bridge & neck pickup volume differences


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I've got an old Charvel I picked up a while back I've been working on. I'm not a fan of the middle single coil so I took it out. Now the guitar has just the bridge humbucker and the neck single coil. I dig the sound of both the pickups and I don't want to change them, but there is a noticeable difference in volume when I switch from one to the other. Is there a way to fix this other than swapping pickups?
I’m guessing you have 1 master volume. You could try inserting a resister on the bridge lead to the volume control, maybe with a 0.001µF cap for treble-bleed. Or an additional volume control, a dual ganged (staked) if space is limited. How about a stereo jack and separate amps for each pickup – kidding. That’s all I can think of.
Can you raise and lower those pickups in that guitar?  If so experiment with raising the one that is quiter and lowering the louder one. 
I'm guessing the bridge is too loud?  Then:  Raise the neck pickup.  Lower the bridge pickup.
jackthehack said:
There are knobs on your guitar and amp labeled "Volume". Use them.

No there are not "knobs" there is "knob" and it controls both volumes.  :laughing7:

Thanks for the replies guys. I didn't even think about changing the height of the neck pickup. I'll try to leave the bridge where it is, it's set perfectly.
I have the same exact problem on a guitar I built for a friend, he's got a JB jr bridge and VanZant singles in mid and neck.

Both the singles are noticeably louder than the poor little JB

I was thinking I could turn down the singles till it's volume matches the Jb, then figure out how far did I have to roll off the volume. Then use another unused volume knob of the same type, measure the resistance value with that volume turned the same amount, then add resistors in series with the more powerfull single coils.  Or I guess the better way would be to actually install mini trim pots. Then whenever those pickups are selected it will be as if the volume was already rolled back a bit.

I think lowering and raising pickups is a lousy volume controll

ibob, I wouldn't use a cap, that's not gonna do squat for ballancing volume. I have tried the trebble bleed cap on a previous guitar, I didn't like it at all, but I know some people like it.

On a side note, we put a push/push pot to turn on the Jb bridge and the neck pup, that is an awesome sound. I think that's the sound Tele lovers get, but I'm not sure
Alfang said:
then add resistors in series with the more powerfull single coils. 

I think lowering and raising pickups is a lousy volume controll

ibob, I wouldn't use a cap, that's not gonna do squat for ballancing volume.

First, yes I agree, lowering and raising pickups is a lousy volume control, especially for pinky swells... makes 'em a real bitch to do.

Two, series resistance won't work at all unless the resistance is REALLY high, like in the 10-20meghom range.  The current flow is so small, thats the reason.  Volume controls on guitars are voltage dividers, referencing between output and ground.  So yes, mini pots, just like a volume control would work, except... as soon as you used more than one pickup at the same time, things get dicey again and you have to account for mixing the various settings.... its not an elegant solution.

Last - in fact, adding a capacitor, in series, does lower the volume.  Not a cap to ground, but in series.  If you take a rather large capacitor, say about .47 or .1, and put it in series... it wont cut much (or any) bottom out, but will lower the volume somewhat. 

BTW, the cap in series with the signal can also be used to intentionally lower the bottom end, making a HB sound just about like a single coil !!!!  Try a .02 or .01 or .0047.  The smaller value cuts more and more of the low end.
Doh!  CB , Your right, as I thought about how a volume pot works, the series resistor does nothing to move the center wiper pole closer to ground.  Just adds resistance to the signal side, instead of decreasing resistance on the ground side. My Bad.....

It helps when I make drawings for myself instead of depending soley on the brain

As far as mini trim pots and combining pickups, I don't think it's a problem, everything should blend well. your thinking of the signal looking for an easier ground path?  Maybe.....guess we gotta try it out. (We = Me, I think)

I don't think I like the inline cap either, it's gonna respond differently as your frequencies change, if that cap becomes fully charged before the signal peaks, it's gonna clip, then it's gonna discharge and add to the other polarity, it's gonna spiral out of control......ahhhhhhhhhhhhh
The capacitor in series "blocks" the low frequencies, passes high frequencies.  However, a suitably large capacitor, like I said.... will pass all the lows, and not block anything.

What the cap will do... however... is give you a slight phase shift, which can make for a very interesting (and pleasing) mix of signal if on pickup has the capacitor.  This is the way its done in guitars like the L6s, and my BFG and BFT circuits - sort of.  All three of those put the pickups totally out of phase, except "unphase" it a bit with the cap.  In this case, they'd still be in phase and unphased a bit with the cap. 
A number of country guitarists have installed a middle pickup on their Telecaster, with an internally-mounted trimpot. They didn't want to change anything about the original sound, but add the ability to make Strat-like quacking noises. This all followed from session ace Brent Mason putting a neck mini-HB and a middle pickup on his #1 guitar. The reason that Strat pickups are marketed as calibrated sets is to maintain the relative outputs of each pickup so as to facilitate "quack" & balanced output. I just use concentric volume/tone controls and turn 'em up and down, but that's radical. Did you know that Jeff Beck turns the treble on his amp all the way up, the tone and volume on his guitar all the way down and works from there? Hello, knobs....
I must have been drunk or stoned the other day because now there is virtually no volume difference in the pickups.  :icon_scratch: