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Stereo Guitar

stereo_guitar

[Megatronix] wrote in to show us this pretty crazy guitar mod. He has re wired the pickups to make the guitar a “Stereo Guitar“. Generally, the two pickup locations on a guitar are there to provide tonal variation. You can adjust the influence of each to get the sound you want. [Megatronix] decided to re wire the setup so that one is the left channel and one is the right. Thus providing actual stereo sound from his guitar. This will limit his tonal variation considerably, but should at least serve as a proof of concept. We really want to hear a recording of it in action though.

Comments

  1. Chris says:

    Stereo Guitars were big in the 80′s. The coolest part is to mess with channel-varying effects. Cool hack!

  2. Numinis says:

    I’m a guitar player myself and I wonder: why? u use your pickups to have a different sound, imagine being on stage, switching to the neck pickup for a while, and the right side of the audience doesn’t hear u playing while the left is getting blown away…

    wouldn’t be usefull for me tbh.

    if u want to play sterio, get a pedal for it, you can buy em for a reasonable price and u can keep your hands on your guitar, and switch the left/right/both channel with a footswitch, causing no small breaks when u need to grab ur switch :) (I actually have this on my multi-fx pedal, yet only use one amp)

    anyway it seems like a fun project but one limiting your abilities a lot

  3. Ron says:

    I did this on my guitar years ago since someone had drilled an extra hole in the top. I used a switched jack for one output so that if you wanted to use it in mono you can still have both pickups. Plugging into the stereo jack disconnects one pickup from the mono jack.

  4. I recently got this guitar http://www.italiaguitars.com/guitarDetail_outer.php?thisGuitarId=6

    Two outputs. 1 for the humbuckers and another for the piezo pickup in the bridge.

    Blasting away out of two speakers, with two different effects chains really opens up what you can do.

  5. James Tracy says:

    Rickenbacker has had stereo outputs forever. They are exactly this same setup (neck and bridge pickup on different channels).

  6. Agent420 says:

    hardly a hack, stereo guitars have been around almost since the electric pickup was invented.

    @Numinis:

    the term ‘stereo’ may be a bit of a misnomer here… just because you have two outputs available doesn’t mean you have to pan them to extremes, or pan them at all. what you can do is run each pickup through different amps or fx.

  7. rassilon says:

    my uncle did something similar, took the volume and tone off and ended up with an ibanez blazer with 3 inputs

  8. dcj2 says:

    i’d rather see the two channels split across the strings…top 2 strings in one channel, middle two strings balanced/centered and lower 2 strings on the other channel. The sonic effect of hearing the music move left to right as it went up and down the scale would be pretty cool.

  9. Brn says:

    @ dcj2: There were some guitars produced in the 50s that were set up that way. I think they were select Gibson models.

  10. adamziegler says:

    @dcj2… I think Billy Sheehan did split channel on separate stings with a few of his bass guitars.

    I used to make pickups…. Clint Searchy a fellow pickup winder made some single sting pickups called “Scarabs” he too split the stings on different channels: http://searcystringworks.blogspot.com/2007/12/scarab-single-string-pickups-back-where.html

  11. Agent420 says:

    @adamziegler

    alembic, one of the leaders in high end guitar technology, made one of the first quadraphonic basses for phil lesh of the dead.

    anyway, here are some links on polyphonic pups worth checking out:

    http://www.marksmart.net/gearhack/jazzpedalboard/copeland.html

    http://ubertar.com/hexaphonic/

  12. Stunmonkey says:

    The Vox Phantom XII Stereo is from the 60′s, and is a good example of how far this kind of setup can be pushed. Google a picture, it has a dozen knobs and a crapload of switch settings! Definitely a bit out of control.

    They really weren’t very good in other ways – mine has a neck that feels like a 2×4, and they generally don’t stay in tune for long, but the pickup setup was brilliant! Good to use for design inspiration though.

  13. JOe says:

    Hey…that’s my guitar!

  14. dna says:

    All this does is create a phasing effect.

  15. Phate says:

    This would only create a phasing effect if you could move one of the pickups up and down. Could cause phase issues if it were mixed to mono, though that would defeat the purpose of the mod in the first place.

    It would be interesting to hear the effects of placing one of the pickups on rails. A manual phaser of sorts.

  16. David says:

    I did guitar wiring myself many times & It’s really no big thin to make a guitar Stereo. But there are negative points:

    - as mentioned you have less sounds to switch through
    - you need to have a Stereo cable
    - you need a Stereo (Guitar-)Amp (or two single Guitar amps), which is both very expensive and hard to carry with you ; )
    - you could also make a “7.1-Surround-Guitar” which would be really no problem, but it would actually not be like a 7.1-film-sound, it would be like many slight variations stacked. But you have the risk of getting a totally wipe-out if one coil is out of phase.

  17. sexiewasd says:

    I like it, it would allow you to add effects to one pickup and leave the other clean, or mix and match effect before combining the signals to mono again, you would probably need to do a lot of tweaking to get the signals aligned properly again though.

  18. jon says:

    Charlie Hunter, a jazz guitarist who uses an 8 string guitar and plays both bass and harmony parts, uses a Novak guitar which is biamped. The bottom 3 strings go to a bass amp and the top 5 to a Leslie speaker. This mod is probably a little less practical or necessary than Hunter’s, but maybe something cool will come of it. Personally I agree with those who say just use a buffered splitter box if you want parallel effects chains, but whatever floats your boat.

  19. mike says:

    Yeah, Rickenbacker has done this since at least the 60′s, and most bassists in the 70s that used Ric 4001′s would use different effect chains on each pickup — think Rush, Yes, etc

    Per-string hexaphonic pickups have been around since at least the 80′s — Roland’s GK hex pickups, Line6 Variax, etc. Per-string stereo panning and pitch shifting (pushbutton alt tunings)

  20. JB says:

    The Gretsch White Falcon and the Country Club had true stereo P/U’s in 1958.The system was called Project-O-Sonic and it split the P/U between the treble and bass strings. Their were 54 possible pick up selections or something crazy like that.

  21. Atin says:

    I was going to post to say that I’d done this too, a long time ago, and call this old news, but it seems that the internet totally beat me to it.

    Anyway, I found that it was a huge pain in the ass to play live – I ran one channel to a solid state, and one to a tube, and then they each went into a 4X12 cab set to 2X12 stereo input. But obviously, if you have the sound of one amp coming out of half the cab, and the sound of the other coming out of the other, and the sound guy only mics one speaker, it kind of screws up the whole idea of blending to achieve a specific sound.

    Also, carrying around 2 amps is a drag.

  22. iR377 says:

    I used to work with a guy who made a pickup and effects processor which could apply different effects to each string. Slightly overkill maybe?

  23. Agent420 says:

    while a polyphonic setup may be too complicated to make use of live, i bet it shines in the studio. there are a lot of things you can do by applying different fx or levels to seperate frequency zones. i imagine the result would be on hell of a wide, thick tone.

  24. chris says:

    an ibanez GIO I believe

  25. wayback says:

    Ovation did something like this in the 70′s. I have an old Ovation Preacher with a stereo configuration. It uses two inputs and you can configure how much of whatever goes to which amp. Kinda cool.

  26. Manticore says:

    Godin do have 2-3 voice guitars with very versatile capabilities.

    http://www.godinguitars.com/godinsolidacp.htm

  27. honk1 says:

    stereo guitar in that way makes no real sence. you will hear the same from both speakers because the physical distance between both pics is to less. would be better to try it different, like speakers hear mostly the firs 3 sites of the guitar, right speakers the last..

  28. Neophyte says:

    My old parker fly had a stereo out. One was for the coils and the other was for the active bridge. There are plenty of uses, just because you can’t think of any doesn’t mean it is a bad idea.

  29. Thiago Korsakoff says:

    Good Post!
    I personally love the watches from Casio. Actually, I got the first still works; D
    Recently tried a good online store to give my brother with this clock, and I found that here with great prices: http://bit.ly/of0Jo
    In addition to the watches of the Casio also have alarms and other products from them.
    Well, there is the tip! Hugs!

  30. Ross Canpolat - Ireland says:

    you can simply get a stereo amp like a line 6. and if you want tone variation simply use a signal splitter and run one through a 31 band eq, take out the high end freq’s and kick up the mids slightly and you’ll get a neck pickup tone, leave the other as normal and wallah you have stereo!

    im playing electric guitars for 9 years now and i’ve never had the urge to go stereo like that. and even if i did want a stereo tone to mimic the sound of a secondary guitarist your going to run into phase problems and to make it sound real you have to raise or drop the second guitar tone’s tuning by around 5-8 cents – otherwise it wont sound true stereo

  31. Martin (D28) says:

    The only true stereo guitar was Chet Atkin’s Gretsch of 1956 which split the bass strings from the treble through 2 different amps. All the rest like the Gibson, Rickenbacher and Mosrite merely put the neck pick-up through one amp and the bridge pick-up through another and sound like crap. We have developed a 4 pick-up Strat with 3 input jacks and it sounds amazing, better than the Gretsch (which I own), and splits the bass strings through 2 different amps with the option of a 3rd for normal Strat sounds. Email me if you are interested – supercopy2002@hotmail.com. Martin

  32. Martin (D28) says:

    correction

    and splits the bass strings from the treble strings through 2 different amps

  33. Ron says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve also seen some Japanese guitars (and maybe some European ones) that will do true stereo.

  34. Martin (D28) says:

    We actually have a proper stereo – Fender Stratocaster for sale now and it’s the only one I know of since Chet Atkins split the bass strings from the treble strings in 1956. I use an octave box on the bass strings and echo on the treble strings but you can use any configuration you like. As well as the 2 pick-ups for stereo it still keeps the normal Strat input through the 5-way switch for the neck and bridge pick-ups which can be a 3rd amp if you so wish. There is no other guitar that you can buy with 3 jack inputs. It also has a reversing switch for the stereo inputs meaning you can have treble strings coming out one side of the stage and bass strings out the other and quickly reverse them with a quick slide of the switch. This has mind-boggling effects(for me anyway). Email me at supercopy2002@hotmail.com.
    Martin(D28).

  35. johnnybeane says:

    I use a stereo guitar.
    It’s a Kramer Ripley.
    You can use 2 amps and pan each string to either amp.

    http://johnnybeane.wordpress.com/2010/04/30/my-1985-kramer-ripley-guitar-updated-video/

  36. Hi,

    We made another stereo system: 3Dxy. A 12 mini-coil pickup (2 per string) wired to provide “natural stereo” directly from the pickup.

    When you pulse a string, the movement is up, down, right ang left. 3Dxy system reads all the movement and gives all the sound.

    Just listen the demos and look the osciloscope.

  37. Hi, if you want to see a stereo pickup just look inside my site.

    Each string has two minicoils 90º oriented to detect the string movement: up,down,left and righ.

    One coil gives right channel and the other left channel.

    Listen to the demos.

  38. IKAROS says:

    THE STEREO GUITAR IS THE MOST AWESOME IDEA THAT SOMEBODY COULD HAVE EVER! AND I WILL TELL YOU WHY..
    FOR MORE QUALLITY OF NOISE.. CAN YOU IMAGINE EVER CORDS IN DIFERENT CHANEL..
    IS THE CASE OF THIS VEDIO.. BUT LIESTEN WITH PHONES

    IF YOU HAVE DONNE A RECORD AT HOME YOU CAN EASY UNDERSTAND THAT POINT..
    AND AT STUDIOS YOU’LL NOT DEPEND OF THE AMP. TO GET A AWESOME SOUND.. AND IF YOU REALLY KNOW HOW TO MIX THE AMP… MAN// IT’S WIL BE NIIICCEE!!

    *** AND FOR THOSE WHO SAY :”YEAHH BUT AT THE STAGE IT WILL BE LIKE SHIT BECOUSE HALF PART OF THE SOND WILL COME OUT IN THE LEFT SIDE OF THE STAGE AND THE OTHER HALF IN THE RIGHT SIDE”
    FUCKK, THE GUITAR IS PLUG AT 1 AMPLIFIER AND AFTER THE SONDS GOES TO THE OTHERS AMPS..
    1 GUY AT THE STAGE WILL SOND LIKE 2 AND 2 WILL SOND LIKE 4.. BUT WITH PERFET SINCRONIZE :D

    BUT YOU DONT NEED A SPECIFC PICKUP TO DO IT.. YOU CAN DO IT WITH 2 OR 3 NORMALS PICKUPS ..
    YOU JUST NEED TO KNOW HOW TO SYNC THE CALBES INSIDE THE GUITAR..
    IT’S WILL BE LIKE, TO SYNC 2 DIFERENTS GUITAR AT 1 OUTJACK.. BUT TAKING THE SAME NOISE AT DIFEREN WAYS. GENIUS!

    BUT NOW YOU’LL GONNA ASK ” YEEAH.. BUT WHY NOBODY SHOW IT AT THE YOUTUBE OR SOMETHING”
    BECOUSSE THEY ARE STUPID, FUCK SELLERS..
    IF YOU GO TO A MUSIC SHOP AND ASK HOW CAN YOU DO IT.. OR CAN YOU DO IT.. THEY WILL SAY “NO” “ITS IMPOSIBLE.. ”
    OR IF YOU WANT YOU CAN BUT A OLD ONE LIKE THE 80′S BLUES GUITARS
    AND NOBODY WANNA BUY THE USUAL ONE OR THEY WILL START TO FABRICATE STEREO GUITARS.. AND THE PRICES OF THE PICK UPS MIGHT BE FUCKIN HIIIIIIIIGHHH!!

    SO THE BEST THINK THAT YOU CAN DO IS.. TO TAKE A STEREO “OUTPUT JACK”.. AND SYNC THE INSIDE CABLES FOLLOWING THE PICS AT NEXT

    BASIC
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_8pKbeWMtBCs/TKnFFSw6ZHI/AAAAAAAAAFE/7uSBGuR5NQI/s1600/C:%5Cfakepath%5Cwirstereo.png

    COMPLEX
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jt-fc10A-Gk/TVke4pTFCiI/AAAAAAAAATY/NrpIFkjhR5c/s1600/stereostudio.png

    OR SEARCH AT THE INTERNET ANOTHERS SCHEDULES

    GUITARS IS NOT A MACHINE.. IT’S A TOY.. SO .. PLAY WITH IT.. AND ENJOY

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