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Pickup angle/tilt


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Hi all. Been a while. Been super busy.

Quick question, what's with angled pickups? My Tribute sounds best w/ the neck pup, which is tilted downwards, super low. Which looks a little weird when the pup is positioned more like \ than -. Is it adjustable? Why are the pups on some guitars positioned like that?


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Not sure why Gibson positions so many that way, if is intentional or not.  Usually the tilt is more noticeable on archtop guitars, and it s the pick-up rings that cause the angle.  The pick-up itself is flat, but the arch in the top causes a flat ring to sit at an angle.  Some of us with archtops have turned the pick-up ring around to make the pick-up sit flatter and more parallel to the strings, but a difference in tone is barely noticeable.  

Your guitar may sound better on the neck pick-up because the angle is moving the pickup further from the strings.  Try lowering your bridge pick-up so distance between pole pieces and strings is the same as your neck pickup and maybe the bridge sound will improve.

Here's a shot of an archtop after I turned the pick-up ring around.  You can see how the ring is thicker at one end, and turning it around let the pick-up sit pretty much parallel to the strings


Edited by Twang Gang
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I thought of the pickup ring just before I fell asleep... Will have a look.  Thanks.

Actually, the pickup is positioned so the pole pieces are closer to the strings than if it had been flat, which is why I have to lower the pickup all the way down. I mean, it works, but there's a gap on one end between the pickup ring and the pickup cover. It's just, why?

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  • 1 year later...

I turned the neck pickup ring around on my brand new Gibson ES335 the other way as the poles could not be adjusted properly to the correct string height. The arch top of the guitar makes it impossible for it to sit properly the other way around, I don't know why Gibson do it this way it looks all wrong and when playing I hit the edge of the pickup with the pick. Pickup heights are supposed to be measured from the top of the poles not the back edge of the pickup.

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