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HEAVY HACKJOB RIFFER
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,

I have limited experience with passive pickups, I always played on actives, so I'd like to discuss this particular topic and if some of you are still experimenting with this.

I know it's mainly a matter of taste but I want to hear your stories and your personal discoveries regarding passive pickups with metal tones/ultra high gain tones.

I'm tweaking my Dimarzio Super3 right now, I gotta say, it's the perfect passive pickup for metal for me right now, sounds great in Basswood. However on Basswood guitars I always tend to turn down the Tone knob, otherwise they always sound too scratchy on palm mutes (high gain) and I like when palm muting sounds fatter without that over the top attack.

I lowered the pickup to avoid the peaky bright sound and raised the pole pieces to add some volume attack and sustain on the 3 big strings, I turn down the tone to 7 and it sound great.

Any of you tried to opposite, getting the pickup as close to the strings (not too close to avoid string pull) and screwing the pole pieces down inside the coils? reason tells me it would sound too fat and with no definition but I'm curious to see if anyone tried it.
 

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Wirelessly posted (Wondernuts)

:hesright:

Plug the guitar in, play it and turn the screws to taste, that's all there is to it. I have no set rule or even guide lines other than 'does it sound good?' And go by ear.
 

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Resident Winger Overlord
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there is a sweet spot, where the harsh scratchy overtones go away and all is rite. i usually spend about 10 seconds finding it, then play the thing.
rule of thumb for me has always been, fret guitar at highest fret, then adjust height on bridge pickup to about a nickels thickness away from the strings. two nickels for the neck. just a starting point
 

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I fret the last fret and adjust bridge pu to 2mm and neck pu to 2.5mm. Seems to be great starting point always for me. And i actually leave them to that height.
 

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I adjust until it sounds like I'm bringing about the apocalypse, and then lower a millimetre from there. I'm not about to unleash the gods of war onto the world yet, I'll save that for when I'm bored.
 

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HEAVY HACKJOB RIFFER
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874 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Interesting, mine seems to be further away from the strings (the tech installed it that way) but it totally killed the signal to noise ratio and killed the sustain. I just messed around with the pole piece (for the first time in my life) and it did fix the "stn" ratio.

I'll try experimenting more to see what sort of differences I can get. Trust me, I love playing but contrarily to what a lot of people say, when you play loud, the slightest difference in setup can change the sound from decent to great.
 

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MG.ORG Irregular
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I'm not sure it would be much different aside from your strings hitting your pickup since relative to each other they would still be in the same position.
 

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Wirelessly posted (Wondernuts)

:hesright:

Plug the guitar in, play it and turn the screws to taste, that's all there is to it. I have no set rule or even guide lines other than 'does it sound good?' And go by ear.
:agreed:

Turn screws until it sounds good. Usually takes 2 or 3 minutes.
 

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HEAVY HACKJOB RIFFER
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874 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
:agreed:

Turn screws until it sounds good. Usually takes 2 or 3 minutes.
Takes me 2 or 3 minutes if I use a pickup with no adjustable pole pieces since you basically have 4-5 options of adjustment, either flat, higher on the bass strings, higher on the high strings, and global height.

This one has 12 adjustable pole pieces, plus the 5 way adjustment I stated above, that's HUNDREDS of possibilities. :lol:
 

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Divebombs said:
:agreed:

Turn screws until it sounds good. Usually takes 2 or 3 minutes.
Takes me 2 or 3 minutes if I use a pickup with no adjustable pole pieces since you basically have 4-5 options of adjustment, either flat, higher on the bass strings, higher on the high strings, and global height.

This one has 12 adjustable pole pieces, plus the 5 way adjustment I stated above, that's HUNDREDS of possibilities. :lol:
Stop thinking about it so much and just fuckin' do it! :lol:
 

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HEAVY HACKJOB RIFFER
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I found out that raising the pole pieces makes the tone thinner, not necessarily tighter. Raising the pickup and lowering the pole pieces creates a thicker and fuller sound.

So after playing a couple hours of riffs and testing output and sustain VS note definition, I finally did it. Pickup is as close as possible to the strings, with the pole pieces screwed further inside the pickup, the neck side pole pieces on the 2 bigger strings are screwed further down in a way that it adds a lot of tightness to the palm muted low notes. Since each side of the pickup picks up the string sound at a different vibration width, the bridge side poles pick up a crisper sound and the neck ones pick up a looser bassier sound, I found the low strings sound less with the bridge side higher since palm muted notes are way bassier.

The 4 higher strings have the pole pieces higher to balance the ouput and I made the pole pieces balanced on the neck+bridge sides since they are of course less bassy.

Now is sounds more balanced and thick and tight. F*ck it was a hassle to adjust 12 goddamn bolts though... Bit in the end I like it, more options of tones with one pickup. Every quarter turn affects the tone. :lol:
 
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