Single coil vs. humbucker output, how to balance them out on the guitar ?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Soulgolem, Feb 1, 2006.


  1. Soulgolem

    Soulgolem Member

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    Imagine I had two guitars, one standard Tele with rather low vintage single coil output, and a humbucker equipped guitar which is obviously higher output.

    What options of changes could I make to my guitars to balance their outputs ? I'm looking for a permanent solution rather than changing amp settings.

    I was thinking getting higher output tele pus, but isn't there a way to limit the output of my other guitar ?

    Thanks,
    Francis.
     
  2. tjs

    tjs Senior Member

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    Well, you could lower the pickups on the HB guitar and raise them on the Tele. That might balance their outputs, but it will also affect the tone of both instruments, and not necessarily in a good way.

    It might help if you told us what you hope to accomplish by balancing their outputs. There may be a better way to achieve your ultimate goal.
     
  3. Soulgolem

    Soulgolem Member

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    I often change guitars live, and I use two amps in stereo, so I don't see myself changing the knobs on both amps everytime I switch guitars. It's also one less headache in my playing to have everything pre-balanced out.

    Francis.
     
  4. robbieboyette

    robbieboyette Member

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    I don't think there's any way around your problem. The only thing you could do if you really needed both guitars to be equal would be to either get a hotter singel coil OR a stacked humbucker...or get a humbucker with less output for the other guitar. Either way one of them is gonna change tones. I'd pick the one you like the best and try to make the other guitar match up to it.
     
  5. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    If you restrict the output of the humbucker guitar you will also strangle its tone and make it pretty pointless (IMO) using it.

    You're going to need some sort of 'clean' outboard level control - I'd suggest a decent EQ pedal, which you can either use to boost the single-coil guitar, or cut the humbucker one, and possibly tweak the tone response with whichever one uses it too if that messes things up at the amps. Just run it in line after the guitar, before whatever splits the signal into stereo.
     
  6. tjs

    tjs Senior Member

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    That's what I was thinking as well.
     
  7. khudson

    khudson Member

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    +1 on what John said.

    A cheap fix is a Boss EQ pedal - it gives you the EQ control and VOLUME BOOST - so engage it when you switch to your single coils.
     

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