F-spacing?

jep1210

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So I'm on a pick up replacement kick for the neck positions of my LesPaul and a new RG470 I just got. I have a Seymour Duncan 59 Custom/Hybrid for the LP and a DiMarzio Air Norton for the RG. While looking though, I notice some pickups are labeled as "F-Spacing", Specifically the DiMarzio Dark Matter PUP. Not that I'm considering this, just curious as to what that term means.
 

chasenblues

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"F-spacing refers to the wider of the two spacings. For proper string alignment and balanced output, F-spaced humbuckers should be used in the bridge position on all guitars with string spacing at the bridge of 2.1" (53 mm) or greater. On these guitars, if the nut width is 1-11/16” (43 mm) or greater, F-spaced pickups can be used in the neck position as well."

http://www.dimarzio.com/faq#55/65/7568
 

tzd

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Easy way to remember: if the guitar has a Fender or Floyd bridge, it needs F-spaced bridge pickup.

Seymour Duncan calls its F-Spaced pickups "Trembucker"
 

jep1210

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Hmmm, the Air Norton I just ordered doesn't specify if it's F-Spaced or not. It's going in an Ibanez with a Floyd Rose type bridge. I'll measure it when I get home and see if it falls within the measurements given
 

jep1210

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Ok, it measures out to be about 52.5-53mm. I'm not going to worry about it.
 

Zoobiedood

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Trembuckers' dimensions (and when you should use them) are explained here.
 

Eric R

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I use F-spaced bridge humbuckers at both of my les pauls, since the TOM bridges seem to have the 52mm spacing nowadays.
 

jep1210

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Now that I know, my question is does it really make THAT much of a difference?
 
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DarrellV

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Now that I know my question is, does it really make THAT much of a difference?
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that yes, for me, it does. At least in the bridge position.

Now granted, i have lower output Shaws with standard spacing in both positions, so I cannot say if the effect is as noticeable on a higher output pickup.

When I got it the strings were spaced to match the poles. This left a big gap on the high E string side of the neck. it looked lop sided.

I was also used to playing a Fender so the string spacing was causing me some grief in missing the string on attack, so i moved the strings out to where they were balanced across the neck width. Love how it plays now, but my high E string is completely off the pole piece now.
Last night as I was playing clean and soft I did some bends on the high E to adjust for fret out and low and behold, I heard distinct volume swells!

I rechecked repeatedly to be sure I wasn't hearing things but it is there. When I bend that string up over the pole it gets noticeably louder.

This explains why my suspensions on a D chord and other such never sounded quite right to me, but i couldn't put my finger on it!

I have already been in touch with Dave at Sigil pickups about a re-wind since some moron before me potted my Shaws.

I measured them today and as it turns out they are F spaced now at 2 an 1/16 inches, so I am going to have him wind me one at that spacing to cure it.

YMMV, but to me it is night and day. Sounded like a volume pedal! LOL!

Hope that helps...
 

jep1210

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Are the F-Spacing pickups wider than standard humbuckers? What I'm wondering is if they will fit in the standard mounting rings or do you need to change those too?
 

DarrellV

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Are the F-Spacing pickups wider than standard humbuckers? What I'm wondering is if they will fit in the standard mounting rings or do you need to change those too?
No, it only refers to the pole spacing.

This is from the Lollar Pickup site.

'
Question 2: Will I need a longer route if I install a Fender spaced humbucker?

The outer dimension of all of our (six string) full sized Lollar Imperial humbuckers is exactly the same. The difference between the two pickups is in the spacing of the poles as they’re positioned on the inside of the pickup. In other words, when a metal humbucker cover is machine stamped, the outer rectangle or “box” is the same size. But it’s the distance in between the individual pole pieces that is different. They are stamped through the metal box in slightly different positioning. '
 

apfelbaum

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Just went through this myself, here is the official word from manufacturer:

How do I know which spacing to use?

F-spaced pickups measure 2.01" (51 mm) center-to-center from the first polepiece to the sixth. Standard-spaced pickups measure 1.90" (48 mm). Although some players believe that F-spaced pickups are only for the bridge position of tremolo bridge guitars, many guitars with fixed bridges (including post-1998 Gibson® and Epiphone® Les Paul®, SG® and semi-hollow guitars) should have F-spaced pickups in the bridge position. Most tremolo equipped guitars that have a nut width of 1-11/16” (43mm) or more should also use an F-spaced pickup in the neck position. If you’re replacing a bridge-position pickup and you're not sure what your string-spacing is, it's usually better to get an F-spaced model. It is not necessary for the strings to pass exactly over the center of the polepieces for best performance, but it is wise to avoid a situation where the E strings are sitting completely outside of the outer polepieces.

Gibson pickups are 50 mm, so the difference is small. I took a pic of a Gibson cover over a DiMarzio pickup for reference, I'll see if I can find it.

No routing necessary
 

Eric R

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I noticed that the SD's trembuckers are indeed wider in dimension then Dimarzio's F-spaced models. Not talkin' bout the pole's here but the outer dimensions on the top of the bobins. But in the end the will fit your standard humbucker ring. The DS's will go a bit tighter though.
 

captcoolaid

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Now that I know, my question is does it really make THAT much of a difference?
If you have a chance to get a pickup for a screaming price and it is 49 and not 52 get it, the difference in sound is minimal. Yeah some can hear the minute swell on bends but at club volume or rehearsal volume I could never tell.
 


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