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Tech question - Filing staggered pickup poles flat?


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I have a couple of Fender vintage (reissue)staggered pole pickups that I think would sound good in my strat copy. The copy guitar has a fairly flat neck radius. I assume that filing down the higher poles would provide a more balanced sound.

Has anyone done this? Am I just asking for trouble?

I thought I would ask for opinions about doing this before I take file into hand...

Any thoughts?


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Hmmmnn... if you do file them, do some serious masking off of the entire pickup, and I mean a mummifying cocoon of a bondage trip with the tape, as any of the filings will want to work its way into the coil winding, and pose a threat of potentially shorting out the pickup.


As long as you can prevent that, I can't see much harm in it; I wouldn't totally flatten out the stagger, though. Maybe lower the 3rd/"G" a tad more, as the original, vintage stagger was designed with wound-G strings in mind. But overall just lower the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th relative to the flatter radius, leaving the 1st and 6th as they are.


The stagger was designed to help balance string output; if you go true-flat, or even just match the radius of the fretboard, you'll get an uneven response, string-to-string.


Get a little radius gauge, try the fine folks at Stewart-MacDonald ( http://www.StewMac.com/ ) for some. Find out what the actual radius of the other guitar's fretboard is, and then use the gauge as, well, a gauge to go by as you file away.


Some folks have done this by pressing the polepieces down into the pickup, but I've read that this can pull and break and/or short-out the coil winding, if the wire decides to stick to the polepiece as it slides through.


Do you know anyone who's a machinist? Carefully milling the polepieces would probably be the best way to do this, as long as you still masked that sucker off real well. If you do this, be sure to figure out just how much you want to remove from each polepiece before the pickup is clamped in that vice.


Best of luck, and post back to let us know what you do, and how you do it, and how it goes!

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?


~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Wolfy Dancer's description is very nice, but why don't you just save yourself the aggravation, and trade those pickups for ones that fit your requirement?



Seymour Duncan SSL-2 Vintage Flat


There are more like this one (Fralins, DiMarzios, etc.), but it's up to you. :)

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Definately do not do that!!!


The point of the staggard pole pieces is not to compensate for the radius of the neck it is to compensate for the thickness and output of the string. The thicker strings have a higher output and the unwound strings have a higher output still. If you notice the third polepiece is the higest of the bottom four on a vintage pickup. This is because old guitars used to use wound G strings.


What you propose is a bad idea. Trade your pickup in if you dont like these great sounding pups.

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