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VTC on a Gibson J-45 125th Anniversary

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  • VTC on a Gibson J-45 125th Anniversary

    Newbie to the VTC pickup. 50 years of playing out though on every combination of guitar, amp and PA, so not a newbie to the topic. This VTC came stock on the J-45 I just purchased. My other guitars, including another J-45 all have K and K minis . Not plugged in the new J-45 sounds great. Plug it in and the EAD and G strings all sound faint, thin with no resonance. The B and E strings on the other hand are loud and harsh. WTH? Wondering if this has to be run into a separate preamp and EQ before it hits the PA? I am using the EV30M PA most of the time, although I also tried it on my Loudbox Performer too and recently on stage through a snaked Allen and Heath QU32. The latter sounded terrible, enough so I am ready to tear out the VTC and put K and K mini in. But first… I am asking here. Can you run the VTC out straight and what’s up with the sound imbalance? The EQ and volume have an impact but no where near enough to make it smooth out.

  • #2
    Most string balance issues like that happen because the saddle isn't making even contact with the undersaddle pickup. If only the lower strings are quiet, it could be that the saddle isn't seated flat in the slot. You might just try pressing your thumb down on the bass side of the saddle to see if it reseats flat into the slot.

    If that doesn't help then the bottom of the saddle might need to be leveled for proper performance. This kind of thing is usually addressed during the factory installation, but not always. It should be a relatively easy fix for a local shop though.


    • #3
      Caleb_Elling thank you. I am looking at it right now. I guess I am denial about the local shop. They are not a small inexperienced shop. I thought it sounded good when I initially played it through an amp at their music shop the day I purchased it. I handed it back and had them lower the action slightly. Wondering now if the bench tech filed the saddle fit badly.


      • #4
        That sounds likely. Lowering the action at the saddle and not sanding it down evenly would easily cause that problem.