How Many Of You Put Foam Under Your Pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by izzwardo, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. izzwardo

    izzwardo Junior Member

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    I recently was watching a video on you tube of Slash's AFD visiting Semour Duncans shop and I noticed there was foam under his neck pickup so I googled it and found numerous articles about it. I have read that it can add sustain, and better harmonics to your guitar. How many of you have done this to your gibbys and have you noticed any difference? I just finished putting foam inserts under my pickups in my 04 Gibson Les Paul Standard (see pics)[​IMG]
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  2. Flyfish-mt

    Flyfish-mt Senior Member

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    Interesting, I'll keep an eye on this thread.
     
  3. mgenet

    mgenet Earth = Cheese Burger Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    I thought the foam was to help keep the PUPs level to the strings so
    one could achieve better tonz. That's my input.

    Anyone with more experience?
     
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  4. WholeLottaIzzy

    WholeLottaIzzy Senior Member

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    This made me genuinely laugh aloud. I think this is hilarious. It sounds like Slash is a cork sniffer. If someone can prove it then I'll admit I'm wrong. But until then.... :laugh2: :laugh2::laugh2:
     
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  5. marvar

    marvar Senior Member

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    That's the only reason I do it- and yes it helps the tone a bit, not a real significant amount, ime.
    I don't think the foam itself contributes to sustain or anything magical- just gives the pickup a full length 'window' of the stings.
    And, it gets on my nerves to see an un-level pickup!:laugh2:
     
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  6. wheelsdeal

    wheelsdeal Senior Member

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    I find it unlikely a piece of foam would contribute to the sound but honestly i dont know.I would think its used for insulation purposes.Nice LP btw.
     
  7. Scott_UK

    Scott_UK Senior Member

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    Me too as I've never heard of this before!
     
  8. BadLuck&Luke

    BadLuck&Luke Senior Member

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    Same as the poster a few before me, I've only heard it being done to keep the pickups level to the strings. This isn't a problem on Les Pauls anyway due to the top carve and/or neck angle.
    I can't see that it would do anything for the tone. Happy to be proved wrong though.
     
  9. rjshare

    rjshare Senior Member

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    i'm sure its just for levelling purposes - i have it Under some p90s and i believe it is/was quite common practice with them, rather than using a spring to push up against the adjusting screws.
     
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  10. THDNUT

    THDNUT Senior Member

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    Once I get my pups adjusted just so, I foam them in with "Great Stuff". :laugh2:
     
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  11. EDS1275

    EDS1275 Banned

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    I needed to do just that with my EBMM Luke signature. The EMG's on that guitar are screwed right to the body so the only way for me to adjust their heights, level them out in relation to the strings while maintaining a stable base was to use foam. However I never put foam underneath pups for OP's reason
     
  12. The_Sentry

    The_Sentry Senior Member

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    I did that for a while. I honestly don't think it makes all that much difference with a solidbody electric.

    Peace
     
  13. mgenet

    mgenet Earth = Cheese Burger Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    My P-90s on the Studio are not level. Looks wrong.
    Other guitars not so much.

    Now where did I leave that foam...
     
  14. tonepad

    tonepad Senior Member

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    Definitely a common trick for SG bridge pups. They are usually quite slanted in relation to the string plain. It does help with those guitars, but only in leveling the playing field so to speak. The difference for a LP would be minuscule in that regard.
     
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  15. keiffer76

    keiffer76 Senior Member

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  16. chrisuk

    chrisuk Senior Member

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    I'm pretty sure on the SD video it says Slash had the foam in there no try to cut down on microphonics and when Seymour finishes re-potting the pickups he throws the foam out.
     
  17. Waldquelle

    Waldquelle Senior Member

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    I do, because I have Soapbar P90s and only the springs arent enought to keep it stable.
     
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  18. CRobbins

    CRobbins Premium Member

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    I've heard it being done to help control feedback on semi-hollow body guitars.
    I also have foam beneath the pickups on my Pbass.
     
  19. GitFiddle

    GitFiddle Premium Member

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    I like to run my pickups foamless. They run cooler that way. :cool:
     
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  20. Bristol Posse

    Bristol Posse Senior Member

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    I can see it acting as a vibration absorber which would potentially make an unpotted pickup less reactive to the guitar but in high gain might cut back on microphonic feedback

    In a potted pickup I cant see it doing much of anything

    Leveling the pickup to a perfect plumb line might be worthwhile if it is categorically the angle of the pickup that is causing horrible sound

    I can't see a reason to do it myself, I like how my guitars sound with the pickups at whatever angle they happen to be at and I'd be worried about killing the life, part of which comes from vibration, in my unpotted pickups

    Its funny because in P90 guitars I've read plenty of purists claim that foam is the lazy mans way of avoiding wood shims and that the foam kills the tone of the pickup vs straight into the guitar

    YMMV
     
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