String volume balance

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by riffmeister, Jul 26, 2021.

  1. riffmeister


    Nov 28, 2010
    I have two Squier Standard PJ’s and on both I need to set the E side of the split pups highest (7/64ths) and slope away downwards towards the G to get the E to sound loud and balanced. If I go along with the standard theory (A and D pointing up) everything else overpowers the E string. The strings are centred down the neck so should be fairly equal above the pup’s poles. Are all P’s like this with a quiet E??
  2. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Are the saddle heights adjusted to the radius of the fret board? If they are not, the A and D strings will be closer to the pickups. That would account for the problem.
    MYLOWFREQ likes this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    I 2nd the 2nd post. First make sure your strings follow the fingerboard radius. Then adjust the PU height. I'd leave it at wharever sounds balanced.
  4. There are a lot of things that have to be taken into consideration to get all four strings to balance.
    1. Is it a radiused fingerboard?
    2. Are the pickups radiused?
    3. Some string gauges are louder than others.
    If it is a radiused fingerboard, I tend to start off setting the string height to it, so I get the proper action on all the strings. Next, I will adjust the side to side height of the pick ups for uniform volume across the strings. Next I will adjust the overall height of the two pickups, relative to each other, since the bridge pickup usually needs to be higher to balance equally with the neck pickup.

    While you can certainly do all of the comparisons by ear, I rely instead upon an actual VU meter. When all is said and done, there should be no volume discrepancies from string to string, or from pickup to pickup.
  5. riffmeister


    Nov 28, 2010
    Yep, all the strings follow the neck radius and are 6/64ths E to 5/64ths G. I like the VU meter idea. I’ll try that out and see how each string performs. I may have to look at EQ settings to get things balanced. I don’t have any problems whatsoever on my Jazz bass with totally flat pups though. Need to experiment.