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 Post subject: Pole piece question
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:45 am 
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I recently got a 330 12-string. All the pole pieces in the pickups were fully tightened - not adjusted to varying heights to match the radius of the neck. I was trying to adjust them, but they were screwed in pretty tight. I got all of them loose (with quite a bit of effort) except the pole piece under the high E strings. I think I might've stripped the allen head trying several times to loosen it and having the key slip.
Any suggestions of ways to loosen it? Will the entire pickup need to be removed?

The result is my B strings are a little too loud, and the E strings too soft. I can't raise the high E pole piece, and the B one is screwed all the way in. Should I try raising the pickups? Since the B pole piece is all the way in, it will just get louder?

I absolutely love the guitar otherwise. And the difference in volume ins't THAT noticeable, so I'll probably just leave it if it's a big hassle to fix.

I got the guitar off ebay. It was used but a build date of Dec 2011. It was in mint shape, but not set up well. Do they usually ship from the factory already set up, or do shops set them up before they sell them? I took it to a local guitar tech and he got the action and intonation set really well, but didn't do anything about the pickups.


Thanks everybody for your help


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 Post subject: Re: Pole piece question
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:37 am 
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Typically the low E is all the way down when the poles are arched like the fingerboard, however, if the B is down and still too loud, that's abnormal. I think I'd try moving the pickup closer; while all the strings will get louder, including the B, that low E should get proportionally much more loud due to its larger mass, which might balance things out for you. Then you can dial in the high E.

The guitars are set up from the factory with an average adjustment. As such, some people will find it too low, others too high. It's all a matter of personal preference and really only you and/or your local shop can fine tune it.


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 Post subject: Re: Pole piece question
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:00 am 
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Wow! My first ever post, and the first reply comes from the chief!

If the allen head on the E pole piece is stripped, can that individual piece be replaced? Would that involve pulling the entire pickup off the guitar?


thanks again


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 Post subject: Re: Pole piece question
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:56 pm 
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If the allen head is stripped out, there must be a way to get a small screw driver head tightly fitted into it to loosen it. Or one of those multi tools that have a screw extractor fitting. If you can order a replacement pole piece, it's worth trying to get that one out.


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 Post subject: Re: Pole piece question
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:13 pm 
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Sherman wrote:
If the allen head on the E pole piece is stripped, can that individual piece be replaced? Would that involve pulling the entire pickup off the guitar?


Can you grab it with vise-grips and twist it out? Probably too tight to do it with conventional or needle-nosed pliers. A screw extractor could work but this would be pretty fine work, given the size of the screw. Another possibility might be to use a fine blade saw to cut a slot for use with a screwdriver.

I see no reason why you would have to remove the pickup from the guitar, as long as you're carefully with your tools.

Cutomer service will give you another screw upon request and a self-addressed and stamped envelope. Just be sure to cut or snip it to the same length as the pole you remove, otherwise you will have to remove the pickup from the guitar.


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 Post subject: Re: Pole piece question
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:05 pm 
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I wonder if someone decided it needed to be held more securely and put some Loctite on the screw... If so, you might try heating the screw with a soldering iron, which will soften the Loctite, but that might be a bit tricky, I'm not sure if heating it too much could damage the windings or other parts of the pickup...


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 Post subject: Re: Pole piece question
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:22 pm 
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If push comes to shove, these are the pliers we use for those pesky stripped screws on vintage and classic airplanes. Pricey but they get the job done. You would grab the head right from the top (not the side), positioning the tool in the same orientation as if it was a screwdriver. Your local garage may not have these, but if they do, borrow them.

http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp ... ir=catalog

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 Post subject: Re: Pole piece question
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:24 am 
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

One more question - if I'm able to get the pole piece loosened, is it as simple as just removing it and screwing in a new one? Is it not physically connected to anything within the pickup?


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 Post subject: Re: Pole piece question
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:31 am 
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It's just a machine screw, so it should come out and a new one go right back in. Actually, a tiny little bit of heat might indeed help break it free but just don't overdo it.

Let me again point out that the replacement will be too long; if you put it in without cutting it, it will push the magnet off the back of the pickup. We install all of then in the proper arc, then use an abrasive cutoff saw on the back to make them flush.


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