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pickup height

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bigmoosepi, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. I'm noticing around the internet people have their pickups reasonably high.

    I play a pbass and to have the pickups low enough that I don't hit them with the strings they're almost barely higher than the pickguard.

    Is this caused by me just playing like a ****** or is this a problem for anyone else?

    I'm guessing I should just adjust them until they sound best to my ear, then adjust my playing to suit but I tend to get carried away when jamming with some buddies.

    Just wondering what everyone's take on pickup height is.
  2. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    Well if you are playing that hard it probably sounds better with some distance from the strings anyway.
  3. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Well, here are a few thoughts.

    It seems likely that you aren't getting as much output as you could be if you raised the pups closer to the strings. And if you literally need the pups that low in order to avoid hitting the stings on them, it sounds like your plucking hand technique could use a little work, and you could benefit from a lighter touch.

    You might even find you don't feel the need to play so hard if you're getting proper output from your pups.

    Also, you can often find manufacturer's recommended specs for these types of things on the web, and use that as a starting point.
  4. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    The higher they are the softer you need to attack. The softer the required attack, the more opportunity for adding dynamics to your bag o' tricks.

    I believe it was Entwistle that said he couldn't understand why people attacked so hard when the amp could do the work. Having seen Entwistle play from about ten feet away it didn't look like light attack though!
  5. funnyfingers


    Nov 27, 2005
    I don't find that volume is the problem. I can always turn up or down. I do find other differences in the height though. I like one of my basses with the pickup all the way down with a pretty good distance from the strings. The other i s probably 4 - 5 /32" from the strings holding down the 20th fret.
  6. I go with Sadowsky guidelines when it comes to measurements. Check this video around 45:00 to get some details for setting up your pickups:

  7. Also if your pickups are too high, you'll hear a chorusing effect. Some people may like that.
  8. audioglenn


    Jul 14, 2012
    It could be a pickup height problem, but, you may just need to turn your amp up and work on your dynamics with your picking hand.

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