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help: my strat doesn't quack!!

musicman1

Member
Messages
3,690
Quack is a compromise. Lowering pickups helps but other factors are heavily involved including saddle material strings trem vs hardtail action or height of strings even pick material and where over the pickups do you play. Add to that the right amp to achieve that too. Its a tough chase and if you just focus on positions 2 and 4 the rest will suffer by being too thin sounding to do much else imo. Once you get the pickups as close to the tones that they are capable of a good eq pedal can do the rest. And you can use it for every gtr you own to tweak out and fine tune those tones too.
 

EC Strat

Member
Messages
190
thank you! That's really good to know/helpful even though it's not the best news as it looks like I have to change my pickups. I'm considering just winding my own at this point, but it's going to be hard to know how to get the sound I'm looking for since there's not much information out there on winding patterns, coil wire gauge and wire materials for specific pickups. I saw a vid of someone repairing a vintage 63 single coil and he said it was 40 AWG, the wire is probably copper, and the winding pattern looked pretty much uniformly distributed across the bobbin. If it doesn't pan out, I'll probably go with some bare knuckles or a set of 57/62s since I like the sound of those.
LMK if you buy a different set. I’ll take the SSL 1’s and 5 off your hands
 

Strato_phase

Member
Messages
42
A surprising solution, from personal experience, mess with your middle pickup height. It sounds so simple, yet it is very powerful in regards to positions 2 and 4 of a strat. Move the middle pickup height up, then drop it way down. Hear the difference between the extremes and adjust from which one you liked the sound off.

Also, try messing with the middle eq control on your amp. Also very powerful in regards to positions 2 and 4. With higher output pickups, the midrange can be quite pronounced. Pull that knob down and see how that effects the qwack as well. Hope this helps you out!
 
Messages
288
I think I figured out a big part of the problem. My neck pickup is damaged. There's a pretty big dent in the coils on one side, so its possible that the wire split somewhere deeper inside because of it. That could be causing the problem in position 2, and the high output bridge pickup obviously is why it doesn't quack in 4. Looks like I need a new neck pickup.
 

jvin248

Member
Messages
4,885
.

It's pretty simple. Several posts already gave the path but to improve the signal to noise ratio in the thread:

Lower all pickups flush to the pickguard, especially important with hotter ceramic magnets or higher wound bobbins.
Raise the bridge pickup until volume parity when switching neck to bridge pickups.
Pick between the middle pickup and the end of the fretboard.
You can tweak with tipping pickups treble vs bass sides some too, but the middle pickup should tip the opposite way of the neck and bridge.
Some improvement with having a mix of stagger pole magnets and flat/level poles between pickup pairs.

The key is weak pickup outputs and different strengths of pickup pairs.
Pickup position naturally gives different strength output.

On a humbucker you can lower the pickup, raise the screw poles and put them in a Strat Stagger pattern, wire that extra toggle switch to give you parallel bobbins instead of series. And you'll have a Quacking humbucker. No it still won't be as good as a pair of Strat coils but it will Quack.

Some of the most Quacky Strats I've come across are actually ceramic magnet Squier Bullets and Affinity models produced in Indonesia. It appears they have taken the path of strong ceramic magnets and lower bobbin windings. Gotta put them low though.

.
 
Messages
3,877
Crank the middle pickup flush with the guard.

My Ed O’Brien Strat has three VERY different pickups: Sustainer in the neck, Texas Special in the middle and a JB Jr bridge. I lowered the Texas Special so that the treble side is flush, bass side slightly raised. Plenty of quack now. If I can make this oddball sound like a Strat, anything’s possible.
 

stan p

Member
Messages
1,146
A really bad body can deaden it a bit, but it has to be really bad wood. Also bridge... my son and I have swapped a rem in a Jap Fernandes LE and it made a huge difference !! I find it really hard to find a need for a more expensive guitar. Try a good bridge?
 

mscion

Member
Messages
171
Hi. I have to admit I'm not quite sure what the quack sound is supposed to be like. I can guess but would someone please provide, say, a YouTube link or equivalent so I can understand. I know this is an opportunity to have some fun on me but I'm seriously interested.
 

mscion

Member
Messages
171
Ha ha! Very good. I'd rather not hijack this thread in regards to quack jokes so I will start a new thread on this topic.
 
Messages
288
.

It's pretty simple. Several posts already gave the path but to improve the signal to noise ratio in the thread:

Lower all pickups flush to the pickguard, especially important with hotter ceramic magnets or higher wound bobbins.
Raise the bridge pickup until volume parity when switching neck to bridge pickups.
Pick between the middle pickup and the end of the fretboard.
You can tweak with tipping pickups treble vs bass sides some too, but the middle pickup should tip the opposite way of the neck and bridge.
Some improvement with having a mix of stagger pole magnets and flat/level poles between pickup pairs.

The key is weak pickup outputs and different strengths of pickup pairs.
Pickup position naturally gives different strength output.

On a humbucker you can lower the pickup, raise the screw poles and put them in a Strat Stagger pattern, wire that extra toggle switch to give you parallel bobbins instead of series. And you'll have a Quacking humbucker. No it still won't be as good as a pair of Strat coils but it will Quack.

Some of the most Quacky Strats I've come across are actually ceramic magnet Squier Bullets and Affinity models produced in Indonesia. It appears they have taken the path of strong ceramic magnets and lower bobbin windings. Gotta put them low though.

.
Thank you a million times, this made a huge difference. It’s still not 100% there but I think it’s the best this guitar is gonna get
 

darkphader

Member
Messages
641
Only strat type guitar I had that didn't quack was a Washburn 24 fret, 25.5" scale SSH. I figured it was the 24 frets throwing things off; relationship of the octave to the bridge and all that.
So maybe the Sam's Club bridge placement is off? (I'm probably completely off base.)
As quack results from the two pickups involved being physically out of phase, the middle pickup picking up the signal out of phase with its counterpart (neck or bridge) simple due to their positions relative to the string scale, any slight inaccuracy (movement from the standard Strat positions) could easily affect quackability. I think this is more likely the cause than anything else.
 
Messages
288
As quack results from the two pickups involved being physically out of phase, the middle pickup picking up the signal out of phase with its counterpart (neck or bridge) simple due to their positions relative to the string scale, any slight inaccuracy (movement from the standard Strat positions) could easily affect quackability. I think this is more likely the cause than anything else.
its not because of phase. The pickups are all in phase. its the parallel wiring that gives 2 and 4 their sound. a lot of people are confused about this. if you don't believe me, watch videos of out of phase strats and you'll get it.
 

darkphader

Member
Messages
641
its not because of phase. The pickups are all in phase. its the parallel wiring that gives 2 and 4 their sound. a lot of people are confused about this. if you don't believe me, watch videos of out of phase strats and you'll get it.
I'm not confused. Parallel wiring has nothing to do with the quack, Tele's, Les Paul's, etc. all have parallel wiring and don't quack. And if you wire your Strat so that the bridge and neck are in parallel in one position you will not get quack either.
They are not electrically out of phase, but they are physically/mechanically out of phase due to their positions under the strings, where one pickup is seeing the crest of the wave the other is seeing the trough.
 




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