Every once in a while I learn a new trick that I don’t know how I lived without before. This is one of them. Three years after trying this for the first time, I could never go back to tracking guitars the old way again. Double tracking guitars has become a pretty standard practice for getting electric guitars to sound huge. Turn on the radio today and almost every rock song you hear has double tracked guitars. I wanted to find a way to make my guitar sound bigger without having to double track it. Enter the stereo guitar. This mod makes it so you can record the output of each pickup onto separate tracks, so we can run the bridge pickup out to one amp, and the neck pickup to another amp and track them at the same time. Or, if you like using amp sims, you can just run them through different (or the same) amp sims. I liked it so much that I did it to my other guitar as well, which was far more work because I had to drill a huge hole through thick hard wood. Then I did it to my bass, which as it turns out, sounds really lame. I don’t recommend it. The guitars still work as a normal mono guitar. The second output is just hardwired to the bridge pickup. The original output is still switchable. Here are a couple quick examples of what a stereo vs mono guitar

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sounds like. These clips start out as normal mono guitars and switch to stereo guitars. In all clips, each pickup is being sent to amp sims with identical settings.

Clean Guitar Stereo Guitar Clean
Distorted Guitar Stereo Guitar Distorted
In a Mix Stereo Guitar in a mix

The total cost to do this is about $2 per guitar, as long as you don’t mind drilling new holes in your baby. I will post tutorials on how to do this later.

12 Responses to “Stereo Guitar”

  1. blasko_88

    Frothing for a tutorial here! Love your work.

  2. news

    There’s no need to drill anything, just buy a switch and a TRS panel mount female connector and do some wiring internally the guitar between the pickups.
    Switch ON for doubling and Off for normal mono guitar.

    http://i374.photobucket.com/albums/oo189/netmatte/Chitarra/foto.jpg

  3. danny

    great idea boz epiphone did just that back in dec 2013 only one I seen out there you can get retail not modded

    http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Les-Paul/Les-Paul-Ultra-III.aspx

    the only addition to this is a usb to go to the included NI guitar rig but does the same concept as you was doing but yours is tons cheaper and really quite simple to do.

  4. simon el xil

    waiting for the tutorial

  5. bozmillar

    Alright, I’ll get that tutorial up. It probably won’t happen today, but I’ll try to get to it tomorrow.

  6. charlie

    Ditto! Hook us up with some info, it sounds good. Can you post a link explaining? Very interested in alligator clips etc. Thanks

  7. rex

    Okay – it’s been 45 days – tutorial!

  8. Sam K. Shaw

    Very cool! Any way to accomplish this without drilling a second hole in the guitar by replacing the standard TS 1/4″ jack with a TRS one? Couldn’t a TRS Send/Return cable be used to split out the signals from the two pickups? Just thinking out loud…

    • bozmillar

      You could route the pickups to a stereo jack, but the only problem is that it wouldn’t work in normal mode any more.

      One thing I do when people bring in their own guitars for recording and I want a stereo output from it is I made a little output jack hooked up to an alligator clip that you can clip directly to the pickup output if you open up the back. It’s just a temporary solution for people who don’t want to mess up their guitar. I’ll write up a tutorial with pictures and stuff to show how to do it.

  9. coolcatbro

    really interesting guitar mod and the clips sounded good. the utilization of the different pickups at the same time was a faster way to double track, a original sound of the pups working in parallel..

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