Tips on leveling SG pickups?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by moo cow, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. moo cow

    moo cow Supporting Member

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    i just aquired a SG faded and noticed that the top of the pickups are not level with the strings. the pickups stay parallel with the body but creates a strange angle to the strings. does that make sense? i can move the pickups with my hand to the correct position but there is no way to hold it there. this model doesn't have the pickup rings like my les pauls to align the humbuckers. i think a ring would cure the problem but didn't know if they would work on a flat top guitar.
    any thoughts or advice?
    thanks
     
  2. skeeterbuck

    skeeterbuck Member

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    moo cow,

    What type of pickups do the guitar have?

    Humbuckers-should have one adjustment screw on each end.

    P-90's have their adjustment screws located between the pickup poles like so.....

    E A x D G x B E

    The letters represent the corresponding strings for each polepeice.
    The "x" represents the location of the adjustment screw.

    Remember, turning the screw clockwise raises the pickup and counter clockwise lowers it.

    I hope this makes sense. If it doesn't could you post a pic?
     
  3. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    Do they sound wrong to your ears? Or does it just bug you to look at? Pickups don't necessarily need to be the same distance from the string on both ends. On Fenders, Strats especially, they best when lower on the bass strings.
     
  4. Vibrator

    Vibrator Active Member

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    I think he's talking about the side-to-side angle along the length of the neckline, not the string-to-string angle. You can correct this by propping up the lower end of the pickup with something like a folded napkin underneath. Just experiment until you get it exactly parallel to the strings.
     
  5. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    Ah, OK then. I have that on at least one of my Gibsons, and I pretty much just ignore it.
     
  6. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

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    If your humbuckers are sitting at an angle like that, don't stuff anything under them, because you'll still have what's causing the problem. Find out what's binding up the cable. That's probably what's making it tilt.

    Sometimes on cheaper Les Pauls, the Gobsin guys have an excess of cable going back to the switch, and they just double it up, and jam it into the wire route. Something like that might be hanging up your pickup cable.

    These things shouldn't get past QC inspections IMO
     
  7. moo cow

    moo cow Supporting Member

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    thanks guys,
    yea, it's not the side to side adjustment but front to back. the pickup bobbin closest to the neck is also closer to the bottom of the strings on both pickups. i checked underneath and there isn't anything binging them. it's more like a see-saw effect. the pickup screws are the see-saw base and the bobbins rock back and forth. i think a pickup ring would cure it from moving if i can mod it correctly.
     
  8. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    Don't prop anything underneath it. There are two metal tabs on either side of your two humbuckers that the adjustment screws screw into. Remove the offending pickups entirely and take them out of the ring. Take a pair of pliers and rotate that metal tab in the opposite direction you want to correct the tilt. Then reinstall the pickup.

    Remember that the neck angle is going to vary across a range for SGs and Les Pauls and thus the stock tab angle on the pickups isn't going to work for every guitar. The best fix is to bend them slightly so the angle is correct.
     
  9. moo cow

    moo cow Supporting Member

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    great idea! why didn't i think of that? i'll give it a shot tomorrow and let you know how it worked.
     
  10. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    Actually, correction, rotate the tab in the opposite direction you need to rotate the pickup. I'm sure you can figure it out. :)
     
  11. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    yikes, don't do that! just cut some blocks of foam rubber that can push up on the back sides of the pickups from underneath, propping them at the right angle to be parallel with the strings. no need to bend up and risk wrecking the mounting tabs.

    this is a regular part of my sg setup procedure, as having one coil so far from the strings definitely hurts the output of the pickup.
     
  12. fuzz_factor

    fuzz_factor Supporting Member

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