Make Test Recording While Adjusting Guitars

By Christopher Haugan Lyngedal

Record audio samples while making adjustments to your guitars! For instance, lets say you’re adjusting pickup height and polepieces on one of your electric guitars. Let’s say you start by lowering the pickup all the way down, then record a about a minute of your playing. Both with and without overdrive/distortion preferably. Then make adjustments – raise one or several polepieces, raise the entire pickup etc. While playing the same thing you played before, record another sample (without touching any settings on the amp or guitar controls whatsoever) between each adjustment. Then sit back and listen to the recordings through some good quality earphones or speakers. The reason for doing this: You can quickly compare the different pickup-heights, in a matter of seconds. Before I started doing this I found it difficult to compare different setups, simply because I forgot exactly what the previous setup sounded like. I find that this method makes it easier to compare things such has pickup heights, string gauges and brands, or even pickups and electronics all together! Much easier to compare when having easy accessible audio samples! By the way, I use a Zoom Q3HD Handy Recorder for this kind of thing. Works great!

14 comments to Make Test Recording While Adjusting Guitars

  • Christopher Haugan Lyngedal

    Wow.. 15 votes :O
    But not a single comment?

    I appreciate the votes guys, but a comment or two is even better :D

  • Laertes

    I do the same but most of the time I have a difficult time deciding between the two (or more) recordings!

  • Christopher Haugan Lyngedal

    Yeah, I did just like I described above with the pickup-height thing, and to be honest, there difference is tiny! (At least with overdrive effects engaged)

    I realized I used to trick myself before.. I thought I heard a major difference when adjusted the pickupheight. Basically, after reading a lot of “adjust-your-pickups-for-major-tone-improvement-articles” it made me think I heard a difference. Now I know I didn’t :D

    • joe

      Yeah, you learn a lot by NEGATIVE example.

      I used to really, really believe I could hear differences between capacitor types in stompbox circuits. Until I made test recordings.

      Never underestimate the power of “wishful hearing!” :)

      • Christopher Haugan Lyngedal


        I think that the visual change of changing guitar parts/electronics and the fact that you’ve spent money to “improve” tone, makes you think you hear things that you really don’t…

  • Christopher Haugan Lyngedal

    It seems to me that after my tip appeared in the “Top Tips” section, the voting just exploded :O
    That’s awesome!

    But like a Joe says on the front page, way too many good tips “disappear” in the crowd!

    Guys, I’m extremely humbled by all the votes, but please make sure to look further than just the “Top tips” section! So many cool tips on this page!

  • Laertes

    And the best way to really know if there is a difference is not knowing what recording you are playing, like the double-blind experiments in science or like the tournament run by Joe on modelling versus actual amps.

  • Grant TRF

    Yeah, definitely a good tip, just time-consuming is all.

  • Christopher Haugan Lyngedal

    Yeah, a little time consuming perhaps, but it’s not too bad ;)

    With my Zoom Q3HD Handyrecorder, I just set it up in front of my amp and press record :)

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