*Pickup Height*

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by knuw1, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. knuw1

    knuw1 Strat-Talker

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    Okay friends, does anyone know how much pickup Height/angle affect sound or attack? I'm sure it may have been discussed before but I'd like some input on the subject? Does it matter, best heights etc. And go!
     
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  2. ThebiggestJerk

    ThebiggestJerk Strat-O-Master

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    Use your ears.
     
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  3. Stratafied

    Stratafied Senior Stratmaster

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    I recently started adjusting mine which I’ve never done before, on the advice of other members who know far more than me . They suggested going for your own personal sound , forget Fender specs.
     
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  4. Tuner Sandwich

    Tuner Sandwich Strat-O-Master

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    The only way I know to do it is lower them all the way down and raise 'em a little and strum, raise again and strum, raise again and strum. Went too far, back it down and strum.

    Find the Zone. Its there. Waiting to be found.

    Edit: I start at the Neck p/u and when I get that one right, move on down, making them even to my ear. Maybe the bridge a little higher for output.
     
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  5. Antstrat

    Antstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    Lots of discussions and opinions but what finally worked for me was just my ears. Spent a lot of time researching heights, using a ruler to get things sopt on, basically drove myself nuts. Too much internet jibber jabber. Then one day common sense took over and I let my ears decide and so far they haven';t let me down.

    Raise them high and then slowly lower or put them real low and slowly raise either way you'll find the sweet spot for you that isn't on a spec sheet.
     
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  6. arty kewpcer

    arty kewpcer Strat-Talk Member

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    Is the magnetic influence on the string's pitch significant or is it in the brass vs steel block voodoo territory?
     
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  7. Tuner Sandwich

    Tuner Sandwich Strat-O-Master

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    Also, once you get it right, one morning you will wake up and it just doesn't sound right. So ya gotta do it all over again.
     
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  8. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

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    It's personal preference.
    The only limit is when the pickup gets too close, it will introduce phantom notes and harmonics, generally unpleasant and irritating. It will also 'pull' on the string.

    If you have hot pickups, you do not need them close. If you have aged magnets, you aren't typically looking for a sound which requires the pickup to be within a bees dick of the strings either. Experimenting with heights until the guitar sounds good to your ears, and doesn't deliver any nastiness is how most of us find our own way.

    You can always follow the fender owners manual which gives guidelines on setting the height. Also a bazillion videos online by all manner of qualified and unqualified "professionals" offering opinions on everything pickup related.

    I've found my own ears to be the best guide. I suggest you try doing the same, everyone should learn to experiment. The worst thing you can do is have to adjust it back to it's original measured height if you stuff it up. It's not going to blow anything up in your guitar.
     
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  9. Stratafied

    Stratafied Senior Stratmaster

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    I followed your advice on this and went by ear as well, really loving the sound I’m now getting.
     
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  10. Tuner Sandwich

    Tuner Sandwich Strat-O-Master

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    Oh, it's all voodoo. But we like to dissect the science if it.

    Edit: in all seriousness, if the string it too close to the pickup, the magnetic pull will make it sound wonky. Also may affect tuning.
     
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  11. Class A Knob

    Class A Knob Senior Stratmaster

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    What he said...

    To answer your question, yes. And the best height is your height.
     
  12. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Definitely personal preference. That being said, you may generalize by saying if you lower the pickups to the pickguard you will have a more vintage tone. Raise them up and you get more and more in your face tone.
     
  13. Antstrat

    Antstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    That's great thank you for saying so!
     
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  14. PCollen

    PCollen Senior Stratmaster

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    This sounds like a TITLE for a new independent thread. But my quick answer would be: tree-fiddy
     
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  15. knuw1

    knuw1 Strat-Talker

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    I just installed a new pickup in the bridge of my Strat and have been a little unhappy with the sound. I have it set rather high and I was thinking that is why. Need too tweak the height a bit. It's a hot pickup so it probably needs to come down in height.
     
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  16. Bob the builder

    Bob the builder Most Honored Senior Member

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    I've never had a ruler even in the same room as my guitars.
    If it don't sound good...raise it a smidge or lower it a hair
     
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  17. fezz parka

    fezz parka Duke of DILLIGAF Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Dial out Stratitis and then use your ears.
     
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  18. Tuner Sandwich

    Tuner Sandwich Strat-O-Master

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    On my 30th birthday, my brother gave me 30 tape measures. Literally. The box was heavy.

    15 years later, I think I have one around here somewhere.
     
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  19. stratmatt777

    stratmatt777 Strat-Talker

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    Stevie had his super low. Dan Patlansky talks about it here (and demos his strat and tone):
     
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  20. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    .

    Start with the neck pickup level with the pickguard/trim ring, raise bridge pickup until volume parity with the neck. Recheck over several days as your ears get fatigued if trying all in one session.

    You can use "Ceramic" magnet pickups if you use your ears to set heights, if you use published specs by measuring you'll find those were developed for alnico magnets which are weaker. Putting stronger ceramic magnets (which are better for much of rock/blues and counteract the complaints of 'too weak/thin output') at the spec heights will result in too much output and poor sounding for most.

    Follow along with Joe, no matter what guitar you have, for setting pickup heights.



    .
     
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