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Author Topic: Great DIY: Strat & Tele Pickup Height  (Read 31637 times)

hunter

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Great DIY: Strat & Tele Pickup Height
« on: August 16, 2008, 08:20:19 AM »
I took this from another pickup manufacturer's site (don't tell please :O)

Did it for both, my Strat and Tele this morning and it did wonders!
So here we go:

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Strat style or 3 pickup configuration:
I have a method for adjusting strat pickups which seems work really well. I learned it from Richie Blackmore's Guitar tech many years ago, when I had to help him set up guitars he was buying for some Deep Purple Tour.
He told me" this is how Hendrix set up his strats" but Hendrix's tech told me " Jimi set his own guitars up"he did not remember,.
On Strats it seems that the the Low"E" side of the pickups has a lot to do with the tone. The height of the bass side of the pickups changes the character of the sound . The height of the treble side of the pickups changes the attack.

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Strat:
-Raise the bridge pickup to" 1/8 from the high "E" string
-Raise the Bridge pickup side to" 1/4 from the low "E" string
-Place the selector switch in the 2nd position (or between the bridge and middle position)
-Raise the middle pickup to" 3/16 from the high "E" string
-Raise the middle pickup to" 1/4 from the low "E" string
-Now adjust the low "E" side of the middle pickup while playing a little, try to get the most
"quack" and phase in the sound. You may have to lower and raise both the bridge pickup and the middle pickup(on the bass side) until you can get a tone that is really " quacky".
-Now place the position switch in the 4th position between the middle and the neck position
-Raise the high "E" side to about 3/16 from the string ,
-Now adjust the low "E" side while you are playing, try to get the most out of phase "Quacky " sound you can get. You may have to adjust and tweak the treble side and the bass side's of the other pickups.
-When you have the 2 and 4 position sounding the way you want , you should have the guitar voiced so that all the positions have a distinctive sound.

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Tele:

Tele set ups:
-Install pickups
-Solder connections (this is for a wiring pattern that uses both pickups in the middle position , not for early Tele wiring)
-Raise the bridge pickup to 3/16 on the high "E" side
-Raise the bridge pickup to 1/4 on the low "E" side
-Place the selector switch in the middle position
-Adjust the neck pickup height until you can a distinct blend of the pickups
-Now check the sound on all three positions and they should be 3 distinct sounds with character.
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Doc001

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Re: Great DIY: Strat & Tele Pickup Height
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2008, 03:48:21 AM »
I've used the Strat settings and they work nicely. Really brings out the tone of the wood. :)

Tomcaster

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Re: Great DIY: Strat & Tele Pickup Height
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2010, 10:53:10 AM »
Great way to go!

shobet

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Re: Great DIY: Strat & Tele Pickup Height
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2010, 12:02:27 PM »
Didn't Blackmore usually have his middle pickup dropped out of the way or removed entirely, or is that a recent(ish) thing?

I'll have to give these a go a bit later though just to see what they do to the sound of my Tele and Strat.
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Twinfan

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Re: Great DIY: Strat & Tele Pickup Height
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2010, 12:08:47 PM »
Blackmore has had his middle pickup flat to the 'guard for a long time.  I saw some old footage of Purple the other day and it was like that....

Frank

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Re: Great DIY: Strat & Tele Pickup Height
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2010, 05:36:46 AM »
I'll try this later today when I restring some strats. If it doesn't make me play EXACTLY like Ritchie Blackmore then I want my money back.

gwEm

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Re: Great DIY: Strat & Tele Pickup Height
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2010, 10:41:38 AM »
afaik, blackmore had the middle pickup disconnected entirely, and a 3 way neck/parallel/bridge switch wiring. then he screwed the middle pickup right down out of the way
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Re: Great DIY: Strat & Tele Pickup Height
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2010, 12:15:47 PM »
Great bump on this thread- these instructions are my "starting point" for adjusting strats or teles.

On the Ritchie Blackmore front, I've read all kinds of wierd-sh1t over the last year or so...

The last stuff I read said that he:

Took the magnets out of the middle pup, but left the windings (or created a new pup, same windings, but no magnets). He left this in the circuit to account for the "inductance" (might be another electrical term here, my guess) that the middle pickup usually adds to the circuit. He kept this because it "changes the other pickups a bit" if you take the middle out altogether... ...personally, I would have thought the presence or not of the middle's magnets might have a more noticable effect (if you have ears good enough to hear the difference of a coil in the circuit!!)

The stuff I was reading was that he only ever uses bridge alone or neck alone, does not use the tone but leaves it in, fully open (hence you see him always checkling it live in older footage... he's not adjusting it, but making sure he hasn't knocked it...), and he uses his pick/finger attack and the master volume as the volume/tone control...

He's a class player... but this stuff does sound a little bit, er, eccentric, even if based in actual theory :lol:
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 12:17:36 PM by AndyR »
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Frank

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Re: Great DIY: Strat & Tele Pickup Height
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2010, 01:05:12 PM »
He's a class player... but this stuff does sound a little bit, er, eccentric, even if based in actual theory :lol:

That's guitar players though isn't it? What one player thinks of as a "killer tone" mod could be totally inaudible to anyone else. I think a lot of it is psychological and more about feeling at ease with the instrument by adapting it the way you like. And the audience can't even hear the difference between valves and transistors.

CamilleJacob

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Re: Great DIY: Strat & Tele Pickup Height
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2011, 02:44:54 AM »
I found out that with reverse wound reverse polarity pickups(as on my Irish tour set) its in fact more hard to set up height. Because two side by side pickups share more their magnetic fields than with regular pickups. On my guitar when I change the bridge pickup's height it affects the middle's tone and volume a bit... so i tried to get very different sounds from each pickups and the most snappy inbetween sounds.

with the guitar fretted on last fret:
bridge   lowE 2,8mm                highE 3,2mm

middle  lowE 3,2mm                 highE 3mm

neck     lowE 1,6mm                 highE 3,5mm