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Favorite Micawber bridge pickup?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by big jimmy, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. beachbreak

    beachbreak Tele-Meister

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    Beautiful guitar Iron! I too use a SD broadcaster in my fat tele.
     
  2. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc Tele-Holic

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    The ones I make. Just finished a Micawber clone and it’s my first dedicated 5 string. FUN, FUN, FUN!
     
  3. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    All the close-up pics of Micawber I have seen looks like the pickup is mounted to the bridge itself via two screws.
    Zoom in.
    MicawberTop.jpg
    I've never before heard a reference to direct body-mounting on Micawber. I'm not meaning to call BS, just hope you can provide a citation or some such to clear this up for us.

    Thanks much,
    Rex
     
  4. milocj

    milocj Friend of Leo's

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    That's the first closeup I've seen and it sure looks like those two holes in a standard bridge may match up to those original lap steel pickups.

    Is it just me or does it also look like the neck has been shimmed up, possibly to clear the humbucker better? The saddles look pretty high, too, and it seems like most neck humbuckers in Telecasters are usually set almost flush or just below the mounting ring.
     
  5. EspyHop

    EspyHop Tele-Holic

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    It’s an educated guess, but the screws in lap pickups don’t align with those in Tele bridge pickups. I suspect whoever did the mod drilled new mounting screws through back holes on bridge. However, the pickup itself isn’t mounted onto the bridge plate like a traditional Tele pickup. Otherwise, the pickup would flop around, with nothing to secure it to the front hole. Being mounted directly to the body is the only way the pickup could be secured. B8D6A498-3902-4E70-BB88-298C0742A58F.png
     
  6. EspyHop

    EspyHop Tele-Holic

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    “The Stones set out to promote their new record on the road with their mammoth 1972 tour. Keith used his 1954 Blackguard Tele in its factory stock condition for the beginning of the tour before his guitar tech, Ted Newman Jones III, replaced the neck position Fender pickups on the Telecasters with Gibson PAF humbuckers.

    He also replaced the bridge pickup on the ‘54 Tele with a Fender lap-steel pickup, which was similar to the Fender Broadcaster’s pickup. Jones set this Tele up as a 5-string for open-G tuning, and Keith described it as, “my main Tele five-string … a ’54, with the humbucker in the front.”” (Article from Reverb.com. Just Google “Micawber lap steel.”)



    Again, the only way to secure a lap steel pickup is to directly mount it to the body.
     
  7. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    It does "just flop around." To the same extent that strat pickups and humbuckers (with their two screws each) "just flop around." It's plenty secure with the two screws and whatever is between them and the bridge (could be rubber tube or could be something harder). I've studied this issue pretty thoroughly, but I can't say 100% since I have never held it. But everything I have found supports the pickup being mounted to the bridge via two screws only. I think SD has spaced the screw holes on their lap steel repro the same way for the same reason.
    Not trying to flame anyone but I am pretty sure this is correct. In the absence of some citation or evidence to the contrary I'm unconvinced otherwise. I will try to find the references in my research (other than what we can see with our eyes in every known closeup of the actual guitar) that supports the bridge-mounting assertion.
    Cheers,
    Rex
     
  8. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    Here's an article from Reverb by Andy Babiuk who personally examined Micawber and states the bridge pickup is mounted to the bridge with only two screws.
    https://reverb.com/news/a-blackguard-named-micawber-keith-richards-no-1-fender-telecaster
    here's another that states the pickup is held on with only two screws:
    https://www.guitarworld.com/gear/keith-richards-reveals-one-guitar-he-cant-do-without
    Ted Newman Jones, who did the original mod, is (was, sadly) a friend of a friend but he's no longer with us so we can't ask him. I'm going to stick with what the photos show and the words of those that have actually handled the guitar.
    KeithMicawberTele.jpg
    Mar14_FEAT_RSExcerpt_KR_FenderTeleMicawber_wm_WEB.jpg



    Best to all,
    Rex Micawber details.jpg
     
  9. EspyHop

    EspyHop Tele-Holic

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    0D1088F0-E843-4ECE-A25E-B99D7D6A6D0C.jpeg
    Those are balanced, though. Imagine a Strat or HB pickup with only one screw. That’s what would happen if the pickup wasn’t mounted to the body.

    The SD Antiquity lap steel screw holes do not line up, though. I know this because I actually use one in a guitar, and am having it moved into a different guitar.
     
  10. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    I've provided the data, in photos and the words of those who have examined the guitar in person. As a builder I have no doubt that those two mounting screws can be made to hold the pickup perfectly suitably. I have never heard any reference to Micawber having the bridge pickup mounted to the body. You (EspyHop) have clearly done a fine job of doing yours that way but Micaber is not like that, as far as any evidence indicates. If you have any kind of citation from any source that suggests that Micawber has the bridge pickup mounted to the body, please provide it.
    To the OP, sorry for this slight hijack of your thread. Lots of people make fine pickups designed to mimic Micawber's tone, and you've had some good responses to your question. I wish you well. I have nothing more to say about the mounting question unless there is some data presented indicating other than what I've presented. And if so, then I'll certainly stand corrected (as I do now on the hole spacing on the SD lap steel pickup - thanks EspyHop) and eat a big ol' plate of crow..

    Best to all,
    Rex
     
  11. Geo

    Geo Poster Extraordinaire

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    The brass bridge plate and saddles look like Mighty Mite ones from the mid '70s. :eek::rolleyes:
     
  12. EspyHop

    EspyHop Tele-Holic

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    Well, as a builder who is interested in this type of guitar, try it. Buy a Duncan Antiquity lap steel pickup and see what you can do.

    But, you’ve also obviously never had any experience working with an actual lap steel pickup, either. Just look at how they’re mounted into actual lap steel guitars.

    Not if they still have a zinc or copper base plate. That’s not what’s in Micawber. Vintage Esquires, Broadcasters, and Teles? Sure. But not a Micawber.
     
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