Fat strat pickup suggestions

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by suhr_rodney, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

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    There are countless threads on this forum stating various strat pickups as 'best' but with no mention of the tone sought. So with that in mind, I want to turn one of my Suhrs into a beefy, fat strat. I'm not so concerned about losing the quack. However, I want a full, fat tone that does not sound too squashed. The V60LPs that are in the guitar are great for a warm vintage tone, but that's not what I'm going for with this guitar.

    Has anyone tried running 3 Lollar Special S pickups? How do they work in the neck and middle positions? Do you have other suggestions? Any direct comparisons to the Suhr V60LPs would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks and Happy Holidays to all! :AOK
     
  2. Luke V

    Luke V Member

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    The Fralin sp43 is pretty damn fat. I also think the Texas Special bridge pickup is fat. YMMV.
     
  3. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

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    Luke, thanks for the comments.

    There are some awesome sound clips on the Acme Guitar Works web page. They did a fantastic job capturing licks with various pickups, including Lollars, Fralins,Feders and Lace. In some of these clips the Lollar Blackface and Fralin Blues Special pickups sound very similar. Sometime this week I'll stop by Fat Sound and check out one of the Grosh guitars with the Blues Special/Blues Special/SP43 combination.

    Can someone post the standard wind DC resistance for the Fralin Blues Special and SP43? I can't seem to find that info posted on Lindy's web site.
     
  4. Cranknfrank

    Cranknfrank Member

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    Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounders are very fat and very retro....very much forgotten in this booteek age we're living in......
     
  5. tfunster

    tfunster Gold Supporting Member

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    I just won an auction for a set of Vintage Vibe Guitars P90 pickups in strat size. They use Ceramic 8 magnets and the bridge is 10k and the neck and middle are around 8.5k. Cost $85 new directly from VVG

    Should get them in a couple of days. I can let you know how they sound if you're interested.
     
  6. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

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    You're right, I had forgotten about them! I used to have a set of those in a 76 ash strat that I had 20 years ago and that guitar definitely sounded fat. Those are worth considering, along with several other Duncan models. I just discovered this set of sound samples on their web site.


    Hmm... never heard of those p'ups, but they definitely sound interesting. I'd love to hear your feedback.
     
  7. DrDespair

    DrDespair Member

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    I once had a Hardtail-Strat that I equipped with a Seymour duncan Jazz in the neck (!) and a QuarterPounder in bridge position.

    I would not say fat, I´d say chunky and shining (on overdrive)

    A very thick and hot one would be a 3xCoolRail version.
    you can always coiltap them for the thinner sounds.
     
  8. tfunster

    tfunster Gold Supporting Member

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    Here's a little review of the Vintage Vibe P90 Strat Pickups that I just received. There's a chance that I might posting these in the for sale emporium because my EJ strat should be arriving very soon, and the neck of the guitar that I put these pickups in is shot and is ready for retirement (can't sell it as it's my first electric) However, I won't sugar coat this review at all. (really I won't)

    The pickups are shielded, and I noticed right away that they are definitely quieter than my stock MIM strat pickups. So did they turn my strat into a Les Paul with P90's??? Nope, my strat still sounds like it does, but they were a HUGE improved over the stock pickups.

    All positions have a nice percussive punch to them, something I personally love in a good strat pickup. They obviously have slightly more midrange than a standard strat pickup, but there's nothing harsh or glaring about it. I would describe their personality as relatively transparent and balanced across the spectrum.

    They retain the qualities of other boutique strat pickups I have tried (and sold because I'm a neurotic tweaker)), but they are louder, slightly more in your face and they push the front end of the amp very nicely. The neck and middle sound awesome clean, and the bridge sounds great when I roll the tone back to 8, as it can still be a little bright, but without any icepick. (I'm running this through a Matchless Lightning clone which is a bright amp to begin with.) When playing clean, there is perfect string definition and clarity.

    The bridge sounds great with the gain turned up, the leads really cut and you can get that screamy strat thing going on. The neck does get slightly compressed and mushy on the higher gain stuff, but so do all my other guitars with this particular amp. However the neck and middle pickups are sweet with mildly overdriven blues licks.

    A lot of the quack is retained in the 2 and 4 positions, maybe not as much as a low output single coil, but it's not that far off.

    All in all, I would say that these are great, and relatively inexpensive pickups. Pretty much like a mix of vintage tone but with P90 output and girth, if that makes any sense. :BEER
     
  9. LightninBoy

    LightninBoy Member

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    suhr_rodney - If I remember correctly you are in Raleigh - if you care to take a road trip to Charlotte sometime, shoot me an email and you'd be welcome to come by and try some of my guitars for comparisons. I've got a set of Lollar Blondes in a Grosh Retro (ash/braz r/w) and a set of Lollar Specials in another (Ash/maple) - for fatness I prefer the Blondes but the Specials aren't bad either. The in-betweens are classic Fender quack with both sets - prefer the Blondes in this position also.

    Also, I put 3 SD 'Little Screamin Demons' in a Fender Strat - they've lost ALL sense of quack... for what I'm using that one for (rock, metal) they're excellent though, and plenty fat...

    I've tried Fralin Blues Specials and found them a bit dark sounding to my ears. Don't forget Rio Grande Vintage Tallboys, they have a nice warm fat tone but with plenty of articulation in the neck position. You can probably pick up a set of these at Harry's in Raleigh.
     
  10. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the offer LightninBoy! It would be fun to connect with another TGP'er.

    Actually I stopped by Fat Sound yesterday and Stu hooked me up with a set of Fralins (Vintage Hot with an SP43 in the bridge). He had the same setup in his Strat and it screamed through a Maz 18 & Z-best. He's willing to take them back if I don't dig 'em. So I'll try to get them installed shortly to see how they sound.

    I'm considering a couple of Lollar Specials (strat) for another Suhr, which is chambered alder with a maple cap. It's a hum/single/single, so I'd likely put the two Specials with and Imperial in the bridge. Due to the maple cap, the guitar has a sizzle (or bright presence) acoustically. I want something with more low end and less top end than the stock V60LPs. I suspect the smooth character of the Specials will work great. Do you have any comments or recommendations?
     
  11. echo unit

    echo unit Member

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    What about Harmonic Designs Vintage Plus for the neck and middle positions and the Super 90 for the bridge position.

    I have heard a lot of people say that these are wonderful and prefer them over the Fralin Steel Pole 42 and 43, Rio Grande equivalents as well as the Duncan stuff.

    I think the fattest Duncan Pickups for a Strat would the be the Little 59's wouldn't you guys think?
     
  12. LightninBoy

    LightninBoy Member

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    What you're describing with the chambered alder/maple Suhr sounds like what I experienced with an Ash/maple strat a few years ago - a bit too much in the top end, to the point of sounding slightly brittle. I went through quite a few sets of pickups before settling on Vintage Tallboys in the neck and middle with a DiMarzio HS3 in the bridge. This was prior to my introduction to Lollars though and I hate to steer you away from those.

    The HS3, like the SP43, will retain that stratty tone in the bridge - albeit fatter and hotter, still strat-like. I wanted more power and 'chunk' and have been absolutely satisfied with the SD Little Screamin demon in the bridge. Like you, I'm really tempted to try some other pickups in my Suhr neck and middle positions but love the tone of the V60lps in there for clean and slightly overdriven. It's a crap shoot really, I feel you really have to try as many as you can before settling on anything in particular. It's hard for me to choose between great sounding pickups but I don't think you could stray too far from what you're looking for tonewise with the Special/Imperial setup you mentioned.​
     
  13. royd

    royd Member

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    +1 for the Vintage Vibe SP90's. I have a set in one of my guitars and they are great... the guitar had Fralin Blues Specials in it before and frankly they sounded weak and thin to me. The VV's really are wonderful - fat, round, warm, but still retain the strat sparkle, and give me some quack. I highly recommend them.
     
  14. oxtone

    oxtone Member

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    Hmmm, these Vintage Vibe SP-90 pups have me very interested! I've been using EMG SA's in my 1981 Walnut "The STRAT" for years, but now I'm looking for a quiet Strat-style pickup. I like the quietness of the EMG's, but don't like the sterile sound anymore. I use a Boogie Studio Pre/Simul 2:90 rig, but use a Radial Tonebone Classic for distortion sounds now.

    Do you guys think the VV SP-90's would sound good on a Walnut STRAT? I also use lot's of effects, especially delay, microvibe, EVH Phase 90, Clyde Wa, Supatrem, etc...

    Also, I don't see the SP-90's mentioned on the Vintage Vibe website...
     
  15. dzeitlin

    dzeitlin Member

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    I have settled on a set of 3 Rio Grande Muy Grandes in my 62RI after trying loads of others. I think they sound as fat as a single coil can without being a P90. I have a very good reference point on this as I alos own an Ernie Ball Albert Lee with 3 P90s. The P90s have a midrange hump that makes them sound fatter. The Rio's have just enough mid scoop to sound like a traditional strat. This is mostly apparent in the 2 and 4 positions.
     
  16. Stormin

    Stormin Supporting Member

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    If by "Fat Strat" you mean HSS, I put Rio Grande Halfbreeds (neck, middle), and a Rio Grande BBQ Bucker (bridge) in my 1st year Am Std Strat.

    They are Phat and versitile (as well as affordable).

    Stormin!
     
  17. oxtone

    oxtone Member

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    Any more help on the Vintage Vibe SP-90's in a Walnut Strat? How do you think they would sound, compared to my EMG SA's?

    Thanks for any help...
     
  18. tfunster

    tfunster Gold Supporting Member

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    Don't have any experience with walnut strats, are they warmer than alder or swamp ash???? I have played EMG's in a strat, and while I didn't think they sounded bad, they were clean and sterile to my ears. I think that if your guitar sounds good acoustically, then it would sound great with the SP90's. On my guitar, I found that they do a good job of bringing it's natural tone while imparting a "vintage vibe." I think the SP90's sound like a great vintage single coil and P90 mated together. Not to spam here, but my EJ strat is going to arrive tomorrow, and if I don't feel the need to have two strats, I'm going to put the VV SP90's up for sale and retire the guitar. Let me know if you're intersted.
     
  19. oxtone

    oxtone Member

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    tfunster,

    I sent you an email about this...
     

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