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Traditional 2018 - help a newbie


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I've been a long time reader of this forum, and a Les Paul guy for 20 years or so. Now I got myself an ES-335 Traditional 2018 (MHS pickup, orange drop, etc.) and I have some question as a newbie:


1. Pickup angle: they have some kind of angle toward the neck, is it normal? They are not parallel to the strings.

2. Pickup sound: I had to change the amp settings from how I used it with Les Paul, but it seems like strings EAD are bassy while the other three are way brighter, what I'm missing here?

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Regarding the pickup angle to the strings - that is the way a most ES guitars come from the factory, none of us that own them know why it is like that, if it is truly by design or just because the tops are arched? I have an L-5 and on the neck pick-up the pole piece side of the pickup is a full 1/8th of an inch closer to the strings than the slug side. I haven't tried to change it on that guitar (but I may next string change) Some of us have endeavored to remedy it a couple different ways.


One is to buy a bridge pick-up ring and sand it on the bottom so that it has a contour that will bring the pick-up more level. The other is to remove the ring, and turn it around so that if faces the other way. This will often bring the pick-up to a more parallel position relative to the strings. I did that on a 356 I own. It makes me feel better, but honestly it is hard to tell if it makes any difference in the way the guitar sounds.


Here is a photo of how it looks after flipping the pick-up ring around. You can compare it to how yours looks:




As to the tone of the 335 it will be quite different from your Les Paul - different tone woods in the guitar, different pickups, semi-hollow vs. solid body so adjusting your amp settings is normal. As to the bottom strings sounding bassier I think that is normal for a 335 (been a long time since I played one) but you could try adjusting the pickup height to see if you get more what you like. Tone is totally subjective for each of us so just play around with it some more and hopefully you will find the sound you want.

Edited by Twang Gang
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