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Thread: String heights above the pickups?

  1. #1
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    Default String heights above the pickups?

    Hey All,

    I went an got a Mandocaster from Eastwood. Liking it a lot.

    My E string is weak,( yes I read a lot about that on the forum.)

    Question is; is there a height above the pickups that I should be at?

    Al
    J Bovier F5 Studio Mandolin - Aged Brown Oil
    MD-615 Eastman
    MM-30S Epiphone

  2. #2
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: String heights above the pickups?

    Quote Originally Posted by albeham View Post
    Hey All,

    I went an got a Mandocaster from Eastwood. Liking it a lot.

    My E string is weak,( yes I read a lot about that on the forum.)

    Question is; is there a height above the pickups that I should be at?

    Al
    On height in general, too close makes a splatty attack sometimes. Lower is a cleaner attack but may not yield the signal strength you want if driving distortion.

    On the other hand, you can, and may prefer to use pedals and such for tone, as I do. The lower pickup allows you to add a tiny magnet or a piece of mild steel (not hardened) to bring the field to the E.

    Of course you can replace the pickup but the same tradeoff exists. Lower pickup allows different pole adjustment, but closer is a stronger signal. Mainly a matter of taste.

    On my solid body most of the string balancing is by tilting my pickups to keep the E close and the G (and C) farther.
    Last edited by Tom Wright; Oct-13-2020 at 5:41pm.
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  3. #3
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: String heights above the pickups?

    2 things in Physics working against the high pitched E string not making a strong signal..

    low mass & the vibrating string wave form is not moving very far up & down..

    My solution .. CGDA tuned .. heavier strings well the C is heavier the other 3 just moves over..



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  4. #4
    Registered User rockies's Avatar
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    Default Re: String heights above the pickups?

    Pickups generally have an adjustment screw at each end to raise and lower the pickup. Some have individual adjustments for each string. Assuming yours has the screws at eachend ... adjust tone controls, balance if there is one to centers, amp tones set at center, comfortable volume . Adjust treble (E string) close to the string with E strings pushed down at around 20th fret. Now compare volume of E and G strings, if G string is still louder adjust bass end of pickup away from the G string. Try to get as balanced as possible. This is done in a shop with an analog audio meter or oscilloscope to take ear response out of the equationj but this will get you closeto your ear can. If your pickups have individual pole screws each string can be balanced.
    Dave
    Heiden A, '52 Martin D-18, Taylor 510, Carlson Custom A with Electronics

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