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Adjusting Strat pu's

RustyNailah

Member
Messages
3
What is the best procedure to adjusting single coil pu's for height? What do you listen for? Is there a sweet spot to listen for? Do you prefer the bridge pu close to the strings, the neck low? If I get a decent quack out of 2 and 4 with the middle pu, close enough. I'm winging it when making these adjustments and looking for a better method.

With humbuckers and PAF clones, there's discussion of an extended harmonic when listening for the sweet spot. Do single coils produce a "harmonic sweet spot"?
 

benjammin420

Member
Messages
1,564
When you say youre winging it, is there a tone youre going for? or does it currently not sound good? or just experimenting?

when i adjust pickups, i do many slight tweaks, trial and error, until i get what i want. but you have to know what you want. I like pickups as high as they can be without being harsh, but alot of guys liek them real low.
 

Mike9

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,956
This straight from Fender's Mr Gearhead setup guide - a great place to start.

PICKUPS

Set too high, pickups can cause myriad inexplicable phenomena. Depress all the strings at the last fret. Using a 6" (150 mm) ruler, measure the distance from the bottom of the first and sixth strings to the top of the pole piece. A good rule of thumb is that the distance should be greatest at the sixth-string neck pickup position, and closest at the first-string bridge pickup position. Follow the measurement guidelines in the chart below as starting points. The distance will vary according to the amount of magnetic pull from the pickup.

Bass Side Treble Side Texas Specials 8/64" (3.6 mm) 6/64" (2.4 mm) Vintage style 6/64" (2.4 mm) 5/64" (2 mm) Noiseless™ Series 8/64" (3.6 mm) 6/64" (2.4 mm) Standard Single-Coil 5/64" (2 mm) 4/64" (1.6 mm) Humbuckers 4/64" (1.6 mm) 4/64" (1.6 mm) Lace Sensors As close as desired (allowing for string vibration)
 

Dana Olsen

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,910
When you say youre winging it, is there a tone youre going for? or does it currently not sound good? or just experimenting?

when i adjust pickups, i do many slight tweaks, trial and error, until i get what i want. but you have to know what you want. I like pickups as high as they can be without being harsh, but alot of guys liek them real low.
Strats sustain better and sound less harsh if the pickups are a ways away from the strings, IME. They ALSO sustain better if the bass side is lower than the treble side.

I have one Strat w/ Fralin Vintage Hot (normal) Strat pickups in it. The pickups are pretty close on teh treble side - @ 4/64 neck, 5/64 middle, 5-6/64 bridge - that's cuz I think the bridge pickup sounds a little harsh ...

The bass sides are all much further away - 6-8/64 for all of 'em. with the pickups further away, the sound kind of 'shimmers'; much closer you get more output per pickup but less shimmer, and less blend in the 2 and 4 pos, IMHO.

Good luck, Dana O.
 

tfaith08

Member
Messages
72
Aside from pickup height, try running a single master volume knob on the guitar. That always helps with the guitars tone. Granted, some guitars more than others, but i know it worked wonders to a friend of mine's SRV. As far as pickup height, set them at any given height. Play for a few, then give them a quarter turn up or down on one side. Play again. and compaer the difference. If you like it, keep going until it sounds good to you. Repeat for the other side.

As far as compliments, Ive had hundreds of them. Then i got a new setup, and now i never get one, but i like it. Your tone is YOUR TONE. Go for what you like.
 

Rosewood

Member
Messages
1,862
You can't go wrong with lowering a strat pickup, especially the bass side. I never set a neck pickup closer than 4/32" on the bass side measured top of mag to bottom of string with strings fretted at last fret, treble side 3/32". You can fine tune from there.
 

Spudman

Member
Messages
1,303
Drop each pickup to level with the top of the guitar then raise each one 1/2 turn of the adjustment screws (while playing) until you are satisfied. Usually lower is better.
 




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