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Thread: JBA-4 Pickups

  1. #1
    Member dbeltrami's Avatar
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    JBA-4 Pickups

    Hi Folks, wondering if anyone can help me with J-Bass Pickups.

    I purchased some Tonerider TRJ1 pickups as replacements for ones that come in the JBA-4 kit.

    I have now discovered that TRJ1 pickups are wider than the standard kit pickups. The biggest issue is that the mounting screw holes are wider also. I thought about using the kit pickup covers but the pole pieces are also spaced more widely.

    Does anyone know anything about J-Bass style pickup sizes that can offer me any advice on what I can do? I really don't want to use the kit pickups.

    Thanks,
    Damo.
    ---------------------------
    First build: TLA-1F
    Second Build: PSH-1

  2. #2
    Mentor Trevor Davies's Avatar
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    Hi Damo,

    Bummer that the Tonerider JB Pups (and Entwistle also) are a bigger size to the PB JB pups.

    Do you have access to a Dremel rotary tool and small chisel? You could trace the tonerider bridge shape onto the body and then use the small sanding drum to carefully sand out the mounting screw curves. To get a wider pup route you will need to use a chisel (or file) to get the square ends.

    This is quite difficult, but possible. I had to create a cavity for an Entwistle JB pup for my Tele Bass that I just finished. I made a template for a router, but still needed Lots of chiseling, filing and sanding to get the square ends and the semicircles to the correct shape.

    See the link at https://www.buildyourownguitar.com.a...l=1#post226952.

    The same will have to be done to the pickguard for the neck pup. (Not sure if other "fender" pickguard would have the same problem. Even if the pup fitted the neck probably would not!!)
    PitBull Builds: FVB-4, LP-1SS, FBM-1, AG-2, TB-4, SSCM-1, TLA-1, TL-1TB, STA-1HT, DSCM-1 Truckster, ST-1, STA-1, MBM-1.

    Scratch Builds: Pine Explorer, Axe Bass, Mr Scary, Scratchy Tele's.

    The little voices in my head keep telling me "build more guitars"

  3. #3
    I had a similar problem with the j pup for my pj AMG pups . To get the J pup to fit I had to plug the mounting locations with dowel, use a chisel to remove half of the dowel that was intruding into the pickup cavity and then use a forstner bit to create new mounting positions.

  4. #4
    Member Mathew's Avatar
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    Hi Damo. I built the same JBA-4 kit as yours, and upgraded to the same Tonerider pickups. I don't own a dremel, but I was able to enlarge the pickup cavities and pickguard to fit the Toneriders with a small grinding stone on my drill. It took about 5 minutes.

    See my build diary below. It's on the first page.

    https://www.buildyourownguitar.com.a...ad.php?t=12144

    Mathew.

  5. #5
    Member dbeltrami's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I think I can solve the neck pickup issue with a new pickguard that has a standard cut-out. There's plenty of space in the cavity under the pickguard.

    For the Bridge, I used a sanding barrell on my dremel to widen the "ears" a couple of mm's. The actual pickup width is just right. It looks a touch strange to have lopsided ears but it really won't be noticed with everthing in place and the strings on. If it gets visually annoying I have found a US retailer that sells a pickup ring for a J-Bass bridge pickup. It wouldn't look too bad, I don't think.

    Have attached a couple of photos of the build so far. I'm really happy with it. It's a gift for my niece who has been learning to play Bass for a couple of years now.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    ---------------------------
    First build: TLA-1F
    Second Build: PSH-1

  6. #6
    Member dbeltrami's Avatar
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    I should add, for those looking to build one of these kits with modifications:
    - The headstock holes are too big for the Grover Mini Machine heads. I had to use the ferrules from the kit machine heads to make them fit. Even with this, you can just make out the holes at the back of headstock as the Grover units are quite small.
    - The bone upgrade is an ok fit but needs some work
    - I got Pitbull to swap out the standard neck for a Maple one. It was an ok fit but just a touch loose for me.
    - The rest of it I am quite happy with but, apart from the machine head ferrules, I have swapped out every other piece of hardware (including the pickguard, once the new one arrives).
    ---------------------------
    First build: TLA-1F
    Second Build: PSH-1

  7. #7
    Member dbeltrami's Avatar
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    Hey Mathew - I love the Bass you built, looks amazing.
    I saw, on the first page, that your materials list included copper tape. Did you end up shielding the cavities? Did it make a difference?
    ---------------------------
    First build: TLA-1F
    Second Build: PSH-1

  8. #8
    Member dbeltrami's Avatar
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    Sounds like the best way to do it but I don't think I am that skilled!

    Also, sadly, I had made the assumption that the pickups were a standard size. And so the body was finished by the time I discovered I had an issue.
    ---------------------------
    First build: TLA-1F
    Second Build: PSH-1

  9. #9
    Member dbeltrami's Avatar
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    Your Tele Bass is amazing Trevor. Building from scratch a bridge too far for me, I think.
    ---------------------------
    First build: TLA-1F
    Second Build: PSH-1

  10. #10
    Mentor Trevor Davies's Avatar
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    Thanks dbeltrami. Scatch builds were meant to slow me down a bit - but it did not happen. Oh well!
    PitBull Builds: FVB-4, LP-1SS, FBM-1, AG-2, TB-4, SSCM-1, TLA-1, TL-1TB, STA-1HT, DSCM-1 Truckster, ST-1, STA-1, MBM-1.

    Scratch Builds: Pine Explorer, Axe Bass, Mr Scary, Scratchy Tele's.

    The little voices in my head keep telling me "build more guitars"

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