Best Pickup Height Adjustment for a Vintage Strat!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by IndieHead, Jul 24, 2006.


  1. IndieHead

    IndieHead Member

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    Hi frens,

    Just wondering what your opinions are on the best pickup height adjustment on a vintage strat.

    I know there are alot of variables involved such as the kinda of pickup, string gauage and stuff.

    But in general, for a 7.25 radius and vintage frets, what kinda pickup setup you have on your vintage strat?

    Mine currently has the neck pickup the lowest, middle slightly higher and bridge pickup the highest amongst the 3. All 3 pickups have the pickup slanted lower on the bass strings.

    Thanks!

    P.S. I have a set of Texas Specials on it.
     
  2. JohnK24

    JohnK24 Supporting Member

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    Let's see, I have a 62 RI strat with Texas Specials, here's my method. Start with the Fender spec recommendations (1/8" on bass side, 3/16" on treble side), then I lower all the pups by a full screw turn each and finally use my ears on fine tuning the neck and middle pups....usually a half turn here or there on the bass sides to get a balance and good 4th position "quack" tone.
     
  3. Tuberattler

    Tuberattler Member

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    Sounds like you have a good handle on it. I set mine us similarly and adjust to taste. As you know we musicians go through phases so what works this week my need tweeking next week.
     
  4. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    I find it's best to use your ears rather than a ruler. It usually takes me a few gigs to find the pickups height sweet spot.
     
  5. rhollyday

    rhollyday Silver Supporting Member

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    Are these mesurements based upon putting a capo on the first fret then fretting thed 14th fret ect?
     
  6. George Johnson

    George Johnson Member

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    FWIW, I find that keeping them pretty low helps maintain that Strat chime and clarity.

    It also seems to let the wood come into play a bit more.
     
  7. TS808

    TS808 Member

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    After reading this last night, I tried it. I had always done the factory setup with the standard measurements, etc. I thought I would give this a try just to see what difference it would make. I gotta say, it made a difference in tone and took away some of that "ice-pick" sound out of the bridge pickup. The guitar sounds much more alive and resonant.

    Great tip ;)
     
  8. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    You saved my fingers again, Vaughn.

    I'd just add that you'll end up with them surprisingly low from what Fender set them at originally......don't forget to take a look at your action too.....


    Best, Pete.
     
  9. Karmateria

    Karmateria Member

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    You've got to keep 'em away from the strings to avoid the dreaded double-tones too.

    Karma
     
  10. JohnK24

    JohnK24 Supporting Member

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    No, I fret the strings (both E's) at the last fret and measure to the underside of the strings.
     
  11. JohnK24

    JohnK24 Supporting Member

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    Glad it worked. "Alive and resonant" , that's what I was trying to achieve in finding the proper height for my TX Specials too. At the Fender spec they are "tight" sounding, very harsh. I've also tried the set them almost flush to the pickguard and raise them a tad method some like...yuck...they sound thin and well...too normal, heck they are fuller bodied pups, they're supposed to have some ballz !

    Enjoy,

    John
     
  12. rhollyday

    rhollyday Silver Supporting Member

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    I wanted to know what height adjustments on the Bridge and middle pickups will maximize "strat quack" given the previous recommended height settings in this thread. I.E. will setting the pickups higher or lower increase quack???

    Thanks
     

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