Pickup Poles??

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Thinline 69, May 11, 2008.

  1. Thinline 69

    Thinline 69 Member

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    What is the difference between raising the whole pickup as compared to raising the individual poles? I know you can even the string volume this way, but will the tone change as they are raised higher or lower?

    Yesterday I raised the poles on my GFS Nashvilles and it added more highend sparkle and mojo. Would this be the case if I just raised the whole pup? They sound so good now that I don't want to experiment anymore. I fear that I may lose the sound that I have now.
     
  2. Free

    Free Member

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    Well, as you experienced, you get "more highend sparkle" with poles raised above the pickup top. If you raised the pickup with poles at standard flush to the same distance from strings, the tone will lose high-end, but gain a certain harmonic complexity in the low-mids and thickness will be added. Basically, raising poles is a way to get more single-coil type chime and bite.

    Keep in mind too that generally speaking anytime the pickup gets closer to the strings you'll gain bite, articulation and more high-end harmonics. So, the mere fact that you raised it (whether by pole or entire pickup) is going to add bite. Just don't go too close to the strings or the tone becomes harsh.

    That said, I keep all my humbuckers at 1/16" e and 3/32" E on both pups and have all the poles approx 1/16" above the pickup cover. I like the added bite and articulation.
     
  3. VinceM

    VinceM Silver Supporting Member

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    Great question, Thinline 69, and great response, Free! I've often wondered about the nuances of pickup adjustment and how to juggle the variables of pickup/pole height.

    I've actually lowered the pickups on my jazz box quite a bit to get a more acoustic tone. I haven't experimented as much with my solidbodies.
     
  4. Free

    Free Member

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    Thanks, Vince. I forgot to mention this. As you imply, as pickups are lowered away from the strings the guitar/wood tone is emphasized more and a certain warmth and transparency comes out (at the expense of high-end harmonics, bite and sizzle), so that makes sense that you get a more acoustic-like tone with them lowered. I definitely recommend low pup height for Jazz.
     
  5. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    I like to find a balance. Also if you get too close, some pickups have strong enough magnets to affect the tuning/vibration of the strings.
     
  6. Thinline 69

    Thinline 69 Member

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    Free ,
    Thanks for the response!

    what is funny about this is.... I ran out of pickup height so I raised the poles to makup for the lack of adjustment space. They only needed a little adjustment (about 2to3 full turns). I am thrilled with the results and don't want to mess my sound up by making more adjustments.
    The GFS pickups are not quite as tall as the originals.
     

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