I need some advice on Pickup height.

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Digiplay, Jun 7, 2020.

  1. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Holic

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    My Road Worn 50's Tele has Custom Shop 51 Nocaster pu's, and while I'm happy with their sound, the bridge pu is noticeably louder than the neck pu.


    I adjusted their height by the two nickels on the low E side/one nickel on the high E side method.


    To make the volumes closer, should I lower the bridge pu, or raise the neck pu?
     
  2. Cesspit

    Cesspit Tele-Holic

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    It is a juggling act. Be guided by what you hear and what you like. Generally I find that I tend to have my pick ups lower, rather than higher. There are no rules with this subject though so experiment and suit your self.
    Have fun.
     
  3. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    Which one do you prefer the "TONE" characteristic ?

    Lowering the pups will accentuate the brightness a tad . Raising the pups the opposite. Its not only about volume.
     
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  4. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I'd probably try raising the treble side of the neck PU first, and then the bass side slowly and with frequent pauses to listen and play.

    I find the bass side of the neck pickup hardest to dial in and balance for some reason. I want it to have some power and "chunk" but to avoid woofy boominess too.
     
  5. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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  6. medownsouth

    medownsouth Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I use the 1 nickel/2 nickel approach. Treble/bass - and tweak for volume balance. Works.
     
  7. Stubee

    Stubee Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I don’t use any measurements. I adjust the bridge pickup to get it sounding like I want it and with good bass to treble balance, then I adjust the neck pickup to match the bridge in volume. I do it that way because I use the bridge pickup far more than the neck plus find Tele neck pickups to to be less critical to adjust. I can’t always easily get the neck pickup to exactly match bridge pickup volume (it’s a bit louder on my AV62) but I can live with that.
     
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  8. jackal

    jackal Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I always set the bass side of the neck pickup first. Raise it until it almost touches the string when fretted at the highest fret, fretting at the highest fret hit the note and see how the sound waivers, then lower until the waivering stops. Adjust the treble side for equal volume. Adjust bridge pickup for same or slightly louder volume. You can lower the pickups if you like the tone better, but set like this is the highest the pickups should be set. Some times this setting is higher than manufactures' specs, but usually it will be just a touch lower.
     
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  9. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I guess that would depend on how those pickups are currently adjusted. If the neck pickup is already adjusted rather high, then lowering the bridge pickup would be the better option. And v.v.

    Remember, it is pole piece spacing from the strings that count, which is one reason I prefer flat, non-staggered pole pieces .
     
  10. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    "Grab a screwdriver and let your ears be your guide"...….Fezz Parka
     
  11. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    If I recall correctly, those pickups have slightly weaker a3 magnets, so you can get away with being closer without causing problems (but that doesn't mean it'll necessarily sound better, you still need to experiment...)
     
  12. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    This is interesting, I'm going to try this and see how it is WRT boominess.

     
  13. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Use your ears. The two nickels approach is way too close.
    I run them all down level to the pickguard and then raise the bridge until volume parity with the neck. Turn the amp up another notch if you need more volume.

    See how Hendrix does it. Low and tilted.



    Or Joe (he includes a playing technique for a certain song too)


     
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  14. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    what a buncha fellers already said in above posts - use yer EARS!

    stop the measurement nonsense! everything about guitars is SUBJECTIVE! fiddle with the pickup height screws one pickup at a time. start uber high or uber low and tweak the screws ONE turn at a time and ... listen. typically with passive pickups, closer to the strings increases output and "balls", further from the strings decreases output and renders a more "acoustic-like" tone. have at it!
     
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  15. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    that . . . and this..

    Guys get entirely too hung-up on using specific metrics... using rulers to set things up..

    well rulers cannot feel, they cannot hear...

    every guitar is different.. thus a measurement of .090 over the 12th fret may work great for some Jazz Legend... ON HIS GUITAR . . . but, it may buzz like a Poulan Chain Saw on yours... for no other reason than it's YOUR GUITAR And subtlety different than the Jazz guys..

    the specs listed on the various websites are a basis for beginning only... set it accordingly, then dial it in buy playing, and listening...

    Now some will question that.. wondering why a big manufacture would not tell ya that.. it's because they realize most amateurs cannot "wrap their head around".. something as nondescript as, "use your sense of touch and your ears"...

    The real purpose is to get you to their websites with the hope you will cruise the site and buy something.

    r
     
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