Installing a Gibson Pickup Cover

Written by richard kalinowski
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Installing a Gibson Pickup Cover
Installing covers for Gibson humbuckers can prove challenging, but it's not impossible. (electric guitar image by .shock from Fotolia.com)

Gibson, one of America’s oldest and most widely recognisable producers of electric guitars, also manufactures and sells acoustic instruments, bass guitars, and other stringed instruments. Almost all Gibson’s electric guitars offer humbucking pickups for a larger, more robust sound than single-coil pickups. Unfortunately, installing pickup covers on these pickups can be tricky for a novice. With the right know-how, however, the process doesn’t have to be overly complex.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Philips screwdrivers
  • C-clamp
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Remove the guitar’s strings if the pickup has already been mounted on the guitar. In order to install the pickup cover, you’ll need to remove the pickup from the guitar, and pickup removal is much easier if you remove the strings.

  2. 2

    Unscrew the pickups from the Gibson guitar’s body. Most Gibson guitars use metal or plastic rings to frame the pickup. The Gibson pickup can be removed separately from these pickup rings. In order to remove the pickup while still leaving the frame intact, simply unscrew the larger Phillips-head screws on each side of the pickup, leaving the small screws in the corners to secure the pickup ring.

  3. 3

    Place the cover on the top of the pickup. The cover should fit on top of the pickup with relative ease. Do not force an ill-fitting pickup cover onto a pickup or else you risk damaging the thin metallic filaments wound around the sides of pickup.

  4. 4

    Clamp the pickup cover using a small C-clamp, as recommended by Stewart MacDonald, a retailer of guitar parts and accessories. Do not clamp the cover too tightly. You just need it clamped tightly enough that it will stay in place for easy soldering; over-clamping can dent the cover.

  5. 5

    Use a soldering iron to solder the pickup cover to the pickup’s bottom plate. Gibson-brand pickup covers contain small metal tabs on each side of the cover. These metal protrusions are supposed to be used for easier soldering to the pickup’s bottom plate. If you are using a generic cover for your Gibson pickups, these tabs may not exist. In this case, simply solder the cover to the base somewhere near the middle of each side. With the solder in place, the covers are now properly installed.

  6. 6

    Screw the pickups back into the Gibson guitar and restring your guitar.

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