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Fralins - Sweet Spot ?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jacove, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. jacove


    Apr 12, 2003
    Aalborg, Denmark

    I'm doing a lot of experimenting these days with pickup height....I play a jazz with fralins and TI Flats, I was wondering how high/low you set the fralins...I tend to like the tone better at low levels, more organic, focused and dynamic...but too low it seems that the tone looses bass and punch...At the current time I've settled for 5/32 at the e-string from the string to pole piece when pressing the last fret....The g-string is just a bit lower....what do you guys do?
  2. dfp

    dfp Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    i speculate that fralins themselves would not be too different from any stock fender passive pickup with respect to where they sound best, relative to the strings. there's plenty of conventional wisdom floating around on that topic. i don't measure anything, i listen and adjust for days, back and forth 'til i get it right. smaller strings need to be closer to the magnets in order to "register" in the magnetic field as much as the bigger strings do. your neck pickup also should be a little lower b/c the strings vibrate further back and forth closer to the neck than they do nearer the bridge. those are the "rules" as i understand the physics, from there it's up to your ears. if your fingerboard is very round you may have trouble getting the inner strings to sound as strong as the outer ones b/c most pickups are flat, unlike a Fender's fingerboard. i've been solving that problem with a good set of vice grips, pulling the magnets up slightly under the middle strings, this is particularly important on a fender 5 string, those fingerboards are really arched. threaded adjustable magnets on a vintage J bass sounding pickup is all i really want for Christmas...

    if you lose some tone by setting your pickups where your instincts tell you is the best place, you may need a more powerful amp to compensate.

    good luck. by the way, my mom's mom was born in Copenhagen. peace, Dave
  3. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I would suggest setting them as high as they'll go without them distorting or driving the strings into them and drop them down till your ear tells you it's too far then pull them back up a bit. Doubling the distance from strings cuts volume by about 60% and cuts low frequency response. In my experience it also cuts into pretty much all the qualities I personally like in a pup.

    If you want to get meticulous, you can measure the above distance, then drop them out of sight and raise them until it's too much then drop them a little. Measure and compare the two and split the distance if they're not the same.

    That will at least be a good start. You may need to adjust them one way or the other played to music. But at least you'll have a good fix on which way you'll need to go.

    Regardless where they end up, I would caution you not make any presumptions, cover the full range, and let your ear and nothing else decide.