Reader Question: Gibson 57 Classic Humbucker Problem Sounds

Gibson 57 Classic humbucker

A reader has asked about problem sounds with his Gibson 57 Classic Humbucker.


I have a Gibson 57 Classic Humbucker, which has a really high output of 9K!! It’s NOT a Classic+, which I know. I installed it in the bridge position, with the selector on treble, and it sounds thin, very quiet, and is humming slightly. What could be wrong?



Hi Sven. It sounds as though you have a wiring problem. Most likely, you have the “hot” and “ground” wires backwards. Triple-check the wiring diagram that came with the pickup. If you can confirm 100% that the pickup is wired correctly, then try touching the hot / ground wires directly to a guitar jack, and tap the pickup. There should be a loud and healthy “thud” that comes out of the amp when you do this. If not, then the pickup is damaged.

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Our resident electronics wizard came by his skills honestly — first as an apprentice in his father’s repair shop, later as a working musician and (most recently) as a sound designer for film. His passion for guitar led him to Humbucker Soup, where he continues to decode the wonders of wiring and the vicissitudes of voltage. Ed has never taken his guitar to a shop — he already knows how to fix it.