I Just bought myself a brand new gibson explorer but i've noticed that the poles on the bridge pickup get progressively further out of line with the strings as you move up from the low E to the High E. I can only think this has something to do with the bridge being at a slight angle.

Has anyone come across this issue before?


the bridge saddles? thats normal
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No the polepieces on the pickup. I understand that the bridge saddles are adjusted to set the intonation I'm fairly sure each string should be directly over it's respective polepiece.
It should be, perhaps the placement of the PU is slightly off overall. How do the strings themselves look against the side edges of the fingerboard? are they nicely centred?
Moving on.....
Yeah the the strings are aligned perfectly with the neck. It has to be the simple pythagorean fact that the bridge is in at an off angle where as the pickup is exactly perpendicular to the strings. the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the other 2 sides therefore the distance between the High and low E string will be shorter than the distance between the pole pieces either side of the pickup (if my maths GCSE serves me well). What I cant understand is why this problem doesn't exist in any other guitars and also how i'm going to fix it!
^um, no...
The saddles are slotted parallel to the neck. the bridge's angle DOES NOT MATTER.
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That's just not true though.. the bridge saddles ARE at the same angle as the bridge. OK i could alter the saddles to bring the strings in line with the pole pieces but that's not what they're for.
does it still pickup the strings at a even volume levels across the pup, if the pup is angled (as it`s suppose to be 1e closer to the pup than 6E) the it might just be a optical illussion. or put a f-spaced pup in there.
Last edited by ibanezgod1973 at Sep 14, 2009,
well, because the lower strings are fatter thy sound louder anyway but if i push the pickup so it's in line with the high E string it gets slightly louder so it's clear that it's not in its optimum position. However, for the reason mentioned above, when i do this it moves the low e string out of alignment. It's definitely not an optical illusion.
I've always noticed that any Gibson guitar with a 496R and a 500T, the 500T is hella close to the strings compared to the 496R.
If the strings align nicely along the fingerboard than your bridge position is good. Either the bridge PU is slightly off center or perhaps you have neck PU in the bridge slot. The distances between the strings change of course from the nut down to the bridge getting progressively wider as you go. Ideally a neck PU would need less distance between the poles to align perfectly than a bridge PU. If the PUs are the same then it's a compromise of the two distances.

EDIT: I've just measured my Elitist's Gibson made PUs and the spacing is quite a bit smaller on the Rythym vs Treble
Moving on.....
Last edited by KenG at Sep 13, 2009,
Yeah, that would account for the misallignment but this guitar is straight from Gibson HQ! Surely they aint gonna put my 496R in the bridge slot!? If that is the case then i'd reccommend more people try it cos it sounds absolutely awesome! hah!

There's no way I can adjust the pickup to align it better than it is without swivelling it around to match the angle of the bridge. I'm at an absolute loss as to what to do! It's not sounding that bad but when you fork out for a gibson you want stuff to be in the right place!
Next time you do a string change pull up the PU and look on the back to see what it is or if you've got a decent ruler simly measure from the centre of the two outside (low/hi E) polepieces on both pus and compare.
Moving on.....
It's possible the pup is off. I have seen quite a few Gibsons like this lately, not sure if it can be easily fixed or if it makes a huge difference in sound. It is always the bridge pup too.

I agree with KenG next time you do a string change check it. Look to see if the routing is in line and then just see if they screwed up drilling the pup trim ring screw holes. Humbuckers have a little play sometimes all you have to do is give it a little push to the side.