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pickup placement

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(@indecisive0)
Active Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4
Topic starter  

hey all

i had a question i was hoping someone could help me out with. i recently came across an ibanez guitar through a friend of a friend, and since i've never been a huge fan of ibanez guitars, i hadn't used it much until recently...i plugged it in and really started messing around with it, only to find out it was a pretty great sounding little guitar. the problem then became the leopard skin paint job on the pick guard...absolutely hideous. so i popped it off and gave it a nice coat of krylon fusion...one, solid, tasteful color. however, my problem now is that i am unsure of how to place the pickups back in the guitar properly. the guitar is set up with a double up at the neck, a single underneath, and another double at the bottom, right above the bridge, and the holes are cut in the body of the guitar for an exact fit...obviously the single goes in the only slot that is it's size, but i'm not sure which holes the doubles go in, or if it even matters. they look identical, and so i would assume it wouldn't matter which hole the pickups went in, but i thought it would be good to make sure before i put it all back together...any suggestions on this? i apologize for my somewhat limited knowledge, i am far from an expert on guitar electronics.

thanks all,
-david


   
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(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5840
 

You should find that one is slightly narrower than the other - measure from one outside pole piece to the other, the neck pickup shold be about 2mm narrower than the bridge pickup. This is because the string spacing narrows from bridge to nut and the pickups need to be modified to cater for this.

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(@misanthrope)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2261
 

Plug the guitar in, tap a pickup's poles gently with a screwdriver (anything metal), and it'll make a little click/pop if that pickup is active - so you can select bridge pickup only with your switches, tap each and see which one is turned on, and that's your bridge pickup. Rinse and repeat for the others :)

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(@indecisive0)
Active Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4
Topic starter  

thanks for the suggestions all...unfortunately i'm still having some issues figuring out which pickup is which. greybeard - i measured both pickups, and as best as i can tell, they are exactly identical in length and spacing of the poles. i measured them several times actually, as i can understand how a few millimeters could easily be missed upon first glance, and they still appear to be exactly the same size. chordsandscales - i also tried tapping the poles with a phillips, and i don't seem to get any kind of reaction at all, even when i switch the toggle to any one of it's several settings. i have uploaded some photos that might make it a little easier to visualize, any further help that anyone could offer would be greatly appreciated.

here are the photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dlove/

(in the first photo, the pickups are labelled A, B, & C)

thanks for all the help,
-david


   
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(@catsworth)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 104
 

I note that the bridge pickup hole has a grounding wire and screw in it.

Have a look on the back of both of the 'double' pickups, see if either of them has some scratches/marks/dents roughly in the middle. If one of them does then that will be the pickup that goes nearest the bridge.

When you tried the previous experiment with the pickups (ChordsAndScales' suggestion) did you make sure that you'd tried it with the volume all the way up? Try again, turn the volume pot all the way in one direction and try as he suggested, if you don't get a response turn the volume pot all the way the other way. Don't forget to plug the guitar into the amp and make sure the amp is on as well :)

Rumour has it that if you play Microsoft CDs backwards you will hear Satanic messages.

Worse still, is that if you play them forwards they will install Windows.


   
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(@indecisive0)
Active Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4
Topic starter  

ok, i feel stupid. had the knobs on the guitar turned down. i guess because the caps weren't on them i didn't even think about it. i definitely got a pop/crack sound out of one pickup and nothing out of the other...so the pickup that popped is definitely the bridge pickup? also, one last question...again i apologize for my lack of knowledge, but should the pickups be placed back in the slots with the side with the screws facing closer to the neck, or with the side with the poles facing towards the neck, or is it reversed depending on which pickup it is, the bridge or the neck? again, thanks for all the help everyone.

thanks,
-david


   
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(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1882
 

It looks to me like pickup "a" had it's wire folded up in the past, where pickup C's wire appears to have spent most of it's life fairly straight.
That alone would lead me to believe that A is the bridge, and C is the neck.

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(@u2bono269)
Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 1167
 

that's a purty guitar. can you show us what it looks like when you put it back together?

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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

It's pretty common to have identical widths on bridge and neck pickups. Not ideal, but common.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@indecisive0)
Active Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4
Topic starter  

thanks all,

finally got her back together. i will definitely post some pictures after i get some strings / replacement knobs. again, thanks so much for all the help.


   
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(@catsworth)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 104
 

Glad you got it sorted, don't worry about the volume knob being turned down - I guess it's just one of those things that a lot of people must do. The only reason I thought of it is that there's an article in this month's Guitarist magazine about replacing pups, it tells you how to check them in there :)

Rumour has it that if you play Microsoft CDs backwards you will hear Satanic messages.

Worse still, is that if you play them forwards they will install Windows.


   
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