1/8 of an inch makes a significant difference, just sayin’
I’ve spent many hours adjusting pole pieces and pickup heights! I’m obsessed with string-to-string volume balance and pickup-to-pickup volume! Especially that pesky G string!
When they are balanced, full chords just SING!
However, I’ve played with guys that wouldn’t dream of touching the factory settings, so there’s that!
Adjust your pickup height first, pole pieces are for string balance not pickup output. ...but yes important for sure
Yes, OA height first then individual poles, if needed. ESPECIALLY on Gretsch-buckers.
Since I'm working from home and have some extra time on my hands I decided to tinker with the pu heights on my 6116PTV Power Tenny which has TVJ Powertrons. Basically what I did was follow TVJ's recommendations from his website. Fortunately, after measuring, the Power Tenny came from the factory with the top of the pu covers set exactly at TV's recommended distsance from the strings (bridge 5/32"; neck 7/32"). I then lowered all the pole screws all the way down and then raised each to TV's recommended specs (interestingly, TV uses rotation instead of a distance measurement ie all the way down is "0" then .5 is half a rotation). After making a couple of very minor tweaks, I was actually very happy with the outcome. The pu's are much better balanced for individual string volume and pu volume. However, the biggest improvements for me is a much more defined difference between the neck and bridge pu tonally which also yields a twangier, less middy, Gretschier, tone w/ both pu's engaged. Finally, the low E and A strings are no longer muddy sounding which apparently is a problem on Filtertron pu's. And the moral of this story is: what Tavo said in his post is sage advice. Get the pu height right first and then adjust the poles for string balance not output.
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