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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Thinline Tele w/Fidelitron pups that are too far away from strings

Jeffty

Austin TX USA

Gain is my co-pilot...
Dec 18th, 2016 01:41 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have a lovely MIJ Thinline Telecaster Super Deluxe that came with a pair of Fidelitron pickups that sound fine but the output of the guitar is lower than my other Tele and Strat. The pups aren't very close to the strings but I cannot seem to raise them any higher than they are now. I suspect this is made similar to the Cabronita Thinline Tele - can anyone shed some light on how I can raise the pickups without major surgery? Thanks.

spud1950

Land Of 1000 Dances

Do you know how to Pony?
Dec 18th, 2016 03:56 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Raise the pole screws.

(This message was last edited by spud1950 at 05:56 PM, Dec 18th, 2016)

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Dec 18th, 2016 06:42 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Are these pups direct to wood or do they have pickup rings? If they have pup rings they do make an adapter that allows for you to use the mounting holes and attach to the metal bar that will allow for a standard humbucker mount. Or can be made easy enough from some stainless steel strap and drill the required holes. Which if they are already mounted that way, make some straps with a more shallow bend to cause the pickups to be higher and still have some adjustment available.
Raising the pole pieces does pickup more string vibration but the trade off is: brighter! Because the magnet base is still low and the pole pieces just sense the string a little better.
Remember: if the pickup is low, the brighter you will go--- and if the pickup is higher, you bring on the fire! OK, I failed, but you get the idea...
Think it over and maybe you can find something like I mentioned and get some sort of Happy going on!
Best Regards, Woody

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
***

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Dec 18th, 2016 06:55 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Raise the pole screws."

That would the first thing to try if it only needs a little extra tweak in height, but you can only get so much that way before it starts affecting the tone negatively.

It may require fixing a thin block of timber to the bottom of the cavity to get more height on the pickup. (easily done, not "major surgery" imo)

You can also use longer mounting screws & springs (or rubber tubing) with a block of wood, but have to be careful not to run the screws through the back of the body.


Peegoo
Contributing Member
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I say 'no' to drugs

They never listen
Dec 18th, 2016 07:29 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm very familiar with this problem and this style of pickup (Filtertron).

A dead simple fix is to first measure the space between the E strings (fretted at the last fret) and the top of the pickup poles. Multiply that distance by 2.

Make a foam shim....here's how. Let's assume the distance between the fretted strings and the poles is 5mm.

Cut a little block of closed-cell foam (Ethafoam packing material is best...see pic below) the size of the pickup's footprint and 10mm thick (5 x 2 = 10).

Remove the strings. Remove the two pickup mounting screws and gently lift the pickup from the rout.

Press the foam block into the bottom of the rout. Slice or a slot the foam for the pickup's lead if necessary.

Place the pickup atop the foam block. Insert the mounting screws into the ends of the pickup and press them down. They'll go right through the foam. Turn the screws into the wood about three turns.

Re-install the strings and adjust the pickups downwards until you have them about 1/8" from the strings when fretted at the highest fret.

The Ethafoam compresses to about 50% so you'll have a solid mounting. It allows some adjustability up and down. And it does not fatigue over time so it's permanent.

This also works great for mounting P90s in a solidbody guitar.

NOTE: you have to use closed-cell foam. Open-cell (e.g., poly foam, 'foam rubber', etc.) compresses too easily and the pickup will be floppy in there. It also fatigues and breaks down over time.

This stuff. I use a sharp filet knife to cut it. Scissors don't work well.

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 09:32 PM, Dec 18th, 2016)

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Dec 18th, 2016 07:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've been making a lot of my pickup shims from flip flops.
It works great on my P-90 style and bass pickups.
$1.00 for a pair at Wal-Mart. But for thicker, I like what Peegoo posted. Doesn't have a rubbery smell and has very good life.
I went to the fabric store and had to pay extra for good dense foam, but the results were excellent.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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I say 'no' to drugs

They never listen
Dec 18th, 2016 07:58 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm convinced electronic doohickeys are expensive because of the cost of the packing material.

Ever needed to buy Ethafoam? That stuff is expensive. It's not "free" in the box with new equipment. You're paying for it, so may as well save some of it.

I always save some of the packing material (if I'm running low) by cutting it into 6" chunks. It's handy for a whole lot of stuff.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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I say 'no' to drugs

They never listen
Dec 18th, 2016 08:02 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Another cool pickup shim material is Neoprene (mouse pad material). Cuts with scissors.

You can stack it up to the achieve thickness you need. Retains its loft and ever goes flat because it is closed-cell material. Like a whole bunch of little balloons that never pop.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
***

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Dec 18th, 2016 08:24 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Not to second guess you Peegoo, but isn't the length of the mounting screw part of the problem?

My experience with this height problem (w/ P-90's) has been the inability to back off the screw enough to raise the pickup and still keep a bite into the wood.


Peegoo
Contributing Member
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I say 'no' to drugs

They never listen
Dec 18th, 2016 09:29 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sure, that happens. There are different screw lengths supplied with pickups.

Gibson does the best job with this for their P90s: they use a steel plate that has two threaded holes. The plate screws into the bottom of the rout, and the pickup is suspended by two compressed coil springs on two machine-thread screws that go through the pickup and engage the steel plate. Great design.

Jeffty

Austin TX USA

Gain is my co-pilot...
Dec 19th, 2016 10:09 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks all for your recommendations. I have tried raising the pole pieces which did raise the output some but I was unhappy with the tonal shift. It sounds like some kind of shim is in the cards. Stay tuned.

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Thinline Tele w/Fidelitron pups that are too far away from strings




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