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> How Close To The Strings Are Your Pickups?
The Farmer
post Jan 6 2009, 02:41 PM
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I got a guitartech to put in emgs pickups on my guitar about a half year ago. And i was just wondering of how close those of you who use emgs have them to the strings mine are: neck 5 mm and bridge 3 mm. Now what seems strange to me is that the instruction for installing the pickups said that to get fully effect out of the pickups you should put them as close to the strings as possible, but the guitartech (Who isntalled mine) said that if he put them to close the sound would be bad??? iactually believe that they sould be closer for i think they sound great but am sure that they could sound a bit better if i moved them closer, especially the neck picup because i use them a lot. eitherway whats your opinion on this? i just know that my guitar could sound a tad more evil \m/ mad.gif
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post Jan 6 2009, 02:50 PM
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They were flirting with each other the other day so I had to get them further apart biggrin.gif

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Velvet Roger
post Jan 6 2009, 02:56 PM
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If you put your pickups too close to the strings you can create so-called 'string-pull' which results in bad sounds. In my opinion, you sound pick up the screwdriver and search around for the sound you like (basically there are no really 'wrong setups'). Although, in case you may not want to do this at all, then just ignore the story below smile.gif

In the beginning you may find this difficult, but after a while I could clearly distinguish what I liked and disliked about a certain pickup height. Generally speaking you should go for a full sound, which is nicely spread between bass/treble (to check this play some barre chords e.g.) and adapt the pickup heights from both sides to reach that balanced sound.

Also check that the volume of both bridge/neck pickups is more or less the same.

This whole process can be tedious, but it contributed largely to my knowledge on what kind of sound I like, and what the actual changes in pickup height actually do.

Hopefully this helps a bit.

This post has been edited by Velvet Roger: Jan 6 2009, 02:57 PM

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Scott Gentzen
post Jan 6 2009, 03:00 PM
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I'm nowhere near my guitars and I don't have any good pictures online, so I don't have an answer for how mine are set up. On my Ibanez, the bridge is closest, the middle is down almost flat with the pickguard and the neck is kinda in between.

There is such a thing as having your pickups too close. They're magnets and your strings are magnetic. Past a certain point, the pickups' pull starts having a greater effect on the strings and will choke your sustain.

Pickup height's one of those things that are easy to experiment with though. I'm not sure there's so much a better/worse as just different effects on your tone that pickup height has.

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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jan 6 2009, 04:14 PM
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Pickups are catching vibrations differently on different heights, so it is best to experiment on your own for a while and see what position suits you the best. Don't be afraid to experiment, it's fairly easy and nothing bad can happen. Cheers smile.gif

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Ramiro Delforte
post Jan 6 2009, 04:47 PM
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That's right, there's no perfect setup, there's your perfect setup. You could try to compare some professional opinion like Dan Erlewine, Martin Koch, Dennis Waring & David Raymond. And after you've heard all those opinions you could make one of your own and try to experiment with your setup.

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post Jan 7 2009, 12:26 PM
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The Duncans on my Jackson SL2H are about 5mm from the strings and that works for the sound I want for that guitar.

However... I retro-fitted an EMG81 to the brdge of my '88 Jackson Soloist SL1 and I found I get the sound that I like best with the pickup/string distance about 10mm.

I agree with the majority here and would say that its all about experimenting with different settings until you arrive at something that sounds good for you and works with that particular guitar.


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Trond Vold
post Jan 9 2009, 12:55 PM
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I like to keep my strings at a bit of a distance from my EMG's. Not sure exactly how close they are, but i guess they are about the same distance as Drew604 mentioned; around 10mm's.

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