Pickup Height

Discussion in 'Epiphone Les Pauls' started by DPaterson89, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. DPaterson89

    DPaterson89 Member

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    So, I have searched high and low and have not found the answer I am looking for.

    I recently purchased a new (lefty) Epiphone Les Paul Standard. I am very happy, but after getting the guitar home I realised not only are their old strings on the guitar, but the action is incredibly low. Resulting in crazy buzzing and in need of a new set-up to my liking.

    Being a beginner and only having changed the strings before. I will be doing this in the next day or two, as well as setting the intonation. I am going to try and see how much I am comfortable with before taking it back to the shop.

    But, my question is regarding the pickups. The low E and A string often come into contact with the neck pickup. I tried using the 'middle' screws to lower it, but instead the screws begin to come loose and out of the pickup ring.

    I this normal, or is this a problem? The bridge pickup works in the fashion.

    Appreciate any feedback!
     
  2. Fuelish

    Fuelish Senior Member

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    Something definitely ain't right if your strings are contacting the neck pickup......are you sure this is occurring???... as I cannot fathom a neck pup being that high, not to mention not being able to lower it. Pics , perchance??? The buzz is likely due to low action along with needing a fret level perhaps....I don't believe I could raise my neck pup enough to come close to the strings, but have never tried, so...dunno
     
  3. knapp

    knapp Member

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    If it's new, the shop (where you made the purchase) should help you out with this - string height being so low that the strings hit the pickups would be totally whacky and unplayable.

    However, it is pretty easy to lower the pickups with the 'middle' screws - the pickups are held to the plastic ring by a spring that is placed around this 'middle' screw.
     
  4. Lemonhead

    Lemonhead Senior Member

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    Take the strings off and take the neck pickup out. Make sure the springs are there first and that they are not cought up on something like the pickup wires, etc.!
     
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  5. rayspang

    rayspang Senior Member

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    the neck pickup should be set pretty low as compared to the bridge one.
     
  6. Who

    Who Who is not here. Please leave a message.... Premium Member

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    Lemon head is correct. Make sure you haven't backed the screws out and popped the springs out.

    Also, crazy as it seems, make sure the pickup ring isn't installed upside down.
     
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  7. mechtech

    mechtech Senior Member

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    Since your strings are too low, fix that and you'll get pup clearance, too.
     
  8. MrKensei

    MrKensei Senior Member

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    I learned pretty quickly and easily to do all my own setup work. But I started with a guitar with no prblema and adjusted it to my liking.
    It sound like there are some major setup issues here and its going to take a fair bit of trial and error to get it right.
    My advice would be tothe spend a few $$$ and have a local tech/luthier set it up for you. It might not cost much, and some guys will let you watch them work on it and talk you through what they are doing.
    if there is something wrong rather than just badly set up you'llhave a hard time getting it right by yourself.
     
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  9. DPaterson89

    DPaterson89 Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I had time to replace the strings yesterday. Whist the strings were off I removed the pickups. It appears the neck pickup was tight, or stuck to the pickup cover. When I placed I placed it back on the problem went away.

    I set the intonation and raised the action. It plays much better and the buzzing is minimal. I believe a lot of the buzzing before was down to my ability. I practice a lot without my amp so the buzzing was the biggest issue.

    Glad for all the comments so soon!
     
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  10. DPaterson89

    DPaterson89 Member

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    Oh and I believe the neck might not be 100% straight. Think I'll take your advice Kensei and see if It can be professionally setup and if there is a chance to be walked through it.
     
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  11. LP-lover-1976

    LP-lover-1976 Senior Member

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    Usually a good set up costs around $60.00. This should include cleaning and oiling the fretboard (and checking it for fret levelness), setting pickup height, action and intonation.

    Good luck mang.
     
  12. quincyp

    quincyp Junior Member

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    Gibson Pickup Height Easy (but thorough) Method:
    (Initial Setup)
    Step 1: All pole pieces lowered until "bottom edge of the dome" of pole piece meets flat surface of pickup cover or bobbin. (Just to be clear: Top of pole piece dome is "NOT" flush to top of pickup or bobbin, just the dome of the screw and slot should be visible above the flat pickup surface.)
    Step 2: With String Fretted at last Fret: Set Low E to 3/32 from top of pole piece to bottom of string on both Pickups.
    Step 3: With String Fretted at last fret: Set High E to 2/32 (1/16) from top of pole piece to bottom of string on both pickups.
    Step 4: With Strings Fretted at last Fret: Adjust B and G "pole pieces" (not pickup screws) to 2/32 (1/16) from top of pole piece to bottom of string.
    Step 5: With Strings Fretted at last Fret: Adjust A and D "pole pieces" (not pickup screws) to 3/32 from top of pole piece to bottom of string.
    Step 6: With volume on full and amp on clean, switch between bridge and neck pickup and note if the volume is equal or which one is louder.
    Step 7: If Bridge is louder, raise neck pickup 1/2 turn on each side and try again. If neck is louder, Lower Bridge pickup by 1/2 turn and try again. Continue until volume is equal to your ears.
    Your pickups should now be balanced with each other and the strings. You should have very equal output across all strings.

    (Personal Preference adjustments) I have rarely ever had to perform the following, with USA Gibson pickups.

    For more volume and more compression, raise both pickups 1/2 turn (high and low sides) and try out the sound with your amp settings how you will normally be playing. For less compression and more nuance, lower both pickups 1/2 turn (high and low sides) and try out the sound with your amp settings. Continue unit you find the sound your ears like. Making the same adjustments on both pickups will maintain the balance you already achieved between the pickups.

    If one string sounds louder that the others, which should not be the case with the poles balanced as above, lower that particular pole piece by 1/2 turn, and try the sound out. Continue as required.

    All this said....There are no rules.....But, I have been very happy with this method.

    Thanks.
     

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