Welcome to the first in a series of videos from Submarine Pickups showing you how to get your Sub Pro set up and functioning in the best way for you and your guitar. This video is for setup on an electric guitar. Acoustic player please check out the acoustic installation video.

In these short tutorial we’ll take into account your playing style, the type of guitar you are using, it’s shape any idiosyncrasies and we’ll show you a few ideas to get you started with expanding your sound, helping you navigate the best way through this wormhole of guitar exploration that is opened up by using Submarine Pickups.

So first of all we need to decide the best spot for your Sub Pro. I prefer it closer to the neck - I like the rounder sound from the neck position which works better with sub octave effects. If you are using it exclusively to generate lead guitar type tones - something with a bit more bite you might prefer it closer to the bridge. ultimately there is no right or wrong way - it really comes down to personal preference.

If your guitar has two pickups you’ll probably end up positioning it between the two pickups. If it has three you may not have enough space. But please do check the product page specification for more information.

So first of all let’s slide the Sub Pro under the strings to check we have ample space both in real estate on the top of the guitar and enough room for the strings to move.

There are two things to look out for here. The first is buzz, we don’t want the strings to hit the Pro when played.

the second thing to avoid is inharmonicity. this is when the magnets from the pickup are too close to the string and exert a pull on it. Without getting too technical it results in the harmonics being out of tune compared to the note of the open string, called the fundamental. In short the string sounds like it is out of tune with itself. I have a friend who loves this kind of thing but unless your pushing the boundaries of left field avant garde guitar music probably best avoided.

If you are getting buzz or inharmonicity at this stage the pickup is too close and you will need to either remove the black baseplate; move the Pro closer to the bridge, where the strings may be further from the body, or you might need to do both.

Again if you are concerned about the thickness of the pro and whether it will fit on your guitar please check the specification on the product page.

So we need to choose how to affix the Pro to the guitar. there are three main options. Microsuction pads, magnets and black tac

Microsuction pads are the most reliable and ideal for a temporary or permanent install. They are adhesive one side and the other is a material similar to that of geckos feet. It is a new nano material. The adhesive side we stick to the Pro and the micro suction side holds firm to the guitar. The micro suction pad is not an adhesive so won’t leave any sticky residue on your guitar.

The second is to use the magnetic option. This is ideal if you plan on constantly removing and refitting the Pro you can stick the magnets to your guitar and then it becomes easy to swap the pro inane out if you are doing this regularly.

Their third is Black tack. A squishy putty similar to blue tac but even stickier. This is great for guitars that have a curved profile like an arch top or lLs Paul style.

There are a few guitars we don’t recommend using Sub Pros with - antique guitars or those with delicate lacquer and also guitars with nitrocellulose finish.

Let’s get back to the installation.
Firstly I’d recommend making sure the guitar is clean, just give it a quick rub with a lint free cloth to remove any dust, grease and fluff as the dust clogs up the micro suction pad and it doesn’t function as well.

So this is what the micro suction pads look like. As you can see I have already peeled off the white or sometimes yellow backing and have applied them to the baseplate.

You’ll notice that one of them is offset slightly to accommodate the scratch plate finishing mid way along the base of the pickup.

The next thing to do is to slide the middle switches close to the middle. By which i mean the D string switch should be pushed to the right and the G string switch to the left. This will help with alignment

Now you can remove the clear plastic film

at this point I should say If you are fitting the Pro for the second time you may need to clean the micro suction pads you can do so again with the paper tape. Simply stick it on and peel it off and it will remove any dust and grime from the pads.

The very carefully slide the pro underneath the strings and as best you can get it nice and straight. You might want to use some of the paper tape to help you mark it out first. But I find that eyeballing it seems to do the trick just fine

Now when the switches we just moved are perfectly underneath the corresponding strings that is when the Pro is perfectly centred and you can push down gently onto the guitar. This will be enough to hold the pro in place

Now we need to adjust the height of the Pro. The sweet spot is somewhere between 3 and 7mm. That’s about an 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch for you Americans. I’d recommend closer for the gentle fingerpickers and further away for the loud strummers.

So gently with the supplied allen key give each side a turn until you’re

I’ve just a little steel rule here to measure. I’ve covered one end the the tape to protect the pickup and the guitar.

Again listen for string buzz and inharmonicity and adjust accordingly

In the next video I’ll be showing you how to get the thing plugged in and to have some fun with guitar pedals

Written by Pete Roe

More stories

Submarine : Three way switch explainer

The new edition of the Submarine now has three switch positions. It allows you to isolate sound from one or two strings of your guitar. With the s...

Submarine switch repair

Here's a short video showing the steps required to change the switchboard in a Submarine. This repair is suitable for when there is a fault with either the switch or the 3.5mm connector.