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A stupid pickup question


Spider-Skot
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Hey, I have a stupid question. I'm looking at buying some pickups for a couple of guitars I'm working on. What I'm looking at is a set for bridge and neck. They both have the same model number, but they're listed as bridge and neck. Is there actually any difference between the pickups themselves that distinguishes them as such, or could I use either as a bridge pickup? Here's a link to the page on eBay

ESP LH-100 bridge and neck pickups

Thanks for any help.

SKot

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Its not a stupd question, cos im not 100% certain! Bridge pickups tend to be wound hotter as the strings move less there. I think in the case though, it could be pole spacing. The string spacing will be slightly narrower at the neck position than the bridge position, hence pole pieces may not align correctly if the wrong pickup is used.

You can take a particular modle of seymour duncan (eg Hot rails) and you can get an ordinary and a bridge version. You can also get some of their pickups trem-bucker spaced (but i think that relates to using using a bridge with bigger saddle spacing).

Thats my thoughts on the matter (well the only logical explanation i could think of). Anyone lese confirm?

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I've always been under the impression that all pickups are spaced the same, unless they have that little label of "F-Spaced" on them.

Most of the time, the neck and bridge models have different output levels and voicings. At least the Dimarzio series do, if you go and look at the Breed, Blaze, and Evolution sets.

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Ok, here are some basic rules of thumb,

1. Bridge pickups tend to be hotter, and therefore can sound muddy in the neck most of the time, but NOT ALWAYS.

2. F- spacing is only a big issue on fender style guitars (Ibanez, Jackson, other Floyd Rose equiped guitars) Regular spacing should work well in either position on a Les Paul or similar instruments.

3. Neck Pickups are often weaker and therefore don't do well in the bridge for a high gain sound.

4. A lot of bridge pickups have more emphasis in the low end to compensate for the thin sound create so close to the bridge. Conversely Neck pickups have an emphasis in the higher frequencies to add clarity to the neck position.

5. Typically the bridge is the hottest, followed by the neck, and then the middle is the weakest.

In your situation, they very well could be the same pickup. Nothing is wrong with that. Steve Vai used the Paf Pro in the neck and bridge of many of his Jem guitars. The only difference is the spacing because of the tremolos tendency to flare out the strings.

For the record, I have a non-f-spaced Dimarzio evolution in the bridge of an Ibanez Rg. The polepieces don't line up cosmeticaly, but everything sounds ok to my deaf ears. :D

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On covered pickups (ie. Les Paul/McCarty style) the adjustable poles are on the outter most part of the pickup. So for the bridge pickups the adj. poles are closest to the bridge itself...the neck pickups, the adj. poles are closest to the fingerboard. Most uncovered pickups have set and adjustable poles (except maybe some Dimarzio). I'd check the back of the pickup for writing (not stickers) and align them. Then see which adj. poles are on the top (neck pickup) and which are on the bottom (bridge). Or see which has the longer wires (neck genereally have longer wires since they are farther away from the controls).

Then once installed you can do what Sethmetal said to determine if they are actually the pickups you think they are. For all you know they can be two bridge pickups, or two neck pickups.

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Sethmetal has some good info.

But F spacing in normal humbuckers isn't a biggie, even in the bridge position. Humbuckers have a softer magnetic field, and less focused. I've never had issues with regular spaced buckers on floyded guitars, even at the bridge. Of course, it LOOKS a little funny.

And if you have a single coil or the odd humbucker that uses magnets as polepieces, I'd stay with a F spaced.

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On covered pickups (ie. Les Paul/McCarty style) the adjustable poles are on the outter most part of the pickup. So for the bridge pickups the adj. poles are closest to the bridge itself...the neck pickups, the adj. poles are closest to the fingerboard. Most uncovered pickups have set and adjustable poles (except maybe some Dimarzio). I'd check the back of the pickup for writing (not stickers) and align them. Then see which adj. poles are on the top (neck pickup) and which are on the bottom (bridge). Or see which has the longer wires (neck genereally have longer wires since they are farther away from the controls).

Then once installed you can do what Sethmetal said to determine if they are actually the pickups you think they are. For all you know they can be two bridge pickups, or two neck pickups.

Do they really label these differently, if they're the same pickup? I mean, on older Gibsons & Fenders, the pups were actually the same exact thing, so would they really go through the hassle of making sure the writing was correctly oriented when you took the guitar apart?

Of course, on newer guitars where the pups are different, I can see this being the case.

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