The ecologically friendly way to boost your guitar’s output.
Most people have heard of the Parallel Universe theory in which, for example, Jimi Hendrix may be alive and well and teaching creative guitar in the University of Oxford! But how many have heard of the Serial Universe theory?
In our field of guitar making, repairing and customising, we are not qualified to assess these theories scientifically. However, we can definitely say that there are a number of ways of boosting and expanding your electric guitar’s output without requiring external power or batteries.
The simplest, and probably the most effective one, is rewiring two single coil pickups in series rather than in parallel. In some cases, existing controls and wiring may allow this to be carried out with slight modifications. Mostly however, the addition of an extra switch or replacement of an existing one, would be required. The current favourite is the Tele four-way mod, (you can read about in a previous article), which enhances the sound of a Tele enormously. We have yet to find a customer who didn’t like it!
The same principle can be applied to Strats and other guitars with more than one pickup. Traditionally, when two pickups were put on together, they were connected in parallel. This tends to thin and reduce the sound. But if instead they are wired in series, there is an opposite response, a boost in volume and a much fuller tone! This is essentially the principle of a humbucker pickup. So you can imagine what happens when two powerful humbuckers are connected this way!
Push-pull pots and alternative versions of Strat/Tele type switches, mean you often don’t need to change the appearance of your guitar at all. The other bonus is that you don’t have to worry about batteries going flat during the gig, or finding space to fit them in the guitar. Less cost and less hassle, but greater versatility in your guitar.