Humbuckers leaning problem

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by jimo, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. jimo

    jimo Supporting Member

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    A little hard to describe and I couldn't get a good pic. But I have a strat style with pickguard and 2 humbuckers. The bridge PU leans a little toward the bridge (in other words not parallel with pickguard) neck pu does the same thing. Its driving me crazy. Is it something to do with the cavity? I can move the PU with my finger so that it is level but it just springs back. I took off the pickguard and tried to look at what might be doing this, even tried to reverse the height adjustment springs. What could be causing this? thanks for the help -Jim
     
  2. cardinal

    cardinal Member

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    Some springs have one end that's wider than the other. Is the wide end against the pickguard? That might help keep it level.
     
  3. jimo

    jimo Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion and yes, I tried that and it didn't help.
     
  4. Mark Robinson

    Mark Robinson Member

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    Make sure the wire leading out isn't causing the lean. Consider shortening the springs if they are full Gibson long leg length. I find it's usually the spring length if the pickup can be moved to a preferable location with easy finger pressure. When the springs compress, they move sideways, back and forth and can play hell with the leveling of the pickup.
     
  5. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    Often it's the stiffness or tension of the wire. It is frustrating. I'm amazed the Gibson hasn't gone to two screws on one end like Guild and Ibanez did decades ago.
    One possible fix is to put some foam rubber under the pickup while you are inspecting for wire interference.
     
  6. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    since they didn't originally, they never will. (and too bad)

    a good fix is indeed to put dense foam rubber under one side of the pickup to push it parallel with the strings again.

    i do this all the time with gibson SGs and flying Vs, guitars with very steep neck angles and pickups mounted in flat pickguards :rolleyes: sometimes with covered pickups i even have to carefully file some corners of the pickguard hole to give it room to be tilted the right way.

    it's worth the hassle though to get both coils up next to the string to do their thing.
     
  7. jimo

    jimo Supporting Member

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    Again, thanks for the suggestions. When I had the pickguard off I did notice that the builder neatly routed the lead wire between the pickup screws which was pretty tight so I did "unwrap" it from one of the screws and really thought that was going to do the trick (but it didn't). I will try shortening the springs and if not then try the foam rubber trick. -Jim
     
  8. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

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    Stuffing a shim between the pickup and bezel or side of the cavity will often work to keep the pu more parallel to the strings.Folded cardboard or whatever.
     
  9. Ulug

    Ulug Member

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    It won't affect the tone. Don't have to worry about it...
     
  10. NoahL

    NoahL Member

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    Hmmm, why wouldn't it affect the tone? If raising a pickup does, wouldn't raising half a pickup? And wouldn't it affect the intended balance between the two coils? I believe Gibson's Asian-made Sonex pickups had the 2/1 screw arrangement 35 years ago.

    My 1982 335S has those rings, as do many others from that year. I'm sure Norlin had a jillion boxes of them to get rid of, and my Shaw had an extension neatly riveted to the main leg to accommodate two screws. So has the other pickup, a mystery pup with legit Gibson ink stamps and serial #. That pickup is simply two coils with magnetic slugs wired in series, output 7.4k. Other 1982 335S's have this curious set, which comes complete with gray Belden lead wire and 3 leads, not 4, for splitting. I think Norlin must have had a big spool of 3-wire left. I assume usually they'd use that for the switch wire on a one-pickup guitar? Lotta work to get rid of extra material. [​IMG]
     
  11. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    I agree strongly with Noah.

    In my experience, the slug side is brighter than the screw side, at least in a PAF. The pickup sounds brighter with the screws screwed down level with the cover and raised closer to the strings - sounds brighter than simply raising the screw height on the adjustable side.

    So I agree - if you get the slug side closer to the strings, the pickup will sound different than it does with one coil further away.

    Thanks, Dana O.
     
  12. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    it's pretty obvious how much more output you get when both coils are close to the string rather than just one.
     
  13. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

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    i have stuck a piece of sponge under the pickup before. it worked
     
  14. brianr0131

    brianr0131 Member

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    This is why I always use tubing
     

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