HoW to Set pickup HeigHt (part ii)
While Tim Mills has the last word on how to dial-in pickups to sound great, if you feel you need a starting point, bear in mind the following. A typical Fender-style single coil will have preset polepiece heights so you can only adjust the overall height and tilt of the pickup via the two height adjustment/fixing screws. A humbucker has the same overall height adjustment plus, typically, at least one row of slot or screw-head polepieces, so you can ‘customise’ the stagger to subtly balance the string-to-string response. Hold the high E, and then the low E, down at the top fret and measure the height from the underside of the string to the top treble and bass side of the pickup. A good place to start is approximately 3-3.5mm. If you want more treble response and presence, try narrowing the gap on the treble side of the pickup and vice versa – the same with the bass. Lowering or raising the individual polepieces on a humbucker can then fine-tune the string-to-string response. Need less power from your neck pickup compared to your bridge? Simply lower the neck pickup until you achieve a balance.