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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive through April 07, 2005 » Setting Pickup Height On Tribute « Previous Next »

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Username: laytonco

Post Number: 6
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 8:15 pm:   Edit Post

Greetings. Well, the new Tribute is settling into the new family quite nicely and now I've found the courage to begin the tweaking. I made a slight trussrod adjustment which I figured I would need since Denver is quite a bit drier than Norcal, even this time of year. Now I'm no rocket scientist, merely a publisher by trade, but I'm puzzled. How in the dickens do I raise and lower the pickups? I see two recepticles on either side of the base of the pickups, but they are round. They definitely don't hold the hex tools. And it's not a screwdriver type fit. Ummmm, okay, I give up. You stumped me! Any advice?
Intermediate Member
Username: serialnumber12

Post Number: 161
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 8:49 pm:   Edit Post
Username: dfung60

Post Number: 74
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 9:18 pm:   Edit Post

I don't know if the Tribute pickup mounting is the same as the basses, but if it looks like the pickups have 2 phillips head screws and 2 mysterious holes, then it is like the basses.

The pickup adjustment is really clever. Under the mysterious holes are two more phillips head screws similar to the ones that you can see. To adjust the pickup height and angle, you loosen the two screws that you can see. Then, you adjust the height of the two screws that you can't see (you will probably need a smaller screwdriver with a narrow shaft, but don't worry, all the screws go into threaded inserts and should turn pretty easily). You can move these hidden screws up and down until you like the height and angle. Then tighten the top side screws down to lock the pickup position into place.

What a great solution! Somebody has to tell you the "secret" of how it works, but there's no special hardware or tools required. No springs or little pieces of rubber tubing either. You can finely adjust the position of the pickup, then lock it down solidly. Just awesome.

I tried looking at some of the guitar pictures and it wasn't clear that this mechanism was used. Seemed like the single coil pickup only had two screws.

Hope this helps. Post the answer when you find it. I'm curious how the guitars are done if they're not like the basses.

David Fung
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 809
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 10:18 pm:   Edit Post

I believe I read somewhere that, if you lock it down too tightly, you can crack the pickup cover. I don't remember where I read it, but I recommend a delicate touch.

Username: laytonco

Post Number: 7
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 8:52 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for the response! The pickups on the guitar are definitely different from what you're describing. If you are looking down at these pickups, there is a pocket on each side of the pickup. Only two. They look like little cups about a MM wide and a MM deep. There are no threads or flat spots(hex) at all inside the little cups. I'm almost thinking i should go back into the electronics cavity on the back and see if there is an adjustment screw in there. Maybe it's an aesthetics thing?
Username: valvil

Post Number: 672
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 2:23 pm:   Edit Post

Hello Gil,

those screws are definitely hex type. I know they look round but they're not. What you need to adjust them is a 3/32 hex wrench.
You should have the necessary wrench; it would have been in the case with the wood card and other adjustment keys. Let me know if they were missing and I'll get Mary to send you a set right away.

Username: laytonco

Post Number: 8
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 2:35 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Val!I have two hex wrenches in the bag and I will try the small one again. The bigger one seemed too big. The smaller one seemed too small. But I'll certainly try again. IN fact, I may stop by Parker Hardware on the way home and pick up a 3/32 hex. Not a problem at all. I'll let you know what happens. Again thanks!

Username: andrewknight

Post Number: 61
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 2:48 pm:   Edit Post

I bought my Tribute a bit used, but not very used. The pickup adjustments are a bit strange, especially for the humbuckers as they went with a single screw attachment/adjuster for each side of the pickup, rather than two per side. I have two issues with this: 1) For the humbucker's weight, the spring is not strong enough to last very long. It loses its spring and the pickups go loose. 2) You rely on the springs to keep it fairly straight and have no control from front to back of height...only on average height.

This is where a great recommendation from Mica came into play. She recommended finding where I wanted the pickups and replacing the springs with small blocks of wood that were cut at the desired thickness and angle to achieve the perfect position. I think this is a good recommendation becuase it not only allows total control of the pickup poisitioning, but...and here's the real scoop...(I may be wrong) but I strongly feel that the sustain and tonal characteristics were improved by "hard fixing" the pickups to the body of the guitar instead of the isolation they get from springs. Makes sense to me that this would happen when you read up on the advantages of neck through design on tone and sustain.

Most of all, have fun!


Username: laytonco

Post Number: 9
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 5:48 am:   Edit Post

I had a little Hex set at home. Everything's set now. Good to go! Thanks again.
I lowered the bridge pickup just a few turns to allow for me to lower the action. This pickup rocked a little, but when I lowered it, it really became solid. I didn't want to force it too much, but I put a little muscle in it and it won't budge! I printed out your instruction, and stuck it in the case for future reference. Problem resolved!


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