Tips & Tricks – Adjusting Your Pickups: Fine-Tune Your Sound
Adjusting Your Pickups: Fine-Tune Your Sound
Most guitars have screws around the pickups for adjusting pickup height. Most guitar factories adjust the pickups to a median height, but why not find the best height for your tone? While you can’t change the character of a pickup, you can make small adjustments that will fine-tune your sound.
A good place to start is about 1/8″ (about two pennies) away from the strings.
If you want more output, raise the pickup closer to the strings. But be careful; get too close and the pickup’s magnetic field can pull too hard on the strings causing an unpleasant sound and interfering with string vibration. If you need more output than that, you’ll need a higher output pickup.
If you want a softer sound, with less output, lower the pickup. Go too far away and the vibrating strings will barely disturb the magnetic field, and the quality of the sound will begin to suffer. If you want a cleaner, sweeter sound, it might be time for a new pickup.
If you want a little more bass, you can raise the bass side up and lower the treble side. More treble? You guessed it, vice versa.
There are other times to consider adjusting your pickup height: If something else has changed, what used to be a perfect pickup height may not be perfect anymore. Are you using different strings, or is your guitar set up with different action? Have your style, pedals, or amp changed? These are all times to consider tweaking your pickup height.
Try this tip out and let us know what you think!