Having just purchased a cheap 6 string pick up I was wondering what would be best way to mount the pickup on a 3 or 4 string guitar?.
 Line up some of the pins with the strings looks kind of wierd though?
or
run it at an angle to cover most bases even though not all strings will be above the pins. How will this effect the way pick up works.
I know the strings are supose to effect the magnetic field ( learnt that here already ) but with them not being aligned above the strings is this still ok?

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Hmm... Peter, I'm curious what people will answer you with. Unfortunately, I don't have any experience with 6 string pups on 3 or 4 strings.... I have, however, lined up all 6 poles of a pickup underneath a one string diddley bow, and it worked out pretty well.

But I will add this question to the discussion in hopes of an answer: What about lipstick pickups? Do they have 6 seperate polepieces, or do they use one solid magnet inside the cover?
Hello Peter - I've done several of these at an angle and found them to work just fine that way. Most pup's are sensitive enough that the strings don't necessarily have to line up directly above the poles to get a good sound and volume - I think it's really more of a personal preference than a technical "wrong or right" - hope this helps - good luck and make sure we get to see it when you're done - T

I'm assuming you have a Strat type pickup with separate pole pieces. If the strings aren't all directly over the pole pieces, some strings might be quieter than others.

If it was me, I would line up the pole pieces for a 4 string. That one's a no brainer, because you can center it on the 4 middle pole pieces, and it will look ok - a little long, but ok.

For a 3 string, I would try angling it. If you think of it as 3 pairs of pole pieces, you could line it up that way. In other words, each string would be in between 2 pole pieces, so they would all be even.

In general, you can always temporarily hook up the pickup to your amp, and place the pickup in several different positions and see what you think. You can hold the pickup above the strings, or try to slide it under the strings.

Skeesix
I've angled "pin" type pups and they worked fine.... for straight installations, I tend toward bar type pups and jazz type pups both of which have a "uniform" magnetic field, so that string alignment isn't all that critical....
I bought six of the six string PU's off flea bay, so this is a great thread for me, on a quick eyreballing it it looked like they lined up straight without angeling them. Any advantage setting them at a angle.
Cheers Ron.
yeah i've built one recently where the 2nd and 5th poles were under strings 3 and 1, and the 2nd string was inbetween poles 3 and 4, much like tom's with the angle, no difference in sensitivity with strings.
esthetics...... you can line up a 4 string on the middle four poles and not look too goofy, but a three stringer looks way lopsided with one uncover pole on one end and two uncovered poles on the other..... angleling the pup takes care of that....

Mungo Park said:
I bought six of the six string PU's off flea bay, so this is a great thread for me, on a quick eyreballing it it looked like they lined up straight without angeling them. Any advantage setting them at a angle.
Cheers Ron.
Another way of doing this is to mount the pickup under the top of the box and extend a steel bar through the lid. A diagram previously submitted by another member on CBN shows how the bar can be kept at an appropriate length for either 3 or 4 strings. Instead of a bar you could also just extend steel rod through the top under each string so that they sat on the pole pieces of the pickup. The second picture shows one of my own guitars which has a p-bass pickup mounted under the lid with a bar protruding through. Mounting under the lid though requires modification of a straight through neck to get around the pickup. Third picture shows how I achieved this. Sound from this method is just as good as from a pickup mounted on top of the lid. Regards John D.

Do you lay the bar directly on the pickup poles or do they have to be somehow insulated (maybe electrical tape)? 

It is a single pole, traditionally an alnico magnet wound and taped with cellophane tape. I've been installing pickups and working on twangers for years now, and this is what I'm putting on my first build. I surmise that one could lose a bit of the "jangly" sound inherent in these pickups by adding a piezo under the bridge wired in series. By the way, for piezo placement the bridge is the loudest place on the guitar.

Nathan King said:
Hmm... Peter, I'm curious what people will answer you with. Unfortunately, I don't have any experience with 6 string pups on 3 or 4 strings.... I have, however, lined up all 6 poles of a pickup underneath a one string diddley bow, and it worked out pretty well.

But I will add this question to the discussion in hopes of an answer: What about lipstick pickups? Do they have 6 seperate polepieces, or do they use one solid magnet inside the cover?
I've done loads of 4 and 3 strings with 6 pole pickups and in my experience the alignment of string to polepieces makes no difference to my (volume damaged) ears. Angle it if you want to, but don't worry over it.

Chickenbone
theres a guy on the australian cig box site, i forgot hnis name, but he hides em inside the box, and stands a bit of aluminium or steel on the pole pieces, pokes that thru the top of the box..
he cut this new blade polepiece only to the size he need..

looks pretty slick

oops i see he's already here haha cheers John..

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