Humbucker height and tilt

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by DCCable, May 21, 2017.

  1. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

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    This has come up on some other threads so I though I'd put my 2 cents in on a different thread. There is a lot of discussion on whether the slant of a HB pickup relative to the strings and of the height of the pole screws matters.

    After giving it some thought I don't think it matters.

    The humbucker pickup has a magnetic circuit and an electrical circuit in both of these circuits the elements are in series, that is the same magnetic flux flows from the magnet north pole, thru the slug coil, thru an air gap, thru the strings, thru an air gap, thru the screw coil to the magnet south pole. A nice series arrangement. The coils are also electrically in series (at least in normal HB configuration.)

    So in a series circuit it doesn't matter what order components are in or where modifications to a component are made since the same flux, or current flows thru all elements.

    If you change the gap height between the slug gap, or the screw gap, since the same flux flows in both it doesn't matter.
     
  2. Scootermuppet

    Scootermuppet Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but it looks neater if they're parallel to the strings :D

    Not that I'm OCD or anything... honest.... :naughty:
     
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  3. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    No but if the pup is high enough, the strings can touch the back of the cover.

    They all say that.
     
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  4. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I prefer strings to be parallel to top face of pickups.

    The Flying V and SG with large guard do not have angled pickup mounting rings installed to
    offset the neck to body angle to make strings and pickups parallel to each other.
    Why?
    Maybe to reduce production cost by eliminating 1 part, 4 screws, labor time for each pickup?

    Some people have OCD about ABR-1 vs Nashville or large guard vs small guard.
    Those things don’t bother me.
    Strings not being parallel to pickups bother me for some reason.

    We all have our preferences of how we want our guitars to be configured.
    There is no right or wrong, just different.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
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  5. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

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    Guys, I'm not talking esthetics here, just sound.

    Well Duh, and then there is no gap and no string vibration, but if the pickup is microphonic enough you can sing through it.:rofl:
     
  6. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like we are getting into String Theory here.
    Discussing Flux Compactification can lead to mental constipation. :rofl:

    Maybe place a paper or plastic tray with iron filings over the strings and pickup.
    Observe the pattern of the filings with pickup level and then tilted to see if there is a difference.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
  7. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

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    No, just basic electric theory, you know series and parallel circuits.
     
  8. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Yep.
    Current remains same in series circuit, but not in parallel.
    Kirchoff's Current Law.
     
  9. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

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    Actually yes, using KCL leads to the conclusion that the same current flows through all elements of a series circuit.

    This holds for a magnetic circuit considering flux instead of electric current. The "resistive" elements in this magnetic circuit (the HB pickup in a strung guitar) are two air gaps between the two coils and the strings and are largely responsible for determining the flux density in the circuit.
     
  10. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    What if you had a HB where one coil had more windings than the other?
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
  11. Dave_Death

    Dave_Death Well-Known Member

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    I'm converting my SG Special to use pickup rings on the large pickguard. Not really because of the tilt issue, that's a side benefit. More because I am sick of removing the bridge and losing my setup every time I have to do something with the pickups.
     
  12. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    That's great on the conversion.
    Cutting the height adjustment holes out make it easy to remove pup.

    guard.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
  13. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    OK, now throw in a system like my Triple Shots where I have series / parallel switching as well as coil selective split switching on flat rings.:D:hmm:
     
  14. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Triple Shots.
    I see they have flat and arched versions, but no flat wedge version for Flying V, SG, or LP Special.
    Guitars with flat top but have neck to body angle would benefit from the flat wedge version rings.

    There are also other guitars that have HB's installed with no guard, no rings, no covers.
     
  15. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    The purpose of a Triple Shot is to extract different sounds from a pickup.......
     
  16. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I get that.

    The original question of whether the tilt matters...
    Depends on who you ask.
    If it does matter, why?

    A. Does the pup tilt affect the sound?
    B. Do you find the pup tilt visually distracting?

    I have leveled mine, so it is no longer an issue for me.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
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  17. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    I always find these arguments funny because a turn of an amp or guitar knob would negate any difference in tilt.

    I think a wonky pickup looks like ass.

    Problem solved for me.
     
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  18. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

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    It doesn't matter, we are talking about the magnetic circuit primarily, not the electrical circuit in the pickup. The flux path is still a series circuit. The same flux flows through both coils and the same electric current flows through both coils

    That's the point that almost everyone misses in pickups; there is an electrical circuit but there is also a magnetic circuit. And the magnetic circuit parameters help determine a given pickup's sound; and also the magnetic circuits of all the pickups on a guitar interact with each other to a greater or lesser extent.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
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  19. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

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    Raiyn do you have a circuit schematic you could shoot me?
     
  20. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

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    So, all this does beg the question, how much time do you guys spend looking at your guitars and how much time playing your guitars? And while playing your guitars do you look at the pickups?

    If this is esthetics then by all means level your pickups use pickup rings. If you have switching in the rings then yes you need the rings.

    But don't expect making the pickup parallel with the strings to matter sound wise is my only point.
     

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