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Thread: How to I measure the pickups at the input jack with a voltmeter?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    How to I measure the pickups at the input jack with a voltmeter?

    Have done this before, and I have no idea how I did it. Can someone explain? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Simple way? Plug a cable into the guitar (short as possible) and measure DC resistance across the other end of the cable with the pickup in question selected and the volume pot at full on for that pickup. The volume pot will affect the measurement nonetheless, but it won't be that much in error. You could actually compute the effect of the pot if you wanted to get fancy, but since DC resistance isn't all that accurate to predicting the performance of a pickup without understanding more about the design, you'll be close enough for a general sense.

    A more accurate and still somewhat simple way is to take off the controls access panel, and measure at the pickup selector switch relative to ground, with the switch set to the other pickup...that is, to the pickup that you aren't measuring.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    You can measure it at the socket inside the cavity at the live and the ground. Switch to the pickup you want to measure and split it if necessary. Alternatively, you can also do what I do: keep a length of cable with only one jack on it and measure at the the other end. Be aware that it doesn't always work to measure at the socket though. Sometimes you get the resistance of the pot instead of the pickup or coil. Don't ask me why; I'm inclined to lump electricity in the same category as witchcraft.

    Ah, Aristotle got there before me. And it sounds like he knows more about it than me. Which is to be expected from a guy called Aristotle, really.
    Last edited by ADP; 04-07-2014 at 04:03 PM. Reason: Got beaten to it by a Greek philosopher.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys. Interesting. I have a very early non engraved set of 57/08s in my 10th anniversary, and a new set of engraved 57/08s in a PS. The old set reads 9.0 on the bridge, 8.75 on the neck, and the new set reads 9.25 on the bridge, and 8.5 on the neck. That seems to be about what I am hearing in terms of power with the two sets. When I first got the tenth about a week or so ago, I had to raise the bridge a bit, (It has the old 57/08s) and on the PS, raise the neck pup to get about equal volume out of both guitars. That seems to line up almost exactly with the readings I just took. Very cool. You guys are great! Thanks again for the info.

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