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Thread: Putting active pickups in Axis Sport

  1. #1

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    Putting active pickups in Axis Sport

    So I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a mid-late 90s Axis Sport (I may have already bought by the time you read this). I'm more of a modern metal/ metalcore kind of guy and I'm looking to switch out the stock pickups for some active EMGs or possible Fishman Fluence pickups.

    First off, I know this wasn't built for this type of music but Axis guitars are the perfect feel for me.

    I'm worried that I will run into some issues with the sizing of the pickups and the fact that the stock pickups are direct mount. Has anyone ever swapped out pickups on an Axis Sport for actives? Anything I need to be aware of?

    Also, yes, if I do swap these out then the originals will be for sale

    Pic of guitar below for reference

    Putting active pickups in Axis Sport-sport-jpg

  2. #2

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    I cant help you with the pick up swap, but GREAT guitar!! the Axis SS is the perfect fit for me as well ! Enjoy

  3. #3

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    I did! 1997 Sport to the EMG SA/SA/81 active set. I have them available for sale as well as the Chandler pickguard I had custom made for that install. Sounded great. I have pics of that install. Short on time right now, but can provide more details later as needed.
    2016 Axis Super Sport Trans Gold w/ Maple Neck
    1997 Axis Sport HSS Kandy Lime w/ Maple Neck

  4. #4

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    was just looking at that gittar last night... why is it still there?
    Balls are Best!!

  5. #5

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    2016 Axis Super Sport Trans Gold w/ Maple Neck
    1997 Axis Sport HSS Kandy Lime w/ Maple Neck

  6. #6

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    Just saw though that you do not have a PG on yours so you'd either route and add one or just install EMG's on the existing spots. Shouldn't be that hard to do.

    2016 Axis Super Sport Trans Gold w/ Maple Neck
    1997 Axis Sport HSS Kandy Lime w/ Maple Neck

  7. #7

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    @nervous - Thanks for the help! That Sport is beautiful man. You did a great job on that.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by allenk732 View Post
    @nervous - Thanks for the help! That Sport is beautiful man. You did a great job on that.
    Thank you. Came out far better than I'd expected. Was a fun one and is now my #1.
    2016 Axis Super Sport Trans Gold w/ Maple Neck
    1997 Axis Sport HSS Kandy Lime w/ Maple Neck

  9. #9

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    Just pulled the trigger on the Axis Sport. I'll post a pic once I get it

  10. #10

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    Congratz!! Axis Sports are so great, and maybe the secret star in the Axis line, although discontinued many years ago.

    Concerning pickup swap some things to consider cross my mind:
    1. You need space for the battery, when going active.
    2. The lugs of the original pickups are trianglar, and so is the routing of the body there. If the new pickups of choice do have rectangular lugs, you either might have to route (wouldn't do this!), or file down the rectangular lugs to triangular.
    3. Like you said, the pickups are mounted directly to the wood. So the stock pickups have a certain height and distance to the strings. You will not be able to play around with pickup height, thus maybe not having the optimum for the pickups of choice.

    Maybe you just let the stock pickups grow on you a little. These are among the best of the best passive higher output humbuckers money can buy.
    High output? Yes, they are! Due to the mounting method and larger distance to string, Music Man managed to still get enough clarity. However, they are not, what is typically considered as a metal pickup. I mainly play modern rock/metal (drop D, no low tuning) and I am still excited after all these years.
    2001 Axis Sport HH hardtail maple fretboard burnt apple
    2001 Axis SuperSport HH hardtail maple fretboard translucent gold
    1997 Axis Sport HSS hardtail maple fretboard translucent red
    2002 AL MM90 hardtail maple fretboard honeyburst converted to AL 2H

  11. #11

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    Thanks @headcrash.

    I probably will give the stock pickups a few weeks to see if they will work for me. What kind of tool would I use to "shave" the pickups mounts or lugs to a more triangular shape to avoid routing the guitar itself?

  12. #12

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    I'd use a file suitable for filing metal.
    Of course, warranty on the new pickups will not be valid after filing down the corners.
    2001 Axis Sport HH hardtail maple fretboard burnt apple
    2001 Axis SuperSport HH hardtail maple fretboard translucent gold
    1997 Axis Sport HSS hardtail maple fretboard translucent red
    2002 AL MM90 hardtail maple fretboard honeyburst converted to AL 2H

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by allenk732 View Post
    Thanks @headcrash.

    I probably will give the stock pickups a few weeks to see if they will work for me. What kind of tool would I use to "shave" the pickups mounts or lugs to a more triangular shape to avoid routing the guitar itself?
    To reshape the ears a basic Dremel type tool with a cut off wheel or grinding stone. You could also do carefully on a bench grinder. Only consideration would be the steel bits adhering to anything magnetic on the pickups while removing material. Perhaps a quick wrap in masking tape solves that.
    2016 Axis Super Sport Trans Gold w/ Maple Neck
    1997 Axis Sport HSS Kandy Lime w/ Maple Neck

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