Guitar repair & setup workshop in Manchester, UK

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Electric Guitar Pickup Fitting Service

Lace Sensor alumitones

I fit pickups and pickup systems to all instruments including bass guitars, electric guitars or acoustic guitars.

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There's a huge range of aftermarket pickups available nowadays making it easy get an upgraded pickup. It's also possible to change the size or your pickups ranging from singlecoils, humbuckers, P90s, mini humbuckers, telecaster neck, telecaster brige, wide range tele pickups, lipstick, Charlie Christian, dog ears, filtertrons.... and that's not even starting on bass pickup types.

Swapping or adding pickups can sometimes cause problems and turn into a harder job than it looks. When I fit pickups, I take all these potential problems into consideration:

Pickups can be out of phase

This would give a thin and quieter sound when 2 pickups are on. A white wire isn't always the "hot" wire - between manufacturers there is inconsistency when it comes to choosing the colours of their cables. Get them the wrong way round and your pickups may be out of phase by accident!

Follow colour codes from manufacturers

Each company uses their own colour codes to indicate the start and end of each coil. It's important to match these up


A basic of any electronics work is you have to be spot on at handling your soldering iron. I use 60/40 rosin core solder, a 40 watt and an 18 watt iron for guitar electronics, a clean joint is a reliable joint. Often I see guitarists who've begun fitting their own pickups and given up because it's too fiddly or they've melted through cable / components making a right mess of it.

And or course the other point worth mentioning is you've got to get each connection to the right place! Circuit diagrams can be confusing to the untrained eye

PAF Pickup cover
PAF Pickup cover
Problems with metal pickup covers

When you're installing a pickup with a metal cover (like a tele neck pickup or a humbucker), the cover can be connected as part of the "hot" signal. This is bad; it means that when you touch the pickup cover it emits a nasty buzzing sound through your amp. This problem is most common when a mixture of different brand pickups are in 1 guitar

Pickup cavity Routing

Swapping a single coil for another single is all well but what about when you want to install a humbucker, mini humbucker or a P90 soapbar in it's place? You'll need to enlarge the area underneath the pickup to allow for the new pickup. This is done with a router for a nice clean and accurate cut. It of course costs more than a straight forward pickup installation but is a standard procedure

Pickguard / Scratchplate Alteration

Yep, you've also got to alter your pickguard to get a nice tight fit round the new pickup. Not a problem I can do this surprisingly cheaply for you too. If you've downsizing, loosing one of your pickups or just fancy a change I also make custom pickguards.

Guitar pickup tapping
Guitar pickup tapping
Pickup Conversion

Some guitar circuits require each coil to have it's own cable - a humbucker can have 5 wires attached to it! (These wires are simply the start and end of each coil and then a ground to the cover or baseplate) This arrangement allows a load of custom switching options such as phasing, series/parallel or coil tap switching.

I can convert a humbucker to have all 5 cables making those modifications possible

Push Push switch on strat
Csutom varitone
Electronics Modifications

Of course while you're at it, why not try out some extra switching options? You can really expand the sounds coming from your guitar with a few simple tweaks which dont even harm the look of your guitar. My electronics mods are designed to be simple, useful sounding, reliable and non-invasive. Electronics modifications page with load of audio demos

Active EMG Circuits

EMG pickup Installation
EMG pickup Installation
EMG system often use batteries, sometimes you're lucky and theres enough room inside an electronics cavity to house the battery but sometimes there isn't. I can rout out a space for a battery box, rout out space under a pickguard, make a custom enclosure for the battery or create an external power source for your guitar's power requirements.

EMG use their own solderless snap-fit type system to try and simplify the pickup installation process. I have had many customers become very confused with EMG's wiring diagrams!

custom battery box
Custom battery box
Battery Boxes

I have pre made battery boxes in stock but here's one I made to suit the aesthetic of this lovely Shuker Satinline with an East U-retro Preamp in.

Hand wound pickups
Hand wound pickups
Custom Pickup Winding

I wind many pickups to spec for my customers. The advantage of winding to spec for someone is I can voice a pickup to suit your guitar's needs. Maybe you've got 2 humbuckers and a single coil which just isn't as deep and loud enough? Describe the sound to me and I can voice the coil accordingly! No problem.

They're hand scatter wound available as brand new winds or re-winds of your old unused pickups. I take all elements of the pickup construction into account when I'm making them including the magnet type, magnet strength, coil count, coil shape, wire gauge, wire covering, whether its going to be potted, whether its going to have a cover and what the wiring function is that the pickup will have. There's alot of factors which can all be tailored to your guitar!

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