Topic: pickups and setting up....

Okay.  So I have a chinese Squire that was found sitting outside after who knows how long.  One of the switch positions sounds clean, and it holds being tuned, so other than a slight neck bow, I figure the electronics should be replaced and proved a decent guitar for messing with slide.

I also have a mexican Strat that was rescued from a pawn shop for pretty cheap and it sounds really nice.  I've taken both guitars into a local shop for strings and general set up.  This is where the question comes in.

The mexican Strat pickups (some of them) are at different height's compared to the block they sit in.  I noticed that the guy in the guitar shop set the strings over those particular pickup dots (for lack of a better term) to be an equal height from the "dot".  As a result, you can look across the strings and see the middle four lined up pretty good and both E strings slightly below that plane.

I'd picked up a set of Fender single coil "silent" pickups that have the volume and tone pots included.  Obviously the idea was to replace the ones in the Squire.  I noticed that the pickup "dots" on the new pickups have a slight difference in height from each other.

Thus one of two questions.  What's the deal with those dots being different heights?  When I look at my Ric, all the dots are of the same height and the strings form a plane across the guitar with each string the same height from the fret board.  On the two strats (the chinese psuedo-strat, and the mexi-caster), it won't appear like that.  Am I wrong?  Is it supposed to be like that, or did I just happen to pick up a bum set of pickups?

THen there's the other question.  Should I put the new electronics in the Squire and keep the Mexi-caster as is, or should I put the new electronics in the Mexi-caster, and move it's electronics to the psuedo-strat Squire?

I guess I have to work on the second question myself, but the first one is bugging the crap out of me.

Anyone have any ideas?

Re: pickups and setting up....

I know exactly what you are saying. On some pickups the six magnets are the same and on some the outer magnets sit lower than the middle ones. I am most certainly not an expert, but I think it is just a difference from how one pickup was made compared to another. You can adjust the complete pickup up or down or raise or drop one side or the other but you can't adjust the magnets individually. I had some really cheap starcaster pickups and changed to mim pickups and also changed to 500 pots and the difference was unbelievable. Since both of your guitars are made by Fender you can easily and affordably change anything you want and as long as it is Fender or licensed by Fender it is a pretty easy swap. Remember Leo Fenders' goal was to make a guitar that could be easily changed or upgraded to suit the guitarist so have fun!