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Thread: I need a decent neck humbucker with a three screw mount rather than two

  1. #1
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    Default I need a decent neck humbucker with a three screw mount rather than two

    Long time no post, but my neck pickup has annoyed me long enough and it's time for a change.

    I have a Yamaha SJ550HR which does the job well enough for me, but the neck pickup is too dark and muddy for my liking. At least with my current setup anyway. I gather these pickups had an association with Santana back when they were made and it certainly ticks the "smooth" box, but it just doesn't work for me. As my username suggests, the Jazz is my choice in my other guitar, so something a little clearer and a little brighter is what I have in mind.

    The trouble is, the existing pickup and mounting rings use three screws. Two on one side and one on the other. I don't know why but I had never even noticed this before, and have found since browsing Amazon for SD, Dimarzio and Tonerider pickups that all the humbuckers I was considering come with just two, one on either side.

    So can anybody suggest or recommend any decent neck humbuckers they have experience with that use a three screw mount? And perhaps a description of what it is like? I know I could resort to drilling another hole between the two in the mounting ring, or modify the new pickup on that side, but I thought there must be some good ones out there that will drop straight in. I'm open to anything really as long as it can liven her up a bit on that position!

    This guitar also allows for coil tapping, so a pickup with the correct wiring to be split would be preferable. Thanks!

  2. #2
    One of Jerry's Kids Securb's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need a decent neck humbucker with a three screw mount rather than two

    Ibanez used the three screw mounting also back in the '80s. I have gone the route of drilling a new hole in the pickup ring when replacing pickups. However, now that pickup rings are easy to find and cost as much as a couple of dollars I just buy a new ring these days. Restricting your search to three screw mounts is going to drastically limit your search. Replace the rings.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: I need a decent neck humbucker with a three screw mount rather than two

    Your best bet is new mounting rings even made in China ones off of ebay could do the trick. I had to do replace a mounting ring on my washburn as it was the same issue. It was a long time ago but the bridge pickup had 3 screws in it because it was a seymour duncan trembucker styled humbucker in the bridge. But seeing as we're doing the neck pickup instead... well .. better to play it safe.

    Certain pickups by Fender have 3 screws. The odd wide range pickups or two of various Fender or Squier models is a good place to start without having to de-solder the base plate from the pickup every time you want to swap it out which is extremely tedious to most. There are other brands out there but I'm with Securb. Switch out the mounting ring and get what excites you instead of being limited.

    I've seen people make or order these. I have no idea the "official name" of these as the person on the blog this photo is from called this a "2-to-1 adapters" luckily this may be something you buy once.. or twice seeing as there is two pickups on this guitar. I mean a set of curved mounting rings is 2-3$ canadian I would pay at best. One person I knew years ago made his own adapters similar to this.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    and this is a good idea of a trembucker, again not what you're after I'm sure as it would look odd seeing the strings and pole pieces so far apart.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by shadowfire90; 11-07-2019 at 05:34 AM.

  4. #4
    Ultimate Tone Slacker ICTGoober's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need a decent neck humbucker with a three screw mount rather than two

    Schaller and Shadow pickups are 3 point mounting, and they sound pretty nice. Made in Europe, so shipping is higher.

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    Default Re: I need a decent neck humbucker with a three screw mount rather than two

    I don't know why it never occurred to me I could just swap the ring... I guess sometimes the obvious isn't that obvious! What a pointless post, ha. Thanks guys, I'll take some measurements and go find a new ring.

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    Mojo's Minions masta' c's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need a decent neck humbucker with a three screw mount rather than two

    Not a pointless post. It'll probably help someone else

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    Default Re: I need a decent neck humbucker with a three screw mount rather than two

    Quote Originally Posted by masta' c View Post
    Not a pointless post. It'll probably help someone else
    This. Everything here can eventually help someone else, which is why it is important to have accurate info.
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    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need a decent neck humbucker with a three screw mount rather than two

    Obviously new rings is by far the best approach. But be aware that they come in lots of different sizes, both outside dimensions and inside dimensions (important if you are using a covered pup. But the most important dimensions are the mounting hole spacing. Measure carefully before ordering.
    Last edited by GuitarDoc; 11-09-2019 at 03:57 AM.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker ICTGoober's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need a decent neck humbucker with a three screw mount rather than two

    But be aware that they come in lots of different sizes, both outside dimensions and inside dimensions ……. Measure carefully before ordering.
    Yes, don't assume rings are all made the same... They should be, but they're not. You would think in this day and age, certain standards could be held....

  10. #10
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need a decent neck humbucker with a three screw mount rather than two

    It is very frustrating that when the guitar industry is so huge there can't be standardization of pickup wire colors, screw sizes, pup ring sizes, mounting hole spacing, etc. It really could be done.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: I need a decent neck humbucker with a three screw mount rather than two

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    It is very frustrating that when the guitar industry is so huge there can't be standardization of pickup wire colors, screw sizes, pup ring sizes, mounting hole spacing, etc. It really could be done.
    This is a big pet peeve of mine, too. And regular slotted screws shouldn't be used for anything anymore.
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  12. #12
    Mojo's Minions Ascension's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need a decent neck humbucker with a three screw mount rather than two

    Have a few different Carvin pickups loose if you do want to go with a 3 hole mount. PM me if interested.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: I need a decent neck humbucker with a three screw mount rather than two

    Just drill a new hole between the existing two. I did that to my Carvin years ago.Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #14
    Mojo's Minions ItsaBass's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need a decent neck humbucker with a three screw mount rather than two

    If you want access to all of the same pickups you can put in anything else, you have three main options: 1) Drill and tap the mounting ears of any humbucker with rectangular mounting ears (some pickups, e.g. certain DiMarzios, use triangular mounting ears, so they are out). This is easy if you are experienced with tools. 2) Drill a hole in your pickup rings, centered between the holes on the side with two screws. 3) Install "normal" pickup rings.

    I would use option #3 for the neck pickup, and option #1 for the bridge pickup (since the bridge pickup mounters right to the metal bridge plate, and you don't want to modify that if you can help it). This preserves the originality of the stock parts.
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  15. #15
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need a decent neck humbucker with a three screw mount rather than two

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    This is a big pet peeve of mine, too. And regular slotted screws shouldn't be used for anything anymore.
    Totally agree. Slotted screws are "Guitar Gougers". Sooo easy for a slotted screw driver to accidentally slip out of the screw slot. Absolutely no need for them on guitars!
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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