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redknightrg

High E String is Quiet

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For a long time I thought I was just going crazy, but last night I convinced myself that the high E string on my Fender is quieter then the other strings. My B string might possibly be louder then the other strings as well, but that just might be because of the contrast with the E. Its a subtle effect, except when I'm trying to solo while playing over another guitar and a drum kit, and then it becomes painfully obvious that the string just isn't loud compared to the others.

 

This has persisted across string changes and I've tried different actions and made sure the string is aligned directly across my pick ups.

 

Any ideas for what could cause this behavior? If I use a compressor I can squash my signal so that the strings to are somewhat closer in volume, but I think that the high e is just generally always quieter.

 

I don't think that its an EQ problem, as I can boost treble all I want, but fretting the B string for the same note as on the E string seems to be always louder.

 

My guitar is a Fender Tie-Dye strat, it has one of the fender silent single coil pickups at the neck and a single humbucker whose origins I don't know at the bridge. I can supply pictures if that would be helpful.

 

I think its probably an electronics problem? Pickups? I've never done any mod work to a guitar short of changing strings so I wouldn't know where to begin to look...

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I to have experienced this on a few guitars...drives me nuts.

 

Doesn't seem that polepiece height totally cures it, as I tried that.

 

Then sometimes I play the same guitar and dont even think about it.....:freak:

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I had a Kramer that was that way. Changed pickups - no effect, Changed neck to another Kramer, no effect. I sold the the guitar cause all that was left to chnaged was the FR or Body. Not worth chasing after that point.

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Originally posted by redknightrg

fender silent single coil pickups

 

Maybe it works too well?

 

Does this happen with all 3 pups on the high E?

 

If so, it may be the nut slot as mentioned above.

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Originally posted by onbongos

probably too big nut slot

 

If this is the case, you should have the same problem when your guitar is unplugged. Try that first before assuming it's the electronics.

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I've been very carefully listening to my guitar, and acoustically the strings seem to be at more or less the same volume, its certainly not noticable if there's any differences.

 

Right now I'm hooking the fender directly into my podxt live, and listening with headphones... I can use either the single coil or the bucker and the volume difference seems to be there, but the difference becomes more pronounced as I turn up the volume control on my headphones - at high volumes my ears can detect a very noticable difference, at low volumes there isn't much of a difference.

 

I dunno, maybe its my cable... maybe its the pod... I'll have to run this directly into a couple amps and use different patch cables. Sure hope its not the guitar though!

 

 

As far the suggestions given:

 

onbongos: probably too big nut slot

 

Since the strings sound good acoustically, this couldn't be the problem, could it? How I would know if the nut slot is too big? All the slots seem to be suitably narrow, although should the high e slot be a bit narrower? all the slots seem to be the same size.

 

 

 

 

mrbrown49: do you have adjustable pole pieces?

 

 

I honestly don't know if the pole pieces are adjustable in my pups or not... Although obviously raising just the ones under the high e string is where you're headed with that question? How would I find out if I can do this?

 

 

 

 

Burgess: What's gauge strings are you using?

 

.009 to .046s, I'm pretty sure. Would going up a gauge to 10s help? So many things to try...

 

 

 

 

 

335clone:
:Originally posted by redknightrg

fender silent single coil pickups

 

 

 

Maybe it works too well?

 

Does this happen with all 3 pups on the high E?

 

If so, it may be the nut slot as mentioned above.

 

The problem seems to exist for both my bucker and my single coil pup, although sometimes I swear the problem is worse with the bucker, othertimes its the same with both or doesn't exist at all with both... damn frustrating!

 

I'm going to mess around with settings and see what I can come up with... I'll post up pictures and more debugging steps if I can't lick this soon.

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You mentioned adjusting the action, but what about pick-up height? Try raising that side until your tuner starts acting weird then lower it slightly.

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Originally posted by redknightrg

I've been very carefully listening to my guitar, and acoustically the strings seem to be at more or less the same volume, its certainly not noticable if there's any differences.


Right now I'm hooking the fender directly into my podxt live, and listening with headphones... I can use either the single coil or the bucker and the volume difference seems to be there, but the difference becomes more pronounced as I turn up the volume control on my headphones - at high volumes my ears can detect a very noticable difference, at low volumes there isn't much of a difference.


 

Fletcher Munson.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fletcher-Munson_curves

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Same thing for me on one of my Strats. It's just muted a bit.

I always assumed it's because the action is too low at the saddle.

Just too lazy to get out the tiny wrench and redo intonation after height adjust etc...I just learned to play those licks with a harder attack on that string. Stupid. :)

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Originally posted by redknightrg

... .009 to .046s, I'm pretty sure. Would going up a gauge to 10s help? So many things to try...


I had a guitar once with the same issue, the high E just wasn't as loud as I was used to. I was using 10's and the polepieces weren't adjustable on this axe. So I tried an 11 and the problem was solved. Not the entire set but just the E string from a 10 to an 11.

 

Only drawback is you can really get comfortable with that 11 there. To this day on my 25.5" guitars I use a set of 10's with an 11 substituting for the 10. The 11 really screams. and that doesn't suck.

 

Bottomline, it's a very inexpensive experiment to try.

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I have a Epiphone Les Paul Black Beauty and the high E was a little wimpy compared to the other strings.....

 

It sounded "plinky" and kinda dead.

 

But I was lucky... a pickup change completely cured the problem.

 

Now it kicks ass! :thu:

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