Fitting Instructions












Although replacing a pickup is not complicated, it`s worth adding a few notes for those new to customising their instruments.
Soldering the electrical connections may seem daunting but all that is required is a little pre-planning and of course the appropriate tools - a 25watt iron is the best rating. Freshly file the tip to an angle of around 45 degrees and tin with solder......with usage, the tip can take on a concave shape which reduces the contact area and good fast heat transfer is important, especially when soldering the ground wires to the potentiometer casing. If you can find it, Savbit multicore is a good electrical solder.
Preparing a decent workspace with adequate protection and lighting is also important - don`t want hot solder dripping onto that French polished dining table! .......also, when soldering close to the body of the instrument, it`s worth protecting the paintwork with a duster or similar as solder sometimes has a habit of spitting.......right, onto the actual instruments......
For instruments fitted with a scratchplate such as the Mandocasters and Givsons, remove the strings then remove the scratchplate screws with a suitable screwdriver. Gently lift off the scratchplate - if the jack socket is mounted in the edge of the instrument, it will be connected as will the bridge ground. You may wish to unsolder these and remove the plate completely to make working easier. After that, simply remove the pickup(s) noting where the wires were connected, fit the replacements and solder the wires in place. Please Note - some pickups have two single wires - Almuse pickups use single core shielded wire so the red core wire is the signal and the outer braid is the ground.
Once all the wires are back in place (not forgetting the output or bridge ground), reassemble, put on some strings, plug in and have fun!!!
Mandobirds are a little more complicated (although not overly so) since the pickup is fitted from the front and the controls from the rear. The control cavity is quite small so it`s suggested that the work is much easier with the controls out of the body. To do this, remove the volume and tone knobs (some are push fit, others have a grub screw) and remove the cover plate on the back.
With your thumb pressing on the rear of the potentiometer, undo the hexagonal nut on the front of the instrument using a suitably sized box spanner - or pliers......just don`t slip and scratch the front. Carefully remove the volume and tone controls. Remove the scratchplate and the old pickup - the output wires are routed through a channel under the scratchplate for ease of assembly. Follow the wires back to the controls - one will be connected to the volume pot casing, the other to one of the volume pot tags so make a note which tag the signal wire connects to and unsolder then pull out the pickup and wiring.
With the old pickup removed, cut off the foam packer as this will be required for the replacement and reverse the procedure to reassemble. As with all Almuse two wire pickups, a shielded single core wire is used - the red core wire is the signal and the outer braid is the ground.
The above instructions are intended as a guide and apply to the MB(#)L and Phatbird pickups. The MB(#)HC and CTS pickups are 4 wire pickups and a switch (either a push/pull or mini toggle) are generally used to take advantage of the tonal varieties offered......please note that the circuitry for these pickups is quite complex and the terminals on the switches are very close together so unless you are confident with a soldering iron.........