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pros/cons of high pups

pete692

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,178
Any of you guys able to live with a little warble on a strat when you get the pickups where you need them to be? My CS '69s have been set real low for about a year now, but I've been experimenting and found that they really come alive when I jack them up. Only problem is, right when they reach the sweet spot, and get really juicy, the G and D (staggered poles) strings warble just a hair when fretted above the 12th fret, especially with distortion. All the chords stay intonated fine and I can mask the warble with vibrato, but is this viewed as an absolute no no by the experts? I got the rough measurements for this from a Dan Erlewine set-up book where he gives artists pickup heights, and their pup heights are crazy close to the strings.

Before everybody tells me to just lower them and make up the gain by turning up the amp or boosting with pedals, I'll tell you right now, it's definitely not the same.
 

Hargrett

Member
Messages
127
Cool idea to cut down the polepieces, but I've seen a Dremel tool demagnetize pickup polepieces... the guy engraved his name in his Strat's pickguard and killed 3 or 4 polepieces in a couple of the pickups in the process.
 
Last edited:

pete692

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,178
If I decide to go the Dremel route, any tips, things to look out for? Can the de-magnetizing be avoided?
 

Keyser Soze

Member
Messages
1,472
If you do try to alter the magnets you will need to grind them, alnico does not machine or file well at all.

I've never heard of an hand held electric motor de-magnetizing pickups before - I guess anything is possible but I'm skeptical.

The more common problem (and the reason I'd avoid using a power tool) is pickups demagnetizing from being over heated during grinding. Or heat building up and then melting the coating of the wire in the coil, causing the coil to short out.

First thing I'd do is see if I could get the same pickup in a non-staggered configuration. If that wasn't an option I'd hand sand the magnet, or if it was the right kind of bobbin try pushing the magnet down. Either way you do risk destroying the pickup.
 

J.H.

Member
Messages
250
Most strat pickups with a vintage style stagger were designed for a 7, or 9 inch radius fretboard. When I build them I use shorter poles in the center to compensate for a softer radius.

I would recommend not using any power tool on the magnets for two reasons. The first being that the heat generated will demagnetize, and the magnetic field from the tool will do the same. Do it by hand with a diamond file. Masking tape works great for removing the filings.
 

Dana Olsen

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,910
In a dissenting opinion from the majority (GRIN) ....

My experience is that when you put the pickups closer to the strings, you lose sustain - the airy, open natural sustain that I always associate with a good Strat.

You can buy some sustain back at the amp with gain, but if you're a cleaner player - Blues, R&B, Funk, Cowboy - close pickups kill sustain with clean amp settings on a Strat.

I hate it too - I really like lower action on longer scale guitars (FENDER). For some reason Tele's and I get along very well, even with medium action, but Strats .... different story, for me.

My tiny opinion, Dana O.
 

pete692

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,178
In a dissenting opinion from the majority (GRIN) ....

My experience is that when you put the pickups closer to the strings, you lose sustain - the airy, open natural sustain that I always associate with a good Strat.

You can buy some sustain back at the amp with gain, but if you're a cleaner player - Blues, R&B, Funk, Cowboy - close pickups kill sustain with clean amp settings on a Strat.

I hate it too - I really like lower action on longer scale guitars (FENDER). For some reason Tele's and I get along very well, even with medium action, but Strats .... different story, for me.

My tiny opinion, Dana O.
I used to be right there in the same camp as you, but these pickups, in this strat, sound much better quite a bit higher. Tons of sustain and lots of air and top end.
 

Dana Olsen

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,910
I used to be right there in the same camp as you, but these pickups, in this strat, sound much better quite a bit higher. Tons of sustain and lots of air and top end.
Ya gotta go with your ears then - whatever works for you is what works!

Thanks Dana O.
 




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