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My pickup sounds distorted, what might be causing this?

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Q - My pickup sound is distorted, what is causing the distortion?

            

 A - 

     There are a number of things that can cause the sound of a pickup to be distorted.

For all pickups, mechanical issues within an instrument can cause 'distortion' or some pretty strange sounds. Please check the following:

  1. That all machine heads and other mechanical items including the truss rod are snug and rattle free.

  2. Check that the amplifying device is not the source of the distortion...for example:  a speaker coil with a burn mark, a loose reverb tank, etc.

  3. Check that all strings are physically correct. A loose winding on a wound string can definitely cause a distorted sound.

  4. Check that the contact points for each string on the instrument is proper.....for example: on a guitar that the nut slots are clean and that a string is not rattling in the slot and that the saddle is properly shaped and not causing the string to sound strange.

For pickups using a preamp:

  1. Check that the battery powering the preamp is fresh. Batteries with low voltages can often cause distortion.

  2. Check that the preamp's input gain and / or ouput level is not set too high. It is more than possible to overdrive the input of an amplifying device and cause distortion.

 
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Article details
Article ID: 10
Category: Distortion
Date added: 2011-05-29 13:23:56
Views: 1035
Rating (Votes): Article rated 2.9/5.0 (15)

 
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