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Thread: Adjusting humbuckers height and pole peices

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    Tone Member big kurka's Avatar
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    Default Adjusting humbuckers height and pole peices

    Hi there every one. I've done alot of searching here and else where, and I found this on harmony central (see below). I tried these adjustments as my starting point(haven't fine tuned yet), and I must say my guitar sounds pretty even sounding string to string and pickup to pickup. I only got to play my guitar for appox. 15 min but I felt my guitar actually sounded alittle better. Note: my bridge p/u was appox. 3/32 higher and my neck was appox. 1/32-1/16 higher before I tried this adjustment. My guitar is a Edwards LP pgn and pg/custom hybrid. Anyways I thought some of you guys might find this helpful.

    Many manufacturers will recommend how to ideally set up their pickups. They typically start from the factory setting, or provide turn-numbers assuming the screw head is flush with the pickup. Here’s one set of instructions using the turn method:

    Set all poles when looking at the screw head from the side that only the rounded part rises above the flat part of the pup.


    Low E: no change

    A: raise 1 full turn

    D: raise 1 ½ full turns
    G: raise ½ turn

    B: lower 1 full turn

    High E raise ½ turn


    Some guitar manufacturers give measurements from the strings to the pickups, as in this example from a Carvin owner’s manual:


    Adjusting Pickup Height

    Each pickup has 2 or 3 height adjusting screws. For maximum power output keep the pickups adjusted as close to the strings as possible while maintaining enough clearance so that the pickup pole pieces will not touch the strings when playing on the upper frets. If you want a mellower sound, then adjust the pickups further away from the strings. For humbucking pickups we recommend 5/32” clearance. For single coil pickups go with 1/8” clearance.



    Adjusting individual pickup poles

    We set each magnetic screw head in both pickups for a balanced sound. If you wish to raise or lower the output of a certain string, then lower or raise the adjustable screw heads until you get the desired power output of that string. Press strings down on the 24th fret and make sure that you have at least 1/16” clearance between the strings and the pickup screw heads, otherwise you may get static as a result. Keep the pickup pole pieces clean as any metallic particles on them can cause static.



    What’s clear here is that both approaches assume you will be adjusting your pickups. They don’t warn you that it will “void the warranty,” and they even offer their recommended setups. You should feel encouraged by this to experiment for yourself.
    There's no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid mistakes!

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    Saucy Plebe Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adjusting humbuckers height and pole peices

    First of all Burka, great post. we must have about a dozen similar bit's of advice here...but good tips never get old.

    Arc the poles to the strings, and height adjust is something people spend WAY too little time doing.
    Quote Originally Posted by jon the art guy View Post
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    Mojo's Minions GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adjusting humbuckers height and pole peices

    "Burka"....ha ha ha ha. That was funny.

    But anyway, I agree.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Tone Member MesaDCLP's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adjusting humbuckers height and pole peices

    Quote Originally Posted by big kurka View Post
    ... They don’t warn you that it will “void the warranty,” and they even offer their recommended setups. ...
    Um, I've never heard this one before from any manufacturer I've delt with.
    Perfect Tone? ...

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    Mojo's Minions GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adjusting humbuckers height and pole peices

    He's obviously misinterpretting something.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Mojo's Minions ItsaBass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adjusting humbuckers height and pole peices

    I start with the wound string screws maybe 1/8 or 3/16 in. from the strings without fretting any of the strings. Plain string screws have to be much lower to balance their volumes to the wound strings IME. Usually not a problem, as I normally have my humbuckers set low to reduce their low end.

    One of the most annoying things to me about the craze for "vintage" reproduction pickups is in regards to Strats. The staggered pickup magnets are designed for a wound G. I prefer that most of the time, but I still like a plain G on certain guitars...and Strats are some of my favorites for using a plain G. But if I do it on a Strat, the G is booming loud in comparison to all the other strings. It's pretty silly that most pickup makers still make their pickups with that stagger when they know almost all sets of electric strings include a plain G.
    Last edited by ItsaBass; 01-28-2012 at 08:16 AM.
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    Tone Member big kurka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adjusting humbuckers height and pole peices

    @GuitarDoc I did not misinterpret anything I copied and pasted the acticle.

    @ItsaBass after playing my guitar for a couple of days now I switched the adjustment for the g and b strings. It helped
    There's no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid mistakes!

    Schecter Hellraiser solo-6 and solo-6FR, Schecter C-1EX,
    Edwards LP Lemon drop, ES-335 copy, Fender Telecaster
    Boss GT-10
    Rocktron Velocity 300
    Two custom built 2x12 cabs with V-30 & G12T-75's in each cab
    Marshall Mode Four/MF 400 cab
    AMT Legend series pedals V1, F1, R1, E1, M1, P1, D2 and growing

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