How important is Pickup Orientation?

Discussion in 'PTC - PRS Tech Center' started by Tosca, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. Tosca

    Tosca Death by a million mini-toggles...

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    I've heard a lot of opinions and read a lot of heated discussions on other forums on this topic, but I'm wondering what the "right way" to orient a humbucker pickup is....and why. Every standard sized humbucker PRS I have ever owned or seen has the adjustable polepieces on the bridge side for the bridge PU and fingerboard side for the neck PU. Interestingly...I notice that this configuration is reversed for the neck pickup specifically on every single 408 equipped guitar I have (PS Sig, PS P24 Sig, 2013 PRSX 408 HB, Paul's Guitar and Brent "Monster"...I love 408's). Knowing PRS and PRSh there is a reason why they sound/work better this way (and the standard buckers don't). My own observation is that the slug side of the pickup is maybe just a tiny bit hotter than the screw side...so the pickup seems to take on an even stronger bass or treble character if the the slug side is closer to the FB or bridge respectively. I've been swapping pickups around a lot this weekend trying to see if I can record some comparisons of the 57/08's vs the new 58/15's in the same guitar...and around 1AM (half asleep) I installed a bridge pickup "the other way"...and "it just didn't sound right" to me...too much treble and weaker (my guess from picking up string vibration from closer to the bridge). I know we have a lot of electronics experts on here...and hoping to hear from PTC (especially about why the 408's are different)...I look forward to learning something. Thanks.
     
    #1 Tosca, Nov 23, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
  2. gush

    gush New Member

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    I would like to know this as well
     
  3. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    I have seen the neck pickup with the screws toward the center sometime I just did it on my SCT ( 6s ) sounds good as always maybe a bit brighter
     
  4. ADP

    ADP New Member

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    I would imagine that the slug coil is closer to the neck on guitars with 408-style pickups because it offers more bass response and better separation between the two pickups when split. I plan to do the same with a 24-fretter I have next time I change strings.
     
  5. Tosca

    Tosca Death by a million mini-toggles...

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    Agreed. But they've offered a lot of split humbucker options over the years...why is the 408 the first one installed "reversed" in the neck position?
     
  6. ADP

    ADP New Member

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    Is it simply because it's a break from tradition in other respects as well? The rotary offered outside coils and inside coils in various combinations, whereas the current crop all use the full humbuckers and the slugs.
     
  7. LindseyP

    LindseyP New Member

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    I remember someone at a shop noticing the JB in the bridge of my Schecter is reversed with the screws on the inside. He said "That's backward" and I said I can adjust the tone of the pickup better with the screws on the inside. He'd never considered such a thing, so I explained to him that I own a Carvin DC27 that has pickups with adjustable screws on both bobbins which is how I discovered that orientation can be useful.
     

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