Re: Crunch Lab 7/Liquifire 7 Hiss - Normal?
Well, sound clips are going to be unnecessary, because I did a little experiment and now know that the issue has something to do with the stereo configuration I'm using, NOT the pickups themselves.
First, a bit of technical background...
The tech installed a single stereo output jack, rather than two separate jacks (as on the old piezo-equipped Ibanezes). He did this at my request. I'm not an electronics guy at all, so here are his exact words:
"The mags are true bypassed now. I used a 4 conductor stereo switch jack. This allows the mags on the tip and the piezos on the ring while the sleeve and switch-contact turn power on/off"
So, my setup is: I run a stereo TRS cable from my guitar's output jack into a Y cable (mono & mono), and plug the Y cable into the left & right line inputs on the back of my POD HD Pro. On the POD, I configure said inputs for "Line Guitar L" & "Line Guitar R" and pan both to center. Then, I simply switch between 100% mags or 100% piezos. No blending. Everything works as it should, but this is where I get the low-level hissing.
As an experiment, I decided to instead plug a standard guitar cable in and go into the normal guitar input on the front of my POD. This works, I just can't use the piezos when I do this... only the magnetic pickups. Guess what? The hissing was gone.
As soon as I went back to the other configuration (stereo TRS cable > Y splitter > L & R line inputs), the hissing was there again.
So, the pickups themselves are fine and sound fantastic. I'm just going to have to use a noise gate in order to use the whole stereo TRS and Y cable getup. Shouldn't be a huge issue, really. It takes very little gating to eliminate this hiss.