Dimarzio HS-3 Pickups

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by awillingham, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. awillingham

    awillingham Member

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    I am on the quest to replace the stock Texas Special Pickups in my SRV Strat with something more versitile. I still want to be able to get the bluesy thick SRV tone as well as some high gain lead tones ala' Satriani and EJ. I think EJ used these pickups at one point but I am not sure. It looks like these are a very low output p/u as well and I am not sure what effect that may have. Any help, advice, or recommendations is appreciated.
     
  2. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Member

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    you could always get a blade type humbucker in a single coil size and coil tap it.
     
  3. awillingham

    awillingham Member

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    I thought of that, but I kinda wanna stay with the single coil look. No blades or crazy colors.
     
  4. jezzzz2003

    jezzzz2003 Member

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    I USED to use HS-3's in my strats but have since moved onto, funnily enough Texas Specials ;]

    In a nutshell, the classic Strat tones are out the window, not much quack there but they were good for higher gain stuff, they didnt really have their own tone though to me, Ive still got a bunch of them lying around and might pop them back into a Strat one day but from memory, theyre just another, flat freq response pickup, very low output, forget about putting one in the bridge position IMO, most will agree with me there, it just sounds bad in the bridge, neck was ok though, to be honest, going from the Texas Special to the 3's and then back again after a long search, I found barely any difference between the two apart from the raggedness and stronger output of the TS, the HS-3 is "smooth" if I had to sum it up in one word but definitely not good for everyone.
     
  5. guitararmy

    guitararmy Member

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    DiMarzio makes a new line of Virtual Vintage pickups in several flavors that keep the vintage look but are quiet and go from 50s glassy to a P90 crunch. I have them in two of my strats...
     
  6. swimrunner

    swimrunner Member

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    i have no clue how malmsteen manages to sound pretty good with these. =/
     
  7. rastus

    rastus Member

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    Back in the late 80's, I had a Fullerton 57 reissue Strat. I got it from Tom Murphy, refinned by him on the body. The neck had to be refretted, and it was complete, but no pickups. Tom let me have it for 250.00.

    At the time I needed pickups that were hum cancelling and that would get me a Blackmore/Marshall sound, but I wanted the stock appearance. I went with the HS-3 pu/s and was very happy with them. Here is the caveat-I still used a 62 Japan reissue for stock Strat tones at the time, as the Malmsteen p/us really only lent themselves to very high gain rock tones-at this they were excellent. But, they were quite one dimensional and only were used for that one sound, but whoo boy, what a sound!

    So, even though the guitar was not a traditional Strat (at least tone wise) I felt that the HS3's served my needs better than anything else that was available at the time. But I would not recommend them for anyone trying to retain a stock Strat's sounds.
     
  8. DualRectifier

    DualRectifier Silver Supporting Member

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    I replaced my HS3s with Virtual Vintage Blues, and there is no contest. The VVs are much better sounding and more versatile than the HS3s.
     
  9. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    They are awesome when you use a lot of gain. They sing and are smooth. Very flat, dull sounding for clean. No good SRV tones there, imo.

    They smoke on high gain.
     
  10. awillingham

    awillingham Member

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    Is there something that will give me both? Great for singing high gain and good cleans? Will the VV's do this?
     
  11. Flinto2002

    Flinto2002 Senior Member

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    I'd go with area 58's in the neck and middle, they are easily the best sounding of the VV series that dimarzio has done in quite some time. lots of quack and sparkle.

    If you want something hotter in the bridge I'd get a fast track (though it has blades)
     
  12. marnold

    marnold Member

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    I just got Area '61s in my HSS. You might want to try them. Not a "vintage" tone necessarily, but I really like them clean and they don't seem to lose anything with distortion.
     
  13. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Seems like everything's always a compromise. Think of the some of the best sounding clean amps, probably a Fender black face of some kind. It won't rock hard like a Marshall.

    A great sounding chimey strat pickup can sound a little weak and shrill for rock. But with tone/EQ/amp/pedal settings, you can go a long way.
     
  14. rrhea

    rrhea Member

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    Unless you're adjusting your amp significantly for the Satch-like stuff (which will kill your SRV), or unless you can amp switch between two rigs, you're probably not going to ever find a true single coil that will get you the versatility you're looking for.

    The closest you'll get (IMO) is the Fast Track (blade style) series from DiMarzio, or the Duncan Hotrails pickups, etc. I have the Virtual Vintage singles in one of my Strats in the mid and neck positions and they are awesome. In the bridge of the guitar I have a Fast Track 2 and that PU is simply awesome. It is damn close to the full output of a high gain pickup, but retains clarity and note separation and makes my Strat sound huge. I can highly recommend the FT2 pickup to give your Strat some serious balls in the bridge position, and the VV's for versatility in the neck and mid... these pups will squeal with high gain, and clean up nicely for fatter SRV type stuff.

    That's about the best you can do for your goals, as far as I know.

    My Deluxe '02 Strat[​IMG]


    RR
     

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