Too close??

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Boreas, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Meister

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    Just finished up a Partscaster (based on a Squier 72 Thinline) and have noted an issue with the bridge pickup (8.14k). The output seems about half of the neck PU (7.41k), which is nice and full. I have run out of travel on the neck pickup trying to get it closer to the strings. So, to balance, I have sunk the neck PU 2-3mm farther away from the strings. The bridge PU still seems weak and thin.

    I had to shift the bridge forward to allow for the 24.75" neck I installed. Could the mass and height of the bridge be causing a problem by being too close?? See pix.

    I can remove the springs and insert rubber spacers to allow the bridge PU to come up closer to the strings, but this just seems weird. Thoughts?
     

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  2. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Your bridge pup height shouldn't be a problem with their current distance to the strings and the bridge. Have you checked your wiring? Any pics of the wiring would help.

    Eric
     
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  3. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Think you could get a resistor to bring it down.
     
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  4. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, the string excursion diminishes the closer you get to the bridge. So if you're butting right up to it, it's going to be quieter than normal. You can raise a bridge pickup much higher than a neck for the same reason. To me, your bridge pickup looks really low. I think it would help to raise it.
     
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  5. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Meister

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    They are both lower than I would like. I can raise the neck PU, but I need to get rid of the springs to raise the bridge because it is maxed. What I can't figure out is the big difference in output. I was thinking the mass of the bridge might be interfering.
     
  6. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Meister

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    The wiring is factory fresh. As you can see, the white and green leads from each PU were grounded to themselves.

    The body was actually brand new with protective plastic still in place. I wanted to use a Jaguar rocker bridge (lower profile), but it was going to be crammed even closer to the PU. With the roller bridge, I have to use a 1 degree neck shim. That is what forced me to reposition the PUs - the increased string height. But it had never been strung, so I hadn't played it until I installed the new neck and strung it up. They are pretty well balanced right now, but on my next string change I will replace the springs with rubber tubing on the bridge PU.

    Another option would be to countersink the cups on the roller bridge and sink it lower, then change to a 1/2 degree neck shim.
     

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  7. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Meister

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    Certainly quick and easy! The pots are 250k for some reason. I always thought the rule of thumb was for 500k pots on hummers.
     
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  8. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Meister

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    What a can of worms! Check out the pole/string alignment!! For that matter, look at the pole positions in relation to the neck heel. The pickups are very wide, and shifted to the right on the pickguard. Such are the hazards of buying guitar bodies... I have my work cut out for me. Oddly, there is very little output difference between each string. That is why I didn't pay any attention to the pole positions. I just noticed it.

    This guitar is going to be dubbed, The Big Compromise! I bought junk...
     

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    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  9. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    500k is standard for humbuckers since they don't have the same harsh highends as singles. The 250k cuts the highs more.

    Eric
     
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  10. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Meister

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    These sound pretty mellow with the 250ks, but not overly muddy. Perhaps one day I'll try some 500k CTS pots. But I have a bunch of sorting to do. It has only been strung up for one day!
     
  11. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    No, I don't think this is possible. It's too far from the top of the pickup which is where the greatest sensitivity is.
     
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  12. Switchy

    Switchy Tele-Afflicted

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    Me personally, I can't get over about how far away the pickups are from the strings. I'm accustomed to the typical 1/8" or 5/64" standard.
     
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  13. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Meister

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    Well, it freaked me out as well. So tonite I swapped out the roller bridge with my Jag bridge (which just barely misses the pickguard when it rocks), removed the 1 degree neck shim, and lowered both pickups to about where they were from the factory. The PU balance is perfect now and it sounds great. Perhaps part of the problem was the angle the PUs were at. Dunno - they were parallel with the strings, but something wasn't right. I still need to adjust intonation a little, but otherwise, it is a different guitar. I wish I could say what the setup problem was, unless the bridge was causing some kind of magnetic interference.

    Thanks all for your help!
     

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  14. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Meister

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    Dumb question - what happens if you mix pots - say a 500k volume and a 250k tone pot or vicey versey? I was thinking of swapping these out for Emerson Custom pots.
     
  15. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The universe explodes!
    Just kidding!

    The higher the K on pots the less highs it will bleed to ground. 250k are used on singles to reduce the shrillness they can have on the upper end. Humbuckers generally have less upper end by their design and thus not needing to cut them.

    Here are a couple articles that may help rather than retyping what already exists.

    https://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Onli...s_and_Wiring/Which_control_pot_to_choose.html

    https://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Onli...nics_and_Wiring/How_a_tone_control_works.html



    Eric
     
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  16. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Meister

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    Thanks Eric. I guess what I am asking is if, for instance, a 250k tone pot will simply counteract the hi end gained by using a 500k volume pot. Will they cancel each other out? I realize I would get more highs from using two 500 k pots. Would I notice nothing if I used a 500k volume pot and left the 250k tone pot in place? Or just half the highs of using 500ks in both positions?

    I am kinda new to the electronics end of things and am simply trying to get more knowledge before I invest in even more electronic bits than I have already accumulated. I have been fiddling around with treble bleed and greasebucket circuits, but haven't tried mix and matching pot values yet.

    Love StewMac BTW...
     
  17. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a 500K V and 250K T with my P90.

    I can't answer your question, for me it's just confusing the issue. I use a 250K on the tone with a 22 cap to give a fairly narrow sweep across the tone control that's in a usable range for me. a 1meg pot with a 68 cap would give a much wider spectrum across the control, from very bright, to very dark.

    Personally I treat the vol and tone as separate things, I always use 500K log for volume, tone pot and cap will be whatever I think works best for that guitar or depending on what I want the sweep to be like, I use linear pots for tone sometimes too.
     
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  18. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would just get those springs out of there and raise the bridge pickup as high as it will go.
    It looks too low in the pic. At that height its not surprising the output is compromised.
    Messing with pots and cap wont help it. They aren't getting enough signal because of the distance the bridge pickup is from the strings. Once that's sorted the neck pickup can be adjusted to suit.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  19. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Think of it this way. If you had a guitar with no tone pot, the guitar would have the frequencies available at the jack set buy the value of the volume pot. The lower the volume pot value the more highs would be reduced.That tone would be unchanged throughout the volume range. The jack always comes off the volume pot.

    Add a tone pot. The tone pot at wide open is only a pass thru to the volume pot. If they are the same value, the tone pot value is already bleeding off the same frequencies as the volume, meaning the volume pot is having no effect on tone. Unfortunately, the tone pot effect is also only be limited to its value. Add a capacitor to the tone pot. Now as the tone pot is rotated, the frequencies being rolled off to ground are determined by the capacitor value. Wide open, the capacitor is disengaged from the circuit & only the value of the tone pot has an effect that is unchangeable.

    So, can you mix values of pots? Since the lower the value the more high frequencies that are rolled off, the output frequencies would always be determined by the value of the lowest number pot when wide open. For that reason I see no reason to mix. Though someone probably has a different experience.

    Eric
     
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  20. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Meister

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    Thanks Eric! That makes sense.
     
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