(5 of 5) How to Set the Pickup Height on Your Electric Guitar

Tools

Screwdriver
Ruler that measures 64ths of an in (or mm)

There are many variations in pickups. In this tutorial, we’ll talk about setting pickup height on Fender style double coiled pickups. Now, just like setting the action at the bridge, pickup height is a matter of personal taste, a preference. Almost everybody wants to avoid the following problems with pickups, though:

1. Strings buzzing against the pickup
2. Magnetic pull of pickup effecting intonation
3. Uneven pickup height –> (Causes uneven volume)
4. Weak signal (caused by low pickups)

Fret MD Recommended Pickup Heights:

  • 1/8th of an in. (3.18 mm)

Assessment

Assessment can be done by measuring or by ear.

Measurement

1. Press down on the very last fret of a string (your E6 string for example).

2. Now use your ruler to measure the distance between the top of the pickup sensor and the bottom of the fretted E6 string.

pickup_electric5

3. Repeat this for all pickups and then take measurements of the E6 string. All pickups should be even and at the same height. You want to avoid slanted pickups and having pickups set at different heights.

By Ear

Use the pickup selector switch on your guitar to alternate between pickups. Play the same chord and listen to how it sounds on different pickups. Does it sound louder in certain positions than others? If yes, then you’ll want to measure and adjust your pickup height.

Adjustment.

1. Use a screwdriver to raise and/or lower the pickups to your desired height. making sure that all pickups are evenly set to the same height.

pickups2

Congratulations! You’re done with the setup. Enjoy the sound and feel of your beautifully setup instrument. If you have any questions or encounter any difficulty with your setup then please feel free to post on our forum. If you found the images used in the post helpful, it may be of use to you to know that they were almost all pulled from our DVDs.

Happy playing!


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