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Output level preferences with overdrive--aka gain staging

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by JES, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. JES

    JES Supporting Member

    Hi All,

    Do you prefer lower or higher output pickups if you're going into an overdrive pedal or an overdriven amp?

    I've always been partial to G&L MFDs, which are high output and clear sounding. But I've got a new bass with more vintage wound single coils, and so I'm trying to make sense for my own playing of whether the difference makes a difference for people who like a slightly overdriven tone (like me). Presumably with a lower output pickup, you just turn up the gain on your overdrive or amp and you're doing. Is there any other meaningful difference, assuming all other factors are equal (even though we know they never are)?

    Thanks for your thoughts. I'm sure this is a "whatever works for you" thread, but I'd be curious to hear people's experiences.

  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Definitely lower output. MFD's (and EMG's) can make dirt pedals sound like junk. I put my Pigtronix compressor first in my chain then lower the volume way down to feed the other pedals a low signal, then boost it back up at the end.

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