Behind-the-bridge Pickup projects

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natthu
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Behind-the-bridge Pickup projects

Post by natthu » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:15 am

If anyone has any thoughts, comments or criticisms (constructive please) of the following ideas, feel free to let me know!

Project 1: ADH 25.5" Jaguar ("Tiger Blood")

So I recently finished assembling this (Original Project thread here):

Image

...but I want to add a pickup behind the bridge (just for fun). The thing is I don't want to do any modification (ie routing) to the wood where it's not covered by pickguard or plates, and I don't want to change the overall look of the guitar.

So here's my plan:
I have talked to Rhoney (Stereordinary) about making a custom plate to replace the faux stop, also made by Rhoney, already installed on the guitar.
He seems to think the new plate should be entirely possible to make. The new stop will have a cutout to allow the mounting of a Tele neck pickup in about this position:

Image
(sorry for the crappy pics in this thread)

So all you'll see of the Tele pickup is the chrome top completely surrounded by the faux stop plate. Hopefully it will be reasonably stealthy and won't stand out much.
The pickup pictured is not the one I'll be using, I have a Fender noisless one on the way (I wanted to avoid introducing single coil hum).
I'm also considering whether to add height adjustment holes to the new plate to allow access to the pickup screws without having to remove the plate (that was Rhoney's idea... probably a good one).

Project 2:

I have this Ares body I got from AWSchmit (made by Rhoney, I think). It was set up for 24", but I needed it to be 25.5" so I've moved the bridge and I've also put holes in the finish while trying to mount a GK-3 pickup...
The end result is that I've kinda ruined the finish :fp:

Image

So my plan is to refinish it, most likely in a similar colour. ...but since I'll already be modding it, I have decided to put some different hardware on it.
I apologise for these crappy mock ups, it was just a case of quickly placing all the bits roughly where they'll be when finished to get an idea. Just pretend the current bridge isn't there still....

Version 1 (Bigsby plate for Tele + Jazzmaster trem):

Image

I have a good Fender Tele bridge pup for this guitar and a few different other pickups available to me. Not sure how I'll set the pups up yet.

Version 2 (Bigsby plate reversed to accomodate behind-the-bridge pickup + JM trem or Les Paul style stop)

Image

The JM trem does actually fit behind there, the pic isn't very representative...

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Re: Behind-the-bridge Pickup projects

Post by Toots » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:28 am

First of all, I love that Jag :-* I would go with the custom plate and easy access height adjustment. It will look great.
That reversed bigsby plate idea is also interesting. I had a similar idea including a tele bridge and a LP tailpiece.

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Re: Behind-the-bridge Pickup projects

Post by Puisheen » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:49 am

Oh, that Tiger's Blood guitar is gorgeous. I followed that thread as a lurker for a long time. So beautiful.

As for BTB pickups, I like your plate idea for that guitar. Really great idea, and a great way of lessening the body mods it will take to install. I wonder if the notes will be as loud there as they would be closer to the bridge, but it's more of a hypothetical doubt. I'm sure it will be awesome!

As for the white one, the more I look at the reversed plate, the more I like it. I'd say give that a shot; certainly a creative solution to needing a BTB plate!

Keep us informed!

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Re: Behind-the-bridge Pickup projects

Post by natthu » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:08 am

Thnks for the reassurance guys... it's good to hear others don't think my ideas are just crazy... :)

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Re: Behind-the-bridge Pickup projects

Post by WonderCouncil » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:57 am

This is just too trippy :w00t: I pm'd Stereordinary last night with this exact same idea. Placing a single coil in the hardtail plate he offers. Even was going to go so far as to suggest a Tele or lipstick style pickup so it would blend in more.

This was the mockup I made to see if a single coil would in fact fit. Since I don't currently have any guitars with that style trem.
Image

I'm extremely looking forward to seeing how these projects progress. I think someone else up above had mentioned it as well but I was thinking of using a Tele bridge plate as a kind of stop tail in conjunction with either a TOM or Mustang trem. I know I saw a mock up someone did using the Jaguar HH Special, removing the stop tail and putting a Tele bridge in it's place.

Sort of like this...Mustang trem would become like a buzz stop of sorts. Could also alternate what strings go to the vibrato and which go to the hard tail.
Image

All in all it's nice to know I'm in good company here. :freako:

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Re: Behind-the-bridge Pickup projects

Post by Puisheen » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:19 pm

I'll second the Lipstick pickup! When I built the Skyemaster and modded the VM Jazzmaster baritone, that pickup seemed to be the only choice, really. They just work so well for this purpose, and the big chrome cover keeps with the vibe of the guitar without altering the look too much.

Love this.

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Re: Behind-the-bridge Pickup projects

Post by natthu » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:02 pm

WonderCouncil wrote:...This was the mockup I made to see if a single coil would in fact fit. Since I don't currently have any guitars with that style trem.
Whoa cool Man, I should probably do a mockup too.... instead of just putting the parts ontop of my guitars :D

One thing you might want to consider is that the way the Rhoney stop plates work leaves the strings lower at the back of the stop than they are on a JM trem (ie the break angle over the bridge will be slightly sharper).
This leaves you less height adjustment for a pickup. If you were to put your pickup as far back as you have in the mockup, it will basically need to be flush with the plate at the highest. I don't see that as a problem, in fact it would probably look better than having it further forward and higher.... The wound (ball end) part of the strings will be over the pickup there too. Would that make any difference to anything? I assume it wouldn't change the tone itself.
Puisheen wrote:I'll second the Lipstick pickup!
I did consider a lipstick for its chrome finish for my Jag, they definitely look cool, but I think it's just too large to fit in the part of the plate that I want to set it in. Also, the tele pickup has a flatter top which I think will fit the limited space under the strings better.

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Re: Behind-the-bridge Pickup projects

Post by empyrean » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:17 pm

natthu wrote:
Puisheen wrote:I'll second the Lipstick pickup!
I did consider a lipstick for its chrome finish for my Jag, they definitely look cool, but I think it's just too large to fit in the part of the plate that I want to set it in. Also, the tele pickup has a flatter top which I think will fit the limited space under the strings better.
I agree about the flatness, but the GFS Lipsticks should fit in the same amount of space, I don't think the height will be too much of an issue. I only mention the GFSs because I've done some experimenting with their lipsticks behind the bridge and it sounds absolutely fantastic! Sublimely glassy and ads so much depth to the overtones.

After my currently lineup of restos and builds my next project is to do exactly what you're doing on either my jag or stangmaster and get a pickup in there permanently, and I'll probably go with those lipsticks. If paul made these plates as part of his custom plate orders, I'd be in heaven! :w00t:
No, I am not selling the Harmony Rocket.

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Re: Behind-the-bridge Pickup projects

Post by natthu » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:47 pm

empyrean wrote:...I agree about the flatness, but the GFS Lipsticks should fit in the same amount of space...
Are GFS lipsticks a lot smaller than normal ones?

The stop plate at the position I want to fit the pickup is 82mm wide.
Tele neck pup (exposed chrome part) is about 62mm wide (that leaves slightly less than 10mm each side to retain the strength of the plate)
Normal Lipstick (exposed chrome part) is about 81mm wide..... which will effectively split the plate in two.

The ears of a lipstick pup are the same width as the chrome part (more or less), the Tele pup ear width comes in at just less than 80mm. It's going to be difficult enough fitting the tele ears in without exposing the rout. A lipstick definitely won't work.

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Re: Behind-the-bridge Pickup projects

Post by empyrean » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:23 pm

Yup the GFS pickups are just a hair smaller than a strat pickup. Mine measures roughly 73 mm screw to screw and the actual pickup is roughly 67mm wide. I can take more accurate measurements tomorrow if you'd like.
No, I am not selling the Harmony Rocket.

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Re: Behind-the-bridge Pickup projects

Post by antisymmetric » Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:05 am

8) I love this stuff! Old Kay pickups could be good to consider too. I have one (very similar in dimensions to the "Zippo"-maybe one with a different cover) behind the bridge on my Jansen Jazzman (JM/Jag-ish copy) and it sounds great. They may be too wide for stealthy mounting in a trem plate, but they're shallow and no routing was needed on my guitar. They are chrome, maybe a plate could be made to suit them- mine's just got a crude temporary mount at present.
Watching the corners turn corners

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Re: Behind-the-bridge Pickup projects

Post by natthu » Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:45 am

empyrean wrote:...I can take more accurate measurements tomorrow if you'd like.
Nah, thanks, but I already have a Tele pup on the way. The other reason I chose the Tele pup is that they come in a 'noiseless' variant. No pup hum is pretty important to me.

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Re: Behind-the-bridge Pickup projects

Post by WonderCouncil » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:11 pm

natthu wrote:One thing you might want to consider is that the way the Rhoney stop plates work leaves the strings lower at the back of the stop than they are on a JM trem (ie the break angle over the bridge will be slightly sharper).
This leaves you less height adjustment for a pickup. If you were to put your pickup as far back as you have in the mockup, it will basically need to be flush with the plate at the highest. I don't see that as a problem, in fact it would probably look better than having it further forward and higher.... The wound (ball end) part of the strings will be over the pickup there too. Would that make any difference to anything? I assume it wouldn't change the tone itself.
Yea those are all excellent points. None of which I really took into consideration. I wasn't sure how the stock trem routing would support/fit a pickup. The mock up was more just to express the idea since putting it into words can be difficult hah. I agree though the Tele neck pickup is more then likely the better way to go. It's smaller overall in size and like you said is flatter and more angular then the lipstick pickup is. The noiseless aspect is kind of a nice added benefit too...

I'm really looking forward to seeing how this all comes together though! Still can't get over how we were both thinking more or less the exact same thing around the exact same time hah. Synchronicity is odd like that.

Lovely tiger Jag by the way. The grain on that is just stellar! I like your idea with the reversed Bigsby bridge plate too. I was thinking about that a few months back, can't remember what may me thinking of it but yea, looks good on there too.

Not to hijack the thread or anything but this is what I have in mind for my current project. I bought the bridge place purely for the saddles they came with but had this in the back of my mind as well. I actually more then likely will go with the GFS Tele lipstick pickup unless I come across across a hum canceling one that picks up the overtones.
Image

With out eating up to much more of you thread I just wanted to link to this thread over in the Dressing Room where I've been messing around with a way to be able to "tune" the strings behind the bridge...
http://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/vie ... 23&t=63086

Hopefully Stereordinary will chime in here.

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Re: Behind-the-bridge Pickup projects

Post by taphead » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:26 pm

I just realized that using a tele bridge behind a TOM (or whatever you're using as the "actual" bridge), you can tune the part of the string behind the bridge...

(Which is obviously the whole point on that one. I'm being horribly slow today. :fp: )

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Re: Behind-the-bridge Pickup projects

Post by WonderCouncil » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:10 pm

Well to be fair initially I wasn't going to use the saddles on the tele bridge as a means to tune them but it's worth experimenting with I think. No sure how viable an option it really is but we'll see I guess as it progresses. I can see numerous problems but I'm the type to plow ahead and find solutions as I go lol. Maybe not the best work ethic but it suits me.

The black bridge is a Gotoh sitar buzz bridge. I promised myself along time ago I'd never by one due to the price of them but hey, what can I say lol. The rest of the project is fairly inexpensive so it kind of evens itself out.

Edi - I'm dumb, I'm reading through the thread again and saw your postings! Just to reiterate, that's a damn hot LP you have!
Last edited by WonderCouncil on Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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