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Thread: how do you adjust pole peices and pickup height?

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    Cranky-dologist Snoogles's Avatar
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    Default how do you adjust pole peices and pickup height?

    maybe put another way is, how does pickup height and pole-piece hight affect tone?
    i'm talking about humbuckers.
    if there's already info on this subject then please direct me there

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    Default Re: how do you adjust pole peices and pickup height?

    Id like to hear the responses for this to

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    Mojo's Minions GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: how do you adjust pole peices and pickup height?

    From my experience with this, the closer you adjust the PU to the strings the thicker/ grittier the tone, but less sustain...the magnetic pull on the strings reduces their vibration. If you adjust the PU away from the strings you get a smoother tone, less distortion, weaker but more clarity. Having the PU adjusted away from the strings and the pole pieces screwed out of the PU closer to the strings will give more clarity but definitely a weaker sound.
    Anyone else have similar experience with this?

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    Default Re: how do you adjust pole peices and pickup height?

    I got my humbucker a good distance from the strings and polepieces staggered a-la el Stratocaster. Good for the splits, and I've got fine sustain.
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    Default Re: how do you adjust pole peices and pickup height?

    I personally adjust the humbucker to the overall tone I want (usually pretty close to the srtrings), and then use the poles to bring out single strings that seem weaker.
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    Default Re: how do you adjust pole peices and pickup height?

    pickup: closer is thicker, further is clearer. too close and you get too much distortion(bad kind) and string pull from the magnet, killing sustain. too far and the signal will be too weak.

    poles: bringing them out brings about more clarity and, imo, twang. putting them down makes the tone fatter.

    overall: i like the bass side of the pickup lowered with the poles raised out a bit, and the treble side raised with the poles sunk in, making the low strings extra clear and the high strings fat to match.
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    Default Re: how do you adjust pole peices and pickup height?

    Quote Originally Posted by super rad stuff View Post
    pickup: closer is thicker, further is clearer. too close and you get too much distortion(bad kind) and string pull from the magnet, killing sustain. too far and the signal will be too weak.

    poles: bringing them out brings about more clarity and, imo, twang. putting them down makes the tone fatter.

    overall: i like the bass side of the pickup lowered with the poles raised out a bit, and the treble side raised with the poles sunk in, making the low strings extra clear and the high strings fat to match.
    Good info, dude! Time to bust out the screwdriver.

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    Jessie Sammler
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    Default Re: how do you adjust pole peices and pickup height?

    Dangit! I can't find mine again!

    (Actually, they're on the floor over there, covered in sanding dust from the Epi refin project.)

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    Mojo's Minions baritone's Avatar
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    Default Re: how do you adjust pole peices and pickup height?

    For the neck position, I keep the pickup really low, far away from the strings. Then I rasie up the poles to balance out the response of each string.

    For the bridge, I keep the poles low with a slight radius to match the strings, and then I set the whole pickup so the output matches the neck pickup. I like fine tuning the pickup heights so the output matches rather than looking for an ideal tone from each. This way, I get a good, usable tone from each pickup, and when both are on, they both sound out together.
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  10. #10
    Lewguitar
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    Default Re: how do you adjust pole peices and pickup height?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerberus View Post
    I personally adjust the humbucker to the overall tone I want (usually pretty close to the srtrings), and then use the poles to bring out single strings that seem weaker.
    That's pretty much what I do too.

    I start off by adjusting the polepieces to match the arch of the frets and the arch of the underside of the strings.

    Then I hold down my E strings at the highest fret and adjust the whole pickup pretty close to the strings. Maybe 1/8" away for the bass side and a little closer (3/32" ?) on the treble side. I've never measured anything - I do it all by ear and common sense.

    I plug it in and play and then might move the pickup further away, or adjust the B string pole piece further away if the B string is to loud or do the same thing if any string is to loud, or do whatever I have to do to fine tune the set-up by ear.

    It's kind of a on going process that can go on for the rest of your life...trust me.

    Lew

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    Default Re: how do you adjust pole peices and pickup height?

    Interesting... you guys actually adjust the screws? I've never even touched them. Is there a potential danger in adjusting the screws (overtightening, etc)? Just curious. Is there a real difference, or are we talking minor changes

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    Ultimate Tone Member FrankyBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: how do you adjust pole peices and pickup height?

    Try it man, I readed this post two days ago and I started tweaking things and it really does a difference. Results, I lowered my neck pickup for more clarity and raised the poles. I downed the bridge to match the output a bit more cause it kinda sounded louder compared to the other.
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    Tone Member MasterKtulu's Avatar
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    Default Re: how do you adjust pole peices and pickup height?

    It's kind of a on going process that can go on for the rest of your life...trust me.
    +1.

    I've never actually finished adjusting the pickup heights and the pole pieces of any of my humbuckers. I'm always trying to achieve the perfect sound/balance/tone only found inside my head (and I secretly hope I never find it... Then what would I do?)

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    Something Cool uOpt's Avatar
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    Default Re: how do you adjust pole peices and pickup height?

    Pickups closer == louder and more in-your face sound. Also more nonlinear distortions.

    Getting the polepieces out and the pickup lower (arrive at same average) makes the sound slimmer, more focused, a little P90ish. I like that for bridge pickups but not the neck humbucker.

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    Junior Member If6Was9's Avatar
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    Default Re: how do you adjust pole peices and pickup height?

    Quote Originally Posted by super rad stuff View Post
    (snip)
    overall: i like the bass side of the pickup lowered with the poles raised out a bit, and the treble side raised with the poles sunk in, making the low strings extra clear and the high strings fat to match.
    Interesting idea, sounds like it will help balance out the lows and highs. Will try it out to see.

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