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Fender Strat Guys; What pick-up do I put in the bridge? (Tom Anderson Content)

saltydogg

Rock & Roll Enthusiast
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,376
Hi Guys,

For someone who has never bonded with Strats, and always prefer a Gibson, I am considering having Tom Anderson build me a Classic. I have never played a TA so, my frame of reference is nil.

Three things that I dig (outside of the craftsmanship) about the Anderson Classic are:

a) the relocation of the volume knob and deduction of the 2nd tone knob.
b) 1-11/16" nut
c) Custom neck thickness

I definitely want single coils in the neck and middle position but, I am undecided about the bridge. The Gibson-Guy inside of me is screaming humbucker but, the Vintage-Guy inside of me is screaming single coil!

For vintage-tone single coils, Tom has suggested VA7R, VA7 and, for a humbucker, the HFS1+.

So, a few questions:
1. How often do you strataholics use the SC bridge pup?
2. Do you use a SSS but, deep-down inside, wish you had HSS?
3. Any experience with the HFS1+ ?
4. Anything negative that I should know about have a HB in the bridge of a strat?

I'm looking for classic/southern rock and blues tones.

Thank you!
:beer
 

modernp

Member
Messages
2,192
You are going to find out that with the Andersons the bridge Pup, on general are very huge sounding. I had a hollow classic for many years and it would hang with my Les Pauls. I actually got rid of that guitar because it was a little too huge in sound and went more of a traditional route for a strat. Don't get me wrong it was one of the nicest playing and sounding guitars I have owned. But the tone was not what I was looking for in my new band. If I want a humbucker tone I use a humbucker guitar.
 

halorealm7

Member
Messages
4,559
I'm going the other way with the HB in the bridge. I thought about the overlap but to be honest, there is no overlap. The HB in my strat sounds absolutely nothing like my LP or any other "humbucker guitar" that I own. Maybe it's the ash body but no, the guitar has it's own sound and I'm happy with the bucker in the bridge.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
15,291
The H2 and probably the other H series HB's are great when split. very SC like. Gives you both HB and SC sounds, and the H2 which i have is IMO one of the best all around humbuckers i've ever had. It's fat, smooth great split, and while it's not high output it acts like it is because other than gain it displays all the good things like sustain and fatness that people normally are looking 4 when they opt for a high output p/u. So to me it ticks all the boxes and some it shouldn't but does. You just can't go wrong with a H2.
 

harritone

Member
Messages
578
H2+ is one the best H pickups I've ever used

remember, the SC and SF series single coil pups are designed for use in series....which I dont use....I like the cutting sound of split singles....SAs are great and so are the VAs for this purpose....Any of Toms pickups are great for a number of uses
 

Ben S.

Member
Messages
2,184
You might look into the Seymour Duncan SSL-5 which is a medium to high wind bridge pickup. It is basically wound to the specs of a pickup Seymour made for David Gilmour back in the day and is still in his black strat. It has tremendous power, but when turned down gets that distinct strat sound you may still want.

But, I have nothing against a Humbucker with a 25.5" scale. Jimmy Herring makes it sound incredible.

The great thing is that there are no rules. Do what you wanna.
 
Messages
2,941
I like Dimarzio HS-2's in the bridge spot in my Strats, wired to the tone control of course. It's wired in single-coil mode which actually gives it a bit more output, but still retains a beautiful vintage-hot sound.
 

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,188
H2+ is one the best H pickups I've ever used

remember, the SC and SF series single coil pups are designed for use in series....which I dont use....I like the cutting sound of split singles....SAs are great and so are the VAs for this purpose....Any of Toms pickups are great for a number of uses
This. The H2+ is my favorite Anderson bridge pickup. Sounds great clean, crunch or scream, and splits well too.
 

saltydogg

Rock & Roll Enthusiast
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,376
Thanks for all the great responses, guys. So many choices....it's alot to digest.

So, some of you feel that the DiMarzio's and SD's are a good alternative to a humbucker? Does TA design a similar pick-up?


This. The H2+ is my favorite Anderson bridge pickup. Sounds great clean, crunch or scream, and splits well too.
/\ Trevor: When you say the H2+ "splits well", what exactly does that mean?


Thanks again, Gents.
 

saltydogg

Rock & Roll Enthusiast
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,376
I'm getting ready to finalize my spec-sheet for the S-Classic.

I'm leaning towards a H2+ in the bridge. Can you explain to me how the 5-way switch operates with a humbucker in the bridge; for a split coil scenario and, a non-split coil scenario?

Have any of you guys used a humbucker in the bridge with the VA Switch? Results?

Thanks for all your thoughts, gents. Much appreciated.
 

cratz2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,301
Dunno but if I were to special order a strat from Anderson, I'd go for an H/S/S where it auto splits the bridge pickup when in the bridge+middle position, and I'd want to be able to run the bridge split on its own AND I'd want to be able to get the bridge split with the neck and the bridge full with the neck as options.

I'd specifically want a 5 way switch, master volume, master tone, push-pull on the tone to split the bridge and a mini toggle to bring in the neck pickup. Might be willing to give up the middle pickup option alone to have the bridge+neck that way, but I probably wouldn't.

I'm a life-long strat guy. 30+ years.
 

Fingers

Member
Messages
708
This. The H2+ is my favorite Anderson bridge pickup. Sounds great clean, crunch or scream, and splits well too.
And I'll agree with the above agreement. H2+ is my favorite HB I've ever had. (I mostly play single-coil bridge PUs, but I can't really say they're a "better" choice.) As far as it splitting, I personally preferred it switching to parallel wiring for the "split" position, just because I found that to be such a cool sound. And in the regular series position, it's a monster, very smooth, biting & expressive. But Tom's made a lot of other pickup models since then, which I have no direct knowledge of.
 

DC1

Member
Messages
15,391
If you've spoken to Tom and he has an idea of what you are wanting to sound like, by all means, take his advice. He is one of the people that I just say yes to whatever suggestion he makes. He and Mark Sampson and my buddy Dan Altilio at Top Gear guitar all have such great ears and instincts that I just always take their advice and have never regretted it.

:BluesBros


dc
 

phel21

Member
Messages
399
a) the relocation of the volume knob and deduction of the 2nd tone knob.
b) 1-11/16" nut
c) Custom neck thickness
I would add scale-length to that list. One important reason for many to bond with Gibsons and not Fenders is the neck scale. Anderson is one of very few builders who offer 24-3/4 scale alternatives for all their S and T-style models.



3. Any experience with the HFS1+ ?
Can't find HFS in TAGs pickup catalog. Is it the HF1+ ? (as in HF-Series). I've got a drop top with HF1+ in the neck (and superhot HF3+ in the bridge). I have not tried the HF1+ in the bridge-position, but it works well in the neck and splits for excellent SC sound. I imagine it could be a really nice alternative in the bridge position on a vintage-voiced guitar.
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,446
I've had two guitars with H2+ pickups in them (currently own one), and one with the newer HC1.

Tom's pickups split AMAZINGLY well. I'd do HSS, sometimes, having that humbucker int he bridge is the BOMB!
 

David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,993
Hi Guys,

For someone who has never bonded with Strats, and always prefer a Gibson, I am considering having Tom Anderson build me a Classic. I have never played a TA so, my frame of reference is nil.

Three things that I dig (outside of the craftsmanship) about the Anderson Classic are:

a) the relocation of the volume knob and deduction of the 2nd tone knob.
b) 1-11/16" nut
c) Custom neck thickness

I definitely want single coils in the neck and middle position but, I am undecided about the bridge. The Gibson-Guy inside of me is screaming humbucker but, the Vintage-Guy inside of me is screaming single coil!

For vintage-tone single coils, Tom has suggested VA7R, VA7 and, for a humbucker, the HFS1+.

So, a few questions:
1. How often do you strataholics use the SC bridge pup?
2. Do you use a SSS but, deep-down inside, wish you had HSS?
3. Any experience with the HFS1+ ?
4. Anything negative that I should know about have a HB in the bridge of a strat?

I'm looking for classic/southern rock and blues tones.

Thank you!
:beer
I have a humbucker equipped guitar, so I don't need an HSS Strat for anything, but honestly, I rarely play the PRS at all, so I guess I have no need for humbuckers.

A slightly hotter bridge pickup in the Strat combined with a tone control on the bridge will solve a lot of problems. I despise the bridge pickup in the Strat with no tone load. It just sounds harsh and awful to me. But my EJ Strat has the tone control on the bridge and the middle with no tone, and that sounds awesome. I wired it for a while with the first tone control to the neck/bridge and the 2nd to the middle, and that was fine, too, but in the end, I prefer the tone with the middle open.

I have the DiMarzio Area 58/58/61 set in mine, and the 61 in the bridge is about perfect for classic rock. If you want hotter, they make them, but I think the 61 is fantastic for my use.
 






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