Easiest Guitar to Swap Pickups out of?

KStopper65

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Title says it all. What is the easiest guitar style to swap pickups out of? The SG? The Strat?
 

hbucker

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They're all about the same. Wiring a pot I just what it is. Strat switches can be a little more confusing. I find loading the mounting screws and springs to be one of the most universally frustrating aspects of swapping pickups.
 

CB91710

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Strat.
Even the Flying-V with the full face pickguard and Batwing SG do not have full body routes.
With the Strat, and a few other Fender models, everything but the output jack and bridge ground is on the pickguard. 8/11 screws and it just flips over with the pickups and wiring all right there in your face.
 

pondcaster

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Telecaster for me. 9 screws, 5 wires.

Takes all of 10 min to swap both.
 
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LuthierVandross

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Phil McKnight (know your gear YouTube) has a tele style guitar that has a pickup cartridge you can swap pups out in seconds…
 

cooljuk

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A “Push Tone” Les Paul, as well, but a rare bird, for sure. Plus, you have to have those preloaded pickup magazines, anyway, so you’re still reaching for a screwdriver.
 

freefrog

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This?


Geek note - My experimental guitar is a super-strat with a hole through the body and an old rescued (repaired) Kahler trem... I load bridge pickups from the back in a few seconds and connect them with alligator clips. An extended backplate is there to hide the hole and its wiring mess. When I want to mount another neck or mid PU, I do what James said: I "dive bomb" the Kahler...
 

KStopper65

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Telecaster for me. 9 screws, 5 wires.

Takes all of 10 min to swap both.
Interesting. I've never actually considered a Tele before.
Phil McKnight (know your gear YouTube) has a tele style guitar that has a pickup cartridge you can swap pups out in seconds…
Links? Can't seem to find this
Stock design / unmodified? A super strat.
Divebomb the Floyd and slip the pickups out / in under the strings. No need to touch the peg heads, at all.
Could you not make this work with a Standard 2 point trem?
 

cooljuk

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FWIW - if you're trying to demo pickups to see how they might sound in a Les Paul, for instance, trying them in a Tele with a different construction and scale length, or even just an SG with a different neck pickup location, will give you an idea how multiple pickups sets compare against each other in the test guitar, but how they sound won't always transfer over to another guitar design / construction / scale length / materials / etc.

If you're going to build pickups, it's good to have a few test guitars of the various designs you might find them in. If you're just shopping for your favorite pickups for your own guitar, it's definitely much better to just buy some extra strings and solder and demo them in the exact guitar you intend to use them in. Anything else is at least partially just guessing.
 

truckermde

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Ampeg Dan Armstrong had pickups you could just slide in and out to swap them.

Pretty killer...
 

CB91710

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Interesting. I've never actually considered a Tele before.

Links? Can't seem to find this

Could you not make this work with a Standard 2 point trem?
Hard to get enough slack.
The standard trem only goes "so far"... it's enough to get the strings floppy, but not enough to clear a pickup.
The Floyd also benefits from the locking nut... standard Strat, the strings would pop off the tuners.
You can capo the 1st fret... but at that point, it would be easier to remove the neck and flip it out of the way.
And yes, I've done this when I encountered a wiring problem on a Tele build and didn't want to remove the new strings.
Capo the 1st fret, hold tension on the strings at the 12th and de-tune, remove neck bolts.
 

KStopper65

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After about a half dozen of them, here's my latest preference for making a test LP.



This seems interesting. Probably not worth hacking out a nice guitar tho.
Seems like a Floyd Superstrat is good idea. I'll be looking for one in SSH
 

DBDM

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Easiest? Gibson made a LP that was made to swap out pickups (even during a gig). i do not recall the name. That one would be the easiest. Second easiest would be any LP (or SG) with the quick connect pickups on a PCB board. Plug and go (have to loosen the screws).

Edit--they made 2 versions of the "swapable" LPs. One was for dealers to show the different pickup configurations and tones. They were HEAVY and not really made for daily use. But they also made a consumer version that was pretty well done but they are rare, and the different pickup models are very hard to find. Just have to get one and troll around auction sites till one pops up. i see them very occasionally. I know that a few guys that have them have been able to get pickups through SD custom shop.

Edit Edit--I typed that before I read the comments. Obviously I just repeated what others said. The model that Gibson made for dealers swapped the pickups through the back and the whole pickup cartridge was visiible from the back. The model for players also swapped from the back but had a little metal piece that fit over the cavity that said "Gibson". I want to say it was one of those "Guitar of the Month" models from 2007-2009 but I am not positive about that. They are not "rare" in number but they must be pretty cool to have because I almost NEVER see them for sale! I see the dealer models far more commonly (makes sense since the dealers initially did not sell them so I am guessing at some point someone gets it out of the storeroom and decides to list it. Also they (again) were made to display, not really "play")
 
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mrblooze

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Stock design / unmodified? A super strat.
Divebomb the Floyd and slip the pickups out / in under the strings. No need to touch the peg heads, at all.
I think the same strategy would apply to a Les Paul Studio Shred, plus in a guitar with the factory PCB in the control cavity, there are plugs on the end of the pickup wire, so no soldering involved (since I was gutting all of that when I modded mine, I pulled the strings, too, but it should work).

LP Studio Shred gets my vote...
 

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