I've just finished a CBG with 2 mini humbuckers. The neck pup is much louder than the bridge pup. The neck pup measures 6.7K and the bridge pup measures 7.5K. I wired with a master volume/master tone so after the selector switch both pups share the same circuit so it's not a pot or the jack connections. I'm no electronics expert but my understanding is the higher the impedance the "hotter" (louder) the pup is. Am I wrong? Any suggestions?
Neck pups are generally louder because the strings are moving/vibrating much more nearer the middle of the string. Most people ballance the volume from the controls but you can also lower the pup down so that the strings are further away from it. This would drop the volume. You could reverse this and bring the other pup up closer to the strings.
Solid info and advice again Fomhorach. I'm yet to encounter this issue but I'm also yet to put more than one pickup on a build. Your info will prepare and help me too. Thanks muchly!
Thanks for the response Fomhorach. What you say makes perfect sense but I think in this case it's more than that. I'm well aware that the neck pickup gets more vibration which is why I put the supposedly "hotter" pickup in the bridge position. I also set the bridge pup much closer to the strings. It's about .1" away from the strings while the neck pup is .2" away. Still the neck pup is much louder. I can't balance them with the control because they share a master volume.
There's other things to consider too. If one is drowning out the other, or making eq unbalanced check that you have used both pickups live out because reversing the pickup can cause frequency cancellation. Try reversing one of them as well. Not the wires but the whole thing just flip the left to the right.
After that I can't think of any more quick tricks.
Some electrical oddness can be fixed by the use of diodes (I think it's diodes, someone jump in here with the right way this is done)
Inserting a diode limits the signal direction to stop cross chatter between pickups on the one circuit.
Yes, I would suggest the same thing as an easy fix. Adjust the height of the pickups up or down until you get the loudness balance you want.
There are some other things that can affect loudness such as the strength of the magnets, and number of winds, but it's easier not to mess with that.
Could also be a pickup with a weak magnet or defective coil. If pickup height doesn't help and it's wired properly, you need to return it for a replacement.
Is it a 2 wire or 4 wire pickup? Can you take some pics of your wiring?
Sorry, computer problems have kept me offline for a week. I lowered the neck pickup to almost .3" from the strings and left the bridge pickup .1" from the strings and the balance is now pretty good. I love the sound of these pickups but I do think the bridge pickup is a little weak and I have to turn my amp up a bit more than usual. Thanks to all who replied, there are a lot of knowledgeable people in the nation.
no=one has mentioned it but isn't 3" rather a long way from the strings ? I'd have thought 1/4 to 3/8 a bit more the norm ...
Sorry jabes but I just saw your reply. The measurement isn't 3" but rather 0.3" which is 300 thousandths of an inch which IS between 1/4 and 3/8.
It's not uncommon to have to lower the neck pickup that far down, especially if the 2 pickups are close to each other in output. I have a few that are that way.
I have found that I like the neck pickup to be around 8K to 9K resistance for a neck Humbucker and 11K to 12K resistance for a bridge Humbucker. So it's good to have around 2K more output in the bridge pickup for double coil/humbuckers and 1K to 2K for single coil bridge pickups.
Another thing could be the type of magnets. There's (Alinco 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8), there's a few different strength Ceramic magnets and there's Neodymium magnets. Magnets can make a difference in how a pickup performs. Sometimes the guitar responds to one type better than another. Some people like a mix of pickups like a ceramic in the neck and a Alnico in the bridge. Lots of the cheaper pickups have Ceramic magnets in them, so changing to another type or stronger magnet can be a big change.