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Adjusting Pickups

  • Shared from steelguitar.com

    The critical factor in the pickup height adjustment is the distance between the pole pieces of the pickup and the strings.

    When you are adjusting your George L's pickups, the STARTING POINT is at least the thickness of a US quarter {$.025}or .09 inch {2 mm}. This is the MINIMUM distance which should be used.

    You should only increase the amount of spacing between the pickup and the string as you feel necessary to achieve optimal sound.

    The optimal STARTING POINT for adjustments to a Lawrence or a pole piece style pickup is 2 quarter's thickness (approximately 3/16 inch).

    The reason that the George L's pickups use 1 quarter's thickness as a STARTING POINT is that there is an ABS plastic housing between the George L's bar-style pole pieces and the strings. This housing is approximately 3/32 inch. If you add a quarter's thickness (approximately .090 inch), you end up with approximately 3/16 inch distance from the strings to the pickup's bar-style pole pieces.

    The reason the recommendation for other pickups is approximately 3/16 inch is because the pole pieces are exposed.

    These distances are NOT absolutes! :-)

    Performance will vary depending upon several factors, one of which is your playing touch.

    Remember: the thickness of a US quarter coin {3/32 inch} is just the STARTING POINT for adjustment between the ABS plastic case of a George L's pickup and your strings.

    Replacing Pickups

    If you follow the checklist below, you should be able to successfully replace the pickups in your steel guitar.

    • Observe the way the pickup is mounted and oriented.
    • Very important: Draw a good diagram of your wiring before starting.
    • Remove any extra tabs from the replacement pickup.
    • Secure the replacement pickup to the guitar.
    • Make good solder joints.
    • Verify the wiring.