1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

"tilted" Pickups To Achieve More Wiry Twang?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Royal Tele, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. Royal Tele

    Royal Tele Tele-Holic

    Age:
    33
    Posts:
    923
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Location:
    Lone Star State
    So, I picked up a late model Tele in a guitar store the other day. Plugged it into the same amp that I own and play at home. This Tele seemed to have WAY more of that wiry/stringy sounding twang than I hear out of my own Tele at home. (I will go ahead and admit that it could very well be because it was a "new" guitar at a store, and I convinced myself it sounded different/better.) BUT--I did notice that the bass side of the bridge pickup was set noticeably lower than the treble side. (Whereas the bridge pickup on my Tele at home is set as level as I can get it, mainly because the radius at the bridge is 16" on my Tele. I figured this would give me the most consistent response across the strings?) I've seen and read about Strat players doing this with the pickups in their Strats to achieve more of that classic wiry/stringy sound. Is this true across the board? If I want more of that kind of sound out of my Tele, should I try setting the bass side of the pickup lower and the treble side of the pickup higher?
     
  2. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    76
    Posts:
    4,970
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2014
    Location:
    Toowoomba, Australia
    Try it and see, it's easy enough to do and reverse. I set my pickup tilt by ear, and it varies across guitars and pickups.
     
  3. Bourboncaster

    Bourboncaster TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    8
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Location:
    Phoenix
    +1 it always depends on the pickups but you can usually achieve your "optimal tone" by adjusting the height and angle of any decent pickups.
     
  4. Royal Tele

    Royal Tele Tele-Holic

    Age:
    33
    Posts:
    923
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Location:
    Lone Star State
    Alright, cool. I've got a Lolar Vintage T in the bridge. I'd consider that a decent pickup at the least. So I'll let you guys know what happens when I fiddle with it.
     
  5. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    71
    Posts:
    3,120
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Location:
    Woodstock
    Alot of guys here, including myself, use the Bill Lawrence "nickel" method as a starting place and adjust by ear from there. You can search it out on this site. But with that method, the bass side of the pickup starts out close to twice as far from the bottom of the 6'th string as the treble side is away from the 1'st string. It's interesting to me because my ear has told me the same for many, many years. I always end up with the treble side of the pickup higher than the treble side to achieve what I consider an optimum balance, especially with single coils. Give it a try.
     
  6. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,635
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Location:
    Ohio
    Was the Tele in the store with less string break angle than your Tele?
    (Less break angle can contribute to a looser, more of that stringy jaw harp tone on the wound strings).

    String gauge the same as yours?

    Your pup compared to the store's??

    Several factors can contribute possibly.

    .
     
  7. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    16,123
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Fort Worth,Tx.
    My bass side is always lower than the treble.
     
  8. sjruvolo

    sjruvolo Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    465
    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Location:
    New York
    I'll bet that the new Tele has thinner strings as well. Try stringing up the Tele with your brand and gauge of strings then go to the P/U height adjustments to get the sound you are after.
     
  9. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,678
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Moon Township, PA
    I always plug my guitars into a mixer and check the high and low E strings to get a rough setting on the pickups. LED's don't lie. And no FX or signal manipulation along the way. Every passive pickup I own tends to need the treble side adjusted closer to get a proper balance. EMG's sound OK equidistant from the strings on both ends.
     
  10. Stubee

    Stubee Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    10,949
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan
    I run my AV62 pups way lower on the bass side, more to keep the bass from overpowering the trebles. I get plenty of 'twang' with that '62 bridge pup regardless of how I position it but would guess it's more noticeable without the bass tones stomping all over it.
     
  11. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,339
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    I want a pinball-inspired light on my Tele that flashes TILT whenever I play something particularly awesome...
     
    Blue Bill and sockgtr like this.
  12. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,390
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    as a rule the bass side should be lower than the treble side.
    (bass strings are bigger and thus have more power and will
    overpower the smaller treble strings)
    But I noticed if your pickup is too high it will actually sound balanced
    when both sides are even.

    I bet your tele pickup at home has the pickups too high.
     
  13. Royal Tele

    Royal Tele Tele-Holic

    Age:
    33
    Posts:
    923
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Location:
    Lone Star State
    Yeah, I use 10's on my Tele, while the Tele at the store definitely had 9's on it. I also remembered that the Tele at the store was an Ash body, while mine is an Alder body. (Ash is brighter and a bit more snappy, isn't it?) The one in the store had the latest noiseless pickups that Fender has come out with, too. I've got a Lollar Vintage T in mine.

    But with all of that said, I tried out the Bill Lawrence method, set the low E side of my pickup 10/64" beneath the low E when fretted at last fret, and set the high E side of the pickup only 5/64" beneath the high E (which creates QUITE a tilt on that pickup!), and it sounded MUCH better right away! I'm very pleased with the results that came from such a simple adjustment. So thanks for the advice! I typically have my strings all sitting at about 6/64" above the 17th fret, so when fretted at the last fret and when the pickup is adjusted accordingly, you can imagine that I ended up lowering the pickup overall quite a bit. Great sounds coming out of that setup!
     
  14. falcon5romeo

    falcon5romeo Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    767
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2015
    Location:
    Lehigh Valley
    I'll be the odd man out, I set my bass side higher. I also set my tone control almost totally counterclockwise. Otherwise I can't get over the treblyness. It probably sounds like crap though, because I don't hear bass frequencies that well.
     
  15. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    71
    Posts:
    3,120
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Location:
    Woodstock
    Yay, glad to hear that worked for you too! :)
     
  16. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,390
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    another reason the bass side should be lower is because alnico magnets have a proximity effect.
    The closer the strings are to the magnets the more the bass is accentuated over the treble.
    Interestingly ceramic mags dont have this effect.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.