What is your ideal pickup height on a LP?

dscottyg

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Measured from the bottom of the string to the top of the pole piece. I know there will be a variety of answers, but it would be nice to know what a range of normalcy is. Also, should be low E side and high E side be the same distance from the string?
 

jwinger

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With a medium high action, mine are normally about level with the top of the rings . I just go by ear but it's normally somewhere around there
 

Thundermtn

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I will match the top of my pole pieces to the string radius and screw the G string pole in a half or full turn, depends on volume. In general poles jacked up for a less aggressive more sensitive vintage tone, down for hotter sound, minding pickup covers on or off effect.

Then I'll set the neck p/up height even with the p/up ring and play it with the amp and volume I intend to use, and adjust it up or down slightly to a tone my ear likes, usually with a small bias for the unwound strings to be a hair closer/hotter.

Then I'll match the bridge p/up in height/volume to the neck, again with very minor height tweaks to a tone that I like and it's done.
 

EpiLP1985

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I use this as a guide:


but ultimately, I agree with this:

Depends 100% on the pickups and the guitar. It's always by ear, never by a certain number.
I use a standard set of measurements to "rough-in" then tweak by ear. Matching volume output of Neck and Bridge has to be done on the fly and by ear to get it perfectly right.

Also, string to string balance has to be done by ear as well.

As far as rough values? I typically go with 4/32" High E Side on Neck, 5/32" Low E Side on Neck and 2/32" High E Side on Bridge, 3/32" Low E Side on Bridge to start. My action is a touch higher than most i would say and since I own an Epiphone with short rings, I can;t use them as a "mile-marker" for height.
 

Classicplayer

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I use this as a guide:


but ultimately, I agree with this:



I use a standard set of measurements to "rough-in" then tweak by ear. Matching volume output of Neck and Bridge has to be done on the fly and by ear to get it perfectly right.

Also, string to string balance has to be done by ear as well.

As far as rough values? I typically go with 4/32" High E Side on Neck, 5/32" Low E Side on Neck and 2/32" High E Side on Bridge, 3/32" Low E Side on Bridge to start. My action is a touch higher than most i would say and since I own an Epiphone with short rings, I can;t use them as a "mile-marker" for height.
I try for equal volumes between neck and bridge. I play with a medium amount of grit on a high-gain amp, so my bridge pup (when testing each string) has to produce that grind when picked with some pick pressure. Both my Les Pauls measure 4/64” for the 1st string and 6.5/64” for the 6th string; when those strings are fretted at the highest fret.

Both Les Paul's neck pups are set high enough for a “clean” tone, but will get some grit when pick'd with force. 1st.string side measure 8/64” and 6th string side is just below the ring. I find it interesting that both guitars sound good to me, even though one has Burstbuckers and the other one ....Seth Lovers.

Classicplayer
 

Brek

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I au=sed to leave them as they came from factory, these were classics and standards, now I follow what the throwback guy demo’d on their channel, start at 2mm on bridge and 4mm on neck and season to taste.
 

Brek

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I will match the top of my pole pieces to the string radius and screw the G string pole in a half or full turn, depends on volume. In general poles jacked up for a less aggressive more sensitive vintage tone, down for hotter sound, minding pickup covers on or off effect.

Then I'll set the neck p/up height even with the p/up ring and play it with the amp and volume I intend to use, and adjust it up or down slightly to a tone my ear likes, usually with a small bias for the unwound strings to be a hair closer/hotter.

Then I'll match the bridge p/up in height/volume to the neck, again with very minor height tweaks to a tone that I like and it's done.
Yeah that G string, can be a loud sonbitch.
 

Brian N

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Just slightly up on one side, just far enough from the strings to sound good.
 

Mesamay2003

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I usually start at 5/64 bass side, 4/64 high E measured when fretting the last fret to the top of the pole piece...
 

mdubya

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Ideal height is the height at which it sounds best.

As far as the neck pickup goes, that includes balancing with the bridge pickup, with the neck being either equal in volume or just slightly louder.

Works for me, almost every time.

 

dscottyg

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Ideal height is the height at which it sounds best.

As far as the neck pickup goes, that includes balancing with the bridge pickup, with the neck being either equal in volume or just slightly louder.

Works for me, almost every time.

Interesting. I thought it was generally recommended to have the bridge pup a little loser for playing leads. Maybe I’m missing something.
 

dscottyg

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I usually start at 5/64 bass side, 4/64 high E measured when fretting the last fret to the top of the pole piece...
Shouldn’t the measurement be made with the string not pressed down on the fret? It seems like you’d want to know the distance between pup and string when you’re playing. If you set the pup height based on holding the string down, then you change the action, the distance between pup and strings will change. Maybe I’m missing something.
 

Classicplayer

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Bridge louder or weaker than the neck pickup perhaps is a personal preference. Both my Les Pauls have their neck pup a bit louder than the matching bridge. A lot of these preferences have to do with what type of middle position tone you like to hear...full, or thinner (thinner like Jimmy Page's).

Classicplayer
 

Classicplayer

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Shouldn’t the measurement be made with the string not pressed down on the fret? It seems like you’d want to know the distance between pup and string when you’re playing. If you set the pup height based on holding the string down, then you change the action, the distance between pup and strings will change. Maybe I’m missing something.
Perhaps measurements taken with the string fretted at the highest fret allows for a “compromise“ of sorts between those that usually play up the fingerboard as well as down the fingerboard. I actually took a guage and measured the pickup heights with strings depressed and took note, and the difference was almost negligible when using the bridge pickup. Mine on my Lesters' bridge pickups read 4/64” whether the string was fretted or not. As long as neck is fairly straight and 12th fret strings heights are near “spec”, I don't notice any perceptible pressure needed from my fretting hand to play. Again, YMMV.

Classicplayer
 
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