General tech questions

Interesting take on balancing polepieces

1

I had snagged this years ago and thought I'd lost it.

"... Pickup Balance “To balance your pickups, plug your guitar into something with level meters, such as a 4-track recorder. Play each string individually, and adjust the pickup height until the level of each string hits the same point on the meters. Typically, you’ll have to lower the bass side of the pickup. If your guitar’s overall output is quieter than what you had, simply turn up your amp to compensate. The benefit here is string-to-string clarity.” —Dave Wronski..."

Shouldn't be too hard to find a usable 'level meter' online. I've not tried this but it makes a certain amount of sense.

2

I was just thinking this exact thing this morning. Now to figure out consistent string striking and i'll try it and see what the poles lookike in the end.

3

How else do you guys do it? I've always used a meter.

4

Then I shall ask it again here: The balance between inner and outer poles per pickup, how does it affect the tone and how should you work with each pair? Are there no guidelines? I can't find anything about that anywhere. Only thing I know is some turn the inner poles down completely and balance the outer only.

5

Though not as accurate, I've always use my ears in the same manner. My iPhone has a meter, I'll have to try it out.

6

I start from what's a "logical" point, and go from there by ear. Usually takes a couple of tweaks after, but I get there eventually. The meter thing does make sense though.

7

I start from what's a "logical" point, and go from there by ear. Usually takes a couple of tweaks after, but I get there eventually. The meter thing does make sense though.

– WB

I start from what's a "logical" point, and go from there by ear. Usually takes a couple of tweaks after, but I get there eventually. The meter thing does make sense though.

– Walter Broes

That's exactly what I do and it works fine. I would like to try the meter method though.

I wonder how much the sound of the amp comes in play here. I mean, adjusting them purely by visible volume may be perfect theoretically. But doesn't the amp that you use also color the sound and thus also the volume? If you have a bassier amp perhaps you would adjust the bass side pole pieces slightly lower than you would on a brighter sounding amp? Doesn't the way you hear volume also depend on the way it sounds? How much treble or bass there is?

8

What Walter and Danman said.

Adjusting pickups could be just as induvidual as a setup or even amp settings. I think even playing style matters. If you play with your fingers rather than a pick, you might want your pickups to sound more 'spanky'.

It might take some time but eventually you'll find the 'sweet spot'.

9

I start from what's a "logical" point, and go from there by ear. Usually takes a couple of tweaks after, but I get there eventually. The meter thing does make sense though.

– Walter Broes

That's exactly what I do and it works fine. I would like to try the meter method though.

I wonder how much the sound of the amp comes in play here. I mean, adjusting them purely by visible volume may be perfect theoretically. But doesn't the amp that you use also color the sound and thus also the volume? If you have a bassier amp perhaps you would adjust the bass side pole pieces slightly lower than you would on a brighter sounding amp? Doesn't the way you hear volume also depend on the way it sounds? How much treble or bass there is?

– Danman

I start from what's a "logical" point, and go from there by ear. Usually takes a couple of tweaks after, but I get there eventually. The meter thing does make sense though.

– Walter Broes

That's exactly what I do and it works fine. I would like to try the meter method though.

I wonder how much the sound of the amp comes in play here. I mean, adjusting them purely by visible volume may be perfect theoretically. But doesn't the amp that you use also color the sound and thus also the volume? If you have a bassier amp perhaps you would adjust the bass side pole pieces slightly lower than you would on a brighter sounding amp? Doesn't the way you hear volume also depend on the way it sounds? How much treble or bass there is?

– Danman

If you are working under your headroom it would likely make more of a difference. The more you push the amp things start to compress. As in recording, it's always thought that if you start with the best possible signal you end up with the best result. Some things can obviously be done for effect, but I think most of us pay premium to get the best tone out of our instruments we can.

10

Using the amp and metering that, will even the tone for that specific guitar and amp combination.

Using just the guitar and metering that directly, will even out the guitar only.

Not sure what is better. Depends on the plans you have with the gear. I'd say leave the amp out of the equation, for an average balanced guitar.

When the amp is in the chain, you need a mike. This will make the process quite unreliable because mikes have all kinds of characteristics.

11

Hmmm... wouldn't ears be more accurate since bass notes do load the meters more than their percieved level?

I play chords and melodies and adjust from there.

12

Hmmm... wouldn't ears be more accurate since bass notes do load the meters more than their percieved level?

My thoughts exactly.

13

Hmmm... wouldn't ears be more accurate since bass notes do load the meters more than their percieved level?


Yup, and that's basically what I said in my post above.......

14

From a theoretical point of view:

You'd need a peak hold UV to get a good average if you have just a meter.

A memory scope would be more accurate tech wise, but still...

From a musicians point of view:

Indeed the way we perceive loudness is way different than an electronic level metering.

For instance, you need higher bass peak level reading for making your ears say they are as loud as the trebles.

It does not translate 1:1, peak levels and perceiving loudness.

I have not tried fiddling with the poles myself yet, because of these reasons; I only try things when I'm pretty sure how to do it by the book. It seems there is no book here.

15

just get your screwdriver and start fiddling with those pole pieces, Geoff. Hear what it does.

Whatever happens will never be as bad as what happened to your amp. ;-)

16

just get your screwdriver and start fiddling with those pole pieces, Geoff. Hear what it does.

Whatever happens will never be as bad as what happened to your amp. ;-)

– Ratrod

just get your screwdriver and start fiddling with those pole pieces, Geoff. Hear what it does.


Exactly. And if you really worry about doing something you can't fix: Do half turns and count them. Then you can always turn the screws back the same amount of half turns to the position they were in......8-)


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