We've had a few old LP Jr's come through in the last couple of years and have been noticing a pattern of the strings sitting too close to the pickup poles when we set the action nice and comfortable. You can't play on the highest frets without the strings hitting the pole pieces. A 1960 model in particular is frustrating a customer.

You can't reset the neck without altering the flat surface of the top. If you were to remove and shim the neck, the tenon would be poking out above the top and the pick-guard wouldn't sit flush. Or if you tried to change the angle inside the pocket by sanding a different angle on to neck or pocket, the tenon would dip below the surface - either approach changes the very nature of that guitar.

You could sand/grind/file away at the bottom of the pickup or deepen the pickup rout, but again you'd be altering a vintage guitar dramatically.

This problem doesn't seem to happen on modern Jr's, suggesting to me that over the years, Gibson identified this as a problem and tweaked the neck angle a little. The owner of the 1960 model checked and says the pickups on his vintage and modern guitars are exactly the same height, so the pickup profile doesn't seem to have changed.

Anyone else encounter this scenario or have any thoughts on the matter?

Much obliged fellas.

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I wouldn't reset the neck. There is a huge gluing surface between the neck extension and the back of the body in Juniors. I don't know how you are going to get that glue to separate without toasting the finish or cracking the back. Seems a bad idea to me.

You ought to be able to bend the tabs on the pups a bit to get the pup to sit lower. Then the problem is just the cover. IIRC there were different height covers for those pickups. I'd look for a lower height replacement and save the old cover.
Are the strings hitting the pole piece screws or the pickup cover? If it's the screws, and you have them down as far as they will go, you can take them out and cut them a little bit shorter.
Thanks Howard,
This project has moved on to the owner, but it continues to be an interesting conundrum. We went back and forth on whether to alter the guitar, the pickup, or neither and to the best of my knowledge he decided to live with the higher action. The cover itself was in the way even with the poles flush and the pickup was as low as it could get in the rout. Above all, it seems to speak to the evolution of guitar design - it's a fifty year old guitar (one that was supposed to be entry level and nothing that special) that was built without the level of precision that we can use today. It's still sounds amazing and if he offered it to me I'd jump at the chance.

All the best,
The Dan Erliwine solution involved shaving some thickness from a new pickup cover..Cut out of the middle, and re-gluing the top to the base..


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