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Stupid question on pickup height adjustments


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So I'm told that there are no stupid questions, but being a "veteran" I feel stupid asking this. Especially, after the fact.


When installing new pickups, should the springs go between the pickup base and the body of the guitar, or between the head of the adjustment screw and the base of the pickup?


Last night, I finally got around to putting pickups into a project Fernades Dragonfly, that I've had for 4 years or so. It came without tuners or the sustainer pickup, but had some great relicking (that's how I'm calling it) for free. It was really cheap, so worth being my first real project. Anyway, bought tuners a few years ago & put them on; I liked the neck, and the existing middle single coil & bridge humbucker sounded ok enough to want to do more to the guitar. I decided to go with GFS lipstick pickups all around, partly because I don't have any guitars with that style of pickup, and the GFS ones are available in black, to match the black hardware already on the guitar.

If you look here you will see that the screwholes in the base of the pickups sit a bit lower than the rest of the pickup. The humbucker, while coming with a mounting bracket, also goes straight into the body cavity, without the mounting bracket. I went screw->pickup->spring->guitar cavity for all three. The neck pickup went down relatively far, then got really tight. Same with the middle pickup, but then I was able to force them down to an acceptable clearance below the strings. (I know, shouldn't have forced them.) Unfortunatley, one of the screws on the middle pickup is now stripped in the head. The Humbucker would not go down far enough, even with a great deal of pressure. If I played anything 15th fret or higher, I was playing the pickup as the fret. Eventually I got it down where it clears the strings enough to properly note all the way up to the 24 th fret. Unfortunately, I can't get it down low enough to be able to lower the saddles as I would like. And yes, at least one of the screw heads is now stripped, too.


The good thing is, I surprised myself with my soldering job and it sounds really good. Minimal hum on the single coil settings; much less than I anticipated. Not as harsh as I expected, either; very balanced tones.


So, did I put the springs in wrong? Should I have gone Screw->spring-> Pickup-> wood? Doesn't seem like it would actually raise the pickup any, to me; but I'm ready to be proven wrong.


And in order to be proven wrong, how should I get the screws out now? And I guess I'd have to replace them with shorter screws?

"Am I enough of a freak to be worth paying to see?"- Separated Out (Marillion)

NEW band Old band


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All depends on the pickups. And your mounting options, if you are mounting them under a pick guard or pickup rings, then between the pick guard or pup rings, and the pickup, if you are mounting them right on the bottom of the pup holes then under the pup.
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Sounds like direct mounted pickups. There is possibly one option but a picture would help a whole lot.


I would have probably gone with different pickups or routed out the pickup wells and installed mounting rings. ( after measuring the thickness of the body several times and measuring the depth of the pickup well and figuring out how deeper the holes need to be.... then triple checking that I wouldn't put a hole all the way through the body.




"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne


"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt


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