Any substitutions to soldering pickup covers?

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by The Notorious DJ, May 5, 2017.

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  1. The Notorious DJ

    The Notorious DJ Member

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    Hey MLP! This is probably done a million times but I'm still HELL new to guitar and after 5 months I'm finally ready to make my first mod.

    I want to change my pick-up covers on my 335 to some gold metal ones I purchased which means I'm going to have to solder them. But my friend was telling me he just uses a silicone/adhesive in place of solder. I know that not soldering will likely cause grounding issues but he says he doesn't occur them.

    Is this a good method? Are there any good methods in replacement to soldering? Or because it's a metal cover I'm left with no choice?
     
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  2. T00DEEPBLUE

    T00DEEPBLUE Senior Member

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    He must've been referring to applying a small amount of silicon on top of the pickup coils before fitting the replacement cover to prevent microphonics caused by the cover vibrating. You'll want to do that regardless of whatever you choose to do.

    Buy a soldering iron and do the job properly. They're ubiquitous tools that everybody who works on anything electronic should always have.
     
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  3. Sct13

    Sct13 Gold Supporter Premium Member

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    If you bend the sides in slightly you won't need to solder them, they sorta snap right on...I place masking tape on the inside, I suppose you could use double sided tape instead...but they stay put.
     
  4. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    Solder it. And do the silicone thing. Unsoldered covers can become microphonic in a really ugly way, and more importantly, signal and ground continuity is really important, and you should never rely on friction or simple physical contact alone. Just do things right. If solder wasn't really necessary and advisable, the budget builders would leave off that step, but they all do it because it's necessary.
     
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  5. blackat

    blackat V.I.P. Member

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    Jim from WCR pick ups says silicone alone is just fine.
    I have done it that way with no problem
     
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  6. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    ^ And other winders say solder.
    And people have had issues especially at high volume with covers. Silicon is often not a fantastic glue.
     
  7. Have FUN

    Have FUN Senior Member

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    You can use double sided tape but soldering is stronger.
     
  8. The Notorious DJ

    The Notorious DJ Member

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    Ok thanks guys, I found a soldering gun at a local hardware chain for $20 so can't go wrong. Just seems a bit of a pain that everytime you want to change the cover you need to solder it. Does double sided tape really work?
     
  9. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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    If the wattage is to low it can be frustrating.


    How often do you plan on changing the covers?
     
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  10. The Notorious DJ

    The Notorious DJ Member

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    Just once hopefully, what I meant was just in general
     
  11. T00DEEPBLUE

    T00DEEPBLUE Senior Member

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    Meh, not really. It's easy to do and it isn't like you're going to be doing it very often.

    And you really ought to get a soldering iron if you don't have one anyway. They're ubiquitous tools in guitar repair. A 40 watt iron is fine for general purpose.
     
  12. blackat

    blackat V.I.P. Member

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    Whatever. Pup covers weigh soooooo much.
    Silicone works just fine and is also an adhesive.

    I really don't care what anyone does but to say silicone doesn't work or isn't a good way is wrong.
     
  13. guitarjoem

    guitarjoem Double Platinum Supporter MLP Vendor

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    Gaaaaahhhh!!!! The cover is metal. It should be properly grounded, It is NOT a question of adhesion, or snapping the cover in place, or any of that! Silicone simply helps to dampen vibrations of the cover. Solder it. Jeez.
     
  14. pedecamp

    pedecamp Senior Member

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    solder the covers on and wax pot the pickups. Job is done right and will sound good.
     
  15. Sct13

    Sct13 Gold Supporter Premium Member

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    Right, they should be grounded, cant argue with physics ....but I have never had any extra noise that wasn't "normal" from a loud Marshall....

    I didn't say this earlier, should you choose to solder your pickup covers on, make sure to use flux sparingly, and be very careful,NOT allowing the solder to drip onto the coils, you'd short it out forever....especially on a non potted or one with compromised tape.

    Good Luck
     
  16. blackat

    blackat V.I.P. Member

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    Gaaaaahhhh.
    Your pups are already grounded.....
    Triple ground them.
     
  17. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    yes the pickup may be grounded but soldering the cover to the pickup guarantees that it is also grounded and providing shielding.
     
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  18. renegade87

    renegade87 Junior Member

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    For the sake of The Notorious DJ and others considering the same thing, I'd like to help save you some time, trouble and possibly money. Just to remind everyone here that the pickup manufacturers are using lead free (ROHS compliant) solder to attach the pickup covers (which at 219-221c has a much higher melting point that typical 63/37 tin lead solder -183c). And they're not shy about using it either. On a typical Humbucker you not only have the cover acting as a heatsink, but the baseplate as well. Evenmoreso in fact. Which will make it very difficult to get that solder to reflow and ultimately allow you to separate the cover from the baseplate it's soldered to. So basically, if you plan on doing more cover swaps in the future (or other heavy duty soldering), then invest in something other than the 40 watt special at Home Depot or Lowe's (which should be fine for most of your basic wiring related soldering duties. Especially with 63/37 tin lead solder). Otherwise, your local luthier should have a good Metcal, Pace or other similar professional soldering system that will do the trick. Or, if you know someone in electronics manufacturing who does rework for a living, even better!
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
  19. Sct13

    Sct13 Gold Supporter Premium Member

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    Good info !!

    I use a razor blade ....heat the area and shove the blade between cover and the pick up
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
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