what is the point of adjusting the hight of the pickups?
what is the point of adjusting the saddles on the bridge?
what are some good brands, i mean i have like no idea whats good (cept like i know fender, gibson for guitars and marshall for amps but what else?) (i know this is kinda a general question but it applys to everything like pick-ups, picks, strings etc.)
does anyone have a website maby that i could go to with ?'s instead of always posting on here? that would be great. thanks a lot to anyone that posts
#1. The height of the pickups varies a) the amount of signal they pickup and b) the amount of feedback the pickups produce. The higher the pickup the more signal but, depnding on the guitar, the more feedback.
#2. The saddles are used to adjust the intonation. If the intonation is off the guitar will be out of tune when chorded (is that a word?).
#3. As far as guitars/amps go this is a really subjective question because of personal preferencs. I had an Ibanez that I loved and everyone else hated. If you are looking to buy, read reviews in Guitar World or Guitar then go to the store and play around with different stuff in your price range. For example, my friend went out and bought a nylon string guitar for like $500 and sold me his old one for $50. A few weeks later he wanted to buy the cheap guitar back. I, being an ass, refused. Though sadly after 10 years the neck of the $50 guitar seperated from the body.
FenderForum (cool, first url post and preview seems to indicate it’ll work!!)
It is (obviously) biased towards Fender gear and equipment but there is a wealth of knowledge available about guitars in general. Think of it as the SDMB for guitars.
Make sure you read the FAQ before posting, it is moderated actively and the standard of behaviour expected is high.
To your OP:
#1. Having high pickups increases output but as the pickups get close to the strings the magnets in them tend to stop the strings from vibrating and so sustain is lost.
#2. As sleestack says, the saddles adjust the intonation. Basically the guitar is an imperfect instrument. When all of the strings are tuned correctly open, the fretted notes are often out of tune as the various strings stretch slightly as you fret them. The saddles adjust for this. You can adjust it yourself if you have an accurate tuner, and a screwdriver but initially it may be best to take it to a guitar shop and get them to do it.
#3. Fender, Ibanez, Gibson, Maton, Yamaha, and Carvin are all good barnds (off the top of my head) but all companies sometimes make clunkers so it’s pretty important to test the specific guitar that you’re wanting to buy. This can be a problem with Carvin as they are a mail order company but I think they have a return time. If you are inexperienced it is a good idea to go shopping with someone who knows what to look for in a guitar. Just make sure they understand what you are looking for. No point getting a $3000 customshop Fender when you could easily get by on a $300 Squire.
There is some thought that adjusting the pickups too close to the strings will kill sustain as the strings become influenced by the magnets in the pickups. Also, you can adjust the polepieces in some pickups to emphasize certain strings/shape tone/compensate for neck radius (the curve that follows the fret).
Saddles also sometimes adjust for individual string height. This could be useful to follow the radius of the neck as above. Old teles had only three saddles (two strings per saddle), so intonation was a compromise. The folks who go with a low pickup height for better sustain also generally go with a medium-high string height. 'Course they play at high volumes through loud amps, which works well with this particular guitar setup.
As stated by everyone, it seems, lots of good brands to choose from. Also lots of price ranges. Pick a brand with good manufacturer support (generally a larger brand) and you should do fine.
Also, you can’t go wrong by getting a fuzz box. Almost a necessity.
There have been some posts that claim lifting the pickup in a guitar lowers the sustain due to the magnets stopping the string vibration.
I have found out the exact opposite to be true. So I asked my Dad(#1) some questions about this. I assumed that the pickup and the string were point sources and therefor the inverse square law would apply. If that was the case everything would even out. My Dad pointed out that the magnet was a line source and therefore went by 1/r not 1/r2. After a little thought I realized that the string is also a line source, and longer than the magnet. I asked my Dad about this and his answer was, “It get’s really complicated and I am going to sleep”. My main thought is that the “closer the pickup the less sustain” arguement is wrong.
So, does anyone have any real ideas about how the pickup-string interaction works?
#1. My Dad has a PHD in math with a 4.0 and a minor in physics. He is good at this stuff.
Well i can’t tell you the physics of it but it’s not lifting the pickup per se, it’s lifting it too far. Experience says that lifting the pickup someway increases output and sustain, but when it gets too close to the strings sustain is lost.
It makes intuitive sense:
The pickup poles are magnetic (if you touch a string to the pole it will stick a little) and if they are close to the strings they retard the strings vibration by pulling the string down towards the pole piece.
This could well be proved wrong by someone who knows what they are talking about