Is there a rule of thumb for pup distance from bridge?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Texecaster, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Texecaster

    Texecaster Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    219
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Hello all,

    I am laying out my next build, a Tele with dual humbuckers, and was wondering is there a set distance that the bridge pick up needs to be from the bridge?
    If it's too close, will it be overly tinny / trebly?

    The attached photo is where I pencilled it in but it looks a tad close to the bridge?

    Thoughts?

    Cheers.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. davmac

    davmac Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,514
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2003
    Location:
    Wirral, UK
    I'm not sure if it a rule of thumb or just chance but all of my HB equipped guitars have the centre of the bridge pickup 2" (+/- 1/8") from the bridge.
     
  3. Texecaster

    Texecaster Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    219
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    2" from the edge of the bridge, or the saddles, or the string through holes? lol

    Cheers.
     
  4. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    18,871
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Typically, you want the pickups to be about as far apart as possible so you get a larger tonal variation from the neck and bridge posistion. I put them closer together once, and both pickups pretty much sounded the same.

    Most guys, including myself, like the humbucker ring or edge of the pickup(tv jones p90) to be touching the edge of the bridge.
     
  5. Texecaster

    Texecaster Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    219
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Cool, thanks Colt. I might just leave it where it is then.

    Cheers.
     
  6. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    17,552
    Joined:
    May 12, 2007
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    I like this guy's theory.

    http://archive.ampage.org/threads/6/pmgd/335435/Bridge_humbucker_location_very_critical-1.html

    For instance the Les Paul having a 24-3/4" scale, it's bridge pickup is located 23-3/8" and the neck at 18-5/8".
    (I locate off the adjustable screw poles of a humbucking pickup in their normal Les Paul orientation)

    This equates to an AR of .94 for the Bridge pickup location and .75 for the Neck pickup location.

    So as an example when placing humbuckers on a Strat and wanting Les Paul type voicing, the strat having a 25.5" scale would have the bridge pickup at:

    25.5 x .94 = 23.97" (23-31/32")

    and the neck the pickup screw poles would be placed at:

    25.5 x .75 = 19.12" (19-1/8")


    Using the position of a HB from a known guitar of similar scale length is a good idea. Pickup positioning is probably the most important tonal aspect short of the actual pickup you're putting in. Half an inch can be the difference between tinny icepick and mud.
     
    Tommyd55 likes this.
  7. davmac

    davmac Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,514
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2003
    Location:
    Wirral, UK
    Yep - I need to be more specific. From centre of the pickup to the saddle on the high E.

    If you do a google image search for "Les Paul" and/or "PRS" and you'll see that there is typically around a 1/2" gap between bridge and pickup ring. Slightly more on the longer scale PRS which backs up Nick's figures.

    As Colt pointed out, get the pickups too close together and their sound is too similar but, get the bridge pickup too close to the bridge and it can be very quiet because the closer you get to the bridge, the smaller the amplitude in the string movement.
     
  8. vinman

    vinman Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    292
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Location:
    long island, ny
    Just curious why you aren't using a tele bridge with the humbucker opeining already in it? I like the grain by the way.
    Vinny
     
  9. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    18,871
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    [​IMG]
     
  10. hackworth1

    hackworth1 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

    Posts:
    3,578
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Location:
    Volusia County, Florida
    Colt, can you point me to those cool knobs you made?
     
  11. Texecaster

    Texecaster Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    219
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Cheers Vinny,

    I just had two hardtail strat bridges in my parts box, so why not use one.

    Thanks Nick and Davmac, I learnt something new today....again....from here! :D

    Cheers.
     
  12. HighAndDry

    HighAndDry Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    143
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Location:
    Blaine, Mn
    Interesting. I have often wondered what criteria Fender and Gibson used originally for pickup placement. I have read reviews of 24 fret guitars where the reviewer noted that the neck pickup no longer was placed at the 2nd octave harmonic point. I wonder if they used scale length as a factor or just trial and error?
     
  13. geetarfreek82

    geetarfreek82 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,011
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Location:
    Moosic, PA
    The placement absolutely needs to be right... I recently inherited a '71 Gibson SG-200, and the original owner installed two Dimarzio Super Distortion pups. The problem is that it originally came with two single coils, and whoever did the mods just widened the holes from the stock pickups. The problem is, when I installed two paf style humbuckers in there, the bridge pickup sounded way too wimpy and weak. My solution was to put a modified Gibson P-94T in it, because it's centralized polepieces are in roughly the same location as the original single coils' poles. Now it sounds great!
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    18,871
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    QUOTE=hackworth1;3242860]Colt, can you point me to those cool knobs you made?[/QUOTE]

    Well, I cut two 75$ duck calls in half to make those. So They really aren't an economical choice for guitar knobs. My brother has some photos of me cutting em up. Ill email him and see if he can send them to me.

    http://www.keswaterfowlers.com/products/corn-cutter/[



    I built that guitar for Knock Em Stiff Waterfowlers ( My brother is a duck hunting pro staff guy). It was being raffled off for wounded vets coming back from Iraq and Afghanastan. Last I heard, it was making its way into the hands of some celebrities for autographs.
     
    merseymale likes this.
  15. geetarfreek82

    geetarfreek82 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,011
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Location:
    Moosic, PA
    Well, I cut two 75$ duck calls in half to make those. So They really aren't an economical choice for guitar knobs. My brother has some photos of me cutting em up. Ill email him and see if he can send them to me.

    http://www.keswaterfowlers.com/products/corn-cutter/[

    I built that guitar for Knock Em Stiff Waterfowlers ( My brother is a duck hunting pro staff guy). It was being raffled off for wounded vets coming back from Iraq and Afghanastan. Last I heard, it was making its way into the hands of some celebrities for autographs.[/QUOTE]

    Lol Colt when I first saw those "knobs" I thought they were wheels from a pair of roller skates! They look neat though! :)
     
  16. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    18,871
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Lol Colt when I first saw those "knobs" I thought they were wheels from a pair of roller skates! They look neat though! :)[/QUOTE]

    Haha, my brother wanted to incorporate some duck calls into the guitar( I think he has watched too many episodes of American Chopper). The only thing I could think of was cutting up calls and making a medallion and some knobs.

    [​IMG]

    My bother wanted to put a bunch of decals on it, and I flat out told him no. Its a damn guitar, and way to pretty to put freakin' stickers all over it.

    The middle of the knobs are polished walnut dowels. I tried just filling em with clear epoxy, but the epoxy blushed on me, so I made little walnut buttons.
    [​IMG]


    But anyway, I posted the picture to show the humbucker mount bridge plate. The ones guitar fetish sells are actually pretty nice plates. I think there like 17$, where as Gotohs are closer to 70$.
     
  17. ThermionicScott

    ThermionicScott Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    39
    Posts:
    5,913
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Location:
    SW CR IA US NA PE
    Another data point: the polepieces in my Ric 330 are about 1.25" from the bridge saddles.

    The pickup body is only about 1/8" away from the bridge plate.

    - Scott
     
  18. Texecaster

    Texecaster Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    219
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks again to all.
    I should nail it with all the info supplied here.

    Cheers.
     
  19. JCSouthpawtele

    JCSouthpawtele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,542
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Location:
    Middlebury,Indiana
    I did measurments from my Strat with a fullsize Duncan custom bucker in the bridge. I got different measurments than both a Les Paul and to the first pole piece of a tele single coil.


    Strat
    saddle height adjustment screws to center pole/screw in front coil= 1 1/2"
    from the 6 vintage tremolo mounting screws to same screw/poles= 1 1/8"
    From the 6 screws to center of the 2 coils= 1 1/2"

    Tele
    Saddle height adjustment screw to treble(high E) side pole piece= 1 3/8"
    string though hole to High E pole=2"
     
  20. JCSouthpawtele

    JCSouthpawtele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,542
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Location:
    Middlebury,Indiana
    That is why Strats/Teles have issues with using neck pickups and harmonics. You lose that harmonic. I think Leo had it right the the Esquire- one pickup.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.