To get the best performance from your choice of our pickups you should consider the following:
- The shape of the pickup hole routed in the instrument. Please refer to our diagrams for the dimensions of width and length of our pickups. Note that the shape of the pickup itself does not have a specific bearing to the tone nor the coil type, nor how well it will sense the strings (aperture) due to string spacing.
- The string width at the bridge*
- The curvature of the fingerboard** - we will make allowances for the action of the low-B, etc. and you can be a little vague here:
i. Fender-like (old Fender - highly curved) or
ii. Gibson-like (medium curvature) or
iii. Nearly (flat as many modern designs are)
* String width is a very important parameter of pickup design.
A traditional Alnico polepiece pickup designed for a wide string width will not perform well when used on an instrument with a narrow string width. And vice-versa, of course.
Polepiece designs need to be matched to the string positions that they will sense.
Pickups like the 9J's, 59J's, 69J's and our new XX's, will cover a wide range of string widths without compromising performance.
** Fingerboard curvature, and the resulting curvature of the string system, is also a very important parameter of pickup design.
A pickup designed for a high curvature fingerboard will have weak outer strings when used on an instrument with an almost flat fingerboard.
A pickup designed for a nearly flat fingerboard will have strong outer strings when used on an instrument with a very curved fingerboard.
I do not know a way of making a pickup to sense all curvatures correctly except by introducing adjustable polepieces. This makes it very difficult to use epoxy castings. Epoxy cast pickups have very low microphonics (very low output signal from the impact of fingers, fingernails or picks and little tendency to feedback or "squeal" at high loudness levels). This is a very desirable feature.
Actually, it could be done with buffered polyphonic pickups with gain trim over each string channel, meaning lots of on-board electronics, outboard power supply, etc. It would be unnecessarily complex and very expensive. It is much easier to give us a good idea of the fingerboard curvature.
The pickup must be matched to the instrument. The higher the fingerboard curvature, the more important this becomes.