HSH guitars... what am I missing?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by MichaelSaulnier, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. MichaelSaulnier

    MichaelSaulnier Member

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    I've got several SSS strats, and a nice SSH one that plays and sounds great.

    I've been seeing a number of HSH guitars, in fact even a new Fender production model configured this way... but it's the Suhr's I've seen that really have me wondering... what am I missing by not having a guitar configured like this?

    If you've got one... can you share how it's worked out for you?

    Anything you love about the H neck pup, or miss by not having a S there?

    M
     
  2. rjpilot

    rjpilot Member

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    Its a fantastic pup config. Its got the les paul (if you will) HxH tones but you can get the position 2 and 4 start tones with some auto-split wiring options. Some folks don't like the middle pup as it tends to get in the way of their picking hand. I love the HSH config. I also like the HSS setup as well.
     
  3. MichaelSaulnier

    MichaelSaulnier Member

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    Thanks rjpilot.

    The Fender strat I tried had a nice neck pup sound, but you couldn't split either of the H's... and I wonder if I'd miss that neck single coil sound.

    It doesn't sound like you miss it much, or do you have the ability to split on your guitar?

    M
     
  4. dspellman

    dspellman Member

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    I've got several HSH guitars, and honestly, it's probably my favorite setup.
    Mine are neck-through and either 25" or 25.5". Probably the main reason for doing one of these is the sound of a side-by-side humbucker at the neck position compared to a stacked or single coil. No problems with picking where the single coil in the center is concerned.

    I have the same basic control system (in part because it means that I don't have to remember which one I've got <G>) on most of them: a five-way switch, a master volume/master tone, a pair of coil taps for the humbuckers and a bridge pickup add-in switch.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    The cream coils are the ones left active when the coil taps are activated. With the bridge pickup add-in switch DEactivated, it works like a strat. Flip the coil taps off and you pretty much have an LP type guitar (this particular one is mahogany body/neck with a maple top) at the ends of the five-way (bridge only, neck only), and if you want the "both pickups selected", you flip on the bridge pickup add-in with the five-way in the all-the-way-forward neck only position.

    Obviously there are a LOT more choices with this combination of controls. You need a fairly hot set of humbuckers to make the coil tapped pickups sound good, but this does all of that pretty well. It's not *quite* as good as a good strat, not *quite* as good as a good LP -- there are compromises everywhere. Then again, you can do things with this guitar that you can't do with either of them.
     
  5. blong

    blong Member

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    I have a EB Silhouette with HSH, but I put a push pull pot in the tone position but only wired it to split the neck humbucker, so I get HSH or HSS. It's a great setup. I prefer it this way.

    Bob
     
  6. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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    I'd have the same pre-conception about the neck pickup on a Strat style guitar. A Strat's neck pickup tone is the defining Strat tone for me ... and if I had to have only one sound in a guitar for the rest of my life, that would be it. So I'd be really reluctant to not have a bona fide, good quality neck single coil pickup.

    That said, I'm watching this thread keenly in case I'm missing out too ... I've never tried an HSH configuration in a good quality, vintage oriented guitar (which rules out a lot of HSH guitars from the start methinks).

    I read a glowing report recently on the Suhr Rasmus GG, which was a tantalising read as I really like all mahogany guitars, and the sounds section included reference to a bridge humbucker tone reminiscent of an SG, and a split neck humbucker that sounded just like Jimi ... now if that were true, in one guitar ... yes please!

    [Edit: in fact, here is the review: http://beta.musicradar.com/gear/all/guitars/electric/6-string-solid-body/guthrie-govan-530530/review]
     
  7. kleydj13

    kleydj13 Supporting Member

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    So much this. I even put a strat neck pickup in my tele.
     
  8. shane88

    shane88 Member

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    what ur missing is room to pick without hittin the pu - as for tone options all my guitars have 1 pu & i get plenty of different sounds from the way i play & the vol knob - "covering all the bases" isn't the way i play :p
     
  9. memiller

    memiller Member

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    Thank you for your irrelevant opinion.

    You're coming at this the wrong way. Don't think of it like a Strat with a neck humbucker. Think of it like a Les Paul with an added middle single coil. Make more sense now? If you're a Strat guy then you really aren't going to like an HSH setup. It gives you none of the typical Strat tones, even with coil taps. If you're a Les Paul guy then you'll be right at home and have some extra sounds available.

    I wouldn't recommend an HSH setup to anyone that isn't already a humbucker player, unless they're looking specifically to branch out.
     
  10. shane88

    shane88 Member

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    i answered ur question HSH guitars... what am I missing?- i guess i could add that while i don't care for the harmonic content of the neck position if i was to have a neck pickup it would be a S
     
  11. gtraddict

    gtraddict Member

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    I have an G&L Invader and enjoy it sometimes, and sometimes it feels like it gets in the way sometimes and sometimes miss the single coil. I guess the reason to have more than one guitar
     
  12. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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    If finances ever permit (which is not in the foreseeable future) I would love to add a Suhr Classic T to my guitar collection. I already know the specs and the neck pickup would be a V60LP ... the same pickup that I have in the neck position of my Suhr Classic ;)
     
  13. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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    I think it's natural to think of it as a strat with a neck humbucker ... HSH seems to be used overwhelmingly in double cutaway guitars with 25.5 inch scale lengths and trem bridges. Trying to think of it as a Les Paul with an added middle single coil seems like a pretty huge step away from a Les Paul with all these other usual differences in the mix. Adding an extra coil to an essentially Strat-like guitar (I'm thinking of an HSS Strat) seems like a small, natural progression.

    That said, your opinion does shed some light on why people get bothered by the middle pickup ... which is already present on the vast majority of Strats.

    Hmmm.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  14. Hamer95USA

    Hamer95USA Member

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    I love the pickup configuration of the HSH on a Strat style guitar. I have 2 Hamer guitars and a '98 Fender Floyd Rose Classic Strat with this configuration and it kicks ass for me! Even though I've got a Fender Japan Strat with the SSS pickup configuration, those HSH Strat style guitars are my go to guitars for my cover band gig.

    Guitar George
     
  15. memiller

    memiller Member

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    :aok

    That's what I'm saying. Just because you like a Strat shape doesn't mean you want Strat tones, or vice versa. If you're a traditional SSS Strat kind of player then there's a 99% chance an HSH setup will give you hives.
     
  16. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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    Ahhh ... so what you meant was think of it tonally as a Les Paul with an added middle single coil. That makes more sense ... though I'm hearing the rumbling of many feet charging towards this thread to tell us that only a Les Paul sounds like a Les Paul ... but I understand your point.

    All said and done ... I'm still sticking with a single coil neck pickup until I can actually try and hear a split humbucker that nails a neck strat tone.
     
  17. Gandalf5150

    Gandalf5150 Member

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    The above points are what do it for me. I'm a LP guy through and though, but my current gig requires me to get Strat and LP type tones. HSH is an easy option for me.

    NB: 2 guitars on stage is just not an option, as I simply don't have time to switch guitars.:bonk
     
  18. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    Think of it like a HH option with a few cool single coil tones in the middle and it makes more sense
     
  19. wilblee

    wilblee Hack sans shame Gold Supporting Member

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    Here's my HSH Strat. The middle tone knob has been replaced with a Turnstyle switch, that allows me to split the coils, but I have to admit that the setting I use most on this guitar is the native HSH setting. I, too, love the sound of "traditional" Strat pickups. So I have a couple configured that way. This is a different, but gorgeous (sounding as well as looking) beast.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Sancho

    Sancho Member

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    I'm basically a two humbucker guy who could make do with just the one.
    Middle pickups never made much sense to me. they just get in the way of my pick...

    I've got a couple of HSS guitars, but they might just as well be HS for how I use them.
    Although even I have to admit that the 2 and 4 positions, even with humbuckers, can offer up some sweet tones.

    I currently have one HSH guitar, a Fender Dave Murray sig. It has a three way switch and I can't say I miss the inbetween positions.
     

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