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Thread: High e output weak

  1. #1

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    High e output weak

    I just purchased a used Ernie Ball Music Man Cutlass sss (2017?)
    The poles of all three single coils are set with the low e and high e are very low, the d and g highest with a and b slightly lower. The signal from my high e is notucibly weaker and almost compressed sounding. The g and d are pretty hot. I have a fresh 9 v battery, I raised the high e sides of all pus and lowered the low e side as much as is reasonable. I changed to new strings EB slinky hybrids 9-46. I donít want to have to increase the gauge of the high e unless there are no other options. Any one else experiencing this with their EBMM single coils? Is there any way to adjust individual pole height or compensate for loss of signal on the high e?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neilwcutlass View Post
    I just purchased a used Ernie Ball Music Man Cutlass sss (2017?)
    The poles of all three single coils are set with the low e and high e are very low, the d and g highest with a and b slightly lower. The signal from my high e is notucibly weaker and almost compressed sounding. The g and d are pretty hot. I have a fresh 9 v battery, I raised the high e sides of all pus and lowered the low e side as much as is reasonable. I changed to new strings EB slinky hybrids 9-46. I donít want to have to increase the gauge of the high e unless there are no other options. Any one else experiencing this with their EBMM single coils? Is there any way to adjust individual pole height or compensate for loss of signal on the high e?
    Iím tinkering with string heights to help, but Iíd like to stay close to the 10Ē neck radius. Looks to my eye that the preset pole heights are axagetating that radius?

  3. #3

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    Yes, the high E string often seems quieter than I'd like, and thats been the case on every guitar I've ever owned but when I'm actually playing music I never think about it so it's one of those issues that, like string buzz, can drive you crazy when doing a setup but is of no consequence when actually playing.

    That said, I would suggest lowering the height of the pickups. Yes your output will drop a little but may even out the volume difference between the strings. I think overall pickup height and the difference in height between the sides of the pickups si where it's all at. Tinkering with string radius and pole heights will not make a big difference. (I have a strat with loose pole pieces and I can adjust height as I like - it makes damn all difference.)

    I tend to set my pickups by alternately playing the high and low e strings and adjusting the height of each side of the pickup to give a good balance in volume between the two. Then I fine tune the pickup adjustments by strumming barre chords up and own the neck and again listening for balance between low strings and high strings. I start with the neck pickup, then adjust the bridge pickup and finally the middle pickup for quack in te in between positions.
    Last edited by DrKev; 07-04-2018 at 08:37 AM.
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  4. #4

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    My Cutlass had the same issue. On this website they have the heights that the pickups SHOULD be set at. Mine were significantly lower than the recommended settings. And for what it's worth the guitar sounds many times better after adjusting to the EBMM suggested heights and I suspect could even sound a little better with some fine tuning. Here is the thread:
    Original/recommended pickup heights for Cutlass?
    Last edited by Half Whit; 07-04-2018 at 10:41 AM.

  5. #5

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    I agree with Neil. Try lowering them altogether. That should make it a bit less noticeable. Lower pickup height won't pull the strings out of tune and give you a bit more dynamic range too. It's usually the G that is the loudest with staggered poles so if it doesn't play wonky raising the D and G a bit should help as well. Raising the E can help too but that setup feels odd to me. If I'm going to raise some strings slightly higher D and G feels better to me than raising the E's

    The whole idea of the raised D and G came about from the early days when they had wound G strings and the G would get kind of lost. People switched to different style strings but they never changed the pickup design and we all just got used to that sound.

    A lot of manufactures make flat poled pickups if it's bothering you. There's some videos too about how to lower the pole pieces but you have to be really careful because you could destroy the pickup if you do it wrong and I'm sure it would void any warranty (if there is one for a used guitar, not sure).

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