Best match for Stelly Pickup

analog orange

Member
Messages
89
I just bought a Rio Grande Stelly pickup from a fellow board member and I was wondering what any of you thought would be a good match. I'm looking for a neck and middle with similar output and a basic vintage tone. I was thinking about the Muy Grandes as Rio's website recommends them, but I don't really need anything special. I'm primarily a rock/experimental player, I'm not looking to 'nail' that SRV sound or anythign like that.

Also, does anybody make a tele sounding neck pickup that fits in a strat?

Cheaper options would be best as I'm running low on bread these days. But don't let that stop you from mentioning expensive pickups as well.

Thanks.
 

angelo

Member
Messages
1,127
I think if anyone made a tele sounding neck pickup that fit into a strat, they wouldn't advertise it as such;)

It seems like the talk is of strat sounding pickups that fit in a tele.

I only heard a Stelly and didn't even play the guitar myself --- but it sounded cool.

I wonder if a halfbreed from RIO would work. At the neck and middle (I had them there) they would sound pushed with the volume on 10, but very much like "real" strat pickups with the volume dropped a touch.
 

analog orange

Member
Messages
89
Are the halfbreeds similar in output to a Stelly? I don't want audible volume drops and boosts when I change pickups.
 

angelo

Member
Messages
1,127
Man, I can't help there. I know they are pretty cool and can do two different things very well. As they are both Rio's, I bet those guys would be glad to answer an email. I called the shop once and they were very helpful!!! Big time so.


I brought it up because when you mentioned "rock, experimental" my experience with them just clicked as a match.
 

Greggy

Member
Messages
13,440
I recently dropped a stelly into my strat. Also added Van Zandt vintage plus in the neck and middle. To my ears, these are a very good match. BTW, the Stelly is a fine pup IMO. Very happy with it and the Van Zandts.
 

ducmike

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,701
Greggy, Do you still get good quack from the bridge/middle with the Stelly?
 

Jim Collins

Member
Messages
1,939
Usually, when folks install a pickup such as the Stelly, or Harmonic Design's STP, they do so because the Strat bridge pickup they already have sounds weak and thin in relation to the other pickups currently in the guitar. In other words, they want something stronger and meatier in the bridge. This is the very reason so many people put humbuckers in the bridge position of a Strat. I had a Strat into which I installed a Harmonic Design STP, which is their version of a Stelly. It worked beautifully with standard output, vintage style pickups (they were Antiquities). The trick was to give the bridge pickup its own tone control, with its own tone cap. That made a significant difference.
 

analog orange

Member
Messages
89
What I'm doing is a bit different. I don't just want a better tone out of my bridge I want THE Tele tone. So...I've removed the top-mount kahler hardtail that was there, so I can put on a hardtail string thru body bridge. Got my drill press ready. I'm still debating on whether or not to have John at Terrapin cut me a strat pickguard with the bridge PU in exactly the same position/angle as a tele. Either way the bridge is getting it's own tone control and I'm gonna use Angela aluminum foil paper in oil capacitors. That I think, would pretty much nail the Tele tone (not the caps, I just wanted some nice ones). From there on, I just want a volume balance between all three pups.

So you all thing standard vintage output singles would match the Stelly?

Again, anybody try the GFS pups?

Thanks for all the insight guys.
 

erksin

Member
Messages
23,158
I installed the Harmonic Design STP along with their Vintage Plus Strat neck and middle pups - they're higher output than a standard vintage model, but they mesh perfectly volume-wise. Height adjustment will also make all the difference in the world.

My Strat is a hardtail/string thru and I can cop the Tele thing pretty accurately - you shouldn't need to have a special pickguard IMO.
 

Greggy

Member
Messages
13,440
Originally posted by ducmike
Greggy, Do you still get good quack from the bridge/middle with the Stelly?
Funny you should mention this. If you install the stelly with the white wire to switch and the black to ground you may get a really weak sound out of the bridge-middle position if the middle pup is RWRP like my Van Zandt. This is what happened on my strat. Was told I need to reverse the stelly wires. Gonna wait until my strings wear out then pop the pickguard and reverse the wires. Every other position works great. To be honest, I never use the bridge-mid for quack, I'm a neck-mid kinda guy. And with the Van Zandts, the neck-mid sounds glorious.
 

erksin

Member
Messages
23,158
Make sure you wire up the bridge/neck option too - or you'll be missing a VERY cool sounding combination. I use it way more than either the 2 or 4 position...
 

ducmike

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,701
Originally posted by Greggy
Funny you should mention this. If you install the stelly with the white wire to switch and the black to ground you may get a really weak sound out of the bridge-middle position if the middle pup is RWRP like my Van Zandt. This is what happened on my strat. Was told I need to reverse the stelly wires. Gonna wait until my strings wear out then pop the pickguard and reverse the wires. Every other position works great. To be honest, I never use the bridge-mid for quack, I'm a neck-mid kinda guy. And with the Van Zandts, the neck-mid sounds glorious.
Thanks. I love the hollow sound of bridge/middle though.
 

rooster

Member
Messages
2,119
Originally posted by analog orange
What I'm doing is a bit different. I don't just want a better tone out of my bridge I want THE Tele tone. So...I've removed the top-mount kahler hardtail that was there, so I can put on a hardtail string thru body bridge. Got my drill press ready. I'm still debating on whether or not to have John at Terrapin cut me a strat pickguard with the bridge PU in exactly the same position/angle as a tele. Either way the bridge is getting it's own tone control and I'm gonna use Angela aluminum foil paper in oil capacitors. That I think, would pretty much nail the Tele tone (not the caps, I just wanted some nice ones). From there on, I just want a volume balance between all three pups.

So you all thing standard vintage output singles would match the Stelly?

Again, anybody try the GFS pups?

Thanks for all the insight guys.
I've used a few GFS p/u's. Their vintage alnico staggered strat pickups are very nice for the $$$. Their fat PAF's, both alnico and ceramic, are OK, once again for the $$$. I gotta say my SD Seth Lovers blow them away, as do my Bill Lawrence L-280S's and L490. That L490 is an amazing noiseless P90 in a HB sized package.

BTW, I support your use of the PIO caps. I thought it was BS until I put the Vitamin Q's in my LP and Strat.

rooster.
 

standard24

Member
Messages
9,080
Funny you should mention this. If you install the stelly with the white wire to switch and the black to ground you may get a really weak sound out of the bridge-middle position if the middle pup is RWRP like my Van Zandt. This is what happened on my strat. Was told I need to reverse the stelly wires. Gonna wait until my strings wear out then pop the pickguard and reverse the wires. Every other position works great. To be honest, I never use the bridge-mid for quack, I'm a neck-mid kinda guy. And with the Van Zandts, the neck-mid sounds glorious.
Wow... this thread is back from the dead!

I took my G&L Legacy (Strat clone) with a "Stelly" in the bridge position to a jam a couple of weeks ago. One player mentioned that my bridge pickup sounded "thin"... Maybe I should reverse the wires as you mentioned? How did yours turn out (if you even remember this!)?
 

poolshark

Supporting Member
Messages
3,157
Righteous necro-bump! That old post refers to out-of-phase wiring, which is a common issue when mixing pickup manufacturers. It's only a concern when you're in an in-between position - the sound is noticeably thin and weak - but it won't effect the tone of a single pickup on its own.
 




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