1950s Special neck pickup cavity depth?

SingeGrimpant

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Hello one and all! :)

I am currently working on the restoration of a badly abused 1950s Les Paul Special which has been hacked around and "modified" in almost every possible way, including the inevitable routing for humbuckers. I would like to fill in the routes and reroute them for P90s, and I would love to get the routes as close as possible to the correct vintage dimensions.

The outlines of the cavities have been easy to find online (including the shapes of the more deeply recessed channels which accommodate the polepieces, etc), but the one thing which I cannot find is the depth of the neck pickup cavity.

Is there anyone who can tell me how deep this should be on a 1950s Special, for the shallow part of the route and for the deeper recess? I would be extremely grateful to anyone who is able to help me out here! :)


Sorry that I have not posted any pictures yet - my work schedule has been pretty non-stop of late, but I will definitely post a few photographs as I get closer to being finished!

Cheers, everyone,

Peter :wave:
 

Ripthorn

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The actual depth is up to you, as they determine the distance from the strings. This depends on the bridge height to get good action, the height of your specific pickups, fretboard thickness, how close you want them to get the sound you want, etc. On the gold top that I am building right now, I think I did something like 3/8" at the neck for a soapbar P90. But that is just what worked for me. I started at 1/4", put in the pickup, decided it needed to be deeper and put it down another 1/8".

Also, 8 hours with no response is not an unreasonable amount of time to go without bumping a thread. There are a lot of very knowledgeable folks here, but many only check in once or twice a day if that.
 

DoneOne

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they're routed at neck angle on flat top specials also... meaning deeper near the neck and angling up.
 

SingeGrimpant

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Thankyou very much for your replies, both of you - I appreciate it.
It is really the "vintage correct" depth which I am looking for, as this is a restoration project and I would like to get it "just right", just for the sake of it.

Is there anyone here who knows?


Also, 8 hours with no response is not an unreasonable amount of time to go without bumping a thread. There are a lot of very knowledgeable folks here, but many only check in once or twice a day if that.

It was actually 20 hours, as the initial post was at 10:30 last night, and my second post was about 6:30 this evening (I live in the UK, so the time difference might be throwing us off here). You are right - there are a lot of extremely knowledgeable people here who are incredibly generous with their time and expertise, and I've no intention of pestering them with constant bumps! :)
 

MRJ5

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My notes say for a 1958 LPDC Special p90 neck is: 9/16" shallow route, 13/16" to the bottom of the deep route.

I have plans for a 1955/56 LPSC Special as well but don't have access to them right now. I may be able to check them later.

I just found this template for a 1957 Les Paul Special in my files as well.
 

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SingeGrimpant

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Thankyou so much, MRJ5 - that is exactly the information that I am looking for! :):):) Thankyou!!

The template seems to be saying that the deeper part of the route is 31.75mm, or 1.25". Am I misreading it somehow (a distinct possibility :laugh2:)? 1.25" seems very deep for a guitar with a 1.75" body, and I would be inclined to follow your suggestion of 13/16". Can you enlighten me at all on the meaning of the measurements on the template?

Many thanks for your help!
 

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