, to go from the back, one rectangle to route out for the cover plate and one with the openings from the front. .2" sounds easy, .125" will be delicate but I can do it. I should probably route the pick up openings in the front first, then the pickup openings from the back and then the rectangle for the cover.... seems like the easiest way to see the face thickness I have left.

The wood is ash, and I will definately try all this on scrap first. I am also making two of everything as I go so first I have been testing a setup on my 'practice' neck or body, making adjustments and then doing the operation on the 'good' version. I figure with this stage, and with fitting the neck, I'll do a test run on scrap, then on the practice and then on the good one. Can't hurt.

I am using a hard tail bridge. It might be possible with a tremello, I think it would depend on how thick the body is....

Thanks for the help!

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I was thinking of going from the bottom so that the opening in the front of the body is as small as possible. I am going to make router templates for the front and back based on the single coil template.

Maybe I should clarify...the template I use, I can barely get the pkp in there, it is such a tight fit, there is very little unused space besides the space the pkp is taking up, which prompted my comment that approaching it that way, there is hardly any difference between the two methods space-wise, and routing from the top is just so much easier, quicker, less time consuming, and far less work.

You're talking about the difference between 1/2 hour (if even that long) to route three pickup cavities as opposed to maybe a few days to do it your way, keeping in consideration covers have to be made, ledges for the covers need to be considered, templates for the back side route have to be made, both for the pickup holes and the cavity cover ledges...just seems like an awful lot of work for a really minimal difference in results.

Unless you just simply WANT to route from the backside for whatever reason, then, you don't need any justification, just do it the way you want it. :D

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I don't think there'd be any problem really with the idea, thought of doing it myself. You have to consider that a strat is substantially hollow, in fact I've had it put that a lot of strats (especially with bathtub pickup routes and the like) are seentiall a hollow body guitar with a 'plastic' pickguard top.

Combine a bathtub route with the trem cavity and you are likely to go right through...I've even extended the cavity on one guitar to be even more to fit electronics and cut a 'sound hole' in the upper bout all the way through to the back without structural mishaps (though you end up with a very light body that way!)

So for sure, as long as there is enough strength and room for the spring or mounting, could be perhaps 1/4" thick...you wouldn't want it as thin as a plastic guard and put bolts through it for strength and potential for cracking...but a singly coil bobbin is about 10+mm thick.

A lot of single coils are built so you you could mount from the top like a soapbar kind of thing with bolts between poles and some foam under for a 'spring' but the problem is the triangular side wire mount more than the mounting ends...a delicate at best operation there.

The thing to watch perhaps is the neck pickup route perhaps. When I was contemplating things I was considering mounting everything through the trem cavity slightly extended perhaps.

It can look good, but so too can top mounted pickups in a more conventional way...my contemporary strat has this on a mahogany body for instance...

emuring.jpg

Reminds me that I need to clear the decks and finish the rewire and pickup redo...2 years later!

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