Fender Strat Pickup Height Adjustment

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Brenkoh, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Brenkoh

    Brenkoh Member

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    Hi there fellow guitar-geeks.

    What is the best pickup height setting for achieving a decent tone for all 3 pickups? I know that increasing the pickup height as close to the strings would increase the gain to a very noticeable extent. I also googled and tried the following settings (refer to URL) but perhaps someone else here has a better setting.

    (Scroll to bottom of the page)
    http://www.ratcliffe.co.za/articles/pickupheight.shtml

    The pickups are Dimarzio Area 58 Neck, Dimarzio Area 67 Mid, Dimarzio Virtual Solo Bridge.

    Appreciate the base/treble side height measurements for all 3 pickups.

    Thanks !
     
  2. rabbuhl

    rabbuhl Member

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    http://www.dimarzio.com/sites/default/files/diagrams/virtual_area_hs.pdf

     
  3. SNick

    SNick Member

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    Raise them to the recommended height. That should put you within a couple of screw turns of perfection. Remember that the beginning height is the closest recommended starting point. It's all down from there.
     
  4. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    Experiment and put them where you like. Remember that the magnets in Strat pickups can interfere with the string vibration if you get them too close. The resultant sound isn't pleasant.
     
  5. VHS analog

    VHS analog Member

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    Dimarzio Virtual Solo is tricky. A touch too high and it gets really harsh, set too low the output drops off quickly along with the clarity. You'll have to take some time to find the sweet spot using trial and error.
     
  6. Brenkoh

    Brenkoh Member

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    Thanks for the inputs guys. I am aware that personal preference is key though tricky but perhaps my 'personal preference' isn't as matured as some of the fender regulars here so this thread to leverage on your experiences.

    I have some trouble with the Virtual Solo Bridge pickup. It sounds too sharp and when played through speakers in a gig scenario, it sounds very 'pierce'-esque and if I were to decrease the treble side pickup height, my gain (or 'attack' as some would call it) drops to a significant level.
     
  7. whiteop

    whiteop Senior Member

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    Pressing down at last fret adjust as follows:

    5/64 on low E
    4/64 on high E

    4/64 is same as 1/8 inch; 3/32 is same as 6/64 which works fine too. I just finetune it until I get the most sustain out of my strings. BTW I tried a Virtual Solo and didn't care for it. I went with an Area '61 which is just a tad hotter than the '58. The '58's are my favorite of the Area series.
     
  8. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Member

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    You'll get a fatter tone if you lower the pickups. Loss of a little gain is the trade-off, but that's what the gain knob on your amp or pedal should compensate for. Same with piercing highs. Use those tone knobs-increase the mids and decrease the trebles.
     
  9. dmagalhaes

    dmagalhaes Supporting Member

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    I've always used nickels as a guide rather than a ruler. 3, 2, 1 on the treble side and 2, 1, 0 on the bass side. Tweak to taste.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  10. rabbuhl

    rabbuhl Member

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    I found that L-wrenches (also named Allen wrenches, or hex keys) work nicely. I put the long end of the L-wrench on one of the pole pieces. The pickup magnets hold the wrench in place so I can adjust it.
     
  11. gillman royce

    gillman royce Member

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    Just remember that the treble side of the pup needs to be slightly higher than the bass side
     
  12. Rock Johnson

    Rock Johnson Member

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    Unless you're David Gilmour, in which case the treble side needs to be a LOT higher:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. brain g

    brain g Member

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    out in left field, apparently...
  14. MGBlues

    MGBlues Member

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    That's a pic of the David Gilmour Signature Strat.

    I have the book Gilmours tech wrote called 'The Black Strat'. Pretty sure the pups looked much lower than that. I'll have to have a look.

    Pretty sure that bridge pup is the Seymour Duncan SSL-5. I have it in my Strat and it's a fairlyhot pup. No way i'd have it as high on the treble side as that guitar.
     

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