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  1. #1

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    Greetings,

    I recently acquired an ES-165 with a floating BJB pick up mounted to the pickguard. I'd like to adjust the height from the strings, and also level the pick up so it is face is parallel to the strings. Having no prior experience with such pick ups, I'd be very grateful for any suggestions on how best to do this.

    Thanks in advance ---

    altered

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by altered
    Greetings,

    I recently acquired an ES-165 with a floating BJB pick up mounted to the pickguard. I'd like to adjust the height from the strings, and also level the pick up so it is face is parallel to the strings. Having no prior experience with such pick ups, I'd be very grateful for any suggestions on how best to do this.

    Thanks in advance ---

    altered

  4. #3
    Thank you, so glad to be here! Cheers

  5. #4

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    I haven't had to do it to mine but I think that you can gently bend it to get it to sit parallel to the strings. I only have had to screw and unscrew the pole pieces for height adjustments.

  6. #5
    Hi lammie200,

    Thanks for your reply. I did try pressing down very gently on the pick up body, but this didn't do much.

    To be on the safe side, I didn't push so far that it touched the guitar top and dent it.

    I'm also concerned that if I try to bend the metal arm that comes off the side of the pick up body and is glued to the underside of the pickguard, that it may break rather than bend.

    I imagine there is some technique that will work, and I have emailed Gibson customer service to inquire. When I hear back I will be sure to post any useful advice.

    This makes one appreciate adjustable pole pieces!

    Cheers

  7. #6

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    I was always very happy with the pickup height.
    Not sure why it’s too high now.
    But the spacer under the pickguard can be trimmed and then you can screw the pickguard down lower by the amount you trimmed off.
    And while you have the pickguard off, you can easily bend the pickup at the tab to make sure it is level.
    Joe D

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    I was always very happy with the pickup height.
    Not sure why it’s too high now.
    But the spacer under the pickguard can be trimmed and then you can screw the pickguard down lower by the amount you trimmed off.
    And while you have the pickguard off, you can easily bend the pickup at the tab to make sure it is level.
    Joe D
    Exactly Joe, those were my first thoughts....

  9. #8
    Hi Max405 and wintermoon,

    Thanks for your replies, and thank you Joe, for the suggestions.

    To be sure, pickup height is part art, part science and of course part personal preference.

    A floating pickup mounted to a pickguard could conceivably shift ever so slightly as a result of even perfect packing and careful shipping cross country in the back of a truck. Small tolerances, delicate instruments.

    Pickup function and perceived sound may also be affected by string gauge and material, and by playing style.

    Joe is deservedly known for his beautiful light touch. I, on the other hand (the picking hand, to be specific), while never having smashed a guitar on stage like Pete Townshend, probably have a somewhat heavier touch.

    (Come to think of it, jazz guitarists are generally not known for the ritualistic burning of their axes. But I digress.)

    Hence my query about how one adjusts this unique style of pickup -- just part of the mutual search for that elusive tone we each hear in our heads.

    Thanks again and cheers ---

  10. #9

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    Altered, I hear you 110%.
    If you want the pickup lower, you can make the adjustment I (and our resident tech support extraordinaaire Wintermoon) suggested and I think you will be satisfied.
    I had to do that on the Emperor Regent I recieved and it worked out perfectly.
    I know this sounds CRAZY.. But, I've actually gone to the "LEGO store" in my sons bedroom and cobbled together little plastic spacers from his lego stuff (shhh, dont say anything..) and I was able to get the perfect height.
    But if you bring it to a tech, they usually have those spacers that are made out of rubber and they squish down to the perfect size for you.

    Thank You Altered and thanks everyone else.
    By the way, Altered is a really good dude.

    Thanks guys.
    Joe D
    PS, I am about to crush my reputation as a twinkle toes picker. For some reason, I've recently become a bit of an animal with my picking hand (well not really but..) and I am routinely bottoming out this Emperor Regent that I love so much. So much so, that I am playing my L5 (which I am incapable of bottoming out..) more often. So much so, I think, I want to get another one...
    Yeah baby! HELP!!!!

  11. #10

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    Also check the pick guard angle. Sometimes the bracket on the waist of the guitar needs adjustment which has a significant effect on the pickup, since it's attached to the guard. It's also easy to do. These brackets bend easily too. Small changes in the bracket make big differences in the pickup angle I've found.

    Just another thought!

  12. #11
    Hi skykomishone, wintermoon and Max405,

    Thank you all very much for your smart suggestions on BJB pickup adjustments. And thanks, Max405, for being a great guy, too!

    Below is the info Gibson sent this morning in response to my query about adjusting the BJB. It is interesting, if not that specific about how to actually make the tweaks:

    "Thanks for writing Gibson Brands. The pick-up height is set by holding all the strings against the neck at the last fret. Then measure the gap between the top of the BJB pick-up and the bottom of the string on either side of the pick-up. The average gap for a neck position pick-up would be set at 4/64th” on either side. I have attached a PDF file which contains information on BJB installation. I hope this helps. Thanks."

    I have attached the PDF file. I could not get the two pages to display in the body of this post but I think you can click on the icon and download it if you like.

    Cheers ---
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #12

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    Wow, It was nice of them to send that to you.
    4/64" sounds lower than I had it with the strings depressed. I think it was about level with the fretboard, if not a hair lower. The frets add about a 1/16" to the string height.
    BJB pick up adjustment?-img_0267-jpg



    Quote Originally Posted by altered
    Hi skykomishone, wintermoon and Max405,

    Thank you all very much for your smart suggestions on BJB pickup adjustments. And thanks, Max405, for being a great guy, too!

    Below is the info Gibson sent this morning in response to my query about adjusting the BJB. It is interesting, if not that specific about how to actually make the tweaks:

    "Thanks for writing Gibson Brands. The pick-up height is set by holding all the strings against the neck at the last fret. Then measure the gap between the top of the BJB pick-up and the bottom of the string on either side of the pick-up. The average gap for a neck position pick-up would be set at 4/64th” on either side. I have attached a PDF file which contains information on BJB installation. I hope this helps. Thanks."

    I have attached the PDF file. I could not get the two pages to display in the body of this post but I think you can click on the icon and download it if you like.

    Cheers ---

  14. #13

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    For the angle of the pickup, a thin shim on one side (whichever needs raising) between the tab and the pickguard can do the job. It doesn't take much, the thickness of a playing card might be enough, depending on how much the angle needs to change. To lower the entire pickup, just make the shim the size of the tab. This is easier done, obviously, if the pickup is held in place by screws rather than by epoxy. Epoxy makes everything more difficult, but it's sometimes used.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by altered
    GI recently acquired an ES-165 with a floating BJB pick up mounted to the pickguard. I'd like to adjust the height from the strings, and also level the pick up so it is face is parallel to the strings.
    'Parallel' looks nice but it's not necessarily the ideal setting to even out the string volumes. Many folks like more space on the bass strings. It all depends on how you string, how you set your amps, how you play and how you hear.

    It's like tuners: They look great all lined up but that doesn't mean you'll be in tune, eh?

  16. #15
    Hi sgosnell and Sam,

    Thanks very much for your thoughts -- all excellent points.

    I knew there was a way to do this without my plumber's wrench!

    Max405, thanks also for the info. FWIW, I'd imagine that with your lighter touch having the pickup slightly higher would work well because the narrower oscillation of the string would be within the magnetic field of the pickup without overdriving it. You certainly achieved a sweet sound!

    Cheers ---