Tonal variations from pole pieces?

Martin Kay

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Are the various pole pieces on a humbucker supposed to vary tonally? By this I mean should the third string be more trebly than the fourth string which might be more bassy.
 

Peter M

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The adjustable screws are meant to control level, not tone.
 

Shelkonnery

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Here's a great guide on how to set up pole piece height.

 

ARandall

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Some strat pickups use different alnico grades for wound vs plain strings. But humbucker screws are generally identical metals for all 6.
 

Martin Kay

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The adjustable screws are meant to control level, not tone.
I was aware of that...I asked if the tonal value should vary, ( for instance my E,A and D strings are much more bassy than the G,B.E strings- is this normal?
 

Martin Kay

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Here's a great guide on how to set up pole piece height.

Thanks so much for posting that very helpful and informative guide, however it was not output volume I was asking about but tonality. The three lower strings EAD sound way more bassy than the GBE strings- its this normal?
 

searswashere

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I was aware of that...I asked if the tonal value should vary, ( for instance my E,A and D strings are much more bassy than the G,B.E strings- is this normal?
Yes - they are a lower frequency (pitch). If they are louder than your high strings, lower that side of your pickup.
 

eddie_bowers

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Thanks so much for posting that very helpful and informative guide, however it was not output volume I was asking about but tonality. The three lower strings EAD sound way more bassy than the GBE strings- its this normal?
The wound strings tend to have less harmonic content with your typical humbucker. Especially the transients. Single coils and humbuckers designed to sound more like single coils give you more of that piano like wound string tone.
 

Classicplayer

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My recent experience with adjusting pole pieces leads me to believe I can change the wound strings tone, but only slightly. I was always finding that my Burstbucker 1 neck pup sounded a bit muffled and not very many highs (no matter what height I set for the wound string side of the pup). I discovered that if I set the neck volume at the spot I use the most (8.5 to 9) and adjusted the wound string poles up or down to see where the brightest tone is found for each, I then realized my muffled sounding neck pup was brighter than I realized.

All one needs to experiment is the appropriate screwdriver, your ears, and some patience. It might additionally require a tweak or two of the neck pup height up or down on the wound string side and in conjunction with the exercise i outlined above. Oh! and re-stringing with a new set of your favorite strings would be a plus.

Classicplayer
 

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