Most of the fresh guitarists ask this question in forums. I would say it’s a burning question. Experts have answered the query differently according to their point of view. But their answers have been scattered.
And it’s tough to retrieve for a newbie. So, I have decided to experiment on all the expert answers and jot down the exact solutions. Now, there might be a question like; how credible this article is?
Well, let me answer the question with good news. And that is, I have faced the problem several times during my guitar playing experience. I know the “why” so my solution may help you, or at least guide you to the right door.
In this article, I will point out the four common reasons that are responsible for having such low sound output in your electric guitar.
Check your strings first:
Do you know the physics behind electric guitar? I guess the answer is “yes.” But how is the question related to this solution? Let me start it with a simple answer; the strings of electric guitar produce a tiny amount of electricity.
Then the electric sends a signal to the magnetic pickups, which later passes through the tone and volume. Later it amplifies the total mood. This is how electric guitars produce sounds. So it’s clear that; strings play a vital role.
If your guitar string is old enough, then it’s better to change. Still, if you are facing the same problem after changing your lines, I will suggest checking the bridge, nuts, and total adjustment.
Check your connections thoroughly:
After checking the string setup, if the problem persists. It’s time to check all the electric contacts. Connection means; checking the solder. In most cases, I have seen that the joint has either loosen up or torn apart.
Sometimes the poor electric connection in solder can cause low sound output. One most important thing I want to warn you about is; please don’t check the soldering condition on your own. It’s better to take your guitar to a professional technician.
Check the guitar pickups:
Guitar pickups are also a possible reason to make a low sound. You know what, the magnets of your pickup start to degrade after a certain amount of time. This time varies from person to person. For example, if your single-coil guitar is seldom used, then the degrading time is extended.
On the other hand, if you play regularly, then the degrading time will be faster. Now how do you know that?
Using a multimeter can help you to understand the pickup condition. If a single-coil pickup stays 10ohm, then the pickup is good. Again if the humbucker pickup remains in 20 ohms, then the pickups are excellent. This way, you can understand the pickup age to detect the low sound.
Although some guitarists love the degaussed sound of their pickup, it depends on the music taste.
Check the potentiometers:
This tiny little switch is also called a Pot. Pot especially changes the electric flow of your pickups. It plays a vital role in improving the sound of your guitar. How? It ensures how much electrical power you should transfer to your output. This sort of sound balance is usually done by the volume and tone knobs.
I have attached a picture of the Pot knob here for your convenience. It’s not like that; all the Pot should look like this knob. Some knobs look like a volume bar. Since I am a Les paul user, I have attached a Les paul picture.
Now, how do you know that your pot knobs are not working? If the pickups are corroded and oxidized, then the sound effect will decrease. As a result, you will see some inevitable changes in your guitar tone and volume.
For example, if your guitar volume fluctuates and tone loses the consistency, then it’s better to see a doctor. I took this step when my guitar sound stayed low after doing all the essential check-ups. Remember, pickups and Pot are a crucial and sensitive element for an electric guitar.
And these are the primary and common reasons for facing such a low sound output. I found these four factors in every guitar over my eight years of guitar playing experience.
Now you may ask, how did I know these things? Or, how could you know the exact problem?
Well, I will recommend you to change the strings set first. If this process does not work, then check every step carefully. For instance, you will check the connectivity in the second stage.
Checking the connectivity will be a bit tough for you if you are a beginner. So, my recommendation will be; please take the guitar to a professional repair shop. They will check the solder, pickups, and Pot.
Then they will give you a solution. Before applying the answer, it’s better to think twice. Maybe my bonus tips can help you to use the solution properly. And the tips are as follows:
- If the pickups fail in the multimeter test, it’s better to change the pickups. Don’t repair it.
- Try to make the soldering from a professional guitar repairer. Maybe it will cost slightly high. But remember, it will be a lifetime investment.
- Never repair the potentiometers. It does not last long. I restored my Les-paul pots, but it did not last more than 23 months.
So, my entire article has answered the most asked question. I guess I have successfully organized all the expert opinions on one page. To arrange this question answer, I was not only dependent on their information.
Instead, I talked with many guitar repairing experts. According to them, the reasons, as mentioned above, are typical for having such a low sound output. They also recommended fixing the issues as early as possible.
Otherwise, these slight problems can kill your guitar tone forever. So, take care of your guitar and enjoy your playing. Take care.