How to Install Gibson 57 Classic Pickups

Written by ryan cockerham
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How to Install Gibson 57 Classic Pickups
(Polka Dot RF/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Gibson 57 Classic pickups are reissues of the popular Gibson 57 series of electric guitar pickups designed to produce a richer, more overdriven sound than standard pickups. Gibson reissued these pickups due to popular demand, although they rarely come on factory model guitars. You can install these pickups on your own guitar with just a few tools.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Wire stripper/cutter
  • Soldering iron

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  1. 1

    Remove the strings from the guitar. Remove the bridge and tailpiece if your guitar has these components.

  2. 2

    Place the guitar upside down on a surface that will not scratch the body of the instrument. Remove the back plate covering the internal wiring of the guitar with a screwdriver.

  3. 3

    Remove the wire connections from the pickup to the volume pot on the pickup to be replaced, using a soldering iron.

  4. 4

    Turn the guitar over and unscrew the pickup bezel.

  5. 5

    Pull the pickup assembly out of the guitar, carefully lifting the pickup and its wiring out of the body.

  6. 6

    Remove the spring-loaded screws holding your current pickup in the bezel and lift the pickup out of the assembly. Place the Gibson 57 Classic pickup in the bezel and tighten it into place using the spring-loaded screws that came with the pickup.

  7. 7

    Insert the wiring of the new pickup into the body of the guitar and pull it gently through the guitar until the pickup rests comfortably on top of the guitar.

  8. 8

    Cut the new wires to an appropriate length so that there will be no excess wiring inside the guitar. Strip the ends of the wires and solder them to the volume pots.

  9. 9

    Test your new pickup by tapping on it with the guitar plugged in and the amp turned on. You should hear the tapping through the amplifier.

  10. 10

    Repeat Steps 3 to 9 for any additional pickups to be installed.

  11. 11

    Screw the plate back onto the back of the guitar and replace the screws mounting the bezel to the body of the guitar. Restring and tune the instrument.

Tips and warnings

  • After installing your new pickups, you may need to tweak your wiring configuration to achieve the optimal results. According to the experts at Gibson, "If you get a thin sound with both pickups in operation, you may need to change the polarity of the pickup. Simply reverse the lead wires to do this."
  • If you are still unsatisfied with the results your new Gibson 57 pickups provide, Gibson will allow you to exchange your product for a different set of pickups within 60 days of purchase.
  • Inspect your soldering work carefully to make sure your wires are securely fixed to the volume pots. The physical motions involved in playing the guitar will be more than enough movement to knock a poorly soldered wire out of position.

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