Maybe dumb pickup placement question

Bobro

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
110
Reaction score
46
I need to replace a pickup on my Strat copy guitar with a single-coil sized humbucker (probably DiMarzio Super Distortion humbucker). The pickup is sold as "bridge position" but I never use bridge position pickups and intend to put it in the neck position. The pickups on my Strat copy sure look the same dimensions and mounting for both bridge and neck, actually, all three look interchangeable, but I am not sure if a pickup marketed as "bridge position" will actually be able to drop right into the space for the neck pickup or not.

Thanks in advance for your kind and patient answers. Yeah I know I could take the thing apart and try whether the bridge pickup will go right into the neck position, but it's easier just to ask, especially since I can't find my reading glasses so I'm kind of hindered as far as doing any handwork today.

Also, and I have no way of checking this other than to ask, am I going to need a different pot when swapping out a weedy single coil for a very hot humbucker? I imagine it must be so, just reckoning everything with my pathetic budget.
 

vilk

Very Regular
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
6,316
Reaction score
3,362
Location
Japan
This may be a dumb answer because I don't even own a strat and I've never tried to do this...

...but the bridge pickup must be longer than the neck pickup in order to have the poles line up with the strings while the pickup is at an angle.
 
Last edited:

spudmunkey

SS.org Regular
Joined
Mar 7, 2010
Messages
6,789
Reaction score
11,078
Location
Near San Francisco
This may be a dumb answer because I don't even own a strat and I've never tried to do this...

...but the bridge pickup must be longer than the neck pickup in order to have the poles line up with the strings while the pickup is at an angle.

...unless the neck pickups are just a little oversized compared to the string spacing, and the bridge pickups just a little undersized, but both are still close enough for both to work just fine..

You might need to experiment, too, with just the different output of a bridge pickup compared to the neck pickup, even if both pickups were the same. bridge pickups tend to be hotter than a neck pick up anyway.
 

Bobro

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
110
Reaction score
46
This may be a dumb answer because I don't even own a strat and I've never tried to do this...

...but the bridge pickup must be longer than the neck pickup in order to have the poles line up with the strings while the pickup is at an angle.
The pickup I am looking at, DiMarzio Super Distortion Humbucker in single-coil format, has blades, not poles, so I dont' think there will be a problem there.

As far as output, I am assuming I will need a new potentiometer anyway.
 

Bobro

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
110
Reaction score
46
Well, I measured the physical length (width when in the guitar) of the bridge pickup and it is indeed a few mm more than the neck pickup, so I will have to chisel out the neck position mortise a little wider in order to drop a bridge-sized pickup into the guitar. Don't have a router,and always hated routers anyway (no idea how any musician can tolerate the sound they make in use), so I will have to do it with chisels. No problem, even looking forward to such easy work. Some sandpaper wrapped around a dowel should be enough to widen the opening in the pickguard.
 

wedge_destroyer

SS.org Regular
Joined
Mar 6, 2016
Messages
502
Reaction score
332
Location
Fort Wasted, Indiana
A quick look at Dimarzio's website and all the hum cancelling strat singles are the same dimensions for neck or bridge models. 2.77 inches across the top and 3.00 to the center of screwholes. The only difference in the non hum cancelling is 2.74 across the top and 3.02 to center. So I'm uncertain as to why it would be an issue especially considering that on a strat the pickup screws are all 3 inches apart regardless of position.
 

ixlramp

SS.org Regular
Joined
Mar 5, 2007
Messages
3,009
Reaction score
1,836
Location
Norfolk, UK
The pickup is sold as "bridge position"
Don't know for sure but this may well just be a traditional tonal preference thing: 'many prefer this used in bridge position'. It's a pickup so will function wherever you put it.
 

LiveOVErdrive

CNC hack
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
3,171
Reaction score
2,654
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Single coil strat pickups are generally all the same size. They just sometimes have different pole piece spacing (though usually not even that).

From what I understand, blade humbuckers sometimes require a little filing to fit because they have slightly sharper corners.

Long story short, it'll work fine. Might be super loud and boomy in the neck but hey if you like it you like it.
 

pondman

Build Whore.
Contributor
Joined
Jan 24, 2007
Messages
3,550
Reaction score
6,620
Location
UK
Strat neck and bridge pups usually have a different pole spacing, closer poles at the neck and wider at the bridge. Just check the pole spacing on the add for the pickup you want then compare those to the pickup you already have.
 


Top