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Thread: Pickup & Pole Piece Height?

  1. #1
    Senior Member LJD's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Pickup & Pole Piece Height?

    I have a couple questions regarding pickup and pole height. How close to the strings can a humbucker be raised before it starts effecting the sustain (negatively)? I'm trying to get the most volume, clarity, and sustain out of my 53/10s, been playing around with the pickup height. Also, the poles on my 53/10s are sunken below the cover a bit (see pic). Would raising them all an equal amount effect the sound/signal differently that raising the whole pickup?

  2. #2
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Warrington, Nr Liverpool UK
    I can't remember what the general recommendations are for height... Is it 1/8th of an inch with the strings depressed at the last fret?

    I do remember messing with pole piece heights before and it made little difference. I just have them sat flush with the pickup raised a touch higher on the treble side. And the pups are adjusted so there's a general balance between the two.

    You can get the HB's closer to the strings than single coils. You definately know when single coils are too close!!!
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  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Dallas/Ft. Worth area
    If you adjust them too close it will affect (lesson) the sustain and also can pull hard on the strings and cause intonation to be off and make it difficult to get a stable intonation.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Brad737's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    These are broad generalizations, but usually:

    With neck humbuckers, I lower the pickup until the bobbins are level with the pickup ring. The lower you can get a pickup, the clearer the sound, and the less effects on sustain, intonation, etc. Now, raise the adjustable poleieces back up to get the volume you want from the pickup.

    WIth bridge humbuckers, I'll typically adjust the level of the bobbin to just below halfway between the string and the pickup ring...perhaps a little lower. Now, raise those polepieces back up to get your volume back.

    I'm not trying to be cute, but this is really something you'll have to do by trial and error. I'm no luthier, but I've found that it's pretty evident. You'll know when you find the sweet spot.

    Good luck!
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