strat pickups

Adjusting pickup height sounds simple, but pickups that aren’t adjusted properly can cause problems.

Guitars with two or three pickups offer lots of sonic variety, but they also introduce a particular problem that single-pickup instruments—such as Fender Esquires and some Les Paul Juniors—don't have. When you switch pickups on a multi-pickup guitar, you can experience volume differences between one position and another. This can be rather annoying when you're in the studio or playing a gig. Just as frustrating is when your treble strings sound weak, but the bass strings are ridiculously loud. In both cases, the fix can be as simple as adjusting your pickups.

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Here, ace Nashville repairman John LeVan walks you step-by-step through the setup process and shows you how to make your Strat play like a dream and ring like a bell.

Recently, one of my clients brought in an American-made 1990 Fender Strat hot-rodded with a custom pickguard, Fender-branded Schaller locking tuners, a set of Lindy Fralin single-coils, and a passive, 16-step ToneStyler tone pot. It was a workhorse guitar—and it was in desperate need of a custom setup.

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