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OT: Pickup height adjustment


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So I just did the first overhaul on my Ibanez Artcore AF75 since I bought it. Cleaned it top to bottom, polished the hardware a little, reset the intonation, and I noticed the pickups were a little low, so I raised them. Wow!

 

It's amazing how much of a difference just a few millimeters makes on those pickups. The neck pickup went from muddy and indistinct to ballsy and clear. Bridge pickup wasn't quite so huge of a transformation, but still a lot more full than before.

 

The only bad thing is that I raised the bridge pup as far as she goes, and it still doesn't match the perceived output of the neck pup. Thanks to the arched top, the bridge pup sits a little lower than the neck, so it has to be raised a bit higher to match... I think I may play with lowering the neck pup a little to try to get them to balance a little more. If it affects the tone, though, I'll just deal with the output difference.

 

Also worthy of note: This was the first time I've dealt with a floating (non-permanent) bridge, and although it was a little more irritating than a fixed bridge, I got it back in place pretty easily. It would, however, be difficult to restring in a gig situation, I suspect.

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I had to raise a couple of the poles on the bridge pickup of my new Logan telecaster. Made a significant and desirable difference.

 

I'm not sure if I've got the guts yet to start tweaking to that degree.

 

It's funny; I've been playing the guitar now for 14 years- more than half my life- and I've just gotten into doing my own tweaking relatively recently. For so long I just put up with the setup on my axes or I would pay some luthier to do it for me... It's kind of fun to adjust things to my liking and my liking alone.

 

Last night I also helped my wife change the strings on her guitar for the first time- a semi-hollow with mini humbuckers. Went down a gauge, too, so I had to re-intonate that guitar. Thought I'd have to change the action, but lo and behold... With 10's, the guitar felt like a cheap Strat or something, but with 9's and no additional neck/bridge adjustment, it feels low and flat like an Ibanez. The kind of neck you just lay your finger down and it frets. Very nice. My wife dug it.

 

Now if I could just develop some sort of proficiency with the soldering iron, I could really tweak my guitars!

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I'm interested in adjusting the poles on some of the pickups on my strat. Any suggestions?

 

I want to take the whole thing apart again, make a real attempt at shielding the sound cavity (Tried with foil and it failed, doesn't do a damn thing, so I need something else) and really adjusting the pickup height where I want it.

 

Any resources or hints/tips for this process?

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