Newbie - Pickup position question

Discussion in 'Epiphone Guitars' started by TimTheViking, May 13, 2017.

  1. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Active Member

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    Greetings all. Fist time poster. I'm in my 50's and have played off and on since the 6th grade. I guess I would consider myself an early intermediate? I know bunches of chords, can do some finger picking, pretty good at strumming but not much of a lead player. I recently purchased a ES-335 Pro and I'm in the process of setting it up. One of the first things I noticed was that the neck pickup is not parallel with the strings while the bridge pickup is. What I mean is that when you look at the pickup from the side, the top of the pickup is much lower than the bottom like it's tipped. It's fine left to right across the strings and I understand that across the stings is does not need to be level as you may want to boost or attenuate the treble or bass. I can include a picture if needed. It seems to me that it should be parallel with the strings because if it's not, one of the pickups in the humbucking pair will provide more signal than the other.sIs this correct? How do I fix it and this is not an adjustment I see. Looks more like a quality control thing. BTW - this is the second ES-335 as the first one arrived with a cracked neck, but it's pickups were both parallel with the strings.
    Thanks!
     
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  2. NoBucks

    NoBucks Well-Known Member

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    Welcome!

    You might try pushing lightly on the high side and see if it levels out. Or, try turning the pickup adjustment screws to the right so the pickup goes all the way up, and it may level out.

    If that doesn't work, try removing the pickup ring and repositioning the wiring underneath the pickup. The wiring sometimes gets bunched up under one side at installation and might be pushing up on one end of the pickup.

    Or, sometimes at installation the end of the pickup catches on the plastic pickup trim ring so the end is held down and uneven.

    Of course, we love pics here, so those would definitely help. :)
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
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  3. Caddy

    Caddy Well-Known Member

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    Remove the pickup, ring and all, and see if a wire is either under it or pulling on it. You should be able to level it fairly easily regardless.
     
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  4. Scootermuppet

    Scootermuppet Well-Known Member

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    Pics always help :D (edit: and welcome, of course!)

    I've read of people using foam underneath, cut in a wedge shape to level pickups? Seems like it would work to me - I like ingenious solutions to issues :thumb:
     
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  5. Paruwi

    Paruwi Kraut-Rocker

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    Hi Tim,

    Welcome here @ €piTalk

    :wave:
     
  6. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Active Member

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    IMG_1464.jpg
    It definitely will move but not a lot and then it goes right back to its original position. I hate having to take the strings off the new guitar and then taking the pickup off! I wanted to enjoy it unspoiled for awhile.
     
  7. NoBucks

    NoBucks Well-Known Member

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    Adjust the pickup so it's all the way down and see if it levels out. Is there resistance or does it move easily?

    In the all the way down position you can probably slide it out from under the strings. You may have to loosen the strings a bit, but you shouldn't have to remove them.

    Does it affect the sound? It doesn't look extreme.
     
  8. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Active Member

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    Well here goes nothin'! Wish me luck.

    Update: took the pickup out and there's really nothing obstructing it. What I did note is that the pickup ring is beveled as you can see in the picture and the pick is simply remaining true to the ring. I truly remember the other 335 I had did not do this. Maybe someone else with a 335 can look at theirs and tell me I'm nuts. Would not be the first time. Just ask my wife...
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
  9. NoBucks

    NoBucks Well-Known Member

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    Google or Bing "es-335 pickup height" and you'll find lots of examples of pics of your pickup in profile. On my Les Paul's that would look wrong to me, but, looking at pics of 335's it looks like that's at an acceptable angle. Lots of 335's on this forum though, so hopefully they'll way in with their opinions.

    Just one more thought, is the bracket straight or bent where the pickup adjustment screws go in?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
  10. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Active Member

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    I found on a LP forum non less a discussion about this very thing on 335s. Seems it varies from model to model, year to year. The pickup ring shape is not consistent so the pickup angle is not either. One fix was to remove the pickup and bend part of it so that the angle changes citing that this is the way it should have been from the factory. Some have reversed the pickup ring to change the angle at the cost of a weird looking pickup. Apparently Clapton did this. As to whether the tone was affected or not, some said it did, others not so much. Maybe Epiphone designed it this way. Either way, I'm going to let it be for now.
     
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  11. Eddie

    Eddie Active Member

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    I'd just leave it as is. It adds character and probably doesn't effect the tone.
     
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  12. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Active Member

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    It appears to be straight.
    It would be very helpful if other 335 owners would chime in. My has a 2017 manufacture date so I imagine that's pertinent.
     
  13. Keefoman

    Keefoman Well-Known Member

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    My Gibson ES-335 is like that too. It's supposed to be like that. If you want, you can reverse the pickup ring.
     
  14. Supersonic

    Supersonic Well-Known Member

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    I used to own a Dot that was the exact same way. I thought it was strange at first, then I stopped looking at it and started playing the damn thing and never noticed it again. If it compromised the sound any, I sure never noticed it. Like Keefoman said, I think it's supposed to be like that.
     
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  15. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to Epi-Talk - from your neighbor in Maryland.

    I agree with Eddie. Leave it as is. And post some photos of the whole ES-335 and any other guitar and guitar-like objects that you play.
     
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  16. Cozmik Cowboy

    Cozmik Cowboy Well-Known Member

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    Take bezel off the guitar.
    Take the pickup out of the bezel..
    Mount the pick-up in the bezel the opposite way.
    Mount the bezel with the thick side toward the fretboard.
    Your pickup is now level with your strings (or a lot closer to it).
     
  17. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Active Member

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    This has been interesting as this "problem" is exhibited in $4K Gibsons with the same discussion. You can leave it, reverse the pickup ring or bend the feet to level it out. However, it just seems to me, novice and all, that the amount of current generated by the pickups is so small that even minute changes in the distance between the strings and the pickup are going to effect volume and tone and this would be that case with the tilted pickup. The coil closer to the neck is going to produce less current making it somewhat less hot. So is this by design to brighten up the neck humbucker at the cost of boost? Will leveling it make the the tone warmer? Unfortunately my ear is not to that level of discernment but I'm sure that some of your's are.
     
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  18. Keefoman

    Keefoman Well-Known Member

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    If tone is your concern, there's always the possibility to heighten the poles a bit.
     
  19. CheshireFrog

    CheshireFrog Well-Known Member

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    On my Dot the bezel for the neck pickup is also beveled, but the angle more closely follows the angle of the strings. Not sure if that helps or not.

    neck.jpg
     

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