Skip to content
Electric Guitar Manual

Set Pickups Height of a Guitar

LEARN to Set Pickups Height of Electric Guitar Pickups: Single Coil and Humbucker Pickups.

The measurements to Adjust the Height of the Pickups of the Electric Guitar are taken from the top of the polepieces to the bottom of the string, while we press the last fret of the guitar with our finger (the fret closest to the pickups).

How to set the height of your guitar pickups

The height range in single coil pickups would be between 3.5 and 2mm depending on its situation in the guitar, without exceeding these heights excessively, since too much height will take away tone and volume, and not enough height would take away sustain by the magnet influencing the vibrations of the string or it would just sound bad.

To adjust the height of the guitar pickups, we must manipulate the screws that are on both sides of the electromagnetic pickup.

Pickups Height on an Electric Guitar HSS - thin string

Pickups Height on an Electric Guitar HSS - thick string

In general, the pickups should sit slightly closer on the thin strings. Since thin strings vibrate with less oscillation than thick strings. For the fine string, it would be normal to stay between 2 and 3mm.

Set the Height of Humbucker Guitar Pickups

For Humbucker pickups its height on the sixth string must oscillate between 2 and 3mm, the standard being 2.5mm. In the fine string, the range can be between 1.6 and 2.5mm, but the standard would be 2mm.

Humbucker Pickup Height - Thick String

Humbucker Pickup Height - thin string

For both single coil and humbucker pickups, their volumes must be balanced between their different positions when operating the pickup selector.

Although many pickups are specific to each location on the guitar, we can play with the height to get a balanced volume between the different pickups. The normal thing, especially in models with three single pickups, is that their height varies by half a millimeter between them, the height decreasing as we get closer to the guitar’s bridge.

Indicative Measurements of Pickups Height (Strat – Les Paul)

Indicative Measurements of Pickups Height - strat - les paul

In Les Paul models the pickups are usually specific for each position, and it is normal that they are balanced. So we can leave both pickups at the same height.

It may seem to us that the volume of the bridge pickup is higher than that of the neck pickup, but we must take into account that the sound of the bridge pickup is more treble than that of the neck pickup at the time to look for a balanced volume.

How to set pickup pole-piece height

To finish with the calibration we can adjust the height of the polepieces of the Humbucker pickups, following the curvature of the strings.

How to set pickup pole-piece height

Electric Guitar Setup: Learn to Adjust Your Guitar