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Author Topic: Changing pickups  (Read 7067 times)

Offline Felstead

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Changing pickups
« on: January 27, 2015, 06:58:58 AM »
Hi I'm new to the Parker world, I've just got a 2000 model with the 2ND gen dimarzio pickups, great guitar but I think the only thing holding it back are the pickups. I was wondering if anyone could help me with...

1. How do you mount say a Seymour Duncan pickup with only one row of screws in the pickup?

2. Do I have to buy longer pole piece screws?

3. Is there some kind of mounting kit/aid that is available?

Thank you in advance for any advice given here and I'm from the UK and there's not a lot of anything available here to aid with this.


Re: Changing pickups

Offline guitarmanuk

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Re: Changing pickups
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2015, 07:46:06 AM »
As you have found, they are very specific for the Fly in the way they are mounted.  Keep an eye out on FleaBay as you do see them come up from time to time. 

An alternative is to have them re-wound.  Not sure who in the UK, maybe Kent Armstrong or Bare KNuckle might re-wind them, just a guess, not actual knowledge.

You could also contact CA Guitarworks http://www.caguitarworks.co.uk/ as they are an offical Parker repair centre and they may be able to offer some advice.
David

1997 Parker Fly Classic transparent Teal Green
1997 Parker Fly Concert Butterscotch

Re: Changing pickups

Offline Paul Marossy

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Re: Changing pickups
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2015, 08:57:38 AM »
Unfortunately Seymour Duncan and DiMarzio pickups do not have the same pole piece spacing, therefore you can't just stick Seymour Duncans in a Fly that was designed around DiMarzios. And conversely you can't take the SDs out of a Fly Mojo and put DiMarzios in it.

The only way that you can really do it is by taking out the old threaded inserts in the body and relocating them per Seymour Duncan's pickup spacing. I imagine new threaded inserts are required too, not sure if the pole pieces threads are the same between the two brands.

There is no way to do it with a "kit", there's not enough room/height to work with in the pickup cavity. And yes, you have to have two extra long pole pieces, that is how the pickups are mounted to the body.

Re: Changing pickups

Offline resettheconsole

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Re: Changing pickups
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2015, 09:45:31 AM »
The only way that you can really do it is by taking out the old threaded inserts in the body and relocating them per Seymour Duncan's pickup spacing. I imagine new threaded inserts are required too, not sure if the pole pieces threads are the same between the two brands.


95% right :)

Having done this, there's absolutely no reason to remove the threaded inserts that are in place. All you need is one extra insert per pickup. Use one of the old pole pieces and mount the new threaded insert at the correct spacing from the old insert. Removing the old inserts would be quite the trick, and seems very likely to cause damage.

I called US Music about a year back, as I was unable to find inserts with the correct pitch on my own (without ordering 1000+). They were happy to send me a full set of four threaded inserts.



Note:After all the experimentation with my Fly Deluxe, I ended up leaving a Gen 2 Fly Dimarzio in the bridge, and the stock Gen 1 in the neck. Anything too high gain in the Deluxe tends to sound shrill. I'm sure a Classic would lend itself better to Duncans and higher gain Dimarzios.

Re: Changing pickups

Offline Paul Marossy

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Re: Changing pickups
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2015, 09:48:50 AM »
Having done this, there's absolutely no reason to remove the threaded inserts that are in place. All you need is one extra insert per pickup. Use one of the old pole pieces and mount the new threaded insert at the correct spacing from the old insert. Removing the old inserts would be quite the trick, and seems very likely to cause damage.

Good to know. But doesn't that mess up how the pole pieces sit under the strings? (95% cosmetic issue)
And the other thing is that the pickup cavities are pretty tight, doesn't that shove the pickup hard to one side of the cavity?

Re: Changing pickups

Offline resettheconsole

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Re: Changing pickups
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2015, 10:27:17 AM »

Good to know. But doesn't that mess up how the pole pieces sit under the strings? (95% cosmetic issue)
And the other thing is that the pickup cavities are pretty tight, doesn't that shove the pickup hard to one side of the cavity?

The pole pieces don't line up from the factory  :P

Actually I didn't see any issue with alignment. Seemed good to me, but I can't find any pics with a Duncan installed.

I think the difference between a Dimarzio F-Spaced and a Duncan TremBucker is about 1.5mm. This means if you were to re-locate an insert, you'd have to move it less than 0.8mm. That small of a move would require doweling or otherwise filling the original hole, and re-drilling through the dowel.

The Fly's pickup cavity is tight, as well all know, but I don't think half a millimeter is anything to write home about.

If I recall correctly, the pole pieces for the bridge Duncan are closest to the bridge. For a bridge SD pickup, you'd leave the insert under the b string pole piece, add an insert for the low E string for the most stability, and you'd have to drill clearance holes for the other 4 pole pieces, as they extend below the floor of the pickup cavity.

Of course, you could always find shorter pole pieces for the A, D, G, and high e strings, in lieu of drilling holes for clearance.

I would also recommend measuring thickness at the spot of drilling before proceeding, ESPECIALLY for the neck pickup. A pair of wide-jawed calipers would work well for this.

Also Note!! Some pickups are flat out too tall. I had a Dimarzio Crunch Lab in my Deluxe (60% because everyone said it couldn't be done, 40% because I wanted to try it out). Well, I had gotten it mounted, but even sitting on the floor of the pickup cavity, it sat too close to the strings. There was plenty of clearance, so it was playable, but it didn't sound very good.

Re: Changing pickups

Offline Paul Marossy

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Re: Changing pickups
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2015, 10:31:50 AM »
OK, just was wondering about some of those seemingly small details.

I guess another thing that could be done is to just use completely new inserts but mirroring the original inserts. Pickups would have to be modified accordingly.

That is also a good point about some pickups being too tall.

Re: Changing pickups

Offline Felstead

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Re: Changing pickups
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2015, 11:06:42 AM »
So all you have to do is put another insert in? Are the pole pieces in say a SD JB long enough to mount into the guitar as is or do you have to find longer ones?

Re: Changing pickups

Offline resettheconsole

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Re: Changing pickups
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2015, 11:21:42 AM »
The pieces are long enough as is, in a standard SD pickup. Parker uses all 6 original pole pieces when they mount SD pickups. The low and high E's are threaded, and the A, D, B, and B have clearance holes drilled.

That brings up the issue of the pole pieces hitting the floor of the pickup cavity, so along with drilling a hole for a new insert, you'll need to drill 4 holes for the other 4 pole pieces (or get shorter screws for those 4.) You'll also need to cut/grind away the pickup mounting tabs (unless you buy the Duncans from Parker, and they'll grind them down).

This thread, Reply #10, shows the holes needed to fit the longer pole pieces of SD pickups. Basically, you'd need to drill the 5 holes seen there and thread an insert into one of the new holes.

http://forums.parkerguitars.com/index.php?topic=10275.0

That thread also states that the routing IS larger for the Duncan bridge pickup. I did have a Duncan in the bridge of my pre-refined Deluxe, but I'd advise NOT taking my word for it, and measuring things up first.

Maybe I somehow ended up with a standard spaced Duncan (doubtful, but not impossible), and that could by why it fit.  If that's the case (and the Trem Bucker spacing won't fit), I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the standard spacing, it worked fine.

Re: Changing pickups

Offline Paul Marossy

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Re: Changing pickups
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2015, 11:50:21 AM »
I can't remember for sure because I've never done this kind of surgery myself, but I seem to remember that the bridge pickup is F-spaced. The only way to know anything for sure is to start carefully measuring stuff to determine what and what can't be done.

Re: Changing pickups

Offline resettheconsole

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Re: Changing pickups
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2015, 12:07:13 PM »
For Duncan equipped Flys, the Bridge is TremBucker (F) spaced, and the neck is standard.

For Dimarzio equipped Flys, both the bridge and neck are F-spaced.

That, of course, applies to stock, from the factory pickups. As you know, the spacing and pole alignment is 95+% cosmetic. A standard spaced pickup may look off kilter for wide spacing, but the pickup will work fine nonetheless.

I do know that Dimarzio uses the same bobbin size for standard AND F-spaced pickups. They just widen the spacing of the poles on the standard bobbin. Duncan, on the other hand, has a wider bobbin for their "TremBuckers". It stands to reason that a Duncan TremBucker wouldn't fit in the stock routing of the Fly Deluxe/Classic. I know I had a Duncan in my Deluxe, and I thought it was a TremBucker/F spaced.

I no longer have the pickup, or I'd check to confirm.

I know I still have spec sheets from Dimarzio, Duncan, and Bare Knuckle that show the dimensions of the pickups, spacing, height, length, etc. When I get a chance I'll dig them out and compare to the size of the route itself.

Re: Changing pickups

Offline Paul Marossy

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Re: Changing pickups
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2015, 12:29:53 PM »
For Duncan equipped Flys, the Bridge is TremBucker (F) spaced, and the neck is standard.

For Dimarzio equipped Flys, both the bridge and neck are F-spaced.

Oh yeah, that sounds familiar now. It does matter depending on who's brand pickups you're talking about.  ;)

Re: Changing pickups

Offline Felstead

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Re: Changing pickups
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2015, 03:47:51 AM »
Does anyone know what pitch the inside thread is on the inserts?

Re: Changing pickups

Offline resettheconsole

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Re: Changing pickups
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2015, 07:40:44 AM »
Small.

If memory serves, Duncan uses 5-40 and dimarzio uses M3x0.5mm

Both are close enough to fit the same threaded inserts. If you're trying to order inserts, I do suggest giving Parker a call. After striking out at a few specialty fastener stores, they were happy to help.

In fact, I mentioned that I wanted to put inserts in the guitar to accommodate both Duncan and Dimarzio simultaneously, and the guy on the phone actually sounded very enthusiastic about helping me experiment.

Re: Changing pickups

Offline Felstead

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Re: Changing pickups
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2015, 12:07:26 PM »
Thanks for that! I'm going to try and find some online I believe they are called hellicoils? I think a call to parker would cost me a hell of a lot because I'm in the UK
Also something that might clarify things, I took my parker to work and measured the bridge pickup hole and it is pretty much the size of a trembucker so that's the size ive ordered. This is on a parker classic. I'll write back with an update if everything goes to plan.