Can a Strat neck humbucker get "that" clean tone?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by zeffbeff, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. zeffbeff

    zeffbeff Member

    Messages:
    1,724
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    The stratocaster neck clean tone is my favorite guitar tone ever. I have two Strats with neck single coils.

    But ever since I was a kid, I've been enamored of having a neck HB in a Strat, ever since I saw a Big Apple Strat with the Seymour Duncan pickups.

    I love that you can really rail on the strings with a neck single coil and yet still remain clear without being thudding or farting, unlike a Les Paul.

    So, how does a vintage output HB sound clean in the neck of a Strat? Can you really rail into the strings, or does it get too boomy like a Gibson?
     
  2. grapeshot

    grapeshot Member

    Messages:
    3,226
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    Vienna, VA
    I have a Strat with a set of DiMarzio 36th Ann PAFs, and positions 2 & 4 are wired to split the pickups. Position 2 with the HB split is very close (good enough for me). YMMV.
     
  3. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,833
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Stabekk, Norway
    That is a very "YMMV" question...:)

    For me, no way.
     
  4. zeffbeff

    zeffbeff Member

    Messages:
    1,724
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Thanks. Yeah I know it'll never be as STRAT as a single coil, but I was wondering if the fender body build and scale length etc would make the HB sound different than on a gibson.

    How about when the HBs are not split? Still boomy or not?
     
  5. BlackOne

    BlackOne Member

    Messages:
    49
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2015
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Well, I can't tell you exactly what would happen, because I haven't tried it myself, but I'm sure that it actually depends on the pickup you are putting in. I've tried my friends PRS with vintage output humbuckers and it sounded really good, full humbucker or splitted. Nice clean tones, but not similar at all to single coil cleans.
     
  6. Shane Sanders

    Shane Sanders Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,418
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    What you might want to try is a typical Ibanez 5-way wiring scheme with Railhammer pickups. Position 4 is parallel connected and throws away just enough lows to mimic what you are after. It's not the same, as you've noted, but you may find it to be an ideal flavor. The Railhammers, given their design, help keep the beef and balance...

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Spec

    Spec Member

    Messages:
    764
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010

    I've played only single coil strats/teles for several decades. Recently I built a partscaster with 2 humbuckers, Wilde L90 2.8 and 4 (bridge). From what I understand they sound like low powered PAFs.

    Anyway the neck pickup picks up the stringy sound of the strat without the plink sound of single coils. I'm thinking that it's a combination of the 25.5" scale and the alder body for the most part. It's not the strat sound in that it doesn't have the high edgy, icepick quality. It's a bit more compressed rounder sound but I like it.

    One thing though a 2 humbucker guitar usually has a volume drop with both pickups selected. I thought that there was something wrong with my wiring but reading up it's a "feature" I guess. It's not the Strat quack sound for sure so if you're needing that hums aren't going to get you there. Yea I know that there are those that say a coil split humbucker can get that sound but not from what I've heard/played.
     
  8. caspergomez

    caspergomez Member

    Messages:
    89
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Location:
    atlanta ga.
    i have a strat with a duncan '59 in the neck and JB in the bridge and it sounds really good. i can roll off the volume knob a little and get it to shimmer like a new penny.
     
  9. zeffbeff

    zeffbeff Member

    Messages:
    1,724
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Yes, this is the ticket! I'm going to try this out (but using different pickups).
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
  10. TresGatos

    TresGatos Member

    Messages:
    1,555
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal,Qc
    It has to be said: "Strat with a HB neck ain't no Strat."

    Now that we've dealt with it, I'll say I have heard chimey clean HB tone out of a Strat neck HB but if you mean "that" Strat clean SC neck tone then no, even split.

    The cow doesn't say "oink". :)
     
  11. majordanger

    majordanger Member

    Messages:
    225
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Location:
    Seattle
    HH strats are manufactured and distributed. Maybe you can find one locally and try it. No reason it can't sound great. Coil tap sounds like the ticket to me.
     
  12. metropolis_4

    metropolis_4 Member

    Messages:
    2,305
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    I've got an EMG 60AX in the neck of one of my strats and I can't say enough good things about it! It's definitely got a bit more snap and attack to it than something like a Gibson. The 60AX is awesome; almost like a cross between a vintage humbucker and a P90.
     
  13. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

    Messages:
    25,072
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2004
    Location:
    Canada-GTA
    The brightest hb I have used is the DiM hb from hell, advertised as a sc sounding hb.
    It is not.
    It is, however, a good sounding, exceptionally bright hb.
     
  14. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,237
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Hills of WV
    Not always thought of as humbuckers, but the dual coil single size "humbuckers" (because they are) sample a narrower area of string than a full size HB and get real close to what you are talking about. I'm thinking of Barden S-Deluxes, DiMarzio Cruiser, Dimarzio Areas & that ilk. I love 'em, nice & full but with "that" sound.
     
  15. papolam

    papolam Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2015
    I'm very interested in this subject. I have an ibanez (not special) with "the chopper" in the neck and a JB model in the bridge. I don't know how but I'm trying to get that "clean strat" tone in the neck position, the closest sound at least.
    I have modified the configuration set with a 3-position and 500k volume and tone pots.
    Can you help me with this?


    Enviado desde mi iPhone utilizando Tapatalk
     
  16. Askomiko

    Askomiko Member

    Messages:
    66
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Some makers have pickups that are made of two strat pu's combined. Rio grande might have been one.
     
  17. BlackOne

    BlackOne Member

    Messages:
    49
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2015
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Sure. Buy a Strat!
    No, seriously. Nothing but a Strat can get you in the Strat neck position tones area. There are so many things that matter. Wood, pickups, scale...
     
  18. The_Demon_B

    The_Demon_B Member

    Messages:
    30
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
    Location:
    Bonny Scotland
    The amp is just as important to get "that" strat neck sound in my opinion. You can get pretty close with a tele too I reckon. Not a humbucker equipped one though.
     
  19. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,237
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Hills of WV
    The Chopper is pretty beefy to get a "Strat neck" sound. Among the DiMarzio rail pickups the Cruiser does a better job of getting that tone with the clarity we are talking about.
     
  20. JDutch

    JDutch Member

    Messages:
    1,725
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    If you'd asked me 10 years ago, I'd have said no way, not even close.

    However, the humbuckers being wound today are lightyears ahead of what was the norm just a few years ago. Will a humbucker sound exactly like a single coil? No. But, if you're asking whether a humbucker can get clear, punchy, bell-like tones that normally are associated with a great single coil pick-up, then my answer is "yes".

    After trying quite a few pick-ups by quite a few manufacturers, my favorites in this order are: PRS, Throbak, Gibson, Dimarzio, Wolftone, Lollar and Seymour Duncan.

    If you can find a pair of PRS 53/10 pick-ups, I think you may really like them. Although they're definitely not the cheapest option, they're definitely not the most expensive, either.
     
    Ryan P. likes this.

Share This Page