I've just bought a second hand ESP'81 humbucker pickup and have stuck it in a Les Paul project guitar of mine.

I am by no means an expert but I've used the wiring diagrams available to put it in there and everything seems to be soldered correctly.

On first plug-in the pickup sounded really thin, quiet and a little distorted in comparison to the stock neck pup I already had in the guitar.

I've just run a voltmeter over the '81 and i got a reading of 58.9ohms which seems like an insane amount of resistance.

Could this be the reason it sounds so weak? Do you have any suggestions for making the pup sing?

1 Answer 1


Reading the Wikipedia page for this item, the output impedance is rated at 10 k ohms. However, you cannot measure output impedance by sticking an ohmmeter across the leads.
Simple things to check: is the full 9V showing on the battery output? When you turn up the gain & pluck strongly , what is the output voltage? -- Wiki says it's rated around 4.5 V peak, 3 V rms. Make sure your voltmeter is high enough impedance not to pull down the output.

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