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How can i adjust the height of pole pieces?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ppanousos, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. ppanousos


    Apr 10, 2005
    How can i adjust the height of the pole pieces on my Seimour Duncan Basslines humbucker?The pole pieces under the A and D strings are higher than the others and i dont like that.Please help! :bassist:
  2. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    You can't without damagint the coil. The pickup was designed like that. Give it a shot - works for a lot of people.
  3. You can't brutha! Seymour Duncan makes them that way for a reason you know, and he knows what he's doing!

    You know Lyle, I had a strange feeling you might beat me to that post, and I didn't even know you were here :p
  4. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    It's supposed to be that way, because, generally speaking, your A&D strings will be a little higher than your E & G strings, because your strings should follow the radius of your fretboard. You cannot adjust the height of these pole peices.
  5. dfp

    dfp Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    the truth may be, but please understand i know nothing about those pickpus specifically, but somewhat about bass pickups generally, you may be able to adjust the poles. i wrote about doing just that recently in some other post.

    it may not work on all pickups, but on my stock USA jazz bass 5, i have adjusted nearly all the poles, all but the very outer ones, to match the radius of the fingerboard. on the fender, that meant raising the middle strings' poles.

    take the pickup covers off, use narrow tipped or needle nose vise grips, grip the pole tight, twist it to break the bond of whatever glue is on it, then slowly raise or lower. this may not be possible if your poles don't stick out the bottom side as well...

    just be really careful. you really may damage something, so be warned. apologies if this will not apply to your specific pickup. by the way, those raised D and A poles probably make your bass sound more even. it's more of a problem when all the poles are the same height and you've got a serious arch in the fingerboard, like on a Fender 5.
  6. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    Looks like a pole height epidemic.

    With few exceptions, a string/pup adjustment should do the trick. There will be rare exceptions with some pup, string, radius combinations. To my knowledge, staggered poles are designed into a pup as a compensatory mechanism for a steep radius or idiosyncrasy in the pup. I haven't found staggered poles to make any difference in my basses (including an original Ray pup which guys probably gripe about most).

    In theory, altering the mags in a pup alters the magnetic field which could alter the tone. One thing is for certain, if there's no allen or screw slot in the pole, they're not designed to be ground down, hammered up, or otherwise. Grinding can create sufficient heat to damage magnets, and pounding or gripping them with whatever can throw a chip in them if nothing else.

    I personally would move a pup on before resorting to such techniques. But then I haven't ran across a pup yet that had poles that drove me nuts and tone I couldn't get elsewhere.