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> Pickup Height
PosterBoy
post Oct 29 2016, 09:34 AM
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What is your best process for finding the sweet spot with pickup height.

My Tyler sounds great on the single coils but I'm not liking the bridge humbucker tone. I'm ok at adjustments that are clear black and white but when it comes to subjective things like tone etc I flounder.


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Mertay
post Oct 29 2016, 10:06 AM
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Recording guitar straight to the DAW with no fx worked for me (using headphones).

Do very low and very high on each sides of the PU, then match levels on DAW to observe differences. You don't want a hard attack (too close) or too shadowy/airy (too far) but just a hint of compression. Subjective part is if you want that compression when you strum harder or pick hard in a solo fashion.

After doing this then listen the middle positions, it must have a good eq-wise blend of the both PU's but when adjusting always do very minimal changes (preferably on only one of the PU's) cause on their own they already sound best to you so no need to change that too much.

Take the process cool and spread it to 2-3 days if possible, specially when listening to recordings. It might be boring and long but after that you won't suspect the guitar anymore when adjusting tone.


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Darius Wave
post Oct 30 2016, 01:33 PM
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I make some experiments once a time but I suaulyl end up setting them at highest possible position - biggest output determines less gain on the amp and less noise. They also behave the way I like articulation-wise. But that's just me smile.gif


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Wyverex
post Oct 30 2016, 02:51 PM
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QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Oct 30 2016, 01:33 PM) *
I make some experiments once a time but I suaulyl end up setting them at highest possible position - biggest output determines less gain on the amp and less noise. They also behave the way I like articulation-wise. But that's just me smile.gif


Ha! Now we finally all know the secret to your tone, Darius biggrin.gif tongue.gif
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klasaine
post Oct 30 2016, 04:03 PM
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There's no 'rule' about pkup height. You can check for manufacturer suggestions and recommendations but it's really going to come down to how you like it.
There are several variables besides height that can affect pkup tone and response: string gauge, action, bridge style and material, your pick hand technique, your pick, height of and output of the single coils, etc.

QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Oct 29 2016, 01:34 AM) *
My Tyler sounds great on the single coils but I'm not liking the bridge humbucker tone.


What is it that you don't like about the 'bucker tone?
Are the singles in that Tyler normal output or are they 'hot'? (Are they true singles or some type of noiseless?)

Here's something you may not have thought about ...
Do you have the single coils set high? Are they high output singles? If so, they could be (IMO, will be) choking the vibration of the strings and affect the response of the bridge 'bucker. Single coils exert a decent amount of pull on your strings. Too high and you won't even be able to properly tune or intonate the thing. If they're really 'hot' singles they'll pull even more. This is one of the reasons why a Tele is so unique - only two single coils. Less mag pull than a Strat. An 'Esquire' is even more of it's own animal - one single that is usually over wound because that pickup is at the bridge where magnetic pull has the least affect due to the tautness of the strings at that point in the scale length.

I have a HSS Strat. I tried at least a dozen humbuckers in the bridge position before I finally found the one I liked (Seymour Duncan TB-16 '59 Custom Hybrid Trembucker matched with Fender Robert Cray neck and middle).

I like my humbucker set lower into the body than probably most folks. I hear it as having more clarity and definition when it's a bit lower. *My singles are generally lower too. Same reason - clarity and definition.
I don't notice any undue noise.
YMMV.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Oct 30 2016, 04:53 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 30 2016, 05:16 PM
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I usually do the same as Darius smile.gif I usually raise the pickups more than I've seen most folks do. Just before they start pulling at the strings a bit. I find it does provide clearer tone for high gain work without requiring wads of gain and and therefore a bit less noise. So I'd say raise your pickups by a quarter or half turn of the screw and try it, then rinse repeat til you find your sweet spot on a given instrument smile.gif

Don't push it too far or they will touch the strings, (very bad) or the screw could just come all the way out and you have to screw it back in smile.gif Also, it's illuminating to see the difference as you raise them. So yeah, raise a bit, play, repeat. smile.gif

If you don't like the bucker tone, you can try to install a coil tap and turn it in to a single coil on demand or maybe just replace the pickup entirely if you just don't like the way it sounds. Try some guitars with similar woods with various pickups and see what tone you do like, and grab one of those pickups smile.gif Assuming of course, you can get to some guitar stores, which I"ve learned over the years, is a BIG assumption. We have wads of guitar stores here, but evidently it's not the case everywhere.

Todd


QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Oct 30 2016, 08:33 AM) *
I make some experiments once a time but I suaulyl end up setting them at highest possible position - biggest output determines less gain on the amp and less noise. They also behave the way I like articulation-wise. But that's just me smile.gif


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Oct 30 2016, 05:20 PM


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Darius Wave
post Oct 31 2016, 12:21 AM
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I would split things into two ares that are ctitical for this kind of adjustments:

1. Experienced musicniancs with high knowlegde of their own tonal expectations
2. Beginner and semi-advanced players who expect critical difference while they can go wrong with it according to what They play


That's just me but it's an observation made on me myself, many of my pro friends and my students

That's highly subjective but in 90% of people who learn to play the guitar, 100% possible height is a best choice for beginning. It will not maker your guitar sound like hi-gain on the crunch amp, but it will definitely make you feel higher distance between noise and signal + achive just the right amount of gain on a lovely "not affected by treble boost" crunch kind of distortions.

Tonal differences are there but most visible difference at beginner or semi-advanced level is the volume difference. You may laugh but one of my latest experience was a man giving his guitar to my service because of the huge noise level even on the clean tones. Aside from any shielding or pickup type factors, his pickups where low as hell. When I put them to max position, his volume setting on the amp (clean tone of course) changed a lot and the actuall ground noise level of the amp has been way lower due to less boost of volume on the amp itself.

I have made a lot of experiments with a lot type of pickups on a descent amps with descent distortion. By descent distortion I mean no treble boost, just a natural distortion that still sounds nice and round once you roll off guitar volume. I have made experiments like poles of one of coils being much higher than usually while the pickup's body was low. I guess I tried everything possible with pickups settings including magnet exchange, different type of coils mix etc. I will again underline it's highly subjective but my conclusion was...that pickup height it's like 80% affecting it's volume/gain and 20% affecting it's tone


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