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Pickup location

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Bearzito, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Bearzito

    Bearzito Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hello all, new member here. I did a search for this topic, but nothing came up for it. I wasn't sure if this was the correct forum to ask about it in, so I also posted in The Small Company Luthiers area in hopes for some insight.

    I am curious about the HB pickup locations of solid body guitars and how they are determined. I'm not talking about the dimensions of pickup's themselves, but the actual location of them in the body. How is this determmined? I've looked a several guitars and they are all pretty much different in how close they are to the fretboard and the distance they are apart from each other. For instance, an LP's pickup's layout is different from a PRS's and I was wondering if anyone knew why? Is there some formula like in calculating frets? Does it have anything to do with the scale length? Or is it just a preference of the manufacturer in relation to the sound that has been implemented into production?

    I'm thinking that the locations play a significant role in the tone and volume, but I haven't been able to find any information on this subject. If anyone has any info or explanations, please let me know becaue I'm trying to figure out where to place my pickups on my first guitar.

    Thanx,

    Bearz
     
  2. benjammin420

    benjammin420 Member

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    Jan 13, 2009
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    trial and error. im pretty sure companys just experiment until they get what they like. as far as i know, there is no formula or standard for placement. personally, id find the guitar (PRS, Gibson, whatever) that has the setup you want, and just copy that. Of all the infinite number of possible positions, the differences from to the next are going to be negligable, and the tedium of trying them all out may drive you nuts (plus you dont want to keep routing more and more wood out of the body in the experiments). Out of curiosity, are you building a guitar from scratch, or are you trying to mod an existing design?
     
  3. bluesjunior

    bluesjunior Member

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    Apr 15, 2008
    I always believed that the polepieces on the neck pickup anyway were where the 24th fret would have been on both Gibson and Fender. I thought that was why you can easily get an octave harmonic at those positions. Not sure if octaves/harmonics have to do with the placement of the other pickups but there must be a reason I highly doubt it is just chance!!!.
     
  4. benjammin420

    benjammin420 Member

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    Jan 13, 2009
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    actually ive noticed, and thought about that too. if you have a strat, and lay your finger directly next too/parallel to the middle pickup (on the side closer to the bridge) thats the "36th" fret, thats probably more of a coincidence...
     

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