What's your PPH?
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Thread: What's your PPH?

  1. #1


    Join Date: Oct 2016
    Location: Corpus Christi
    ME: LTD H7, KM6, 540SLTD
    MB: SR305E
    Rig: Helix

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    What's your PPH?

    Hot on the heals of tweaking the criminally neglected Warlock I just bought and installing new pups in my KM6, I opened up my email and Seymour Duncan put out this article.

    While adjusting pickup height is hardly a new concept to me (or most likely you) it did get me wondering what everyone's Preferred Pickup Height is? I'd assume it's different for ceramic vs alnico, hum vs single, etc. but wondered if everyone has a 'starting line" they begin with and tweak from there. I usually start a a little past 2mm on the bass side and a little under 2mm on the treble and go from there. You?
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  3. #2


    Join Date: Jan 2013
    Location: Houston
    ME: Jackson King V
    MB: WTB BC Rich Warlock
    Rig: Bogner Überschall green

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    I've been messing around with pickup height more recently cause I've been swapping a bunch of pickups around. Not sure I've ever measured before. For the bridge pickup I usually just set it as close to the strings as possible, without being able to get a string close enough to magnetize to the pickup during a heavy handed palm mute. Just checked my main guitar with EMGs, I could fit exactly 3 Eric Johnson Jazz III picks between the pickup and strings. Looks slightly lower on my other guitars with passives. For the neck pickup I usually start by removing it

  4. #3


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
    ME: Charvel So Cal
    Rig: Triple Rec

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    2.5mm from the top of the bridge pickup's pole pieces to the bottom of the low E (unfretted). That's the sweet spot for me, not just for my guitars but I find it's just about right for most of my customer's guitars too.

    Obviously there are tweaks to be made depending on output - like some of the stupidly hot Dimarzios will be sunk a fair bit lower. But I find on average that any lower and you start to roll off the bite, and you don't get as much sustain and juice. You can get closer, but it's anybody's guess after that point. Depends on string guage, how hard you hit etc, but any closer than 2mm and you're definitely gonna run into problems. Hard to control, feedback, squeals, and weird treble artifacts. As well as your string being pulled out of tune and damping sustain due to magnet pull.

    As for the neck pickup, I fret the last fret of the guitar and adjust it so it's the same distance away from the low E as the bridge pickup is. This results in an even balance across the fretboard, between both pickups. The neck pickup usually results in the bass side being dipped away from the strings a little further than the treble side to compensate for the increased bass in the neck pickup.
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  6. #4


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Woodbridge, VA
    ME: CS USA Soloist 7
    MA: Ovation Elite Standard
    Rig: Mesa Triple Rec

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    I do this one by ear, fretting at the last fret. Then I dial in the poles to match the radius, usually, again by ear.

  7. #5


    Join Date: Dec 2008
    Location: Pennsyl-tucky
    ME: Schecter KM-7 mk iii
    MA: Wasburn D12S
    Rig: Orange Brent Hinds Terror

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    depends on the guitar, what pickup it uses and how the pickups are mounted. i just adjust them by ear.
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  8. #6


    Join Date: May 2016
    Location: Raleigh, NC
    ME: Schecter Blackjack

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    I've been messing around with my pickups lately a bunch. I recently installed a tone zone in a cheap basswood schecter, and man I can't find the right height for it.
    Normally though, I usually go with 4/64" for both, then use my ears from there. I really should get a metric ruler though...

  9. #7


    Join Date: Oct 2016
    Location: Greensburg, IN
    ME: Jackson SL3X
    Rig: Blackstar ID TVP 150

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    I can't seem to find a universal height or distance from strings. each pickup and guitar is too different. even the tuning will effect it.


    -the neon orange soloist has a shitload of low end so the pup in that one is at an angle. its far from the low strings and raised up closer to the high E string.

    -my other 2 jacksons are both JS32 models and their pickups are quite a bit closer. still different from each other though. the floyd'd warrior is in D standard and its pup is lower. the kelly hardtail is higher. both are using the same "jackson high output pickups"

    -My ibanez RG350DX has a JB bridge and thats a bit far from the strings.

  10. #8


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Herndon, VA
    ME: Jackson Soloist
    Rig: Fractal Audio Axe-FX II

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    I don't get too precious about it. I install a new pickup in the 2mm range and then fine tune it by ear with quarter turns, usually downward. It's amazing how that last quarter turn dramatically gets the tone right where you want it.

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