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Guitar pickup problem

posted on #1
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Posts: 1319
Joined: 27.09.14
Hi guys,
I use a 1987 Fender Stratocaster, it is all 100% original. One thing that always bothered me is that the high e string always sounds "thin" and less volume compared to the other strings.
Depending on the recording, I actually had to adjust the level afterwards, which is annoying.

Anyway, I guess part of the problem might be the pickups, there must be better ones available for this popular guitar model. Does anyone here have any experience and suggestions about this?

CHeers, TG :)
posted on #2
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Posts: 285
Joined: 20.01.14
Hi, you could always try and adjust the pickup height on the high e side; other things to check is whether the neck is straight enough (low enough action, and if the nut is not worn, which can have a dampening effect on the string. A thicker string may also help, but will be harder to bend.

You could also replace the pickups, passive or active, there are many options, much depends on the kind of tone you are looking for. Some popular ones are seymour duncans or fender vintage noiseless, emg is also popular, and there is a huge offering from smaller specialty suppliers.

- Joe
posted on #3
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Posts: 78
Joined: 25.08.14
Before going into drastic operations like changing pick ups (witch I don’t believe will help,most pick ups now, have a higher output the originals, but they have a higher output on every string!) I sudsiest you put a thicker gauge of strings on the guitar.
It is a common rule: the lighter the gauge the thinner the sound, I never put anything lighter that 012 on my guitars
If you don't like the sound of your pick ups,that's another question.
If you should decide, nevertheless, to change pick ups,make sure to try out handwired pick ups ,more and more luthiers do this job and they sound way musch better than the seymour Duncans or any other brand.
Edited by fanne on April 28 2015 22:42
posted on #4
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Joined: 16.10.11
this probably won't help and maybe it will. My Rickenbacker Bass had the same problem on the G string which is the highest note on a bass. I adjusted the pickup and most of the problem went away. And then I Adjusted the truss rod just a little and the problem was gone. Just some things to consider before you replace parts and find out that was not the problem. But try what Johnv suggested sounds like that would be the problem.
posted on #5
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Joined: 28.01.12
There's lots of good Youtube videos on how to set up your pickups. Could be your action has changed and your strings are too far away from the pickups. Start out with a new set of regular gauge strings. I use lights on acoustic ( even though they go dull fast ), but always regulars on electric. I had to replace the bottom pickup in my USA Telecaster because it just started coming apart. I purchased a custom hand woven pickup by a guy who makes them in his basement. End result is a hot pickup that sounds great and very 1960's. I did up a Squire Strat with Mighty Mite electronics, those pickups are screaming hot for a Strat.
posted on #6
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Thanks guys. I did adjust the height of the pickup on the high E string, I think this did the job! SO I won't change pickups if it's not really needed. Cheers, TG
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