Title
Carvin Pickup Swap
Date
2019-11-02
HTML
I bought a Carvin AE185 years ago. After decades of not playing it, I decided I wanted to do some work on it to get it going again. It was a gift from my father and once he passed away, I guess I got sentimental about it.

The first thing to explain about this guitar was that I had done surgery on it immediately upon receiving it. My tech guru, Dave Taylor, and I had modified it immediately for a Roland synth pickup. The guitar already has a piezo acoustic pickup in it and it has two 1/4inch jacks. One for electric, one for acoustic. If only using one of the two, then both signals are mixed to the electric jack and there is a knob on it to roll between the two. We had eliminated the acoustic jack and replaced it with a Roland jack. This guitar had acoustic, electric and synth. Boy I thought I was cool in 1996. Anyway, flash forward to 2019 and there are better synth solutions out there. I simply wanted to return this guitar to it's original acoustic/electric setup.

Upon putting things back together I wanted to change out the pickups that had come with the guitar. They are Carvin pickups. At the time, Carvin recommended a specific set of pickups. I had this changed on my order. I wanted hotter rear pickups. I made this decision without hearing what Carvin recommended or what the new pickup I chose was going to sound like. Well they sucked. It was super thin and crappy sounding in the bridge position from day one. Ah to be a young idiot know it all. Anyway, as I put this thing back together, I was confident that I wanted something else in the bridge position. I had an old Dimarzzio PAF (DP152) that I had ordered years ago for a Strat, however I hadn't ordered F-spaced. The spacing on a Strat and other guitars are different. So this Dimarzio had never been used. I figured I'd put it in the Carvin. Not so fast. It turns out that Carvin pickups are a bit narrower than standard pickups. My Dimarzio would technically fit in the hole in the guitar, but the plastic bezel that holds the pickup in place was all wrong. Carvin also uses two screws to hold in a pickup so you can tilt adjust them. Other manufacturers just use one screw per side. I had some other bezels from other guitars but they were all too big.

I found articles about people shaving size off of their other pickups to make them fit. The Carvin is such a work of art, it seemed logical to chop on a pickup rather that the guitar. Then I found a post about a particular bezel that is smaller and holds Dimarzio pickups in Cavin guitars. They had it at AllParts so I bought one. I was most pleased when it arrived. It was a perfect fit. The four corners fit my Carvin drilled holes perfectly. The Dimarzio fit in the cavity and there was one pickup screw per side. The part number of this bezel is PC-0745-023. If you're interested in upgrading Carvin pickups to other brands, this is the bezel to buy. No alterations to the Carvin or pickups are necessary!
Last Updated
2019-11-07 21:56:53
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