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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Setup for my 1991 540S:

Neck: Humbucker from Hell
Middle: IBZ/USA C3 (Stock)
Bridge: Norton

I'm experienced with HSH guitars now so I know I'll lose some volume in positions 2-4. However I'm losing major volume- I'd say at least half. It's unusable.

I measured the resistance of the pickups. HFH and Norton are good (about 6K and 13K respectively). The C3 is only measuring 6K.

The research I've done indicates that the C3 is a DiMarzio DP116 HS-2- which SHOULD have resistance of about 13.

What gives?
 

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The C3 is a true single coil. The C1 and C2 are stacked hums.

The C3 will be much more like a True Velvet than any of the HS models.

BTW....use black as your hot.
 

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Sounds like maybe the wires are reversed. I like the the C2 better. Since it's a stacked single there is no hum. The C3 will hum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The C3 is a true single coil. The C1 and C2 are stacked hums.

The C3 will be much more like a True Velvet than any of the HS models.

BTW....use black as your hot.
OK- made sure I'm using black as hot. Same issue. Before I resign myself to the pickup as is, let me mention this: In my RT650 I have the stock single coil (not sure if it's an S1 or S2- different sources say different things). It also measures about 6K resistance, the same as the C3 in my 540S. However the volume drop from humbucker to single coil in the RT is much less noticeable than in the S series. Since my stock V7 neck pickup in the RT is about 9K (compared to the HFH's 6K), I would expect the volume difference to be even more noticeable.

Which leads me to the question- does resistance not necessarily have a direct relationship with output? In this instance, could two different 6K single coil pickups have significantly different volumes, all other things being equal?

The last thing is, the C3 had been in a drawer full of other pickups, in no case or anything- could the other magnets have affected the C3 somehow?
 

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It sounds like the wiring is all correct. What about the pickup height?

In my RG550 I have:

Norton - C3 - PAF Pro

The C3 is certainly lower output than the humbuckers, but not unusably so. Relative volume is a strong function of amp and signal path, though. YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The c3 is as high as I can stand it. Now I remember why, as much as I want the split sounds, I often just lose the middle pickup altogether and let position 3 be a killswitch! In order to get the single to a usable volume, the height is totally in the way.

On an unrelated note, I had a Tone Zone in the bridge which was alright but muddy and lacked the cut I wanted. Now I've got the Norton in there and it's just cut-your-head-off nasty. I love it. Just goes to show it's all about the right pickup for the right guitar. I had the Norton in my RT650 and was underwhelmed with it there.
 

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Well then it sounds like you just need a higher output single coil. I'm sure there's some Dimarzio that would fit the bill. If it's a stacked humbucker, I believe you'd need a super switch to get it hum-cancelling in the middle position.

Now I've got the Norton in there and it's just cut-your-head-off nasty. I love it. Just goes to show it's all about the right pickup for the right guitar. I had the Norton in my RT650 and was underwhelmed with it there.
The Norton is way under-appreciated.
 
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