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Thread Comments about the feature article: How to Adjust Your Guitar Pickups for Best Sound

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  • 5 participants
1 Comments about the feature article: How to Adjust Your Guitar Pickups for Best Sound
It occurred to me that for all the tweaking guitarists do with their tone — rolling tone controls up and down on both their guitars and amps — very few ever touch the pickups. Most guitarists I know don’t even look at the pickups and wouldn’t know if they were out of alignment even if they did.

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I have always been aware of pickup adjustments utilising the main height adjustment screws but have always had problems with the individual tonality of individual strings. This article was a great boon to me; I adjusted all my humbuckers and P90's according to the manufacturers suggestions as shown in the article and the result was stupendous: I am finally getting close to the 'Tone' I have been searching for.

Thank you :D:
I really enjoyed reading your tutorial article! This is a big help to guitar players more especially the beginners. Your tips and great and very well explained! Thanks for sharing your ideas...

Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names. [JFK] 

Thanks for a great article, Very Interesting Mr Bond :)
You seemed to cover all the bases (no pun intended) and it made good reading, But I was disappointed that you didn't cover pick-ups on 12 string guitars, so if I can just add my 2 cents. Thank you
I am predominately a 12 string guitarist, doing solo, finger-picky stuff. and have been for over 40 years, and in that time I have tried almost every type of 'in-hole' pick-up there is. Unfortunately I have always had the problem that no matter what pick-up is used, adjustable poles; Bar magnets; active; Passive; Piezo etc etc, the octave 'G' string is always louder than all the other strings. Even using a compressor doesn't help.
Over the years, I have spent shed-loads of cash trying to overcome this problem with no success, until I tried the 'Pure Mini transducer system' manufactured by K&K Pick-ups.
This is a passive transducer system that fits inside the guitar body incorporating 3 small transducer pick-ups glued beneath the bridge and gives a balanced sound over all the strings (octave G included) and I found this to be the answer to my prayers, so much so I fitted this system to all my 12 string guitars and now Im a Happy Chappy. and an octave 'G' that behaves.
So for me, in-hole Pick-ups on a 12 string is a no-no, Transducers all the way.
Thanks Again.

12, is the magic number

Nice article! But...

This with alignment of pickups are more often than not, totally missed, especially with pole pieces pickups. Even if they're adjustable, they almost always miss out on the string spacing. They don't simply align up that well. Especially slanted strat bridge pickups. If they're not aligned exactly underneath the strings, is kind of moot to have them adjusted anyway, since the pole piece reside NEXT to the strings (the outer ones most likely) and not directly underneath it. This can be seen as the string spacing narrows towards the neck, and the neck pickups polepieces starts to get askew, and not aligned properly.

No one is going to tell me that this doesn't matter. DiMarzio are the only ones I know of that makes narrower string spacing neck pickups to accomodate for this. The high E-string are never weak on those. If you think it's important to have the screws adjusted underneath the string, it is just as important that the pole piece resides directly under the string and not at the side of the string, as they will do on Strat bridge pickups which are slanted (for what purpose one can ask) and even neck pickups some pole pieces misses the string. Gibson hollowbody neck pickups are the worst one for this, though. Just take a good look at this one, how the pole pieces (adjustable) misses completely the low e-string on the neck pickup compared to the bridge pickup on this ES-175:


Which means you can adjust the screws, and height of the pickup, for days on end, without really getting anything from it. There always be one string louder or weaker than the other no matter what you do. This is because manufacturers doesn't change the dimension or spacing at all between the polepieces and make a difference between bridge and neck pickups, although the all know the strings spacing will change at the neck position to a narrower one. They may just change the winding number of turns to "even out" the output between bridge and necks pickup. Which to me, is quite dumb anyway. Using just rails will make this better and you don't have to think about any string spacing but the outermost string spacing maximum width.

[ Post last edited on 12/06/2016 at 01:35:03 ]

So if I had my way, I want a pickup with adjustable pole pieces that you can adjust the spacing between them too! Side by side. Now, that's a thing for you manufacturers to chew on for a while! :idee: