does the distance between your pickups make a difference to the sound?

the distance on my LP its about 6 cm and the one on my RG blueprints are 4cm , would this effect the sound in anyway?.

sorry if this seems a stupid question, just that im new to customising and am trying to learn and get everthing right.
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the closer the pickup is to the string the higher it's output.. but too close will cause feedback, shrill sound and string pull
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I wouldn't imagine the distance between the pickups would make "too" much of a difference, But the two guitars you mentioned are of different scales(24 3/4, Vs. 25 1/2) so maybe measure the distance from the bridge to the pickup and see what the difference is.(if any)
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The proportion of the scale length a pup is from the bride effects which harmonics the pup picks up.

If the node of a particular harmonic is right above a pup, it will not be picked up by that pup. If both pups get the same harmonic, you may get it clearly if the pups combine the signal so it adds the waves together, or it could be almost or completely cancelled if the waves from each pup cancel each other out.

The best way to work it out is to look at lots of guitars with the scale length you are using, and try to find the most common distances from the bridge fro each pup.

A lot will be very similar, if not the same. If you find that pup combination of lengths lets you get a good harmonic reponse (just play a load of harmonics to see) and use it if it does.
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actually, all the harmonic node stuff is crap. put them where you want. the closer to the middle of the string, the higher the output. the further apart they are, the more different the sounds will be.
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does the distance between your pickups make a difference to the sound?

the distance on my LP its about 6 cm and the one on my RG blueprints are 4cm , would this effect the sound in anyway?.

sorry if this seems a stupid question, just that im new to customising and am trying to learn and get everthing right.
It's not stupid at all. The distance between pickups, especially with SCs is important. A string doesn't just flex back and forth. There is a wave that travels down the string, reflecting at each end. The crest of this wave travels over each pickup at slightly different times. If the coils are extremely close, the time difference is very small, so the waveform of the output signal looks very much like either coil alone. But the farther apart they are, the more it will change the waveform of the mixed signal. 4 cm sounds like a better choice if you want to get a sound similar to the strat "quack" when you split the pickups.

If the coils are extremely far apart, you get a sound more like a tele.

Also, a coil closer is to the bridge, you will get more of the string harmonics.

It gets complicated to describe. but unless you are close to the bridge, the spacing between coils is more important than the position.

Figuring out what happens with HBs when all 4 coils of the pickups are used together is more difficult. Also, it depends on which coils are used when split. You can easily see that you would have 4 possibities of 1 coil from each.
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If the node of a particular harmonic is right above a pup, it will not be picked up by that pup.
This is an issue you can't design for.
The location of a harmonic node MOVES as you fret the string. The location of the 2nd harmonic node is at the 24th fret when the string is open, It is at the 26th fret, when the string is fretted at the 2nd fret.

So much for the argument about 22 fret vs 24 fret | neck pickup / harmonic node location.
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So in effect, you just confirmed what the guy above you said.

You can't design for the harmonics, so forget about them.

Placing the pickups closer together will make them sound more like each other. Placing them further apart makes the difference between them more evident when you switch.

Regardless of the math on wavelengths, etc... those will also only matter when you're playing the right notes, as wavelengths change constantly while playing.

Stating that the waveforms will look similar means the same as "the pickups will sound the same as each other"

Not being argumentative, just stating my opinion.
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So in effect, you just confirmed what the guy above you said.

You can't design for the harmonics, so forget about them.

Placing the pickups closer together will make them sound more like each other. Placing them further apart makes the difference between them more evident when you switch.

Regardless of the math on wavelengths, etc... those will also only matter when you're playing the right notes, as wavelengths change constantly while playing.

Stating that the waveforms will look similar means the same as "the pickups will sound the same as each other"

Not being argumentative, just stating my opinion.
You got most of the point I was trying to make. Something rather important IMHO got lost in the translation.

Using the widest possible spacing is not necessarily what you want. When the pickups are used together, There is a unique quality that comes from a "mid-sized" spacing. The Strat "quack". There is simply no way to get that from a SC at the bridge and one at the neck. Even if you use the inner coils of the HBs Neck and Bridge on a 'Paul, they're just a bit too far apart to sound convincing. Moving the pickups closer together, will get you a sound much closer to a Strat in the "notch" (2 and 4) positions.

If you want to mimic a Strat sound on a 2HB guitar, position the pickups so 2 of the coils have the same spacing as on a Strat.

That sound is not important to everyone. It is to me.
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Ahh, good to know. My Strat quacks nicely in positions 2&4 with the Duckbucker in the middle.
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wow very technical, i just realised it probably wont matter as i only ever use one pickup anyways, and i play thrash so i suppose it won't make a difference i just want a really heavy sounding guitar.

but thanks anyway to everyone
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Quote by zeroyon

You can't design for the harmonics, so forget about them.

Yes you can. For example, don't put a pick up exactly a quater of the scale length from the bridge. Of you do, you won't get the harmonic that you can isolated by making a natural harnomic on the 5th fret of an open string.

I'm not saying go through all 12 of the main harmonics, but mearly go to guitars that get a good harminic response with each pup isolated and together and copy their spacings.
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So you can design for one harmonic. You can't design for harmonic(s).

Personally, I wouldn't want my guitar's tone to suddenly jump out at you on only one chord or note.
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OK, I was pointing out that there are big no-nos in pup placement.

Just make sure that your pup placement will not get rid of one or two harmonics.

As I said, there is a reason why pups are not places anywhere, but big companies can work out the best places, just copy one of their designs and check it like I said. Either mathematically or by trying a load of guitars out.
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