Pick Up Height

talent

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I've read the Gibson measurement for setting up the pick ups and it seems to conlict with a lot of guitar players that i see on the internet.
I have a Traditional and wish to have a bright sound.
Can onyone suggest which way to go please. Should i be close to the strings or have the pick ups virtually inside the guitar ?
Also a suggestion for strings that are bright sounding would be a help too.
 

moreles

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Should i be close to the strings or have the pick ups virtually inside the guitar ?
Neither of these extremes, obviously. Measurements are pointless since string gauge, the strtength of your attack, and the way you set up your signal chain are all connected to the creation of the pickup signal and the pickup's actual output signhal. As othersd advise, smart players adjust height while playing, through their own rig, to dial things in. It's really super-easy, unlpess you rely on bogus measurements and blanket advice from internet theoriest, in which case you can make it complicated and bogus. It's all about the signal created by you, your guitar, and your rig. Too cklose and too far both suck badly, IMO.
 

Thundermtn

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The best way is your ear, it's never wrong.

Or.........

Start with both volumes the same #, I like 8 or so. Tone knobs the same.

The way LOTS of people do it is to level the neck p/up even with the trim ring. With only the neck p/up on, adjust it small amounts up or down to where it sounds best, Clapton's "woman" tone is a good benchmark here.

Then flip back and forth between only bridge, then only the neck pickup, and adjust the bridge p/up height to where it is as loud as the neck p/up. Raising it up just a little here will brighten it up some as well as make it more powerful. Carefully, too much and you'll mess up the middle position volume balance.

For a brighter tone, strings and picks make a difference. Daddario NYXL's with a Dunlop Tortex pick are fairly bright. An Ultex with nickel wound strings will be warmer sounding.

Experiment! That's the half the fun of playing this stuff.
 

jstarr823

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No one set of rules apply. That is why I suggested adjusting them to your ear. Raising the pole pieces in my 59 Tribute pups didn’t make them brighter as some may suggest. I found that those sounded best with the pole pieces flush. It really is a factor of overall setup, string gauge, string type, the pick you use, and the player himself.
 

Cjsinla

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And 59 Tributes are brighter than 57 Classics. If you have have 57 Classic pups you might consider Burstbuckers as they are also brighter. Oh, and make sure you have 500k volume pots for extra brightness.
 

dro

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My friend tells me that my Rotosounds are too bright for him.
There should be a knob on your amp marked Treble that should brighten it up.
Unless you are playing an MG. I had the MG 100 and couldn't get the Bass out. Even with it off.
 

Davey Rock

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What I do, (and this is just me) is bring the humbucker all the way down so it is level to the pickup ring. I then adjust the pole pieces to where they stick up out of the pickup and essentially look like a single coil. I match the poles to match the bridge radius and then adjust how high I want them all together. Makes the middle position quacky as all get out, and the bridge twangy and snappy.
 

jvin248

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.

I set pickup heights like post #6, lower neck get the height by ear, then balance with the bridge volume, tip treble vs bass of both for best tone by ear. I also adjust screw pole heights, Strat stagger on the neck, level on the bridge poles like a Tele.

Here's how Joe does it.


.
 

Derald

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Watch Uncle Joes video. I start with the pickup heights fairly low then adjust up from there until it sounds like Awesome.
 

cherrick

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My luthier says that Uncle Joe's set up video is one of the best on the internet.
 

truckermde

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As stated above, lower the pickup, and raise the pole pieces to brighten sound.

Also, the Gibson Brite Wires are great strings, and I find them to be brighter than others I regularly use.
 

Socrates

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+1 for Dunlop Tortex...I use the white Jazz iii tortex .88mm picks when I want a brighter, snappy tone
 

PAPADON

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In general it's kind of a trial and error thing. Not much help I know....
Not much help but oh so true. Considering all the variables there is no one size fits all formula. Mostly I just balance them and then screw them up and down until they sound good.
 

rob2245

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You might want to look into 50's wiring. I did this to my Traditional and it brighten it up. You just move the capacitor from one location to another. Check it out!
 

Tomtomtomtom

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Interesting thread, I set the pickups of my Les Paul Traditional 2015 after noticing quite a volume discrepancy between both, in order to get something more or less balanced at equal volume knobs.

From there on it did not leave too much setting choice as the neck pickup is buried in the trim ring whilst the bridge pickup is really close to the strings... See photo

Does this seem shocking to anyone ? After sneaking close-up photos on the net I admit I noticed quite a lot set this way it seems i.e. with bridge buried down under and neck protruding quite a lot:

20201016_140053.jpg


Will try the winder method again, mentioned higher up in #8 :yesway:
 


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