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Pole screw question???

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I have been doing my own set ups for years now. I have a pretty good understanding of how to adjust everything on a guitar except the pole screws on the pickups. Could someone please explain to me what the function of these screws are and also how to adjust them properly? I normaly just leave them set to factory specs. I would like to gain some knowledge. Thanks.

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They let you have fine tuning capabilities over each pole/string relationship. Say you've set your pickup height and all the strings sound good except the B...you can adjust that one individually since moving the whole pickup up or down will throw the others out of whack.

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the rule I use is never have the poles higher than the thickness of it's head.. that is, you shouldn't go so high you start to see

the poles threads..

and never go deeper..


the idea is to get your pickup at the right height .. and then fine tune.

don't use them grossly.. the height screws are for that.. just use them for fine tuning. string balance..


be patient! take your time. warm up your amp. no efx. just clean tone..

let your ear get used to what it's hearing.

then adjust your pickups.. try way low.. then way high.. notice the differences.. get them in your head and ears..

then notice the distortion... high pups will overdrive easier.. your sound will be at least edgier..

also you can get so close to the string it will pull it out of tune..


so first get to know the sounds with poles flat..

find your tone!!

then fine tune for string balance.. you may have to raise or lower one side in order to keep within the range of the poles travel..better to

do that than raise or lower the poles radically.


the main problem with most people doing this is they want it done NOW .. and that simply sucks.

take your time. listen close.

This is your sound right here. your fingertips, your hands..


do it with the amp you use most.. at a clean setting you like.. cold amps sound different than warmed up amps. solid state or not, often.

efx just screw you up.. same with distortion..


now.. some people like high output pickups.. that's fine.. but that's not the same as having the pickup too close.. it's a different sound!

so get the cleans.. get 'em smooth and balanced on each pup.. then fine tune with the poles.


and you'l be right on the money no matter your volume or efx, etc.. after that.



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Gibson recommends raising the center ones a bit so that you end up with a curve that follows the radius of the neck. Basically raise them until you have the same distance from each screw to its respective string. From there, you can always tweak the heights to fine tune the string-to-string response, but I've never had to.

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