1. Hollow body guitars.

That’s all folks! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at a guitar that was gorgeous, EXCEPT, they drilled 8 (or more!) pointless holes into the top just for the sake of some cheap piece of plastic that makes mounting pickups 5% easier.

Builders that charge you THOUSANDS of dollars for “10 tops” or “Private Stock” or whatever other name they are throwing out these days, will permanently alter that top to throw some $0.25 plastic on it.

Mount your pickups direct to the body!

It even has the added benefit of allowing you to sound smart among your friends by saying it improves sustain (just hope they don’t ask for proof).

But seriously. Unless there is a structural reason why mounting rings are the only option, and hollow bodies are the only reason I can come up with, don’t use pickup rings. Even if you don’t mind how they look (I think that’s the best case scenario), you’re devaluing your guitar for the sake of making it slightly easier to assemble. There’s zero other benefit.

Want to wood-mount your pickups? Yes, I know, your pickups probably didn’t come with hardware for doing this.

Here’s your shopping list:

  • Spring tubing (also called “pickup height adjustment tubing”). You can use actual springs, but this is the headache-free solution.
  • For single-coils: #6 pan head wood screws or sheet metal screws
  • For humbuckers: 2.4mm – again pan head wood screws or sheet metal screws

Length on screws varies based on your guitar, but 20mm should work in most cases.

Your actual pickups might vary – but the sizes above cover a LOT of manufacturers. Let me know if you know anything I don’t.