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Should Pickups Wiggle?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by BassGod, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    Yes it does seem like a stupid question, but my EMGs have some room to wiggle around in their spot, and i was wondering if...

    a) ...this is normal


    b) ...the movement will cause any sort of damage.

    And is there a specific height that the pickups shouldn't be raised past? My neck pickup is somewhat low, but my bridge pickup is much higher. Not too far from the strings actually. Again, is this normal?

    Jeez, I didn't worry so much when I had my Squier.

  2. Wademeister63


    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx

    The pickups are probably screwed down agains blocks of foam rubber. The stuff is springy enough to push the pickups up to the screw heads so you can adjust the height. As long as your strings aren't hitting the pickups while you play you're probably ok. Changing the pickup height will change the sound of your bass, so you might want to try raising and lowering your pickups a bit to see what happens and what suits you.
  3. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    unfortunately, yes. It's normal. It's also normal to pad them with foam rubber to stop them from wiggling ;)

    ...probably not. I've only ever damaged a pickup when removing/installing it with the strings still on... :rolleyes: but if you anchor your thumb and can HEAR the pickup wiggling, you want to pad it so it sits still.

    Yes, but not a specific measurable height. The general guideline is about 1/8" from the string when depressed at the highest fret. The actual optimal height will depend on 2 things - a) the strength of the magnetic field, and b) how high are your strings.

    Try raising one a lot and you'll know it when you hear it. Raise a pickup high enough and you'll start to get "warble". Go a little lower, the warble disappears but the bottom will still be muddy/mushy. A little lower than that, you'll find the sweet spot where the mids start to come out more along with the full bottom. If you keep going down from there, you'll start to lose bottom.

    Of course this is always relative to your string height. So it's normal for the bridge pup to be higher because the strings are higher there. And remember to adjust your pickup height *after* setting your action.

    Maybe you couldn't hear the difference on the Squier like you can on the ESP? ;)