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Springs or surgical tubing?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Zagnut, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. Zagnut

    Zagnut Strat-Talker

    301
    Sep 17, 2009
    Seattle
    I bought my '90 American Standard Strat used with a Seymour Duncan Mini Humbucker in the bridge position. I didn't realize until years later that the pickup has no spacers between the pickguard and the mounting ears. From what I understand Fender uses springs to keep the pickups under tension, but I've seen the use of surgical tubing also. Anyone have any advice on what I need to put in there? Thanks.
     

  2. peskypesky

    peskypesky -------

    Aug 16, 2009
    NYC
    now that i've used it, i prefer surgical tubing. i get so aggravated by those springs bouncing all over the place.
     

  3. motoman45

    motoman45 Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    57
    876
    May 20, 2009
    portland, or

  4. thaus

    thaus Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 6, 2007
    London Canada
    Tubing from me as well.......just much easier to work with.
     

  5. Zagnut

    Zagnut Strat-Talker

    301
    Sep 17, 2009
    Seattle
    Tubing it is. Thanks Gents!
     

  6. Dice

    Dice Strat-O-Master

    514
    Feb 19, 2009
    MT
    Good choice. I was going to say the same...
     

  7. still_fiddlin

    still_fiddlin Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 6, 2008
    Texas
    Tubing is going to deteriorate over time, but probably not an issue, given your advanced age :), and the fact that nobody keeps their guitars forever anymore. I stuck with springs. I mean, how often do you change those pickups, anyway???
     

  8. LeftyBlake

    LeftyBlake Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 25, 2009
    The Evergreen State
    I prefer tubing. But make sure you cut it evenly (not at an angle) or the pickups won't sit flat.
     

  9. intoflatlines

    intoflatlines Strat-Talker

    242
    Apr 11, 2009
    Chicago
    I have springs in all of my pickups but I'd prefer tubing. The springs are so annoying in that they get stuck (magnetically) to the pickups when they're loose, and they're a pain to mount along with the screw and pickup.
     

  10. Zagnut

    Zagnut Strat-Talker

    301
    Sep 17, 2009
    Seattle
    Still fiddlin makes a good point about deterioration concerning my "advanced age", which is catching up to his. :mrgreen: Meanwhile, I have resolved to keep my guitars "forever". It's just that with my age forever may not be all that long. :cry:
     

  11. woodsie831

    woodsie831 Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 20, 2010
    Boston
    I found a webpage, when i was researching my planned mods for this weekend.
    Paul Bothner Music - The Musical Instrument Specialists - Articles: Hotrodding a Stratocaster Part 1 - Choosing a Guitar to Customise

    they say this about the springs. "I removed the surgical tubing Fender uses for pickup mounting and put in some steel springs. Regardless of how well potted a pickup is, it still picks up some sound microphonically via the springs and screws. The guitar immediately gained a discernible amount of resonance and some added presence" I ordered a set based on this. they were only a couple of bucks so i figured it was worth it to gain any tone advantage. Any opinion on tonal characteristics over surgical tubing?
     

  12. still_fiddlin

    still_fiddlin Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 6, 2008
    Texas
    Sounds like "cork sniffing" to me. The screws are what hold the pickup to the cover (or body, in the case of a Tele neck PU). The springs/tubing just provide the tension to keep it from rattling around. If you want to eliminate transmission of vibration to the PU, you'd need to have it float, completely disconnected from the rest of the guitar, or mounted in concrete, I suppose.

    My Strat has springs, the Tele has tubing. I don't know if that's what Leo intended, but that's how most seem to be built. Since Fender has had access to both, and could easily have switched from one to the other on either model, I figure, why mess with it?
     

  13. flyingace

    flyingace Strat-O-Master

    606
    Feb 2, 2010
    Central Arkansas
    Tubing...never going back to springs!
     

  14. woodsie831

    woodsie831 Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 20, 2010
    Boston
    Interesting. anyone interested in some pickup springs? still new in the package.;)
     

  15. Crimson

    Crimson Strat-O-Master

    644
    Jan 25, 2010
    Sweden
    Glue works fine too
     

  16. Ray-Boy

    Ray-Boy Senior Stratmaster

    I have both and if I'm doing the changing, I go for springs. I like surgical tubing but my luthier and some other guitar people say that the smog in L.A. (crazy as it sounds) makes the tubing get brittle and deteriorate.

    But as was said before, how often does one change pickups on average? I think the little extra work required to use springs is offset by the way they last so much longer, at least here in Smogville.