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Humbucker distance from bridge


lotass
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Difficult question....as far as I know there is no fixed rule on PU placement. There are people on this forum who move the humbucker under the strings until they find the sound they are looking for and route and install it afterwards. Another method is to copy the distance from a guitar that has the sound you are looking for.

HTH,

Marcel Knapp!

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@wes: PLEASE don't take this as critique again....It is just a question....Are you sure that there are no exceptions to your "closer to the bridge = more attack" rule?

I could imagine that there are other places where the overtones have the biggest amplitude and are therefore rich of attack. I did not try it though. Just a question....did you try that?

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well there really is only about 1/2" to play with before you get in the middle pickup area...but the overtones change as you move down the neck ,changing the length of the strings in effect...so all you are doing by moving the bridge pickup is in effect moving the "sweet spots" to different parts of the fretboard(but only by a little)

but i play differently than alot of people..i am heavy into palm muting(metal) so i want a sharp attack and just enough bass to make the muted notes thunk just right...i go a little closer(about 1/8" to 1/4")to the bridge than stock manufacturers

it should also be noted that on a tom you can get too close....which makes it sound thin to my ears...but with a floyd you can take it all the way to the edge of the bridge rout and not be too close

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Yeah, I agree w/ Wes, but I go the opposite way, but for the same reasons he stated.

I do very little palm muting, and I want my lead HB to be very full and rich and singing, not thin and piercing, so I tend to move mine incrementally towards the neck compared to normal, like Wes said, at the -most-, a 1/2" compared to a Les Paul placement. I have no scientific proof to back anything up, and I'm not trying to 'prove' anything, I just like doing it that way so that's what I do. :D

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fender puts they're angled single 33mm away from the scale point of the bridge, to he center of the pickup..... the center line of most humbuckers on ibanez guitars are usualy found 43 mm away from the scale point of the bridge, i don't know much about harmonics other then pinch ones... so i just find guitars i like and take measurements off of those

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on my guitar(prs style bodyshape) , i have the bridge hb placed such that the rear coil of the pickup is 31mm from the high-e string saddle point.(it has lots of attack, also the pickup is overwound :D )

on my squire, (H-s-s) the distance is 41mm , resulting in a much mellower sound.

hope this helps,

john.

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I always liked the way the Musicman EVH and the Peavey Wolfgang respond to pinch harmonics....does anyone have measurements of the PU placement on these guitars? I ask as I don't have access to one at the time....Another thing which would be quite interesting is how the PU on the Ibanez Universe is placed as I am currently building a Universe style guitar....

Thanks for any hints,

MK!

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Be careful you decide before you route that you find the tone you are looking for BEFORE you decide on the final placement of your pick up, as by moving the pick up location, you change whether the pick up is going to read and register the even-ordered harmonics (round, fat tones) or the Odd ordered harmonics (more biting, "jangley" sounding tones), then from there you should make your distance placement based on the overall color of THAT SERIES over overtones you want to be come the character of your guitars tone. In short it is a two part recipe, not just distance alone. Two guitars could both have their rear p.u. mounted in what appears to be essentially the same basic distance form the bridge, but one might be focused on the odd-order harmonics and the other guitar on the even order-harmonics,... hence two different overall sounding guitars. My two cents. Hope it helps. Jimmy K :D

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Erm what I do is I say my neck is going to be joined to the body on the 16th fret. Then I get the distance from the 16th to what would be the 24th fret from my guitar book, (you can find fret distances for your scale length online somewhere im sure) but where the 24th fret would be is where I place my pickup.

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I don't want to start anything, but I have trouble believing that all of a sudden, certain harmonics will jump out at a specific location. I believe it's a gradual change in sound as you move closer to the bridge. The sweet spot would only be where you like the balance of smoothness to screachiness. I prefer a darker bridge sound, but I have "close to bridge" guitars that scream, too.

The problem I have with the "harmonics locating" is only with the bridge pickup, not the neck by the way. Because as you get farther out from the bridge, the differences are more pronounced in my opinion. Like I can't stand a 24 fret guitar's neck pickup tone. There's a sweetness and "bluesiness" that is totally lost, and you get more of a middle pickup sound. I like the coil cut/combination sounds on a 24 though. But there is nothing you can possibly do to make that neck pickup behave like a 22 fretter.

But so much of the bridge pickup's tone is occupied by that upper midrange that I think trying to locate a harmonic point is pointless :D because the magnetic field is so large on a humbucker that there really isn't a specific location that it "hears." And the actual aperture changes as you raise and lower the pickup. I'm not minimizing the difference of moving the pickup. I think it makes a huge difference. But justifying the exact location with harmonic points is overanalyzing in my opinion. Within a humbucker's aperture you'll cancel out as many harmonics as you enhance. The increase in pinch harmonics is traceable to the distance from the saddle. As you get closer, the more harmonics come out. It's more about the pickup hearing less and less of the low frequencies, which are competing with the harmonics for the same "space" as you move it back. A neck pickup has reduced pinched harmonics. Acoustically the harmonics haven't gotten softer, the pickup is just overpowered by other frequencies in competition with the harmonics.

By the way, I'm ready to agree to disagree and concede that opposing viewpoints might be right, etc. before anyone even responds. It's just the way I see it, having made guitars, been responsible for this type of thing on production instruments, and owning and playing lots of guitars too.

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Anyone wanna explain that to me?

Devon

-Neck pickup sidebar: I like the idea of using the 24th fret as your location for the neck pickup. But even there, using the "double octave" point as justification also proved (to me) to be untrue. In other words, on most standard 21 or 22 fret guitars, that's right about where the pickup sits comfortably anyway, so we're used to it being there. On guitars where I've pushed it even closer to the nut, including 20 fretters, it sounded "even better" to me. It had even more of the qualities that I love about the neck pickup tone.

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Here's a little info on the subject. There's more research that's been done on this topic but I can only think of this one for now. I'll post more if I can track them down.

Response Effects of Pickup Location

Take a look at the part where he describes the differences in response from the neck/middle/bridge pickups.

Also, don't get too concerned about what harmonic the pickup is positioned at. For one thing, that applies to the open string only and second, the pickup arpeture will be wide enough to monitor that location from a fairly wide area. If you have a beater, you can experiment but keep in mind that each guitar will have it's own physical properties that will play a role in where that sweet spot will be. Each persons ears will likely have their own idea of what sounds sweet as well.

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well for what its worth, pickup position should have no bearing on how your pinch harmonics sound.

what does affect them is where you pluck them. if you pluck them and a nodal point on the string then you will get nice ones. ie: 24 fret position is the easiest for me, but IMO 36th fret position yeilds a nicer sounding pinch harmonic.

correct me if im wrong.

john.

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well for what its worth, pickup position should have no bearing on how your pinch harmonics sound.....

correct me if im wrong.

john.

Okay :D

It has no bearing acoustically, nor does it affect your ability to produce them, but in a strat with three identical pickups, the pinch harmonics come through stronger on the bridge pickup, then middle, then neck. Assuming your playing is identical. (and skip the 2 and 4 positions) It's because of the competing frequencies. The bridge pickup is hearing more of that bandwidth due to its location. So if it's true from the bridge to the neck position, then it must be incrementally true (even if negligible or inaudible to most) for movements within the bridge pickup's location.

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