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Author Topic: P90's Height Adjustment  (Read 4503 times)
1esotericguy
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« on: June 14, 2013, 04:05:10 PM »

I want to raise my RS4 P90's up a bit on the high E side.  Have a little bit of volume imbalance across the strings.  (B and high E are a little lower volume than the other strings.  Needing to pick harder on those)
I backed out the mounting screws a bit, but the pickups aren't popping up. 

Anyone go under the pickups on their RS4 P90 guitars?  Not much travel on the springs?  Or are they mounted with shims and not springs at all? 

I know I can just pop them off and look, but wanted to find out if anyone knew the answer before I unwind the strings, take the tailpiece off etc etc.

FYI: I already tried getting what I need from just adjusting the polepieces.  Not enough.  I guess I could also drop the bridge a little on that side, but the guitar is in perfect intonation.  Hate to adjust away that perfect tuning and have to get it back again.  Sounds so nice. 

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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2013, 03:21:16 AM »

Pull the pickups out and see how there mounted.If you can post a pixmaybe I can give you some idea's.
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2013, 06:45:43 AM »

There is a practical limit to how high you can raise the pups on any electric guitar given the guitar's body style and how the pickups are mounted.  There comes a point, especially with single coils, where setting the magnet height too close the strings actually has a "choking" effect.  Maybe this acounts for your lack of volume on the treble strings.  Have you considered lowering the pups on the bass side instead as a way to achieve better string to string balance?  If you do this, you might have to turn up the volume on the guitar and/or amp to get the same overall volume.  Just a suggestion, but may be worthwhile to try.

Ironically, on my Forum V RS4 with P90's, I found the treble strings were too prominent so I did the opposite of what I'm suggesting.  I lowered the height of the pups on the treble side and left the bass side height adjusted more or less to how it came to me.

Hope this helps. 
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2013, 03:04:57 PM »

is it both pick ups or just one?

I have ordered a Schaller roller bridge with adjustable (side to side) saddles, because the B & E string are 1/8 away from their respective poles.

It's not a stock bridge as it was swapped out when the Bigsby was added.
 and it's ONLY on the neck pick up.

details and pics to follow when the bridge arrives.
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2013, 09:03:18 PM »

I have ordered a Schaller roller bridge with adjustable (side to side) saddles, because the B & E string are 1/8 away from their respective poles.

It's not a stock bridge as it was swapped out when the Bigsby was added.
 and it's ONLY on the neck pick up.

details and pics to follow when the bridge arrives.

I have the Schaller roller bridge with both of my Bigsby equipped Larrivee guitars.  It is an excellent bridge and it works very well.
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2013, 03:02:07 AM »

I have the Schaller roller bridge with both of my Bigsby equipped Larrivee guitars.  It is an excellent bridge and it works very well.





thanks that is encouraging news, the original poster hasn't chimed in as to whether it's a height issue or side to side issue.
did you instal the Schaller bridge because of the issue I spoke of?
Or was it just the best choice at the time?
have you had to modify the settings, from the original tone pros bridge spacing, in a manner that I am speaking to?

This is a very important piece for me, as far as how and when I can use the guitar.
the spacing of the B and E string on the neck pick up is so far off, it's a problem on stage and in studio, causing me huge frustration!

I will admit, there is no question as to my preference to the Bigsby, those Floyd Rose rigs on the older RS4's are a real pain!
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2013, 04:19:22 AM »



I will admit, there is no question as to my preference to the Bigsby, those Floyd Rose rigs on the older RS4's are a real pain!
Not too much we disagree on friend but this is one. Luv the Floyd Rose rigs over everything else by a large margin
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2013, 10:23:51 AM »

did you instal the Schaller bridge because of the issue I spoke of?
Or was it just the best choice at the time?

Actually, both were ordered from Larrivee with the Bigsby and the Schaller bridge installed.  One of them was the Forum V.

l admit, there is no question as to my preference to the Bigsby, those Floyd Rose rigs on the older RS4's are a real pain!

I like both the Bigsby and the Floyd Rose.  They each have their uses.
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2013, 12:18:55 PM »

Well then gentlemen, regarding the Bigsby/Floyd Rose debate, perhaps, as you are both fans of the FR, you might enlighten me as to what I might be doing wrong.
 I have three different guitars with Bigsby, including the RS4. On stage I can be aggressive with them, lean hard/pitch lowering as a technique, or starting low, (open string reaching around with LEFT hand, then releasing while picking) either way my tuning pretty much stays in tact.

With the older RS4 CM, WITH all 5 trem springs installed, I could never think of using that guitar on stage because of tuning issues.

I have just installed a FR on the other RS4 CM I am restoring, and that process alone (installation & set up) had me scratching my head as to the amount of "heavy metal" i was had been tinkering with.
  
Might either of you shed some light as to your love of FR and how you got there and why?

Even at 60, I like to try and keep an open mind.....
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2013, 03:11:26 PM »

Bigsby vs Floyd Rose I guess I started that - my bad wacko

For me ( and we are all different) I find greater range & less tuning issues with the Floyd. There is nothing I can do on a Bigsby that I can't and more on a Floyd. The stringing and tuning is no real issue as am very used to them.

I think every player should have both fixed bridge and vibrato bridges in their toolchest. Biggest issue for the Floyds  is they won't fit every guitar like our current RS4  crying

There is no denying a guitar with a Bigsby is as pretty as it gets
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1esotericguy
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2013, 03:49:55 PM »

There is a practical limit to how high you can raise the pups on any electric guitar given the guitar's body style and how the pickups are mounted.  There comes a point, especially with single coils, where setting the magnet height too close the strings actually has a "choking" effect.  Maybe this acounts for your lack of volume on the treble strings.  Have you considered lowering the pups on the bass side instead as a way to achieve better string to string balance?  If you do this, you might have to turn up the volume on the guitar and/or amp to get the same overall volume.  Just a suggestion, but may be worthwhile to try.

Ironically, on my Forum V RS4 with P90's, I found the treble strings were too prominent so I did the opposite of what I'm suggesting.  I lowered the height of the pups on the treble side and left the bass side height adjusted more or less to how it came to me.

Hope this helps. 

OP back again.  Good ideas here.  I tried the pole pieces again, and I think I've got my issue evened out.  When I listened again - I realized it wasn't really a volume difference.  It was more that the treble strings seemed a bit muted.  Seems better now.  I still wouldn't mind shimming the overall height of the pickups just to try to get some more grit though.  I suppose it's a tradeoff for clarity vrs output?  These Larrivee P90's are super CLEAR.  Fantastically clear.  Although the treble strings sounded a little muted - which was what was bugging me.  They're better now that I raised the pole pieces on those strings.
 
My only other reference point for P90's is a set of Gibson P90's in a Les Paul DoubleCut.  Those things were awesome in a different way.  I don't remember if they were as clear as the Larrivee P90's, but they ROARED!  I read a another person's description of the Gibson P90's which was perfect: when you hit a chord - it sounds like God is clearing his throat.  ROARRR!  But again, the clarity on the Larrivee P90's is crazy good.  Very sweet sounding. 
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2013, 04:46:44 PM »

maybe going up a gauge or two on the E and the B could help.also make sure the nut slots are cut right if they bind too much they will mute the strings sometime's.
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2013, 05:43:50 PM »

maybe going up a gauge or two on the E and the B could help.also make sure the nut slots are cut right if they bind too much they will mute the strings sometime's.

Also good ideas.  How does one check the nut slots?  Feeler gauges?  I've never done it other than to put nutsauce in the slots on my Gibsons.
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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2013, 08:04:27 PM »

I will pull a string back and forth and feel for any drag or catching.If you feel any binding or catching and it can be very subtle having the slot opened with a nut right file.If you don't have them bring it to someone who know's what there doing and have them opened a bit so the string string isn't binding.Also make sure that the bottom of the slot is round not "V" shaped.Sometime's you will see a black colour build up.When using anything in the nut slot you should always clean out the slot,I use a tooth brush or a tooth pick.You can also use a business card.
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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2013, 02:14:49 AM »

Bigsby vs Floyd Rose I guess I started that - my bad wacko

For me ( and we are all different) I find greater range & less tuning issues with the Floyd. There is nothing I can do on a Bigsby that I can't and more on a Floyd. The stringing and tuning is no real issue as am very used to them.

I think every player should have both fixed bridge and vibrato bridges in their toolchest. Biggest issue for the Floyds  is they won't fit every guitar like our current RS4  crying

There is no denying a guitar with a Bigsby is as pretty as it gets




wow, too weird.
on any given gig, I'll use a fixed bridge guitar and a Bigsby guitar, as well as an acoustic.
I gotta say though, in complete contrast to you, I can do lot with a bigsby and not have tuning issues,
but I can't even look at my FR RS4 CM with out it going out of tune.
 just plain weird....
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« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2013, 05:18:54 AM »

I will pull a string back and forth and feel for any drag or catching.If you feel any binding or catching and it can be very subtle having the slot opened with a nut right file.If you don't have them bring it to someone who know's what there doing and have them opened a bit so the string string isn't binding.Also make sure that the bottom of the slot is round not "V" shaped.Sometime's you will see a black colour build up.When using anything in the nut slot you should always clean out the slot,I use a tooth brush or a tooth pick.You can also use a business card.

To add to Rob's suggestions, here is a tip I've mentioned before.  Take some cotton or nylon string of an appropriate diameter, and run it through a block of fine polishing compound to get it saturated with the stuff.  Then, as a final polishing step after doing all of the above, run the string back and forth in the nut slot for a minute or two to give it a final polish.  Make sure you run the string back in the angled area towards the headstock as well and polish the sides of the slot as well as the bottom.  You have to replenish the compound and use fresh sections of string every so often while you are doing this.  When you see the string getting dirty, use a new section.  I also do this to saddles, both acoustic and electric wherever the string passes over them.  This is a final step after any other slot filing, rounding, or cleaning is done.

Hope this helps.
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« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2013, 03:39:27 PM »

sorry to hijack this thread guys, i"m still waiting for my Schaller bridge to solve my same problem.

you can see that there is room to move the strings over, both for the sake of the pick up and for the neck.
The B and E string are lower in volume for obvious reasons....
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« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2013, 03:40:54 PM »

To add to Rob's suggestions, here is a tip I've mentioned before.  Take some cotton or nylon string of an appropriate diameter, and run it through a block of fine polishing compound to get it saturated with the stuff.  Then, as a final polishing step after doing all of the above, run the string back and forth in the nut slot for a minute or two to give it a final polish.  Make sure you run the string back in the angled area towards the headstock as well and polish the sides of the slot as well as the bottom.  You have to replenish the compound and use fresh sections of string every so often while you are doing this.  When you see the string getting dirty, use a new section.  I also do this to saddles, both acoustic and electric wherever the string passes over them.  This is a final step after any other slot filing, rounding, or cleaning is done.

Hope this helps.





great tip Thanks!
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« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2013, 08:59:49 PM »

sorry to hijack this thread guys, i"m still waiting for my Schaller bridge to solve my same problem.

you can see that there is room to move the strings over, both for the sake of the pick up and for the neck.
The B and E string are lower in volume for obvious reasons....

WOW you can see how off the string spacing is!!
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« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2013, 07:46:40 PM »

If anyone is wondering what it looks like in the pickup cavities, here's some pictures. There is a sponge material acting as legs/springs. I wanted a little more height, so I put some more foam in mine.  On a separate note: Check out how much maple cap there is in that cavity!  It's like 2/3 of the depth of the cavity is maple cap! 


Here's the foam booster I put in mine.

 
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