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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:56 pm 
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Koa
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Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
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The music store I do work for asked me to take a look at this customer's guitar.

The customer bought this online a while ago, swapped out the stock pickups and noticed the dreadful alignment of the pickup poles. He's worried the bad spacing is contributing to a lack of top end (at least from what the music store guys say, I haven't talked to him yet.) He's hoping I can re-rout the pickup cavities to shimmy the pickups back into better alignment.

I just plugged it in and other than the two pickups being out of balance volume wise, they seem even across all six strings to me.

In my experience this doesn't look great, but really only a cosmetic concern. I've always assumed the poles work to focus the magnet's strength towards the strings but work together to create a single large field. Also with the way these pickups are out of line I would think he'd be losing out on bottom end. Am I wrong with either of those assumptions?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:02 pm 
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Koa
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Few things.

1. Humbuckers are not known for top end.
2. If you reroute the cavities you are going to hate your life trying to make them blend
3. With these guitars it's better to just leave them be.
4. Leave it be (please)

If the customer hadn't noticed this then it's not likely that he would've thought any differently. If it already sounds even as is then there's really nothing to do. Hope that doesn't come off as too blunt, but I'm speaking from my own bad past experiences in this one.

What happened with me, I did the re-route and aligned the pickups. Everything was great. Spent a good amount of time blending the shims to hide them. Everything looked great, customer couldn't tell any difference soundwise and thus was pissed. Could've been he was a just a jerk but even to my ears it really made very little difference. YMMV though.



These users thanked the author DanKirkland for the post: Hesh (Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:57 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:27 pm 
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Quick thought, if you rotate the pickups 180 will they line up any better or are the truly symmetrical?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:00 am 
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Moving the pickups will be a nightmare! To shift either one into perfect alignment will require filling in the treble side of the existing cavity. At least a pick guard will cover it.... Probably need to make a custom pick guard too.

And those PUps look like cheap Chinese "duncan designed" based on that logo and the one mount ring. Better quality usa made pickups may actually line up better?.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:31 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Just occurred to me.... Those are probably F spaced Pups!

Had to finish my coffee before my brain fully engaged....

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These users thanked the author B. Howard for the post: Clinchriver (Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:54 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:54 pm 
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B. Howard wrote:
Just occurred to me.... Those are probably F spaced Pups!....


Yep Fender spacing


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:44 pm 
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Koa
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The neck pickup is an American Seymour Duncan Custom Custom. (The pickup rings are definitely aftermarket though.) And the packaging says it is spaced for traditional humbucker spacing. I think it was 1.92" E to E.

I got a chance to have the customer over, its so much easier to figure out what the issues are when I talk face to face with someone.

So he doesn't care so much about the aesthetics after all. He plays with loads and loads of fuzz and tunes his guitar BEBEF#C# or something and predominantly uses the neck pickup. His problem is that when he plays a specific riff that contains an octave or a 5th I can't remember exactly what interval he was playing, the higher note disappears. When I play the guitar clean and like a "normal" person there's good string balance, his wound 3rd is a bit lower in volume to the plain strings but as a whole it reacts like I would expect a low tuned les paul to act. He's comparing this guitar to a '94 les paul he has. With the '94 there is no issue, and that higher note in the riff jumps out. He has Seymour Duncan's in both guitars, but not the same models, he thinks the '94 has SH-5 pickups, while this guitar has a custom custom.

Since the problem is actually on the 3rd string and only really present with a load of fuzz when certain notes are played against each other I suspect the out of alignment poles don't have much to do with the issue. In fact I think this is a pickup phenomena more than anything else. So we settled on swapping the pickups before jumping into any invasive surgery. He thought a seymour duncan custom was a seymour duncan custom, but if the '94 does in fact have an SH-5 and this new pickup in the '72 is a custom custom, one has a ceramic magnet while the other has Alnico 2 magnets. Ceramic Magnets and Alnico 2's play with gain very differently. I think this is the issue.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:49 pm 
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Koa
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Country: Canada
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I should have known when I saw this guitar and his only concern was pole spacing that aesthetics weren't really the issue...


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:50 pm 
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Ouch!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:46 pm 
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Put a set of Bill Lawrence (or other bladed pickups) in it, and no more polepiece problems.

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These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post: DanKirkland (Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:44 am)
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:45 am 
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Koa
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Chris Pile wrote:
Put a set of Bill Lawrence (or other bladed pickups) in it, and no more polepiece problems.


An elegant solution sir


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:13 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:09 pm
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Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
Last Name: Searl
City: Duncan
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V9L 2E5
Country: Canada
Status: Semi-pro
If swapping pickups makes no difference I'll keep that suggestion in mind Chris, thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:14 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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If you go bladed get some Joe Bardens, love those picups.

That is odd though, how did the originals fit?

I just had a 70 LP in with Duncans in it and they fit like a glove. I suppose you could shorten the tap on the one side but that would only give you marginal gain.

That would drive me nuts and yes I do believe it affects the tone negatively.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:54 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:09 pm
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Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
Last Name: Searl
City: Duncan
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V9L 2E5
Country: Canada
Status: Semi-pro
jfmckenna wrote:
If you go bladed get some Joe Bardens, love those picups.

That is odd though, how did the originals fit?

I just had a 70 LP in with Duncans in it and they fit like a glove. I suppose you could shorten the tap on the one side but that would only give you marginal gain.

That would drive me nuts and yes I do believe it affects the tone negatively.


Originals were the same. It was probably a friday guitar, and it slipped in the jig or something. Comparing the clean signal which was really fine to the tone this guy used with the amount of manipulation the signal was going through I really doubt his issue was the out of line pickups, but we'll see. He's going to swap pickups from the guitar he likes to this one and we'll see if it changes anything.


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