Direct-Mounting Pickups Part II: The JB meets the PMS (Pickup Mounting System)

Excalibur "before".

My Koa Warmoth Strat Excalibur “before”.

As those who’ve read my blogs know, I’m a HUGE fan of and have written about the benefits of direct-mounting pickups in your guitar. There’s a noticeable increase in resonance once the pickup is embedded in the guitar sensing more vibration from the body as well as the strings. It makes a good pickup sound great, so no reason it wouldn’t make an already great pickup like the Seymour Duncan JB sound absolutely amazing. Especially in a one-piece Koa body of my Warmoth Strat build AKA “Excalibur”! Of all my guitars, this one has always been the one that’s closest to “perfect” feel, response and tone-wise. I’ve been trying to recreate its vibe with various levels of success with each guitar since I built it in 1997. Direct-mounting the bridge pickup will most likely elevate it even closer to perfection level. Certainly wouldn’t hurt, if the Bomber guitar is any indication. In fact besides being “really really ridiculously good-looking”, the only advantage the Bomber has ever had over Excalibur is IMO the improved string and pick attack of the direct-mounted bridge pickup. It’s a difference I’ve noticed regardless of what pickup has been in the Bomber. I want that for the Warmoth, too.

"I'm all up under your Duncan, makin' it sound more awesome..."

“I’m all up under your Duncan, makin’ it sound more awesome…”

Problem: it’s kind of hard to do that with old-school deep cavity pickup routs and/or if your guitar is rear-loaded and makes the use of plastic (or metal) mounting rings. Sure, you could just get some longer wood screws and simply slap them in there, but that’s not necessarily the correct approach. Doing that alone means now your pickup probably isn’t at the optimal height. There’s a school of thought with direct mounting that says that doesn’t matter once it’s in the wood, but some pickup routs are pretty deep, and the difference would be drastic and potentially noticeable volume-wise. The added “oomph” won’t be as appreciable if suddenly the pickup sounds ever-so slightly weaker because it dropped in the cavity. That’d be like subtracting before you add. Not what I’m shooting for here. Ideally I want the exact same tone enhanced. Not a new version of it.  Ordinarily if you wanted to direct-mount your pickup and still maintain the favored height you’d build up the routs with wood shims to achieve the proper level. You can also try filling the holes left by the mounting rings with wood putty and matching the finish. The latter not really being a viable (or at least non-PITA) option on a clear-coated guitar like Excalibur. Leaving the holes showing is pretty ugly even from a distance, if you care about that sort of thing. Some guys don’t, but in this case, I do. Especially with Excalibur. What to do, then?

Enter the FU-Tone/Mike Learn PMS (Pickup Mounting System)! It’s an ingenious Bell-Brass bracket that allows height-adjustable direct mounting in standard pickup cavities. Designed by Adam Reiver and Mike Learn (of Learn Guitars, well-known for his amazing airbrushed graphic guitar finishes), the brass bar acts as a little tone soak, absorbing vibrations from the body and transferring them via the baseplate to the pickup.

Re-installed at the same height it was previously with all the benefits of direct-mounting.

Re-installed at the same height it was previously, now with all the benefits of direct-mounting.

Installation was a breeze, and if you’re squeamish about doing it using the included printed directions alone, there’s a cool How-To video posted on the FU-Tone YouTube channel and site. Short version, simply measure the pickup’s current height before removing it, and make sure you set it to be exactly the same using the PMS. Once installed, the benefits can’t be overstated IMO. It pretty much rules. Thankfully I can leave the mounting ring on for looks, but that’s all it’s there for now. It should be pointed out that the concept, due to the variously sized height-adjustment screws provided, could conceivably be used on something like a Les Paul, with none the wiser since you would re-apply the mounting rings! I think an LP with this done to it would sound frighteningly huge! Direct-mounting beats suspended pickups hands down. Off the top of my head I can’t imagine a solidbody for which it wouldn’t be a beneficial modification.

"So..we're pretty much equals now, huh?"

“So..we’re pretty much equals now, huh?”

I like it so much I immediately ordered another one to put in the Bomber guitar, too. The pickup in it (a Jason Becker Perpetual Burn) is already direct-mounted to the wood, but in theory the brass may add a bit of enhancement. I’d also like to hear what it would sound like with the pickup raised a hair closer to the strings. Hello, no-hassle fine height adjustment and a Bell-Brass bed? I’m in. It’s likely I’ll eventually put them under ALL my humbuckers, in the bridge position at the very least.

Once I was done, after standing around enjoying some epic palm-muting and harmonic “ping” weirdness, I decided to  cut some tracks with Excalibur. I had a piece I was working on that I’d laid down a rhythm track with my original 80s black Charvel build that sports a Duncan DIY Custom 8. Yes, that one is going to need a PMS install too! I panned that hard left and doubled it with the JB. The tones mesh excellently. The artificial harmonics you hear “pop” the most are all the PMS-enhanced JB, though. Oh, another thing: There’s I’m told some misconception that the JB doesn’t do Drop-D (technically C# here)? Well then, I offer that silly Instagram clip as Exhibit A to pretty much debunk that false assertion!

I tracked and then, being the huge Randy Rhoads fan that I am, doubled the lead with Excalibur. I switched off almost every phrase between the JB and the STK-S6 with no discernible volume drop or dreaded “huh?” effect. The transitions are utterly seamless. Not sure how much of that has to do with the fact that now both the neck and bridge pickups are direct-mounted, but one thing is clear: They’re a brilliant combo. I was so pleased with the effect I later went back and tripled that bad boy. But that’s another story.

This successful experiment did remind me there’s a reason why the JB is what comes in so many off-the-rack guitars. It’s got HUGE Rock tone, it’s versatile, and it has attitude for days. There’s little you can throw at it that it can’t take. The lead voicing is articulate, authoritative and inspiring, can’t be spoken highly enough of. Like I said, you almost can’t go wrong with it.  But if you really want to give it that extra little push over the cliff of tonal awesomeness – direct-mount it (with a PMS)!

I am the sound of ROCK. - the JB

I am the sound of ROCK, and now I’m direct-mounted. Be afraid.  – the JB

 

Jay Hale

About Jay Hale

Jay Hale is a guitarist and guitar-builder located in Los Angeles who has also occasionally moonlighted as a guitar tech for bands like Quiet Riot.
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  • Alan Arguindegui

    Please post bigger pictures on the articles, not those tumbnails

  • Andrew

    Like the mounting system, but its seriously overpriced.

  • Greg Gottsacker

    How exactly does a magnetic pickup designed to amplify the vibrations of steel strings, amplify non-magnetic vibrations from the body?

    • the gregulator

      In theory the pickup will not differentiate between the sources of vibrations it sends to the amplifier. If you can get body vibrations to the hard parts of the pickup, those hard parts will transfer the body vibrations along with string vibrations to the amplifier, thus optimizing the tonal qualities of the wood from which your guitar was built. Eddie Van Halen, for example, has his pickup cavity depth calculated precisely so he can mount his pickups directly to the wood at his desired pickup height. The PMS reverse engineers the same effect, but allows adjustment for pickup height.

      • butch-o

        Great question Greg but I don’t this you got a straight answer back. The theory is ancient and called inductance. As you know, the metal string vibrates in the presence of the magnetic field of the pickup which induces a current in the coils. Unless the pickup magnets move relative to the string due to vibrations in the body there will be no inductance and no “musical” signal to amplify. I am excluding microphonics and other noise signals in this comment. A good experiment would be to use a nylon string on an electric guitar and see what mechanical vibrations from the body you pick up.

  • the gregulator

    FYI, the PMS do not mount well into Ibanez RG bodies with tremolos. Ibanez simply did not leave room in the body to fit a hunk of brass. I had to shave half of the thickness of the brass for a customer so he could have the PMS in his guitar. It felt sketchy and was time-consuming to get it just right. The customer had me swap pickups at the same time so it was impossible to A/B tonal differences (this article helps with that).

    Just make sure the pickup cavity has room for the PMS before dropping $50.

    • Jay Hale

      True, it’s a close fit in some “tite rout” pickup routs. I had to modify a cavity in a KnE body to sink the brass bar barely a 1/4 inch, but worth it.

  • Gary Wilson

    Just looking awesome, I must say that electric guitars are looking more awesome than acoustic guitars.

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    best acoustic guitars

  • http://www.myspace.com/davidschwab DavidRavenMoon

    As a luthier who’s installed one of those, I’ll say it’s a pain in the butt! To adjust the pickup height you have to remove the pickup! That’s ridiculous. It’s poorly designed and over priced. Plus, it’s pretty much just a copy of the mounting bracket used on the Les Paul Deluxe, for the mini buckers. There’s also ZERO reason to make it from brass. “the brass bar acts as a little tone soak, absorbing vibrations from the body and transferring them via the baseplate to the pickup.” Absolute nonsense! Pickups work by magnetizing the strings and due to variable reluctance, the strings disturbing the static magnetic field cause current to flow in the coil. It has NOTHING to do with vibrations from the body.

    Also, all this talk about vibrations being transferred, etc, is a myth. The whole guitar vibrates, and in fact you don’t want it to vibrate much at all! The reason for playing a solid body is to reduce stealing energy (in the form of vibrations) from the strings. That’s why solid bodies have more sustain and sound brighter. The other extreme is a banjo, where most of the energy from the strings is turned into a loud acoustic output, causing almost no sustain. This is also true of the myth that glue lines kill vibrations (the glue is harder than the wood) or that paint changes the sound of the guitar.

    The benefit of direct mounting is the pickup is not wobbling around on two screws/springs. The conventional Gibson mounting method is way out of date. Even mounting a humbucker with three screws, short legs on the baseplate, and stiff springs will give you the same results as direct mounting. When the pickup can tilt and wobble, you aren’t getting the two coils parallel to the strings, so you have reduced output, and if it vibrates, it might vibrate out-of-phase from the strings. This would also cause a drop in output.

    • Wolfen

      Direct mount DOES work. Ive done it. Ive tried different ways of doing it but it does make a difference in sustain and tone. Some guitars will respond more than others. I tried washers under the feet of the pickup. Tried a block of wood. Tried strategically placed robertson screws for the pickup to sit on. The screws worked best. So much so i had to put some foam under the tremolo springs to keep them from ringing and feeding back! They didnt do that before. I didnt change anything else. I dont care what the actual electromagnetics are doing. It worked. I hear it. Im not a luthier but Ive been noodling with every part of electric guitars for over 30 years with good n bad results. This is one of the good ones. I do agree different metals will affect things. There are fantastic tones to be made either which way a pickup is mounted and each guitar has to be judged on its own merits. Some will really warm up with direct mounting. Some not so much. Theres also the human variable. Some people simply cannot hear the difference. Some people also dont play in such a way as to actually take advantage of the difference. Or the other variable of equipment and pedals challenge any chance of hearing a difference.
      I also respectfully disagree with glue or paint not affecting tone either. Again i have personal experience with this but in the interest of brevity i will not go deep into it.

      • http://www.myspace.com/davidschwab DavidRavenMoon

        I didn’t say it didn’t work, and I explained why it does. If you look at basses, almost all of them have direct mounted pickups. As long at the pickup is firmly mounted, that’s what counts. It should not move when you touch it, and should not wobble. The problem with this thing is it’s impossible to adjust your pickup height without removing the pickup.

        But it won’t effect sustain. That comes from the body of the guitar. You can remove the pickups from the guitar and the strings will sustain as they always do. You were fooling yourself if you think you heard that.

        The other thing I was complaining about was the snake oil talk. Brass isn’t a “tone sink” and doesn’t transfer vibrations to the pickup, and the pickup doesn’t care about vibrations anyway. Unless it’s microphonic. And most pickups are potted. When they do vibrate they feedback and squeal. If anything, the brass served as an inertia block, and isolated the pickups from the body.

        One again, a wobbly pickup will lose some tone and output because it’s moving out-of-phase with the strings.

        Regarding glue, sorry, you are not a luthier. Every guitar is glued together. Glue does not stop any vibrations. Two glued plates vibrate together. Look at an acoustic guitar. The top (soundboard) is two pieces glued together. It vibrates as one piece. When you build a guitar like this, or an archtop, you often tune the top and back plates. You can hold the wood by the corner and knock it with your knuckle, and it rings like a bell. This is called a “tap tone.”

        I’ve done the same thing with 4 pieces of 1/4″ purpleheart glued together as a lamination between a top and back on a solid body bass. Hold the glued up pieces by the corner, and when you hit them they ring. This proves that glue does not stop vibrations. And it would be against the laws of physics if it did.

        And once again, you don’t need anything on an electric guitar to vibrate except the strings. You can have the neck and body not even touching each other, and as long as it’s a stable non flexing setup it will sound good. So vibrations are not being transferred from strings to neck to bridge etc. The only thing that happens is the resonance of the body will rob energy from the strings, and eventually they will stop vibrating. This is because that energy was absorbed by the body. Harder, heavier woods will absorb less. This is why a hard maple body and neck will sound brighter than lightweight soft woods like basswood or swamp ash or even mahogany. Its all physics!

        Regarding finish, same thing. The mass of the solid body far outweighs the thin film of finish. The mistake some people make is sanding the finish off, along with some wood. Now the body has less mass. I have built guitars and listened to them with no finish, and later with finish.

        The problem is people don’t do blind listening tests. If you believe something is going to change the tone, it will. Besides building guitars and basses, I design and build my own pickups. Some of which were recently on the Grammy’s.

        • Wolfen

          Not foolin myself. I didnt even expect more sustain. And it happened on three different guitars. Despite modern pickups being potted there is still some degree of microphonics in some of them. I tap one with my pick and it makes a sound. This subtle microphonics is what picks up more of the guitars resonance and increases tone and sustain.

          I agree with brass being an inertia block. Not sure why its the big thing to use in the quest for tone.
          To me it takes the musicality or personality away from the instrument.
          Titanium and rock(yes actual rocks) are showing great promise though i have yet to personally try them.

          • http://www.myspace.com/davidschwab DavidRavenMoon

            OK, let’s look at some of the things you said;

            The only way a pickup can be *microphonic* is if there are lose parts, such as coil windings, poles pieces, magnets, etc. If they can vibrate, they have the potential to squeal. If the pickup is in the guitar, and you tap it with a non metallic object, you will hear a noise. This is because the strings are there. When you tap the pickup, it moves in relationship to the strings. If you remove the pickup from the guitar, you will have very little noise when you tap it. And the noise you hear is because parts are moving.

            “This subtle microphonics is what picks up more of the guitars resonance and increases tone and sustain.”

            Explain what the “guitar’s resonance” is, and how that would add sustain. Sustain is low long the strings can vibrate without their energy being absorbed by the neck/body structure enough to make them stop.
            A microphonic pickup will get a bit more of the acoustic tone of the guitar. This is not “resonance,” and it won’t make the guitar sustain longer.

            *All the sustain* you will get, without introducing the good kind of feedback from an amp, will be heard with the guitar unplugged. The pickups will not add to sustain.

            “Quest for tone;” which tone are we speaking of? There is no good or bad tones. Just different. There was a brass fad back in the late 70s. You saw brass nuts, brass bridges, brass pickup rings, switch knobs, etc. The misconception was always that cymbals and bells are made from brass, so it must be musical. That makes as much sense as red cars are faster than blue cars. This part can be made from anything, such as aluminum. I actually prefer the tone of aluminum bridges over brass bridges.

            If we are talking about bridges, the only difference between brass, aluminum, and titanium is the weight and density. Brass is heavy, but kind of soft. It tends to sound darker than aluminum or titanium, which are lighter. I would not waste my money on a titanium bridge or trem block. Steel or aluminum will do the same thing.

            There’s a whole lot of snake oil being peddled in the guitar parts industry using false claims and pseudoscience. This review was in part full of it.

            Some of these products will help solve certain problems; for instance wobbly pickup mounting is bad for the overall performance and tone of the pickup. So is two point mounting, since you can’t tilt the pickup to be parallel with the strings. A firmly mounted pickup does not lose sound due to comb filtering caused by it vibrating opposite the strings.

            But if you had one mounted with three or four screws to a metal mounting ring, with no wobble, it would do the same thing as this contraption.

            When I first stared working at American Showster guitars, the pickups in the AS-57 tailfin guitars were not adjustable. I made them adjustable from the back of the guitar. They were just as firmly mounted as with this product, but you could change the pickup height without removing the strings and pickup. This thing is not a bad idea, but it’s poorly executed. It makes doing a setup more time consuming.

          • Jay Hale

            …My impression was the idea with height adjustment, if you watch the installation video I linked in the article – from that my understanding was you measure and re-set the pickup height to be exactly what it was before the install. That’s assuming you already had it set to what you considered the “optimal” height, or so I thought. If you don’t pre-measure, or if you’re swapping pickups, building and/or doing an initial setup, it will take a minute, yes. Since manufacturer’s routs vary, one of my guitar bodies’ pickup routs required a minor mod so far, one didn’t. One out of 4 of my guitars trem cavities required a slight mod for a Big-Block to travel the way I like, but that didn’t deter me.

            I’m 2 for 2 on liking what I hear using them. I’ll be putting one in a 3rd guitar. Fortunately no mod needed there, and will pre-measure! (y)

          • http://www.myspace.com/davidschwab DavidRavenMoon

            OK, but how are you going to pre-measure the height of the pickup? You adjust your pickups to be a certain distance from the strings. Depending on your playing style, or preferences, or the way the pickups balance with the strings, and other pickups, that varies greatly. But you can’t adjust this with strings on the guitar, or at least with the strings at pitch, or with the pickup installed.

            The way I do it is once my action is set where I want it, I press the high E string down at the last fret, and adjust the bridge pickup on the treble side to be fairly close to the string. I adjust the bass side farther from the low E string. I repeate this with the neck pickup, adjusting the whole pickup farther away, since the string’s arc is wider, so neck pickups tend to be louder.

            But then you won’t know until you play a little. Then you adjust, and play, and adjust, etc., until you get it where you like it. Sometimes I change it a few days later.

            If you change your action, you have to start over again.

            I appreciate the way this makes the pickup mounting very solid, but it’s impossible to adjust the height with the guitar strung up, and the pickup installed, since the height adjusting screws are under the pickup.

            And that’s another reason why you can’t really “pre-measure.” How are you going to measure how far to screw those height adjusting screws? You need to know how thick the pickup is, and then where the strings are going to be. This is difficult when you can’t have the strings tuned up, etc.

            As I said, I installed a set of these in a new build when they were first released. I did not find it an easy or enjoyable system to work with. It reminded me of setting the intonation on a Rickenbacker 4000 series bass. If you haven’t done that before; you have to loosen the strings, remove the bridge unit, turn the saddle to some arbitrary distance (since you can’t reach the screw when the bridge in place), i.e., you guess, put the bridge back on the bass, tune it up, and check the intonation. Rinse, and repeat. And you have to repeat it several times. This system is just as aggravating. It’s all guess work or hit and miss.

            It’s not a bad idea, but I would have come up with a different way to adjust the pickup height. I actually have an idea on how to do this, so maybe I’ll go ahead and make my own pickup mounting system. ;)

          • Jay Hale

            Did you watch the installation video? In cases where the set up is already done – It shows how to premeasure the pickup height before you remove it to install the PMS. Two straight edges, a ruler, way easy. Then you set it to that *before* you re-string.

          • http://www.myspace.com/davidschwab DavidRavenMoon

            Yes, I watched the installation video. I had a set of these last year, really early before most people had seen them.

            Jay, my issue with the thing is you can’t adjust the height of the pickup with the pickup installed. That’s a problem. Pickups are adjustable for a reason. This is a standard thing to do when doing setups or installing pickups. You can’t tell how your pickup balance, or string to string balance is (sometimes the bass side has to be a bit lower) until the guitar is strung up and you play it. Then it takes a few minutes to do. That’s not the case here.

            Even if you pre measure, what if your measurements are off, or you want to change it? Now you have to loosen your strings, remove the pickup, guess how far to turn the two screws, and start over again. That’s not a well thought out system. You often don’t know how close to get a new pickup to the strings.

            If new guitars came with setups like this, this would be one of the first things people complained about and changed. In fact the guy that had me install them removed them a few months later for the same reason.

            I’m all for getting rid of the standard humbucker mounting system. It’s antiquated and doesn’t work well. This has promise, but it’s not there yet. In my opinion the idea was good, but the execution was not. I’m also bothered by the snake oil talk about using brass etc. It’s either really misinformed or dishonest.

            But FU sells a lot of products surrounded with lots of hype and far less substance. They cater to guitarist being insecure about their tone and not knowing much about how guitars work.

          • Wolfen

            No parts are moving in my pickups. I can take my pickups out and jerry rig them to a patch cord to my amp and tap them with a pick and still it makes a sound. They dont squeal worth beans either. As i said in my first reply, my tremolo springs were producing a nice ringing that i could stop with my hand so i put foam under it and problem solved. Still…the guitar..in this case an 85 Baretta directly plugged into my fender supersonic 60 sustained longer than it did before direct mounting(at low volume too). A solidbody electric does resonate or vibrate or whatever ya wanna call it. Not just the strings.Take one and play it then while yer playing it touch the headstock or the base of it to the top of a table. Voila. More volume and tone. A pickup direct mounted is experiencing this similarly though much more subtley. The added resonance from direct mounting drives the amp just a touch more giving more sustain. A dirtier setting will take advantage of this more. A higher resistance pickup WILL add to the sustain because of it driving the amp a bit more.

          • http://www.myspace.com/davidschwab DavidRavenMoon

            Yes, parts are moving on your pickups. You can take any humbucker and squeeze the two bobbins between your thumb and index finger, and you will be able to move them slightly.

            Let’s look at how the average humbucker is made. How is it held together? Four brass screws screwed from the bottom of the baseplate into the plastic bobbins. Then the pole screws are often threaded into the baseplate. That’s it. They have some paper or cloth tape wrapped around them. The magnet is not glued in, and is just sitting on the baseplate with the slug poles and screw keeper touching it.

            They don’t squeal if they have been wax potted. Squealing is caused by the coil wires vibrating. But you will get deeper sounds if you tap the pickup.

            Note that pickups encapsulated in epoxy do not make a sound when you tap on them. Why? Because nothing is moving.

            The reason why touching the headstock to the table makes the guitar louder is because you are transferring the vibrations from the strings into the table, and the table, or wall or whatever you do that on, acts like a sound board. Now it’s vibrating and you hear sound. It’s not more “volume and tone,” but you are hearing some of the low frequencies that the guitar body won’t reproduce because it’s too thick and won’t vibrate like that. That has nothing to do with your pickups. None of that sound you hear from the table will come through the pickups. But at the same time, clamping a weight to your headstock can reduce dead notes. This is because you are changing the resonant frequency of the neck, and it’s at that frequency that it absorbs energy from the strings. And that’s a bad thing. This is why laminated necks, or necks with graphite bars sustain better and have less dead notes. Contrary to popular belief, one piece necks are not better and don’t sound better. But they might be duller sounding than a laminated neck. And many guitarist sees to like dark sounding guitars and pickups.

            OK, higher resistance pickups; also false. The DC resistance of a coil tells you little about the output of a pickup, unless the pickup is wound with the same gauge wire. Thinner (higher gauge) wire has a higher resistance per foot. So, 5,000 turns of 42 AWG wire might read 4,000 Ohms. But 5,000 turns of 44 AWG wire might read 7,000 Ohms. But the 7K pickup will NOT be louder than the 5K pickup. It’s the number of turns and the strength of the magnet that has the most to do with the output of a pickup.

            If you are making a Gibson style humbucker, with the same size bobbins, and want to get more than about 5 or 6 thousand turns of wire on it, you need to go to a thinner gauge of wire. So pickup makers will use either 43 or 44 gauge wire. But they might not add a lot of extra turns. A PAF style pickup is 5,000 turns of 42 AWG per coil. While a Duncan JB is 6,800 turns of 44AWG. If you wound a pickup with 6,800 turns of 42 instead of 44, it would not read as high as the JB.

            And one again, the pickup mounted directly too the guitar is not getting more resonance, but it might not be LOSING power due to contrary phase cancelation due to it vibrating.

            The pickup does not have to even be mounted on the guitar’s body. I have mounted pickup over the guitar, that weren’t touching the guitar. As long as they aren’t vibrating opposite the strings, they will sound great.

            You have a basic idea of how things work, but a lot of what you are saying is the stuff I was commenting on that’s in this article. It’s wrong, but it keeps getting repeated over and over.

          • Wolfen

            My pickups dont squeal! Its not an issue! It wasnt an issue before! Squeezing bobbins and tapping with a pick are completely different. My guitars sustained longer and got a slight overall tone increase from directly mounting my pickups. Its not in my head. Everyones gear and hearing is different and so their results will be different.
            And i dont think im wrong irregardless of how much i dont understand or what myths are floating around.
            I think we are both right but go about things very differently.

          • http://www.myspace.com/davidschwab DavidRavenMoon

            “Squeezing bobbins and tapping with a pick are completely different.”

            No, it’s not. It’s showing that things can move. What do you think is happening when you are tapping the pickup with a pick? There is nothing in a pickup that will sound up sound waves. On a microphone this happens because the diaphragm is moving. On a pickup it happens because the bobbins are moving slightly when you tap them, or the wire inside the pickup is moving. Since they aren’t squealing, it’s probably not the wire.

            I’m talking about *very small* movements. If you built pickups, you would see what I’m talking about.

            I’ll explain again about the sustain thing, you are talking about trough an amp. I explained that a pickup that wobbles can have some of its signal canceled out. But the guitar itself, unplugged, is not sustaining more.

            So you might be getting a little more output.

          • Jay Hale

            I have Titanium Big-Blocks on two of my Floyds, they sound great. Copper blocks are also cool.

          • Wolfen

            What differences did u notice? Im curious to know what alloys do to the overall sound. Id like to try making a wood trem block maybe out of oak or something just to see. I have one almost finished out of half inch mild steel i just need to tap for the plate screws and spring holes.

          • Jay Hale

            Of the 3 types I’ve tried I find the Brass blocks add fatness and warmth, and is the best all-purpose one IMO. Copper is warmer still, wouldn’t think it’d be a fit in an already dark-sounding guitar, but perfect for one that’s too bright. Titanium is amazing, a little brighter so wouldn’t put it in a super-bright guitar, but it imparts this very cool liquid quality to single notes. Almost if not as fat as Brass, but brighter.

    • Jac Harrison

      I did a before and after when I installed mine, and I got great results –

  • Gary Wilson

    Hi,
    I also think to install Pickup Mounting System in my guitar hope it will give me great results.

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    electric acoustic guitar