Quick question about centering strings over polepieces

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

  1. NoahL

    NoahL Member

    Messages:
    1,423
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    I'm putting together a Tele from parts, and clearly I need to do some re-jiggering of the geometry of the strings relative to the pickup as my next step. This picture is just where I'm at with parts slapped in.

    http://flic.kr/p/r5yp6e

    The pickup won't go any farther to the right because its right leg is already against the side of the rout. I can file down the leg's flange or widen the rout and everything will square up, and I can further adjust the pickup ring to do the same.

    The strings are centered on the board just fine, so I'd rather attack the problem this way. My question: does this much misalignment over the poles account for the weaker sounding high E? The pickup overall is at the perfect height, and raising the E polepiece doesn't help. I'm pretty sure it's not a saddle issue. I'll get my answer when I adjust the pickup over, but I was sort of curious about your collective understanding of how much alignment is necessary. This is a fairly strong humbucker-sized P90 btw. Each upstroke propels the high string away from that polepiece, exacerbating the problem? Or does a plucked string oscillate around the same midpoint ultimately, no matter which way it's struck?

    I'm always so grateful to you guys for putting up with my goofy-ass questions. I was just on another board where the de facto alpha chemist tore a poster a new one for his bad grammar.
     
  2. poolshark

    poolshark Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,982
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    Location:
    Flahrida
    That misalignment looks pretty minimal to me re: sound, but I suppose photo angles can conceal a lot of things. Regardless of string placement and sound, if the pickup is up against the rout, the adjustment range will be hindered. The right file/rasp should take care of those few necessary millimeters in short order.
     
  3. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,996
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    St. Louis, Missourah
    If you do not hear anything, leave it. P90s have bar magnets anyway and have a wide magnetic field.
     
  4. NoahL

    NoahL Member

    Messages:
    1,423
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Thank you both! I didn't think about the magnets, that the polepieces aren't the magnets here. And now that you mention it, one of the bar mags did slip out when I first got this puckup. Maybe it's in need of more careful placement. If it's not that, I'll work on the saddle slot again. No sitar sound, but maybe the break point isn't contoured right.
     
  5. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    33,426
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    +1 to @K-line, gibson-style pickups have a fat, diffuse magnetic field, polepiece alignment is not a big deal.
     
  6. Micklos

    Micklos Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Would that be the same Luthiers forum where you are treated like scum if you're not asking questions related to some pristine custom build, or rare, sought after vintage model? I came here from there, and won't be going back.
     
  7. AdmiralB

    AdmiralB Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,072
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    Central Indiana
    I just finished adding a "Mu-Tron loop" on a friend's Garcia-inspired Strat. It's got DiMarzio Super 2s, bridge and middle; DiMarzio pole spacing is a little narrower than everyone else's, and he got the regular spacing...so the visual alignment is really off. And yet, it sounds just fine.
     
  8. Baxter Stockman

    Baxter Stockman Member

    Messages:
    597
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Location:
    Tejas
    Ain't nothin' for it. You'd be hard pressed to tell a difference between an F-spaced and a normal spaced bridge humbucker in the same guitar.
     
  9. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

    Messages:
    16,958
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Location:
    Erotic City MN
    I never look at F space, normal when buying pickups. I just wire them up. Nobody is looking that close at my guitars but me and I don't care. I say rock it the way it is
     
  10. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

    Messages:
    14,566
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Location:
    PNW
    Unless it's a real weak pickup I think you are fine. I've used Gibson spaced P90's and others in Fenders many times. The hi E is often weak in lots of guitars. Think of it this way: where will the alignment be when you stretch a string? Pickup makers should make the high e poles as a double pole! or maybe hotter than the rest of the wind! Cool Idea... wind the E pole like a separate pickup from the other 5!
     
  11. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

    Messages:
    25,090
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2004
    Location:
    Canada-GTA
    Some pups will definitely be weak between poles.
    Anywhere over a pole is fine.
    Bends can drop volume as the string passes between poles.
    P90's and hbs are not so susceptible to this.
    F spaced hbs fit better if you have F spaced strings:jo
     
  12. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    33,426
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    yeah, F-style pickups where the poles are themselves the magnets. the field is much more focused over each pole, especially if you have the pickup close to the strings.
     

Share This Page