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Suhr ML Standard.
I just put a set in my Strat and they are absolutely fantastic. I have (and had) several Suhr pickups, they’re all great, but IMHO you’re search will happily end with the ML Standard.
While of course it's the sum of all its parts (like a fine bolognese), if you're restricting the comments to just the neck, body, or saddles, I would say 1st) the neck is the most important factor to a guitar's tone, followed by 2nd) the body, and then the saddles at a very distant 3rd.
All my other guitars have 9.5" and 10–16" radii. My first experience with a 7.25" was this recent Warmoth build below (hope the pic shows up!). I wanted to take a chance and try a more vintage spec guitar, and I was nervous after reading so many negative comments about it, but it's unbelievably...
I'll also add: the Suhr Thornbuckers are also a fantastic choice as well! I replaced the SSV in a Suhr Classic S with a Thornbucker, they're very close but both great. And I put a pair of Thornbuckers in my PRS Custom 22 and they absolutely rock, and the split tones are stellar.
I recently did an HH Strat style Warmoth build and am super happy with the results. Like you, I wanted humbuckers on the brighter end of the scale. I went with a Lollar Imperial (F-spaced) in the bridge and an El Rayo in the neck. I couldn't be happier with how this turned out, really great...
I recently completed this Warmoth build:
It sounds and feels fantastic, and I've already started doing another one (SSS Strat this time).
I've been mod'ing and tinkering with guitars for years, so I felt pretty confident going in.
I also watched this YouTube series, it was super helpful and...
I do recordings and low volume practice in my home studio and love the tones I get.
Guitar > pedalboard >
Suhr Badger 18 or Princeton Reverb >
Suhr Reactive Load IR >
ProTools > monitoring on Yamaha NS-10s w/ sub.
The Suhr RLIR is a game-changer. I can crank my amps to the sweet spot, run them...
FWIW, I just finished a Warmoth build HH Strat based on one of my fav player's guitar, also starting another one based on a '63 Strat. I decided to leave the string tree off (didn't drill, didn't install one).
My HH Strat build sounds and plays fantastic without it. One interesting nugget I read...
I’m about to do a Fiesta Red build (Warmoth) and will choose parchment. Like someone else mentioned, the period-correct mint green guard just looks too green from the many pics I’ve seen from newer manufacturers.
I’ve heard/read that the material (SS) is significantly more difficult to work with, for manufacturers and luthiers (cutting, shaping, polishing, more expensive tools required, etc.) I’ll admit I’m surprised the cost for SS isn’t much more than nickel.
I love how this thread has turned into a helpful discussion about pots and quality as I'm embarking on another "quarantine build" and this info is useful. Pretty much every post @Husky makes ends up being helpful and useful, even in threads like these, and I just love that.
Also, I've owned one...
It's not so much a visual thing, unless the slots are so deep that the nut comes up above (higher than) the strings, or the slots are ridiculously too wide.
If you're tuning is stable and open strings ring out nicely then most likely your nut is fine.
If you're having tuning issues or open...
@Arcadia FWIW I wouldn’t rule out environmental factors. In my home studio, when I’m in the sweet spot and oriented a certain direction, all my guitars (incl. Strat & Tele) are acceptably quiet, but the Suhr was almost completely silent, even with high gain or fuzz.
If your Strat is noisy and...
My Suhr Classic Pro HSS (which I unfortunately had to sell recently) was dead quiet in all positions. A fabulous guitar in every respect—tone, feel, playability, craftsmanship, aesthetic—and I can’t wait to own one again.
My custom body took 1 month (delivered in March), custom neck took 3 months (delivered early June), and that included their 6-week shutdown. I think that's pretty remarkable, and I'm super happy with the quality (my avatar is a pic of the guitar). This was supposed to be my quarantine project...
I'm building an HH Strat (kind of my version of Michael Landau's FCS Masterbuilt) w/ Lollar Imperials where I want to be able to have the middle position of the 3-way switch coil split the two pickups (getting a sort of Tele middle position sound). I can get this with my PRS (w/ Suhr...
My friend's Tele is a top-loader (parts build) and it definitely feels more slack/rubbery/bendy than my strings-through-the-body Tele (2004 Am. Std.) which feels more taut/snappy/stiffer.
Can't explain the physics behind that, but there's my anecdotal $0.02.