Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Magnetic pull from pickups? What have YOU experienced tonewise?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by dukeh62, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. dukeh62

    dukeh62 TDPRI Member

    Apr 16, 2008
    Hey guys,

    We always read about how having your pickups too close to the strings can cause decreased sustain, fret buzz, loss of tone, etc.

    Have any of you actually experienced this, and if so, HOW DRASTIC was the improvement when you lowered the pickup(s)? I'm concerned with the effects on sustain and tone of the string itself, as opposed to "more treble, bass, etc."

    I've got A5 magnets in my tele..and the bridge is really close. Wondering if that is taking some sustain away. I'm going to experiment tonight, but the guitar is at home right now. Just wanted to get some insight.


  2. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    It's no real mystery, just basic physics. Besides, sustain is highly over rated anyway! LOL!

    Just set the pickups where they sound best and worry about all the rest later.

  3. maestrovert

    maestrovert Poster Extraordinaire

    Well, i normally set my P-ups a bit lower than most guys.....why ?

    you might give this a try:
    lay your guitar down face up, then balance a screwdriver between your index finger and thumb and let the tip/blade hover over the neck P-up...slowly s l o w l y lower the screwdriver's tip until you can feel the magnet's pull on the screw driver.
    Make a note of the distance/height point above the p-up where the magnetic pull becomes noticeable....i'm willing to bet that point is a good bit above your normal P-up to string clearance...

  4. Bswailes

    Bswailes Tele-Holic

    May 13, 2003
    Amish Country, PA
    I've heard of problems with wolf-tones: where the magnetic pull from the "too close" pickups actually alters the normal vibration of the string. Causes pitch problems.

    I think it was Terry Downs who turned me on to most Fender Tele pups being best set to the height of a single nickle stacked on the treble side of the pickup body, raised or lowered to just touch the bottom of the strings. Two nickles on the bass side of pickup.

    It seems to work for me. Mine were WAY too high it turns out, (of course I set 'em that way :rolleyes: and I had some unintended tones, esp. from the bass strings.


  5. Gary in NJ

    Gary in NJ Tele-Meister

    Jan 19, 2009
    New Jersey
    If the pups are too close to the strings your guitars intonation will suffer.

  6. Tele Fan

    Tele Fan Friend of Leo's

    Oct 26, 2007
    Louisville, Ky
    I've had it effect my tuning and make my guitar sound funny. I went with the nickel thing Bswailes mentioned and I have had any problems since. I read about it on Bill Lawrence's website.

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