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Retuos

Large Gap Between Fretboard and Neck Pickup

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Hello fellow guitarists!

I have a slight problemo. I've been designing this guitar for a while and have just drawn in the frets. It's a 25" scale with 24 frets however they do not reach near to my pickups. In fact from where fret 24 is there is a 24mm gap between the fret and the pickup hole. The length from the nut to the 24th fret is bang on too. Does anyone have any suggestions as to why this may have happened and if it is bad?

Cheer,

~Retuos

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QUICK EDIT***

I have measured the length on one of my prized guitars. It has the same distance. However on another it's super close together.

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If this guitar is still being designed, is there anything stopping you moving the pickup cavity towards the neck to close the gap?

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Happen to have pics so we can see what exactly you're talking about? I'm kinda confused on if your in the drawing design stage or if you have already cut the wood. 

 

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As curtisa says, if you are still in the design stage, you can just change the placement of your pickups. If where they are is integral to the design you can move your bridge back and the neck / fretboard will need to come that way as well to maintain your scale length. And the gap will be closed. And to answer your second question, no it will not hurt a thing to leave everything just where it is. There is a ton of voodoo out there as to where the sweet spot for pickup placement is...where they are in relationship to the nodes of the vibrating strings, but voodoo is all it is. The nodes move every time you fret a string.

SR

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9 hours ago, ScottR said:

As curtisa says, if you are still in the design stage, you can just change the placement of your pickups. If where they are is integral to the design you can move your bridge back and the neck / fretboard will need to come that way as well to maintain your scale length. And the gap will be closed. And to answer your second question, no it will not hurt a thing to leave everything just where it is. There is a ton of voodoo out there as to where the sweet spot for pickup placement is...where they are in relationship to the nodes of the vibrating strings, but voodoo is all it is. The nodes move every time you fret a string.

SR

 

21 hours ago, 2.5itim said:

Happen to have pics so we can see what exactly you're talking about? I'm kinda confused on if your in the drawing design stage or if you have already cut the wood. 

 

 

23 hours ago, curtisa said:

If this guitar is still being designed, is there anything stopping you moving the pickup cavity towards the neck to close the gap?

Thank you all for your kind posts to help.

I fact I managed to sort it before seeing any of this. I rubbed out what I did and completely redrew it in the body; everything is in shape. However I'd like some clarification. I have drawn out a template of pickups and tacked them on where they should be. From centre to centre of the humbuckers (where the cross is), they are about 72mm apart. Is this is good distance or is it too close? The neck pickup is now 2mm away from the neck (which is what i wanted) and the other is about 8.5mm away from the bridge. So they're nice and close. 

There's an image attached.

Please advise.

Thanks all again for your responses earlier.

Retuos

DSC_0014-min.JPG

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Provided your bridge is positioned correctly for your given scale length, I personally don't see an issue with that placement. Looks not unlike the spacing on a 24 fret PRS Custom.

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Agreed. There is no magic number. The only rule of thumb that I concern myself with is that the more separation they have greater the difference in tone they will have (not withstanding the variances in wind and output inherent in your pickup choices).

SR

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21 hours ago, curtisa said:

Provided your bridge is positioned correctly for your given scale length, I personally don't see an issue with that placement. Looks not unlike the spacing on a 24 fret PRS Custom.

As shown in the image, there is my bridge and there is a clear line inside the template. That is the line where the strings meet the saddles. So yes I do believe my scale is accurate. So it wouldn't be too close together? That was my only concern. I did design this guitar off a Telecaster and a PRS.

 

 

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7 hours ago, ScottR said:

Agreed. There is no magic number. The only rule of thumb that I concern myself with is that the more separation they have greater the difference in tone they will have (not withstanding the variances in wind and output inherent in your pickup choices).

SR

So would you say that they're a reasonable distance apart? I'm aiming for a rich deep warm tone in the neck and I guess a decent treble tone in the bridge but not too much treble for soloing. I guess it's hard to describe exactly.

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1 hour ago, Retuos said:

As shown in the image, there is my bridge and there is a clear line inside the template. That is the line where the strings meet the saddles. So yes I do believe my scale is accurate. So it wouldn't be too close together? That was my only concern. I did design this guitar off a Telecaster and a PRS.

I'm a little surprised that the saddle breakpoint on that bridge appears to be smack in the middle of the block. I'd double check the position of that line relative to the outline of the bridge you've drawn. Typically the high E string will intonate with the saddle nearly fully forward. On a freshy-placed bridge it's unusual for the highest strings to want to intonate by moving further forward beyond this. If anything the intonation point will likely be further away still. Every other string will then intonate even further back from the high-E by varying degrees. If that is the case then you can probably move the bridge (and subsequently the bridge pickup) further back another 0.5" or so.

But check first.

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Hey Retuos,

As has been said, there are no exact rules for pickup position, "warm tone in the neck" generally comes from being as close to the 12th fret as possible.  ;)  With a 24 fret humbucker guitar, butted right up against the fretboard is the best you're gonna get.  I have a 24 fret SG, and that's where the neck pickup is.  You would do well to have a warm pickup, too.

What concerns me about your bridge is the outline of a Gotoh hardtail bridge with the saddle line about in the center ... that doesn't seem right.  The bridges I have seen usually have the A saddle at about 2/3rds toward the neck.  I don't think you can screw those saddles that far back, and the E would usually be even a little farther back than that.  Before you decide bridge location, make double-sure where your saddles are at the middle of their travel, and use the A saddle as your point of reference.  My SG has the bridge humbucker a bit closer to the bridge, but that is again a personal choice.  The closer it gets to the bridge, the more "nasal" the tone, but also less volume, so usually want a higher gain pickup.  It's all a toss up in the end, any custom guitar will have its own character.

But check that saddle,  Correct scale is more important than pickup location!

Cheers!

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16 hours ago, Retuos said:

So would you say that they're a reasonable distance apart? I'm aiming for a rich deep warm tone in the neck and I guess a decent treble tone in the bridge but not too much treble for soloing. I guess it's hard to describe exactly.

Like cj says, the warmth of the neck pickup mostly comes from its position of being closest to the 12th fret, the center point between the anchors of the nut and bridge. At this position the strings are vibrating in a much wider arc or travel as compared to the bridge pickup position. I usually but my neck pickup right against the fretboard to take advantage of that warmth.

And like you I prefer the bridge pickup to have a bit more warmth than what comes from the traditional bridge pickup location that is fairly close to the bridge. In fact in my most recent build I purposely moved the bridge pickup further away from the bridge to make it warmer. It is still noticeably more treble than the neck, but not at all shrill:

IMG_2863_zpsdsexjxry.jpg

So yes, I'd say they are a reasonable distance apart. And if you moved them closer together, or further apart, they'd still be a reasonable distance apart.:)

SR

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On ‎11‎/‎02‎/‎2017 at 0:26 AM, curtisa said:

I'm a little surprised that the saddle breakpoint on that bridge appears to be smack in the middle of the block. I'd double check the position of that line relative to the outline of the bridge you've drawn. Typically the high E string will intonate with the saddle nearly fully forward. On a freshy-placed bridge it's unusual for the highest strings to want to intonate by moving further forward beyond this. If anything the intonation point will likely be further away still. Every other string will then intonate even further back from the high-E by varying degrees. If that is the case then you can probably move the bridge (and subsequently the bridge pickup) further back another 0.5" or so.

But check first.

Thank you for your reply, I have ordered a separate bridge now. It's on it's way. I'll tell you when it comes and show you what it is.

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On ‎11‎/‎02‎/‎2017 at 0:38 AM, charisjapan said:

Hey Retuos,

As has been said, there are no exact rules for pickup position, "warm tone in the neck" generally comes from being as close to the 12th fret as possible.  ;)  With a 24 fret humbucker guitar, butted right up against the fretboard is the best you're gonna get.  I have a 24 fret SG, and that's where the neck pickup is.  You would do well to have a warm pickup, too.

What concerns me about your bridge is the outline of a Gotoh hardtail bridge with the saddle line about in the center ... that doesn't seem right.  The bridges I have seen usually have the A saddle at about 2/3rds toward the neck.  I don't think you can screw those saddles that far back, and the E would usually be even a little farther back than that.  Before you decide bridge location, make double-sure where your saddles are at the middle of their travel, and use the A saddle as your point of reference.  My SG has the bridge humbucker a bit closer to the bridge, but that is again a personal choice.  The closer it gets to the bridge, the more "nasal" the tone, but also less volume, so usually want a higher gain pickup.  It's all a toss up in the end, any custom guitar will have its own character.

But check that saddle,  Correct scale is more important than pickup location!

Cheers!

Thanks for the reply!

I have ordered a separate bridge, not the Gotoh. I'll send you a picture when it comes. So should I get all the saddles in the middle and then measure it from there? I have two designs. The one I have currently which I redesigned with the Gotoh. (I essentially moves back the scale so the bridge is further backwards) or my other one where there is a larger space between the bridge and the fretboard) I am awaiting the bridge to do a further more accurate Drawing.

Thanks

R

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On ‎11‎/‎02‎/‎2017 at 3:35 PM, ScottR said:

Like cj says, the warmth of the neck pickup mostly comes from its position of being closest to the 12th fret, the center point between the anchors of the nut and bridge. At this position the strings are vibrating in a much wider arc or travel as compared to the bridge pickup position. I usually but my neck pickup right against the fretboard to take advantage of that warmth.

And like you I prefer the bridge pickup to have a bit more warmth than what comes from the traditional bridge pickup location that is fairly close to the bridge. In fact in my most recent build I purposely moved the bridge pickup further away from the bridge to make it warmer. It is still noticeably more treble than the neck, but not at all shrill:

IMG_2863_zpsdsexjxry.jpg

So yes, I'd say they are a reasonable distance apart. And if you moved them closer together, or further apart, they'd still be a reasonable distance apart.:)

SR

That's a beautiful guitar!

What pickups are they??

Once I get my bridge through the post, I am going to completely redraw it. Make everything as accurate as possible!!

What's the measurement of your guitar from the High e saddle to the fretboard?

Thank you,

R

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7 hours ago, Retuos said:

What's the measurement of your guitar from the High e saddle to the fretboard?

The more useful measurement would be the distance of the high E saddle to the nut (ie, the scale length). With the saddles nearly as far forward as possible, this is the critical distance when positioning the bridge in order to get the guitar to correctly intonate. Anything else left in between the end of the fretboard and the bridge is a blank canvas for you to position the pickups as you see fit.

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On 15/02/2017 at 9:53 PM, ScottR said:

Thanks!

The pickups are Klein high wind P-90s:  http://www.kleinpickups.com/p-230-high-wind-p-90-pickup-set.aspx

The distance from the high E saddle and the fretboard is 6.25 inches, or about 159mm. That's a 23 fret board with a 25" scale and the fret board is trimmed right at the location for the 24th fret.

SR

 

Once again they're lovely! I thought about p-90s but went against it for now.

I wanted to check the distance to the fretboard to check how large of a difference it is compared to mine :hyper

R

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On 15/02/2017 at 10:33 PM, curtisa said:

The more useful measurement would be the distance of the high E saddle to the nut (ie, the scale length). With the saddles nearly as far forward as possible, this is the critical distance when positioning the bridge in order to get the guitar to correctly intonate. Anything else left in between the end of the fretboard and the bridge is a blank canvas for you to position the pickups as you see fit.

Indeed it will, I understand now. 

Attached is a picture of my bridge that I received The saddles are like this at rest, I have not adjusted it at all. why should I do it as far forward? Shouldn't it be better in the middle for it to intonate? 

7401c9bcf9.jpg7401eb5d8e.jpg

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38 minutes ago, Retuos said:

Attached is a picture of my bridge that I received The saddles are like this at rest, I have not adjusted it at all. why should I do it as far forward? Shouldn't it be better in the middle for it to intonate? 

That sounds logical doesn't it? In reality, intonation almost always involves lengthening the scale--pulling the bridge saddles further away from the nut. When fretting, you are stretching the string slightly out of its plane at rest to reach the fret. Stretching a string makes the note higher-sharp just like bending a string does. To compensate for the sharp you increase the scale length. In general terms the greater the diameter of the string and the higher its action the longer the scale adjustment needs to be to intonate. That's why you see the Tunomatic bridge on a Les Paul and the saddles on an acoustic bridge angled away on the bass side of the bridge. 

I like to set up a bridge by moving the high E saddle 75%-80% of the way forward in it's travel and then mount the bridge with that saddle at the exact scale length from the nut in that position. That leaves a little adjustment forward in the rare event that it is needed and most of the adjustment away from the nut where it is certain to be needed for the remaining strings.

Does that help?

SR

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19 hours ago, ScottR said:

That sounds logical doesn't it? In reality, intonation almost always involves lengthening the scale--pulling the bridge saddles further away from the nut. When fretting, you are stretching the string slightly out of its plane at rest to reach the fret. Stretching a string makes the note higher-sharp just like bending a string does. To compensate for the sharp you increase the scale length. In general terms the greater the diameter of the string and the higher its action the longer the scale adjustment needs to be to intonate. That's why you see the Tunomatic bridge on a Les Paul and the saddles on an acoustic bridge angled away on the bass side of the bridge. 

I like to set up a bridge by moving the high E saddle 75%-80% of the way forward in it's travel and then mount the bridge with that saddle at the exact scale length from the nut in that position. That leaves a little adjustment forward in the rare event that it is needed and most of the adjustment away from the nut where it is certain to be needed for the remaining strings.

Does that help?

SR

I understand now, thanks.

Currently all of my saddles are in a line at the same place. How should I go about adjusting it? Screwing in each saddle a few turns? Adding a turn on for each saddle closer to the lower E? Or just do that when I make the thing? 

I always love a little leeway in my stuff just to make room for adjustments either way if necessary. I guess it's just my safety procedure! 

Cheers again,

R

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You usually end up with a stair-step look. B is a little further back from the high E, G a little behind the B, A even with or a little in front of the G, D a little further back and likewise with the low E. You can set them up that way to begin with if you like, but you are going to move them all to intonate once the build is done, assembled and strung up. The only important thing to do first is get your bridge located properly for your scale length.

SR

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