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Body Mounted Pickups


Buter
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I've gone away from using pup mounting rings and mounting the pups directly to the body with threaded inserts. It looks much nicer this way but the pups do pickup every bump that the body takes.

I know a few of you have forgone mounting rings - are you using any gasket or rubber/delrin washers to isolate the pup from the body?

I let a local pro gig my last LP and the only negative feedback was with an amp at gig levels, a good bash against the body was a bit frightening.

I've got a few ideas about how to fix the problem, but surely some of you have come across this already, I'm interested to know what you've done about it.

Cheers

Buter

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I use either rings or direct mount on my instruments...

I dont think that its a question of looking better or not but:

I have noticed that direct mount is not cool anymore but has become a MAJOR FREEKING HYPE and I always find it amusing when I get a player knocking at my front door because his got a problem with his direct mounted pickup :D

I've only ever seen 2 guitars which had an issue in my entire 15 years as a luthier when repairing guitars with mounting rings, that would be that the pickup wings truss came loose......

However I've seen many many direct mount holes get loose, instability of the pickups and adjusting problems reported for direct mount.

Altough I offer both, I by far prefer and recommend mounting rings to my customers because it protect the pickups from lateral shocks and makes everything easier to adjust.

For direct mount, I use foam under the pickups to give them some spring.

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Photo608.jpg

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I've gone away from using pup mounting rings and mounting the pups directly to the body with threaded inserts. It looks much nicer this way but the pups do pickup every bump that the body takes.

I know a few of you have forgone mounting rings - are you using any gasket or rubber/delrin washers to isolate the pup from the body?

I let a local pro gig my last LP and the only negative feedback was with an amp at gig levels, a good bash against the body was a bit frightening.

I've got a few ideas about how to fix the problem, but surely some of you have come across this already, I'm interested to know what you've done about it.

Cheers

Buter

Where can I get threaded inserts and what do they look like? So far, I've been enlarging the pickup plate so that a small wood screw fits through but I'm looking for a better method of doing this.

In general, I use foam under the pickups. It a dark grey foam that comes in 3/8" thickness. I forget where I get it from though. Its been a while since my last complete build.

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Where can I get threaded inserts and what do they look like? So far, I've been enlarging the pickup plate so that a small wood screw fits through but I'm looking for a better method of doing this.

In general, I use foam under the pickups. It a dark grey foam that comes in 3/8" thickness. I forget where I get it from though. Its been a while since my last complete build.

http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.ph...st&p=468069

got mine off amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Z-LOK-Threaded-Inser...9198&sr=8-1

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Thanks guys.

I've actually got a bit of foam under the pups at the moment, but I've cranked the mounting screws right down so that the pup mounting tabs are snugged right down to the body.

I think that I'll double up on the foam and use slightly longer screws to make sure the mounting tabs aren't touching the body. This should work out well because I wanted to raise the neck pup a little bit anyway.

Hi Patrick (sp?) I'm not sure who is MAJORLY FREAKING HYPING this method for attaching pickups to a guitar. I read pretty much every UK and American guitar magazine each month (I'm not a sad bastard, honestly - you try sitting around at airports as much as I do) and I don't recall any of the reviews even noticing whether or not a mounting ring was used, let alone hype it.

My personal opinion is that ringless looks better and it is my guitar so I win! Body mounted pickups also allow the cutaway to come down lower and closer to the FB which I also like the look of and the easier upper fret access is self explanatory.

I will probably still be doing this in 15 years and I hope that my guitars are turning out half as nice as yours. You do beautiful work, mate.

Cheers everyone

Buter

Buter

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I'm not sure who is MAJORLY FREAKING HYPING this method for attaching pickups to a guitar.

Ed Roman is,and as a result alot of custom builders are promoting it...but it isn't hyped in the mainstream yet.It may be next though once Jumbo frets keep dying down and laminated necks become "old hat"...The market will always try to make the next "hottest thing" they can use to claim they make better guitars.

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I'm not sure who is MAJORLY FREAKING HYPING this method for attaching pickups to a guitar.

Ed Roman is,and as a result alot of custom builders are promoting it...but it isn't hyped in the mainstream yet.It may be next though once Jumbo frets keep dying down and laminated necks become "old hat"...The market will always try to make the next "hottest thing" they can use to claim they make better guitars.

Exactly and also because some ''metal icons'' like to have direct mount, you can be sure that 99.9999999% of the requests I receive want direct mount because XXXX has his guitar set up this way....

You know to me its all cool but at one point people do not think anymore and dont take a personal decision, they relie on what's out there...

I would much prefer somebody who contacts me and says ''I would like direct mount pickups'' instead of ''I would like direct mount pickups because xxxx has a guitar set up that way''

:D

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You know to me its all cool but at one point people do not think anymore and dont take a personal decision, they relie on what's out there...

Yeah,but sometimes that is the best source for someone who really is not that educated about the method and it's results.I did it myself after first hearing about it a few years ago,expecting some kind of huge difference,but all I noticed was alot of transferred noise from the body,resulting in a not so clear high gain tone...so I immediately deepened the pup routs a bit and hung them from rings(on the same guitar) and solved the issue...

But since them I found I could get the ringless look and the clearer sound with foam and adjustment springs underneath.

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I'm not sure who is MAJORLY FREAKING HYPING this method for attaching pickups to a guitar.

Ed Roman is,and as a result alot of custom builders are promoting it...but it isn't hyped in the mainstream yet.It may be next though once Jumbo frets keep dying down and laminated necks become "old hat"...The market will always try to make the next "hottest thing" they can use to claim they make better guitars.

I thought that was an EVH thing.

Suhr guitars does this. I like it. I think it looks clean.

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I'm not sure who is MAJORLY FREAKING HYPING this method for attaching pickups to a guitar.

Ed Roman is,and as a result alot of custom builders are promoting it...but it isn't hyped in the mainstream yet.It may be next though once Jumbo frets keep dying down and laminated necks become "old hat"...The market will always try to make the next "hottest thing" they can use to claim they make better guitars.

AHHHH! You said the name! How dare you say the name...the one word no respectable luthier would say. I can't say it. Oh look I said it. AHHH!

Ok now that is completely silly.

Back to reality. I started in 1989 because George Lynch and EVH used to do it... and I am pretty sure a couple of the other LA guys at the time did. On my personal guitars I route the depth correct and bolt them tight with about 3 small blocks of J-bass pickup foam underneath them (stops some the noise transfer but still get some body overtones). When they need to be adjusted closer to the strings I put small plastic bushing under the tab to raise them.

I do the same for customers but I usually use a bigger screw and 2 full pieces of foam so they can adjust them if they wish.

I am still on the fence. I don't like rings. But to Hufs point in order to minimize customer issues with direct mounted pickups I really have to use inserts and 4-40 screws then drill out the mounting tab. One real issue I have with drilling out the holes on the pups is that you can't use them anywhere else. AND for some reason everyone is in love with BKPs and so swapping out the pups with BKPs or EMGs (gasp) is easier with rings. I am just not a fan of parts and stuff... I like guitars as simple as they can be void of excess covers and parts that rattle, come loose, fall off, get lost, or look stupid.

Spoke made a pretty cool tutorial on making your own rings so I might start doing that in the future just for customers.

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Spoke made a pretty cool tutorial on making your own rings so I might start doing that in the future just for customers.

I have my very own rings design for my 8 string guitars, Its an epoxy cast so they are all solid inside.

I'm about to do the same for my 6 and 7 strings, just need some cash for creating the master templates, I usually use sanded aluminium because I love the result.

Once you build the master template you can then make a mould and cast them as much as you wish, Kent does it for me:

photo395z.jpg

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Ed Roman - ain't he the fella that said that he wouldn't build guitars anymore if he couldn't use his cnc machine?

Anyway...

Here's the first guitar that I did. The pup mounting ring so close to the cutaway really messes up the look of an otherwise good looking guitar.

oakcouch.jpg

oakclose.jpg

Now, here's a lovely LP-ish guitar with a sculpted heel and quite an aggressive cutaway. I wouldn't have been able to do it this way if I were using a ring.

lpcouch.jpg

lpcloseup.jpg

I needed to pull the pickups out anyway to change out the temporary screws (the nickel machine screws stick out like a sore thumb) and paint the pup mounting tabs black, so that will give me the opportunity to change the mounting a little bit.

So, for me, I prefer the ringless look and it serves a design purpose as well. No worries about the pups becoming loose in their mountings, either. RAD does have a good point, you need to drill out the tabs (I do, anyway) to do this which means it's not an easy swap back into another guitar.

Spoke's tut is really good. I've used similar methods to make rings before. I tend to cheat a little bit and laminate a layer of fibreglass between two layers of wood. It helps to eliminate short grain induced swearing.

Cheers

B

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Rings are anyway a matter of personal preference.

The thing is, indeed some designs can look better direct mount.

In my case I find that rings add a sharper look to my instruments.

There is also the wood options, I have one model ''albinodroid'' on which I use flame maple rings which match the fingerboard, the covers being chrome reflect the rest of the hardware colour...

In this case the rings are totally all part of the design...

photo157u.jpg

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RAD does have a good point, you need to drill out the tabs (I do, anyway) to do this which means it's not an easy swap back into another guitar.

Its a relatively easy fix i have had to do a few times now. I usually butcher an existing ring, cut off the feet and solder them directly onto the old base plate. I have also used a small nut but found the replacement feet gave a better surface area to keep the solder join strong. or just Soldering an extra piece of any nickel plate on the bottom and drill/tapp to the correct size. Its how jason lollar sells his minihumbuckers as the base plates are drilled with a larger hole for the old les paul deluxes which mount a slightly different way

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Hey B.

I like your guitars.

I don't have strong feelings either way on to ring or not to ring, but this comment

Now, here's a lovely LP-ish guitar with a sculpted heel and quite an aggressive cutaway. I wouldn't have been able to do it this way if I were using a ring.
makes me very tempted to buld a ring and let the cutaway cut into the ring as well. Or incorporate them into the carve if the design lended itself to that. I can picture an inset route for the base of the ring and a surface carve or contour that complements a body carve.

Hmmmmm.

SR

Edited by ScottR
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I like the look of no rings on some guitars(The bubinga one I am doing now is ring free)..but I don't know if it is really direct mounted if you do it with the springs and the foam...there is zero body to pickup contact...no more vibrational transfer than with rings.So like I said..all of the great looks without the background noise every time you bump the guitar.

And you mean to tell me you guys are drilling the ears out to do this?I just use smaller diameter stainless steel screws...they go right through without marring the threads and I re-use them as I wish.And the SS is just as strong in the smaller diameter as the standard large diameter screws.

I picked them up at Ace hardware a while back

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Hiya Scott

Thanks, but those two can't hold a candle to yours (I do love that LP, though). I hope to contiune with some much nicer ones after I finish getting this damn house built. I just found out that I'll have to learn how to fly a new plane in the next few months as well, so that will be about three more months of little/no building.

Funny you should mention the recessed ring idea - it is something that's been rattling around in my head for a little while. Stay tuned.

Hiya Wes

I don't know about the rest of the boys, but my screw choice is actually goverened by the inserts I can get. I'm using inserts that accept an M3 machine screw which won't fit through a normal pup mounting tab so its off to the drill press we go.

Nice to see you building, btw, it's looking great.

Cheers

Buter

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I don't know about the rest of the boys, but my screw choice is actually goverened by the inserts I can get. I'm using inserts that accept an M3 machine screw which won't fit through a normal pup mounting tab so its off to the drill press we go.

Hmm..cool choice.that is a really clean look I bet...

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Spoke made a pretty cool tutorial on making your own rings so I might start doing that in the future just for customers.

I have my very own rings design for my 8 string guitars, Its an epoxy cast so they are all solid inside.

I'm about to do the same for my 6 and 7 strings, just need some cash for creating the master templates, I usually use sanded aluminium because I love the result.

Once you build the master template you can then make a mould and cast them as much as you wish, Kent does it for me:

Actually casting is something I am planning for next year... except I have to do it myself :D cause I don't have cool friends like Ken.

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