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Volume and pick ups inquiry....


Figstrum

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I just got my guitar from the shop. It has a set of GFS Classic II humbucker pups in the neck and in the bridge. I noticed that when switching from the neck to the bridge there is a slight drop in volume. (and maybe bass response, but I know that the bridge is supposed to be brighter and not have much bass)

 

I was thinking on raising the bridge a little to see if this would change it any. Also, the pick ups seemed to be a bit loose and move back and forth in place.

 

Any thoughts? [cool]

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The bridge pickup is typically set higher than the neck pickup, so look at how they are set up and go from there. If I paid somebody to install my pickups, I would expect them to have adjusted them properly, so if you don't like the idea of adjusting them yourself, take it back to the shop and tell the tech to finish the job! The pickups rocking back and forth is normal, because the secrews that hold the pickup in place are centered on the pickup, which creates a pivot point. THe only way to stop that would be to mount the pickup with 4 screws - one on each corner. I think Carvin used to do that in the 70's

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The bridge pickup is typically set higher than the neck pickup' date=' so look at how they are set up and go from there. If I paid somebody to install my pickups, I would expect them to have adjusted them properly, so if you don't like the idea of adjusting them yourself, take it back to the shop and tell the tech to finish the job! The pickups rocking back and forth is normal, because the secrews that hold the pickup in place are centered on the pickup, which creates a pivot point. THe only way to stop that would be to mount the pickup with 4 screws - one on each corner. I think Carvin used to do that in the 70's[/quote']

 

I agree. I did notice after i did swich to Gibson pickups that they seems to rock back and forth a bit more than the epiphone one. It could be due to the size of the spings holding them.

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Depress the low E and high E strings at fret #22 and measure the distance between bottom of string and top of pickup.

 

Gibson LP Factory settings are as follows:-

 

Neck pickup 3/32" at both treble and bass sides

Bridge pickup 1/16" at both treble and bass sides

 

Adjust to taste from these starting points.

 

 

Note: If your action is lower on the treble side, the pups will correspondingly be lower on the treble side. I.e. they won't be totally level with the body.

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WOW! Great stuff in here guys. I really appreciate every bit of it. I went ahead and started making ajustments myself. Whether that is good or bad remains to be seen, but so far nothing has broken [biggrin]. The neck pup seems to have a real heavy bass response. I am assuming that I should lower that side to adjust the bass output, is this correct?

 

AlanH, ur making learn to measure....HAHAHA.

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Depress the low E and high E strings at fret #22 and measure the distance between bottom of string and top of pickup.

 

Gibson LP Factory settings are as follows:-

 

Neck pickup 3/32" at both treble and bass sides

Bridge pickup 1/16" at both treble and bass sides

 

Adjust to taste from these starting points.

 

 

Note: If your action is lower on the treble side' date=' the pups will correspondingly be lower on the treble side. I.e. they won't be totally level with the body.[/quote']

 

Alan,

 

I got this these pick up heights from http://www.bothner.co.za/articles/pickupheight.shtml

 

Gibson Humbucker Height Recommendations

 

Bass Side Treble Side

Neck Pickup 3/32" 1/16"

Bridge Pickup 3/32" 1/16

 

These are basically the same thing you sent. Why would they want them to sit slanted? Anyways, I like the way and measurements that you sent which is what I will try once I find a ruler to measure the 3/32" of an inch : ) I had never paid attention to how close the pup is to the strings.

 

Thanks Alan!

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Well..... I bought a ruler with 16th and 32nd measurements. I'm going in to see what happens. So far it looks like very little space between the strings and the pick ups. Should I measure to the top of the plastic of the pick up or to the top of the poles? The poles in mine extend over the pick up.

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Alan' date='

 

I got this these pick up heights from http://www.bothner.co.za/articles/pickupheight.shtml

 

Gibson Humbucker Height Recommendations

 

Bass Side Treble Side

Neck Pickup 3/32" 1/16"

Bridge Pickup 3/32" 1/16

 

These are basically the same thing you sent. Why would they want them to sit slanted? Anyways, I like the way and measurements that you sent which is what I will try once I find a ruler to measure the 3/32" of an inch : ) I had never paid attention to how close the pup is to the strings.

 

Thanks Alan!

 

 

[/quote']

 

My measurements are taken from the Erlewine books where he refers to Gibon factory specs. Yours above are different though. According to my references the neck pup should be 3/32" between pickup and underside of strings on both the base and treble sides. The bridge pickup is set 1/32 closer to the strings, having 1/16" distance between pup and underside of strings on both the bass and treble sides.

 

What I meant about the slant is that if your action is lower at the treble side then your pickups will end up correspondingly lower on that side too. In other words, if you were to sight towards the headstock from behind the bridge you will see the pickup and the strings slanting downwards at the treble side compared to the base side.

 

Alan

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Well..... I bought a ruler with 16th and 32nd measurements. I'm going in to see what happens. So far it looks like very little space between the strings and the pick ups. Should I measure to the top of the plastic of the pick up or to the top of the poles? The poles in mine extend over the pick up.

 

I've set all my polepieces just above flush.

 

However, I wonder if the polepieces at the E strings should be the lowest with the D and G polepieces being higher. The rationale, to my mind, is that the bridge saddles are higher in the middle and lower at each end to match the fretboard radius; is it about a 12" radius on a Gibson/Epi?

 

Alan

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I've set all my polepieces just above flush.

 

However' date=' I wonder if the polepieces at the E strings should be the lowest with the D and G polepieces being higher. The rationale, to my mind, is that the bridge saddles are higher in the middle and lower at each end to match the fretboard radius; is it about a 12" radius on a Gibson/Epi?

 

Alan

[/quote']

 

Alan,

 

I am going to use the measurements that you sent. The poles in my humbuckers stick out pretty good. Should I measure to the pole or the top of the pick up?

 

Once again, Thanks a lot.

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Alan' date='

 

I am going to use the measurements that you sent. The poles in my humbuckers stick out pretty good. Should I measure to the pole or the top of the pick up?

 

Once again, Thanks a lot.[/quote']

 

As I set the polepieces approximately flush with the body I measured to the body of the pickup itself.

 

One you're in the ball park it's probably best to make your adjustments to suit your ear, testing the volume at each string. Note: I haven't made graduated pole piece adjustments.

 

Don't worry too much, just adjust to what sounds best to you.

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Anyway' date=' what do those new pickups sound like? I'd love to hear what you think.

 

Maybe even a sound or video clip?[/quote']

 

Alan,

 

I am about as computer illiterate as they come. But, I have to say this, the sound of this set is round and responds well. I am pleased with them and will be keeping them for a while. The neck is warm and strong. The bridge compliments the neck well, and does not have the ice pick effect. I am assuming that this comes from the Alnico II magnets.

 

Here is the update. Since I bought a ruler to measure 32nds of an inch, here is my conversions. (feel free to correct me if I am mistaken) The poles in these pick ups extend from the top of the pick up, so, I measured to the poles instead of the top of the pick up.

 

1/16 = 2/32

1/8 = 4/32

 

After getting over the fact that I could mess this up, here is what I ended up with. Since the neck had a pronounced bass response, I set the neck treble side to 3/32, and the bass side to 4/32. This gave me a round sound with an equal response in bass and treble when combined. Meaning, the bass did not drown the high string sound.

 

After setting both sides of the bridge to 2/32, it had a bit of high sound for my taste. I lowered both the treble and bass sides to a 3/32, maintaining both sides equal at the bottom of each string.

 

In the end, there was not a volume drop in either pick up when swtiching from the neck to the bridge. Now, both the neck and bridge sound balanced and the bass response seems to be equal from each pick up.

 

I would like to thank everyone for helping me out to accomplish this. Maybe this will help someone else when this issue comes up. Now, that I have saved some money doing this myself, will grab me a 12pk and enjoy the monster sounds from this axe!!!!

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Now' date=' that I have saved some money doing this myself, will grab me a 12pk and enjoy the monster sounds from this axe!!!!

 

[/quote']

 

That does sound like a good plan.

 

Glad you got the settings tweaked to your liking which is really what it's all about.

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That does sound like a good plan.

 

Glad you got the settings tweaked to your liking which is really what it's all about.

 

 

 

 

Yes sir.... And THANKS again for ur help.

 

I know this is subjective, but does it matter much that I measured to the top of the poles instead of the top of the pick up?

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All good advice above. Now, I'll throw in another thing to consider. Pickup height can be a major component of the sound of your guitar. Higher pickups tend to sound more "electric" and lower pickups will introduce more of the "woody" sound of the body.

 

When you pluck a string, vibrations course through the body from the strings and a certain amount of that reflects back into the strings from the body's vibrations. If your pickups are lower you get less output, but you balance the steel sound with the body reflections of the vibes coming back into the pickups from the body. This can create a much more pleasant sound than with the pickups raised to maximum height. You get some tone from the wood mixed into the overall sound. How much you get depends on the microphonic properties of the pickup and the acoustic coupling of the nut and bridge to the body.

 

You can tap on the pickups with the amp volume turned up and judge the microphonic properties of the pickup. You can also tap on the body and listen to the vibrations coming off the strings into the pickups. Somewhere in pickup height, you will hit the point that gives you the best overall sound. It all depends on the wood in the body, the pickups, and the sweet spot in height that mixes the two components best.

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  • 1 month later...

The neck is gonna be muddy, it's a cheap pup in the neck position, what ya expect?

 

As far as pole pieces go, take your measurements from them, and set their height to match your string radius. The outside strings set flush with the cover, and the others raised to match string radius. You normally wind up with poles like this / / /

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