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Question on adding a regular/standard pick-up to an F-spaced slot

Mike CT

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I’ve never done a pick-up swap personally and until thinking about a pick-up swap for my 2000 Explorer I never really noticed that my bridge pickup in that guitar was slightly larger.   I’ve seen things written where people say you don’t really need to go with F-spaced (my strings don’t perfectly line of with the metal pins on my 500Ts), but how does it mechanically work with using a slightly smaller pick-up.   Does this mean if say I’d buy a new 70s tribute pickup - and they all look to be standard size for both neck and bridge as on the Gibson site it doesn’t offer size choices like SD and Demarzio do - to install it the tech would have to drill new holes in the guitar to secure the marginally smaller pickup?  Or does it not work that way.   Please excuse the super basis question.    I guess if mechanically doesn’t matter at all, it opens up options to pick-ups that don’t come in an F-Spaced option.

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