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Author Topic: Music Man JP-7 neck routing won't fit Black Hawk 7 - what can I do?  (Read 328 times)

cdondoros

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Hi all.

Upon the recommendations of some of the folks on this forum, I have as set of Black Hawk 7's on the way for my Music Man JP-7, but I have a bit of a problem: the Black Hawk 7 is around two millimeters too thick to fit in the guitar's neck position.

In these particular models, the neck pickup cavity - where the pickup ears screw in to the body - is much more short than the bridge, only accommodating John Petrucci's signature line of pickups. From experience, pickups with a depth of 16.6 mm will fit, but NOT your standard-sized Duncan/DiMarzio humbuckers, which typically have a depth of around 18.4 mm.

The Black Hawk 7 is 18.2 mm deep, so I'm in for a fight with this guitar. I don't want to take the time or spend the money to bring it to a tech; the pandemic is still bad where we live that it's a cr@pshoot knowing when anything will be ready. I also am not a fan of buying a router for $100 and using it once or twice, so I'm trying to avoid going that route.

Anybody have tips or experience in a similar situation? Does BKP or any other company make base plates that are flat (as opposed to the 3 mm gap between BKP base plates and where the pickup screws into the body)? Does anybody recommend tampering with the pickup to flatten the metal and create a more flat surface?

Appreciate any advice!

Dave Sloven

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I have a six string Black Hawk neck pickup in a cavity that was made without the side leg cavities.  I can get it flat with the pickguard after making a couple of small holes either side (I calculated how much wood I had there first) using a Tamiya Handy Drill and Handy Router. You could use something else if it is controllable (some Dremels etc are a bit powerful and fast, these just run on AA batteries).

I'll find some photos and post them.  The cavity is pretty shallow, so maybe it will help.
BLACK HAWKS
IMPULSES
WAR PIGS
STOCKHOLM
COLD SWEATS
MIRACLE MAN

https://slovendoom.bandcamp.com/releases

Dave Sloven

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Okay, here they are.

Before mods:



Humbucker cavity routed in:



Bridge cavity modified to fit Gotoh GE1996T tremolo and then painted:



Later modified when fitting Black Hawks and new pickguard to fit microtoggles of coil split on each pickup:



Here you see where the height adjustment screws were hitting the bottom, causing the pickup to tilt:



First of all I drilled the holes deeper with the Handy Drill so that the screws went down into them a bit:



Then I opened those up a bit with the ball router bit that comes in the Handy Router:



As you can see here this allowed me to drop the pickup right down to sit on its legs square.  I don't actually have the pickup this low.



You will still need to cut some length off of the screws if they are full length.  Good luck!
BLACK HAWKS
IMPULSES
WAR PIGS
STOCKHOLM
COLD SWEATS
MIRACLE MAN

https://slovendoom.bandcamp.com/releases

cdondoros

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Thanks for all of the pics, Dave!

I've been doing some research today and the options seem to be either shaving ~2mm of wood on each side of the pickup (where the mounting ear meets the wood) or replace the base plate - I reached out to Tim at BKP and he mentioned it might be possible using a flat soapbar mounting plate.

Not sure which way I'm going to go with it yet as I'm waiting to hear back from Tim.

Incidentally, Tim also recommended a C-Bomb/Cold Sweat combo for this particular axe...