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Adjusting Pickups: The "Sweet Spot" with Soundclips

majick59

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Joined
Apr 24, 2004
Messages
40
Thanks Roy and Roadrunner!

How does adjusting the pole pieces figure into all of this?
 

Black58

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Oct 28, 2005
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10,139
Excellent! :salude

Funny, tried this last night with my '97 R8. ... Ended up exactly where I was after 12 years of playing and tweaks! :wah Guess my ears are better than I thought!:rofl
 

Don

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2001
Messages
5,732
Cool!

I used my Deluxe clone to set mine up following the technique that you described.

I felt like I didn't really notice the "bloom" as much as I noticed that the notes had what I call "pull" at the end of their sustain. Just when you think the note will die out, it pulls you along farther than expected, kind of like a car with bad brakes.

I hear the same thing in your clips.
 

roadrunner

Active member
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Aug 25, 2001
Messages
6,835
Thanks Roy and Roadrunner!

How does adjusting the pole pieces figure into all of this?



Good question.

Adjusting the poles, at least to me, has always been a "fine tuning" thing. Dan, "Bluesforstevie", put up a cool post about proper radiusing of the poles. I'll see if I can find it.

I start with them flat to the top of the pickup cover and usually end up with the "D" string the highest, the "G" string down a bit from the "D", the "B" string down a bit from the top of the cover and the rest of 'em pretty much flat to the cover. That helps even out the volume issue with humbuckers, for me at least.

Sometimes I just set 'em up and leave 'em like a blackguard pickup... all the poles flat to the cover and the same height. I love Teles... sorry!:wah
 

rjaneshe

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Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
75
Another grateful thank you for taking the time to do the clips. This is incredibly helpful since I am always struggling with finding "The Sweetspot" but never knew how to recognize it until your clips. I can't wait to give it a try.
 
A

AndrewSimon

Guest
Thanks Roy and Roadrunner!

How does adjusting the pole pieces figure into all of this?

You probably adjust them until you get the same result with the rest of the strings.

Great post by the way, I think I'm in the sweet spot already but I'll experiment tonight.

:salude :salude
 

986ter

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Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Messages
101
Great post and an excellent method for finding the sweet spot. This should be a sticky.
 

carfac

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Jan 7, 2005
Messages
219
You are adjusting for the sound from the "E"'s open. That would seem to be the sweet spot for an open string. Since we are talking about such subtle and small differences, I would think any time you depress a string, you would take it out of the sweet spot.

What would happen if you put a capo on at 12 or so, and adjusted for that? Seems like that would get you close to the sweet spot for more area on the neck. or maybe back a bit- maybe the 5-7th fret? Or is this just over-the-top anal?

Sorry, not trying to rain on your parade, just thin king out loud.
 
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A

AndrewSimon

Guest
You are adjusting for the sound from the "E"'s open. That would seem to be the sweet spot for an open string. Since we are talking about such subtle and small differences, I would think any time you depress a string, you would take it out of the sweet spot.

What would happen if you put a capo on at 12 or so, and adjusted for that? Seems like that would get you close to the sweet spot for more area on the neck. or maybe back a bit- maybe the 5-7th fret? Or is this just over-the-top anal?

Sorry, not trying to rain on your parade, just thin king out loud.

That is exactly what he is doing but he did not explain it very clearly:

As you come up you will hear a point where the end of the note starts to bloom (or the end of the note starts to get louder as ) keep raising the pickup till you hear that bloom stop then back it back down till it starts again

In other words he moves the sweet spot further down the neck.

When I did mine I put a capo at the 7th fret to get a good coverage from 3rd fret till 15th fret.
The lower your action the more area you can cover.
Bridge is easier because there is less change in string height at that point, it's not exact sience but all in all this method works pretty good.


:biggrin:
 

sapi

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Mar 7, 2007
Messages
1,292
Thanks for the posts! Hey guys don't forget to dampen the free strings otherwise you'll be hearin these vibrating in sympathy with the plucked note...
 

qcvol

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Jan 19, 2007
Messages
238
This was one of the most useful threads I've seen. I couldn't really find the bloom or sweet spot but I coujld hear the difference in pickup height. Also adjusted the height of the poles to follow the arc of the neck before making an adjustment to the pickup height. Staggering of the poles made a big difference in string clarity. I played with the pickup height until it sounded good to me. I'll have to say the mud in the neck PUP is hardly evident. I tried this tweeking procdure to three LPs and all were better to my ears.

Mark
 

MRG

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2002
Messages
672
Same here.

Heretofore, I knew about setting pickup heights to Gibson factory specs, as well as setting the pole-piece radius, but never went any further.

The additional tips in this thread, particularly raising the bridge pickup a little more and slightly lowering the bass side of the neck pickup, sound real good so far.

Thanks to everyone who posted.
 

Triburst

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Messages
4,353
I was using this method to adjust the pickups on my '09 R9 yesterday, and got a surprise that never happened to me on my other Les Pauls.

I do have fairly low action on that guitar, but the surprise was due to the ('09) replica top carve.

The top carve is so pronounced that when I screwed down the pickups to the "starting point" under the strings, the top of the pickup was actually well below the mounting ring. Unfortunately, one leg of the adjustment screw wasn't long enough, and the pickup sprang off of it on one side. I had to remove the strings and the pickup ring to reattach it (and if you've ever done this, you know this is a really tricky procedure requiring at least three of your hands).

Anyway, I reattached it, restrung, and took the opportunity to rub down my "illegal" fretboard (good luck, Gibson!), then adjusted the pickup per the harmonics. It sounds great, and this is through the stock BB's that came with the guitar. The only extra thing I've done was adjust the pole screws to the bridge radius in the "\/\/\/" method.

It was worth the time and effort. Thanks again, Roadrunner! :salude
 

roxrob

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2003
Messages
223
hi there

was just gonna listen to this but soundclips are no longer available? Can anyone repost them please? and howcome this wasn't a "sticky"?

Cheers

Rob

quick edit...1 minute after posting....they seem to be available now..... thanks anyway
 

Bass Blom

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Joined
Dec 6, 2005
Messages
586
did it to this one today after 'throwing' in them P94's two days ago, thanks!

IMG_9017.jpg
 

Flying Fish

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Aug 15, 2006
Messages
632
How about playing your guitar through your regular rig the way you usually do... but with a screw driver handy and adjust as you play to what sounds good to you.

Boom-done.
 
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BrazenPicker

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Joined
Oct 31, 2010
Messages
28
Yes, that's what I usually do, but I have some trouble dialing in a new set and I'm wondering if there's something I don't know.

Unrelated to this, this method seems to emphasize the double tone thing, but I wonder if that involves a tradeoff with other things you might want.
 

Flying Fish

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
632
There's always a trade-off... just like with different neck shapes, fret size, string height, etc etc. There's no magic bullet.
 

bern1

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Joined
Nov 23, 2004
Messages
1,283
Thanks Gary! I know it's an old thread but I just found it. I just did it tonight, relatively crudely and I can already tell the difference, big time.
 
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