Most guitar players never think about changing the height of their pickups for a quick, but potentially dramatic tone-changer. Yes, potentially dramatic.
Some simple rules.
Pickups closer to the strings? Yes, more output! Closer pickups will deliver a higher output with a more pronounced and defined high end. But you will not necessarily maximize your sound by just setting the pickups as high as they’ll go. In fact, a higher setting can diminish an otherwise outstanding guitar tone in a few different ways. Most importantly, you can quickly lose a LOT of clarity.
Pickups further from the strings? Cooler output. More clarity. But you can also start sounding a little bass-heavy. As well, you can lose sustain so be careful with that height.
So what is the proper height? If you do a web search on this topic, you’ll find that everyone seems to recommend something different. We recommend between somewhere close to 5/64" on the bridge pickup, and about 4/64" on the neck. Keep in mind, these are measurements on the Low-E side. On the High-E, we might suggest you move it just a tad closer (say 1/64" on each pickup).
Adjusting height is easy. All you need is the appropriate ruler and a Phillips-head screwdriver. Turn the adjustment screw one way and the pickup drops. The other, it raises. Measure it by setting your ruler on the pole of the pickup and measuring to the bottom of the string.
Done and done. Remember, there's no right or wrong answer here. It's what sounds best to you. Try this out. You may find new life in your pickups, your guitar and your tone!