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Swapping Out for a Higher Output Pickup(s)

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by bilbal, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. bilbal

    bilbal Member

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    My buddy just called and asked me a question that I can not definitively answer.

    He asked what the differences would be if he swapped out his stock PRS (SE) pups for hotter Dimarzio. He has been building his pedal board for awhile now and pretty much has it te way he wants it. How does putting higher output pickups in his guitar change the dynamic of his pedals? I was thinking that the guitar would be still be a line level instrument, correct? But at the same time it only stands to reason that the level from the guitar is going to be higher.

    How does this all work?

    Confused,
    Bill
     
  2. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    absolutely it does. I'm generally not a fan of higher output pickups, because I think there are better ways to do the things that they do without killing your tone and dynamics.

    Higher output usually means more mids, less string balance, muddier lows and more strident highs. In general I think people dig higher output pickups because of the more perceived gain/sustain as they slam their amp. For me though, that means much less dynamics. If I want to hit my amp harder, I use a transparent boost, not hot pickups that totally much up the sound.

    I suppose if your rig is built around a guitar with hot pickups though, you could make the opposite argument. My point is for your friend, hotter pickups will definitely mean a re-balancing of the tone.
     
  3. bilbal

    bilbal Member

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    Thank you. That is what I thought too. Our main concern was the difference the new pickups would present for his QTron which is greatly affected by input.

    Thanks,
    Bill
     
  4. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    The guitar level will remain in the realm of instrument level devices but how the additional signal reacts with the devices may be unpredictable.
    Plug in a hi-output guitar or boost and try it.
     

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