Differing volume, string to string

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by sunbuster, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. sunbuster

    sunbuster Member

    Messages:
    91
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi guys, I'm stumped....

    1966 Jazzmaster, original pickups..... different strings are clearly different volume, open string or fretted anywhere - doesn't seem to matter.
    Only when plugged in. Both pickups same problem. Sounds fine acoustically.

    Low E - pretty good
    A - a bit dull
    D - a bit dull
    G - loudest (about 5 dB louder into audio desk)
    B - louder than the others
    high E - dull

    Tried:
    - different bridges - original / mustang / mastery
    - chunk of foam to prevent resonance behind the bridge
    - tucked the G under the string tree to prevent resonance there and change angle over the nut.

    It was refretted and nut replaced a couple of years ago and I've never quite been satisfied since, so I have my suspicions....

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Micklos

    Micklos Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    If it happened right after the refret, I'd open the pickups and look inside for bits of steel wool.
     
  3. Cal Webway

    Cal Webway Member

    Messages:
    9,606
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Larry, ND
    wow!
    (I do learn something here every day! EVen if that is not the cause, still a great point!!)


    .
     
  4. Micklos

    Micklos Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    The same specific problem existing on both pickups kinda rules out steel wool. Not entirely, but it's unlikely. Are the pickups definitely off when they are supposed to be? I know the Jazzmaster has that slide switch that turns the neck pickup on no matter where the toggle switch is set. And the neck pickup is where you'd more likely find metal debris. I've read warnings about using steel wool for this reason, but never heard any actual stories of it causing such a problem.

    If two completely independent pickups are giving different volume levels on each string than they used to, and the unplugged levels haven't changed, and both pickups have the exact same, specific problem, it's got to be the pole pieces or the strings. If the pole pieces haven't been moved, it's got to be the strings. If you've changed strings and got the same problem, the strings you're using now must be different to what you used before. If you're buying the same sets as before, the manufacturer must have changed the recipe.
     
  5. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Check for demagnetized pickup poles, or even reversed polarity on one or more polepieces.
     
  6. BluePat

    BluePat Member

    Messages:
    94
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Location:
    Calgary
    Just a guess, but when the re-fret was done, the tech may have used a soldering gun, and didn't deploy it properly, thus demagging the pups somewhat...
     
  7. sunbuster

    sunbuster Member

    Messages:
    91
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks for the suggestions guys - I've pretty much tried everything -

    just ordered some new pickups - we'll see.
     
  8. fakeox

    fakeox Member

    Messages:
    2,187
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Location:
    The Great White North
    Sounds like flat pole pieces MO to me..
     

Share This Page