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FranVac shaneb stylist

Uneven string volume when using mag pickup, why?

Hello - my D and G strings for whatever reason are extra quiet when using magnetic pickups. The volume is fine unplugged but I have used 4 different magnetic pickups that yield similar results. Anyone run into this? Driving me nuts!

Thanks - Dean


  • jeffmatzjeffmatz ChicagoNew
    Posts: 97
    What kind of pickups? Using gypsy strings?
  • constantineconstantine New York✭✭✭✭ Leveller
    Posts: 400
    Thanks Jeff. Yes Argentine strings and currently a krivo.
  • jeffmatzjeffmatz ChicagoNew
    Posts: 97
    Which krivo model? Adjustable pole pieces?
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,891
    @constantine this is a problem that all magnetic pickups have. You’ll never get a perfect balance across all strings, especially when using argentine strings. The Peche a la mouche and especially the Yves Guen pickup handle string balance better, but it’s never prefect as the unwound strings, especially the B string, have significantly more magnetic potential than the wound strings (especially the G string which has the smallest core.) Some people just use nickel strings when playing with a pickup as they respond much more evenly but you’ll loose the characteristic tone and fell of the Argies. Most just get used to the imbalance and lean to not let it throw them off.
    constantineWim Glenn
  • NylonDaveNylonDave Glasgow✭✭✭ Perez Valbuena Flamenca 1991
    Posts: 444
    Every string on every nylon string guitar I have ever owned has different responsiveness for every string. It seems like pain once you notice that you need to modify your technique for every string, plus the added complication of the different tone of open strings compared to fretted ones.

    But it is good for two reasons. Firstly it stops you using automatic technique, which is great for speed playing and whatnot, and forces you to play using touch and to modify every stroke to get the sound of each note. But working on touch is paradoxically the one thing that will make your automatic technique MUCH better.

    The other reason is that you will learn to enjoy and use the different sounds for effects, probably not thinking about it too much, as an extension of improving your touch.

    When I used to practice electric I just got mono-stereo an adaptor to fit a crap pair of earbuds directly to the output of the guitar.

    It didn't sound great, but sounding great might have distracted me more than clarity which was all that is ever needed.

  • constantineconstantine New York✭✭✭✭ Leveller
    Posts: 400
    @MichaelHorowitz thank you for the awesome tips!!!
    @jeffmatz - I was using a krivo with adjustable poles but still couldn't get great balance.

    This whole "guitar + pickup + amp" thing is a conversation for the ages. I was starting to not like the sound of my ischell so then blended in some magnetic pickup, then my ears starting getting used to the sound of the magnetic and I went all the way magnetic. Then I couldn't get balance, so I am back to blending but I love the new info on nickel strings and a pickup like peche la mouche. Thank you.
  • ronzo4600ronzo4600 PNWNew Eimer's, Hahl, Holo and Busato
    Posts: 24
    After fighting this issue for over a year on a custom guitar I had built, I finally settled on D'Addario EXL115W. .11/.49. They are not perfect with a mag. but darned close. Changing technique and attack makes it even better.
  • Even with properly set up adjustable pole pieces there are variations from string to string
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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