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  • JB Volume Balance Problems?

    I had been using an old JB (SH-4) in my LP Custom for many years and loved it! The only negative I can think of is that it basically overpowered the stock T-top neck pickup. I mainly lived on the bridge pu anyway so it never really bothered me that much. Eventually I put the stock pu back in it and stuck the JB in the box.

    I recently purchased another LP and the bridge pu has less output (reads at 7.59) than the neck (7.82) and (both are stock Custombuckers) the difference is really apparent. I am very pleased with the neck pu as-is. I remembered the glorious sound of the JB. I know Seymour has long declared he prefers the JB paired with his "Jazz" model, which has a a relatively modest output. My question is this; since the JB is so hot (15.3 +/-) wouldn't a 'normal' output pickup be overpowered (less volume)? Thanks
    Last edited by Bruce Reed; 01-13-2021, 05:00 PM.

  • #2
    IME not really. If it is too hot, on LPs there's a separate volume to balance them out, then you can roll it up for leads.
    Originally posted by Demanic
    Incompetence is widespread in a world that rewards mediocrity while punishing excellence.
    Originally posted by GuitarFanatic
    I am currently using Skullcandy headphones I found in the garbage.
    I did find the DS-1 in the garbage.
    I once found a guitar amp in the garbage, a Peavey Studio 110. It caught fire at the first gig I played it at.. But it was at the end of it, thank god.

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    • #3
      I think some use the hot JB as a 'boost' when you select the bridge pickup. The JB is a little hotter than the Jazz (the Jazz 'sees' more string activity than the JB), but generally it is balanced with the pickup height.
      Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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      • #4
        In my experience it's more about playing with the heights and setting your amp to the right settings. different pickup combos will need to be EQ'd differently to balance them since all outputs are not equal. balancing a JB\59' is different than balancing a JB\Jazz combo for example, but both can certainly be done. for example perhaps your presence knob is set a bit too high, making the JB perceivably louder since a lot of its output is in that area

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        • #5
          I always set the JB to that sweet spot where it sounds great
          then raise the Jazz up till it has a similar volume
          EHD
          Just here surfing Guitar Pron
          RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
          SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
          Epiphone Florentine with OEM Probuckers
          Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
          Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
          Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
          GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

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          • #6
            I have never gotten a Jazz to balance with a JB, personally.

            Just like ehdwuld, I set the JB to the sweet spot. I'm a bridge pickup kinda guy 99.9% of the time, so I don't like making compromises on the height of my bridge pickup.

            No matter how high I set the Jazz to balance, it just doesn't. Unless maybe I go into the territory where the neck pickup is actually jacked up closer to the strings than the bridge.

            I hate low output pickups matched with hot bridge pickups. I just can never get them to sound right. Maybe I'm doing something wrong?

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            • #7
              Right, the Jazz doesn't balance volume-wise. It is more of a tone balance. But many people like louder bridge pickups for soloing.
              Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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              • #8
                Hmm I may have a different seeet spot for my jb

                It usually means the jazz is pretty high

                EHD
                Just here surfing Guitar Pron
                RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
                SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
                Epiphone Florentine with OEM Probuckers
                Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
                Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
                Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
                GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Screw the Jazz, put an A3 in the JB. It's the weakest magnet and will drop the output a notice-able amount.
                  Last edited by Clint 55; 01-15-2021, 09:01 PM.
                  Originally posted by NegativeEase
                  I'd wager that Clint can best GuitarStv at Wat and WAAAT... but not Watts.

                  I think in the International System of Units (SI) a "WAT" is defined as a derived unit of 1 Clint besmirchment per hour

                  and WAAAT is defined as a derived unit of 1 Clint kilojoule of described Nirvana transgression per post.

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                  • #10
                    DC resistance does NOT EQUAL output

                    The DMZ Super DIstortion is only ~14K and hotter than the JB, but strangely about the same output as the Super 3 which is ~25K, go figure...

                    The JB cuts through a lot with it's upper mid peak and can be an unruly beast, but it does have "that" sound.

                    But as mentioned, it sounds like you need to mess around with the height of your pickups.

                    As far as the 7.59K bridge pup and the 7.82K neck pickup up, I'm sure that difference is within spec, so you could switch them, but either way you will need to balance the output by adjusting the heights of the pups.

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                    • #11
                      Great stuff, folks!! Thanks for your input.

                      To clarify... I haven't installed the JB yet. I am just wondering that if/when I installed it the balance may be insurmountable. Right now I have the bridge PU up all the way and the neck PU dropped significantly. Still not balanced, volume-wise..

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                      • #12
                        When using a tone with lots of preamp gain, the compression generated in the amp makes the difference in volume not quite as great. It might be insurmountable with something like a Deluxe or Twin, depending on how you use your pickup switching.
                        Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bruce Reed View Post
                          Great stuff, folks!! Thanks for your input.

                          To clarify... I haven't installed the JB yet. I am just wondering that if/when I installed it the balance may be insurmountable. Right now I have the bridge PU up all the way and the neck PU dropped significantly. Still not balanced, volume-wise..
                          What you can do to get a vintage set to balance is put a double thick magnet in the bridge and an A3 in the neck. It boosts the output of the bridge and drops the output of the neck.
                          Originally posted by NegativeEase
                          I'd wager that Clint can best GuitarStv at Wat and WAAAT... but not Watts.

                          I think in the International System of Units (SI) a "WAT" is defined as a derived unit of 1 Clint besmirchment per hour

                          and WAAAT is defined as a derived unit of 1 Clint kilojoule of described Nirvana transgression per post.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I just rise the Jazz neck close to the strings for volume balance with the JB, nowadays I am using a Distortion B /FullShred N combo and do the same for volumes to match. Neck and Bridge volume balance is important to me, however for an HSH guitar I actually prefer the middle pickup to be quieter as a cleaner rhythm pickup then I switch to neck or bridge for higher output dirty lead sounds.
                            Who took my guitar?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bruce Reed View Post
                              Great stuff, folks!! Thanks for your input.

                              To clarify... I haven't installed the JB yet. I am just wondering that if/when I installed it the balance may be insurmountable. Right now I have the bridge PU up all the way and the neck PU dropped significantly. Still not balanced, volume-wise..
                              You would have to do the reverse to balance their output differences: lower the hot-output bridge and raise the low-output neck to get them closer to each other in output level. The compromise there is by balancing the output levels may move the pickups out of their sweet-spot for tone.
                              Originally posted by Demanic
                              Incompetence is widespread in a world that rewards mediocrity while punishing excellence.
                              Originally posted by GuitarFanatic
                              I am currently using Skullcandy headphones I found in the garbage.
                              I did find the DS-1 in the garbage.
                              I once found a guitar amp in the garbage, a Peavey Studio 110. It caught fire at the first gig I played it at.. But it was at the end of it, thank god.

                              Comment

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