Pickup adjustment questions Dearmonds, Filters, Hilos...

jagROAR_63

Gretschie
Apr 20, 2016
497
Germany
Hey Gretsch Aficionados !

I decided to give 3 of my beloved Gretsches some adjustment / maintenance and restring. I want to adjust everything right in that process, so there's 2 questions, that came to my mind, which some of you might have already found out about, how to do it right ?

1) I have some wonderful sounding vintage Dearmonds in a modified 69 Rally.

Especially the bridge pickup is a little low, that's why the prevous owner already had raised the magnets with the adjustment screws. I red about filters (and Hilos), that it's much better to adjust the height of the pickup itself first, and only then (after doing this) adjust the individual magnets for ech string to taste. Does this recommandation also hold for Dearmonds ?

2) This question is also related to adjusting the pickup height.

In my 64 - 6120 dc the bridge pickup was installed with a piece of wood in order to raise it to correct height. Since I felt it sitting too close / too high, I removed the wood and put some rubber under the pickup (like you do weith Fender pickups), so I could adjust the height of the PUP with the screws (with the rubber pushing it up). I did this also with my Double Anni (Hilos, these need to sit close to the strings).

Does any of you guys experience a difference in tone by chosing one or the other method for pickup raising ? Could the rubber under the pickup lead to a softer sound or less twang, since there is no stiff connection to the body / wood ?

Any recommendations / shared experience is highly apprciated :)
Matt
 

bluenote23

Country Gent
Oct 17, 2009
1,640
Montreal, Canada
1. I have Dynasonics and yes, as I raise the poles, to my ear, that thins out the tone. Use risers under the pickup mounts which answers your second question in that my pickup risers are softish plastic and I don't feel that affects the sound at all.
 

65club

Electromatic
Jul 31, 2017
75
USA
I've found that Filters and Hi'Los don't have the magnetic pull on the strings that a lot of other pickups do and can therefore be set much closer and usually sound much better that way. I set them to be half as far away from the E strings pressed at the last fret then I would other types, at 1/16" bottom of string to top of pole piece (vs 1/8" for most other pickup). You can probably go as high as possible before it physically hits the strings (even with the top mounted Hi'Lo magnet - they're pretty weak), but that may not be the sweet spot. Both types really come alive when you find that sweet spot.

And yes, lowering the whole pickup while raising the pole pieces will thin it out. Lots of Gibson players do just that to try to clean up a neck PAF type that's muddy.

I've never heard the difference between a solid mount vs. rubber (or spring) mount but a lot of players, including EVH, swear there is one. Then again, there was a time I wouldn't have believed bridge pin materials could affect tone on a good acoustic.
 

section2

Country Gent
Dec 21, 2016
2,555
Toronto
I can't imagine that putting softer material under a pickup could affect tone. That sort of thing matters to the mechanical components of the guitar, but not the electrical components.

If you change the way the bridge is attached to a guitar, you can affect your tone and sustain by changing how much energy is transferred from the vibration of the strings to the body of the guitar.

But the pickups are electrical, not mechanical. They don't touch the strings; they just create an electrical signal and send it through some wires. So it won't matter how they're mounted. You'll notice a difference in tone if you change the pickup heights, of course, but that will be because you've changed the distance from the pickups to the strings, not because of the way the pickups are mounted.

In theory, I suppose that using different materials could affect the mass and density of the guitar body, which could then have an effect on the way the strings vibrate. But we're dealing with such a small area that any difference would surely be impossible to hear.
 
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hcsterg

Friend of Fred
Feb 13, 2012
6,394
France
Of the three models, I have found that the most painful and picky to set up were the DynaSonic... But my experience is limited to one pair of Dynas, so... o_O

Here's the setup where I ended to come for a finally acceptable operation :

43CDLb-Tornado-Dynasonic-Revised-2.jpg


53CDLb-Tornado-Dynasonic-Revised-1.jpg


A+!
 

jagROAR_63

Gretschie
Apr 20, 2016
497
Germany
Thank you all for your comments...

While a rubberfoam mounted pickup will sit on the foam and is seperated from any vibrating parts, a pickup with a fix connection might vibrate with the guitar. That was my idea, why it could probably affect the tone / sound...
 

Mojoman

Electromatic
Jan 14, 2019
70
Gardena, ca.
Of the three models, I have found that the most painful and picky to set up were the DynaSonic... But my experience is limited to one pair of Dynas, so... o_O

Here's the setup where I ended to come for a finally acceptable operation :

43CDLb-Tornado-Dynasonic-Revised-2.jpg


53CDLb-Tornado-Dynasonic-Revised-1.jpg


A+!
Thank you all for your comments...

While a rubberfoam mounted pickup will sit on the foam and is seperated from any vibrating parts, a pickup with a fix connection might vibrate with the guitar. That was my idea, why it could probably affect the tone / sound...
 

Mojoman

Electromatic
Jan 14, 2019
70
Gardena, ca.
Sounds like you got some great advice from the nice people here. I too, agree on pickups. Closer the pickup body, more power. Lower it and raise the poles, cleaner with less punch. So many sadly replaced hilos because they lacked power. I had a single pup corvette that i tried many things with, but got the body close, and the poles very close. It had attitude f o r sure, and if that wasnt loud enough, use the amp for more muscle. Good luck and rock on
 

jagROAR_63

Gretschie
Apr 20, 2016
497
Germany
Yeah - I really like Hilos a lot ! I got a 66 Double Anni, which is one of my most loved guitars. I have raised the pickups with foam. I would't say they have a lot of punch, but they're twangy, have nice warmth tough and cut through.

The Dearmond Rowe Industires-equipped (modded) Rally is also wonderful, but I think I will now also try to rasise the pickups. Unfortunately the Dearmonds have been mounted in there with a strange construction and it will require some work to get closer. However I'm confifent, that the bridge pickups sound will benefit (neck sounds awesome already)
 


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