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Pickup Height Preferences


Bluesmachine

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Guest Farnsbarns

Hello All !

Can you all offer your choice of pickup height on yourLes Paul's ??

I have mine set level to the pickup ring. Pole pieces are also adjusted to the 12 inch radius of the fretboard.

Glorious tone !!!

Cheers !

 

I set the pup height to where they sound best on each guitar.

 

 

Seth lover made the pole pieces visible for aesthetic reasons. They aren't designed to make them adjustable, despite what the interweb might now believe. That said I think there is a small difference made by a large adjustment but they'd have to be protruding quite far to make any real difference. Taking them out completely definitely makes an audible difference. Quite twangy without them. Someone on here did it a few years ago and posted a video.

 

I've heard/read others saying they can hear a difference based on the angle of the screw slot. I call baloney on that.

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"I've heard/read others saying they can hear a difference based on the angle of the screw slot. I call baloney on that."

 

 

I remember the article in Guitar Player from early 2000s. Fellow from the Custom Shop was suggesting this and with the screw slots in a W pattern. At the time I believe they left the CS that way at least by this fellow. The article is not online though I think its Les Paul 50 years.

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Gibson’s engineers recommend a 1.6-millimeter distance between the strings and the pickups for the bridge pickup, and 2.4 millimeters for the neck pickup. In the 1950s, it was 1.6-millimeters for both pickups, which may have reflected the lower-output, unpotted standard of the day.

 

 

http://www.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Gear-Tech/en-us/How-to-Adjust-Humbucker-Height-for-Improved-Tone.aspx

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Lower than I did when I was a kid...

Taming the p'up correctly opens-up the tone.

 

...Seth lover made the pole pieces visible for aesthetic reasons. They aren't designed to make them adjustable...

Absolutely true.

 

The first few PAFs made had a completely plain cover but Mr. Lover was told to put something there because the public would be expecting to see something there!

There's a great book on the history of Gibson Guitars under Ted McCarty's stewardship written by Gil Hembree and pictured on the cover is the '55 Gold-Top (now owned by the author) which was the 'mule' into which was placed two of the first three PAFs ever assembled (individually, by hand, by Mr. Lover) for the purposes of tone-assessment.

Not a pole-piece screw in sight.

 

Incidentally and from the same sourcebook as mentioned earlier the VERY first PAF ever made was gifted by Ted McCarty himself to Seymour Duncan.

Nice present.

 

Pip.

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...I remember the article in Guitar Player from early 2000s. Fellow from the Custom Shop was suggesting this and with the screw slots in a W pattern...

I must have read the same article, Golden.

 

The reasoning IIRC was that there might be the slightest chance of magnetic field cancellation and/or interference affecting maximum possible string vibration if the top edges of the pole-piece slots (oh, Do keep up, 007) were parallel to the line of the string path. Curvature of magnetic filelds at right-angled corners and such-like.

 

Complete bollocks in all probability but I must admit, sheepishly, that my pole-pieces on all my Lesters have been set, roughly, in a W formation since the day I read the article.

I might not believe the 'science' (and I don't) but neither am I smart enough to argue, from a position of absolute scientific, factual knowledge, against it's essential reasoning.

 

Pip.

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Never had a pickup flush with the pick-up ring. The ring just holds the pick-up in place and I don't think it has anything to do with how the guitar will sound. All my guitars the pickup is above the pickup ring. Just measured one for fun, and the distance from the bottom of the string to top of ring is 9/32nds of an inch. [scared]

 

I generally use custom shop set-up guidelines which is press the string down on the highest fret, and then measure from bottom of the string to the top of the pole piece. Their recommendation is 3/64th of an inch. I start there, but usually end up lowering the pick-up away from the string a little until it sounds good to me. My goal is to have both pickups at the same volume so final adjustments are made with both pickup volumes on 10 plugged into the amp. Strum a chord, then switch pickups and strum it again and adjust until they are the same volume. This usually results in the bridge pick-up being a little higher (closer to the strings) because the strings don't vibrate as much closer to the bridge as they do up where the neck pick-up is.

 

Never fooled with the individual pole piece screws, the theory of having them match the radius of the fretboard would seem logical, but with the new compound radius fretboards I think I will continue to not fool with them. :blink:

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The reasoning IIRC was that there might be the slightest chance of magnetic field cancellation and/or interference affecting maximum possible string vibration if the top edges of the pole-piece slots (oh, Do keep up, 007) were parallel to the line of the string path. Curvature of magnetic filelds at right-angled corners and such-like.

 

Complete bollocks in all probability but I must admit, sheepishly, that my pole-pieces on all my Lesters have been set, roughly, in a W formation since the day I read the article.

I might not believe the 'science' (and I don't) but neither am I smart enough to argue, from a position of absolute scientific, factual knowledge, against it's essential reasoning.

 

 

Ah yes , good memory, wow, amazing and I remember the whole LP coverage was actually pretty good in that article but its something how that one piece of bs stands out. Yes, I too adjusted mine as such also. Absolutely I agree, hey I look at it this way, if it only sounds better in my imagination and compared to other electrics the same, Im good with that, no argument from me. [biggrin]

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I've never measured the distance between pickup and strings. They're not flush to the pickup ring at all. I've always moved them up and down to see where they sound best to me. My neck pickups are further down than the bridge pickups. I've never adjusted the pole pieces on any electric I've ever owned. The pickup heights vary somewhat on my guitars.

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This yesterday from Gibson Customer Care,

 

Hello,

 

Set-up specs are the same for Les Paul’s SG’s and ES-335’s. Here is a link to a great article which provides instructions and specs for set-up: http://www.gibson.com/Support/Tech-Tips/Basic-Guitar-Setup.aspx . To set pick-up height, you first need to hold all the strings down at the 22 fret and then measure to gap between the bottom of the outside “E” strings and the top of the pole piece on the bass side and one the treble side for both pick-ups. For the neck pick-up, the gap on either side should be 3/32nd” and on the bridge pick-up, the gap should be 1/16th” on either side. Gibson sets our necks up to have very little relief.

 

 

Thanks for writing us,

 

 

 

Gibson Customer Service

1-800-4GIBSON

service@gibson.com

 

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http://www.gibson.co...itar-Setup.aspx . To set pick-up height, you first need to hold all the strings down at the 22 fret and then measure to gap between the bottom of the outside “E” strings and the top of the pole piece on the bass side and one the treble side for both pick-ups. For the neck pick-up, the gap on either side should be 3/32nd” and on the bridge pick-up, the gap should be 1/16th” on either side. Gibson sets our necks up to have very little relief.

 

 

 

Yes thats the standard then individual poles are set in relation to radius...

 

 

http://www.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Gear-Tech/en-us/How-to-Adjust-Humbucker-Height-for-Improved-Tone.aspx

 

 

Get hot or cool: Raise the pickups for a hotter signal. Lower the pickup for a less hot signal. The closer a string’s proximity to a pickup, the more its vibrations are magnified as they feed into your signal chain. Remember, the original Seth Lover-designed PAF humbuckers that created so many of the great guitar tones heard on classic albums were low output. So while new-generation, high-output pickups might seem appealing, they actually hinder producing vintage tones.

 

• Know the specs: Having a reference point helps. Gibson’s engineers recommend a 1.6-millimeter distance between the strings and the pickups for the bridge pickup, and 2.4 millimeters for the neck pickup. In the 1950s, it was 1.6-millimeters for both pickups, which may have reflected the lower-output, unpotted standard of the day. However, if your guitar sounds too muddy, add some distance on the bass side. If it’s too bright, do the same on the treble. And adjust to your own sonic desires.

 

Tweak pole pieces: After adjusting a humbucker’s height you should examine the height of its individual pole pieces or screws to make sure they follow the radius curve of the fretboard. And if there’s still a string that sounds too loudly or quietly, adjust the individual piece or screw down or up accordingly.

 

Listen up: There’s no hard and fast rule for where a pickup should be placed. If it sounds right to you, it’s right. That simple, So spend some time listening to the tones of your favorite guitar players and envision the sound you’d like your guitar to produce when you play it. The, the chase is on, and it’s more than likely going to be a lifelong pursuit. Pickups height is just one small part of the hunt.

 

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All my Gibson HB are set different heights and string screw poles all different from each other.

 

Adjustment is set during gigs and at gig db level. I noticed that the screw level does make a lot of difference especially since my guitar volume is usually in the mid position. I don't know why the difference even with identical models.

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All my Gibson HB are set different heights and string screw poles all different from each other.

 

Adjustment is set during gigs and at gig db level. I noticed that the screw level does make a lot of difference especially since my guitar volume is usually in the mid position. I don't know why the difference even with identical models.

 

 

Yeah I hear what your saying, I dont know either its a bit closer with 57s for example without the micro phonics compared with BBs among others.

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Well, this thread is going to be a collection of ill informed opinions which ever way you look at it. Should be fun.

 

 

so... personal experience counts for nothing? the cool thing about any forum thread is reading someone else's opinion and experience. if you already know everything what is the point of actually being on a forum like this to begin with?

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Guest Farnsbarns

so... personal experience counts for nothing? the cool thing about any forum thread is reading someone else's opinion and experience. if you already know everything what is the point of actually being on a forum like this to begin with?

 

Hmmmm. Well, I never said my opinion would be any less illinformed than anyone else. I was joking really. These threads just never go anywhere because, well, they just don't.

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Hmmmm. Well, I never said my opinion would be any less informed than anyone else. I was joking really. These threads just never go anywhere because, well, they just don't.

Well, well, seems like Guitarists are just as cynical as Engineers ... or perhaps you're both [biggrin]
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Sometimes guitar cynical is a blessing [biggrin]

 

 

Heres a backward bridge with "slots cut right" -backwards. [biggrin] Hey, you have to take all this with a grain a salt but check out this transition Trad-Pro III from last year, early August I seen a few like this one from August last year. The body/neck are 2017 the electronics 2016 with a plain top, the guitar is marked a 16 Pro III, serial number card showed the model number of the guitar as a Les Paul Traditional Pro III. The back of the guitar is red-17, not natural-16 as shown in the photos online/MF or GC. The neck of the guitar has a gloss finish-17, not the matte finish described in the text online also 16. The color appears to be Ice Tea, its marked HB in the pup cavity for honey burst yet its a Ice Tea rim burst with a red gloss back and side-neck. Anyway they may well be cutting the bridges as such dont know, it seems so. Plays and sounds great at 8.8 and sets up real nice plays like a dream, well aside from the confusion I love it.

 

 

Oh The neck joints are wider and longer, I should have took a photo of it. Thats new to me also.

 

 

IMG_20170626_142532_zpsjyuzcnpv.jpg

 

 

IMG_20170626_142657_zpsb9payzmi.jpg

 

 

IMG_20170602_144822_zpskmslzstq.jpg

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