damn you screws!


so i installed some sweet sounding nordstrand pickups with a prewired HAS sound system harness and it sounds phenomenol. However, I really feel like the neck pickup is much too far away from the strings and is in need of raising. Problem is though that two of the four mounting screws have become stripped from the constant readjusting! I can't tell you how frustrating this is to me. I installed these pickups on a MIM jazz bass body and I should have thought to widen the screw holes before putting the pickups in (it was a pain in the ass taking out the old pickups).

1st question: how the **** do i deal with stripped screws?

2nd question: once bringing the pickups closer to the strings, should I expect any change in tone or will it only affect volume/output?

I am guessing the screws are the same on the screws are the same as the ones on a jazzmaster - I've had similar trouble, stripped two quite quickly due to adjustments, they're very flaky (I really wish there was a stainless steel alternative). Ok, so here's what worked for me. First of all, go to a local shop and see if they'll sell you some screws, best bet is to go to your tech though. Go to your screwdriver set, and keep trying philips heads until you find one with the best grip (it's usually the sharpest one that will do, you'll have to apply some pressure while unscrewing) - depending how it stripped flat heads may do better, or even allan heads. If all goes well you'll find one. Then take the old screws out. Now, when it comes to installing the new screws, install the pickup as high as it will go, then plug the bass in and try it out, then lower and keep doing that until you find a sweet spot. The trick is to get them so you won't have to heighten them but only lower them. Hope this helps.
Not sure the size screw you have - but if its "gibson" size (3-56) you can use a 4-40 screw instead in many cases.

I'd be happy to send you some 4-40 screws, if you contact me, and send me a SASE (I've got a box of about 100 here - so plenty to share).

You'll need to get a 4-40 tap to go thru the existing holes but... its worth it.  I did this on my BFG Les Paul (Gib) and never looked back.  In that case - the factory screwed the pickups to the body in "BFG" fashion.  The 4-40's came to the rescue (as always).

oh man, I really appreciate the offer but i think the screw size is 1-1/4 philips head. thanks anyway bro,

I was going to my tool box to get some allan wrenches to try and get that sucker out when I noticed my needle nose pliers and voila! it took some work but they came out! I checked out home depot as well as various local hardware stores for replacement screws but to no avail. I think i may need to order from allparts or guitarelectronics
I should have some extras soon, I'll gladly send a few over if you'd like (how many did you need?)  - though it may take a bit longer that way as I am in Canada. -Octavian
same problem, i managed to get all but one screw out, but the hight was perfect, so i left it.
my suggestion is get an ez out.
you'd all avoid these screw problems (except for the occasional screw into too small of a pilot hole) by using a screwdriver with the proper sized tip

all the best,

I rub my guitar screws on a candle before installing them, they go in so much easier (not my original idea of course :laughing7:, but something to consider, they do go in/out a lot easier, and still hold firm