Calling HSS Strat Gurus

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by althekiller, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. althekiller

    althekiller Supporting Member

    Messages:
    906
    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    I bought a MIM strat for super cheap and am slowly modding it to be a super strat.

    I have upgraded all the electronics to quality CTS parts and am using 250k all around. I went with a Seymour Duncan JB for the bucker and am not using it with a tone control.

    I'm looking for a couple of true single coils to go with it.

    So far I'm looking at the SSL-6 pups and the SSL-2. Would either of these be good choices?

    Here are the concerns:

    I'm worried the SSL-2 will sound drastically underpowered and am worried the SSL-6 will be boomy and muddy in the neck position.

    I play everything from country to all sorts of metal and everything in between.

    The point of this guitar is to have a cheap guitar that I'm not worried about getting beaten up that can cover tons of ground tonally and make it so I don't have to take multiple guitars with me.

    On a side note the JB is the first bucker I've used that sounds amazing with 250K pots and might be my favorite bridge bucker tone I've ever had!
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
  2. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    33,426
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    i've wired up lots of "cover all gigs" HSS strats for people.

    look at the dimarzio heavy blues II for the neck; louder than a regular strat pickup (so it'll hang OK with a bridge 'bucker), a decently authentic bright and cutting strat sound for a hotter pickup (to me it kinda does that SRV to richie blackmore fat strat thing), alnico II mags so it doesn't pull on the strings, and it's dead-quiet hum-canceling.

    for the middle pickup it depends on if you're more about the 2 & 4 sounds or if you tend to use the middle by itself; the tradeoff is that the fatter and louder the middle pickup, the less sparkly the in-between sounds tend to get.

    lots of players tend to avoid the middle by itself anyway, and for those guys i've found that a more stock fender-type pickup works here, one that's reverse-polarity from the neck pickup; i can wire up the 5-way to split both the neck and the bridge on their respective in-between settings, for 4 out of 5 settings hum-canceling on the guitar and all sounding good.
     
  3. rabbuhl

    rabbuhl Member

    Messages:
    2,557
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Location:
    Haarlem, The Netherlands
    I just updated my Strat with a Amber CrossPoint 59 humbucker, and Don Mare Josie/Vaughn in the neck/middle. Those single-cois are vintage-style pickups. The middle pickup is especially snappy. The neck pickup is a bit underpowered compared to the other pickups. It is tough in an HSS configuration to get everything to match perfectly. I had Blues Specials in the previous pickguard. They were a little hotter than vintage-style pickups and sounded nice with the UnBucker. However, I would recommend vintage-style single-coil pickups to cover as much ground as possible. Good luck!!
     
  4. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

    Messages:
    14,732
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    I much prefer a more open, less congested pickup like a '59 trembucker or Pearly Gates. They worked much better with all my strat's single coils, which were low or medium output.

    Everytime I had a JB in a strat, I had to eq the amp very differently to compensate for that real middy tone. then the singles sounded very bad. I'd think you would need some real hot singles and then it could all match up nice.
     
  5. paulvcarter

    paulvcarter Member

    Messages:
    2,184
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    new york
  6. rollyfoster

    rollyfoster Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,597
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Arrrstin
    Suhr V70s with the SSV in bridge sound awesome and work together perfectly.
     
  7. althekiller

    althekiller Supporting Member

    Messages:
    906
    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    I realized last night that it might be hard to get the type singles that I like (I like ver traditional strat neck and middle pups) to match with the JB I have so I stuck a Dimarzio 36th anni pup in the bridge that I was not using. It matches very well with the Fender Fat 50s I had laying around that I forgot I even had that I installed last night.

    Balances very well and sounds awesome. The 36th anni pup sounds great in pretty any guitar I've put it in! I forgot how much I like the Fat 50s as well. I know there are maybe better singles out there but this is a cheap guitar so the less money I have to spend on it and make it sound awesome the better. So for now the Fat 50s will stay and may even be permanent. They are seriously nice sounding pups.

    Only mod I'll do now is probably upgrade the cheap stock electronics to CTS.
     
  8. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,326
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Ghent, NY
    I've never liked a JB in a bolt on. I love them in mahogany set neck guitar like Deans I think they really shine in that situation. For a HSS Strat I like Suhr pickups and Jon's wiring scheme.
     
  9. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    33,426
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    agreed; the JB is a flamethrower, you're not gonna find strat pickups that really balance with it and still sound like good strat pickups.

    the plain ol' duncan 59 is a surprisingly good strat bridge pickup, especially the TB-59 trembucker version.

    punchy with enough low end, does VH beautifully if you have the amp gain for it, while still sounding clear and "vintage".
     
  10. rabbuhl

    rabbuhl Member

    Messages:
    2,557
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Location:
    Haarlem, The Netherlands
    Smart move. You just need a good humbucker in the bridge like the 36th anniv to nail the LP-sound (AC/DC, Zep, Black Crowes, ZZ Top, etc.), and a good set of single-coils to cover the Strat-sound (SRV, Hendrix, etc).
     

Share This Page