Let's talk about the Stratocaster neck pickup

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by HeeHaw, May 9, 2008.

  1. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

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    Mine sounds FAT. God, I mean Leo.... must have known what he was doing when he made the neck pickup for a strat.:cool:

    Ever listen to SRV? Trower? These men knew where to find the tone in the neck pickup without being muddy. Now is the part where I ramble on about how a TS pedal and my neck pickup are a thing of beauty. Well, to me it is. The key to the neck pickup for me seems to be keeping the treble high and the bass low, as the neck seems to already have a good deal of bass. Maybe it's the mids that take over when you roll on more treble in the neck, I can't put my finger on it exactly, but it cuts through like crazy.:)

    I've spent the last few years unlocking the tone secrets within my strat by trial and error. I've installed a treble bleed circuit on the volume pot and that's the only mod I've needed. With a few pedals I can play nearly any type of music with my strat.

    Thank you Leo Fender.:BEER
     
  2. cram

    cram Member

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    Maybe I'm wrong here because I've not adapted my strat in this way, but I've played one - would a bass plate on your bridge pickup help? Or would it take away from the sound you like about the bridge?
     
  3. HurricaneJesus

    HurricaneJesus Member

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    Can't go wrong with the neck pickup...but really they're all good...I used to not like the bridge all that much but man, that thing just cuts doesn't it?
     
  4. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    I love all the positions, except the middle by itself. I just hate it, I don't know why. Love the quack so I still need the middle pickup.

    The neck pickup on a strat is so easy to play. anything sounds good on that position and in almost any amp! Even someone just learning manages to get a decent sound and if they can stumble through a few licks they "usually" sound good.
     
  5. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    I love the neck pickup on Strats & Tele's too. Fat, soulful, round - mix it with a middle pickup of the same wind and the quack is sweeter than a RWRP to my ears.
     
  6. lazymonday

    lazymonday Member

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    Yea I hear you. The neck pickup is just the sound to die for. Though in a band setting I find that I can only use it sparingly if you have to compete with a keyboard or another guitarist.

    But yea, straight into a Twin Reverb on the neck pickup? My favorite sound coming out of a plank of wood. Sweeet.
     
  7. alivegy

    alivegy Member

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    I spend 90% of my time on the neck pick up and 10% on the bridge and rarely use the spaces inbetween as I don't like the quack as much. I have a fralin blues specials in the neck and an sp42 in bridge which keeps me from having a large bass discrepancy between the two. They were made for each other.
     
  8. Catoogie

    Catoogie Senior Member

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    More importantly, let's talk about the Stratocaster MIDDLE pickup. The most underated of the Strat's pickups!! The middle pickup on a Strat, all by itself is one of the greatest and funkiest tones EVER!! I am convinced that anyone who TRULY knows great tone understands this.
     
  9. BigViolin

    BigViolin Member

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    Agreed! I didn't get it before but listening to Wayne Krantz improv with the middle pup and a clean tone fixed me.:phones
     
  10. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    I spend 95% or more on my strat neck pup...

    I leave my middle pup unloaded and its the first time I've been able to use my middle position...it also helps with articulatíon and helps make the in-betweens more usuable...

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  11. oscar100

    oscar100 Member

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    i love it but i love teh middle pup equally

    v under used in my opinion:FM
     
  12. guitarfish

    guitarfish Member

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    There isn't a "bad" position on the Strat. That said, the neck is always the place I call home. Love it.
     
  13. PlexiFuzz

    PlexiFuzz I know karate. Voodoo, too.

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    That was a problem for me until I got my my EJ strat with the toned control on the bridge. Now, I dial the amp in for a beautiful neck sound and then just roll off the tone on the bridge pickup to give it a fatter, less brash sound. Best of both worlds.

    Love that strat neck pickup.
     
  14. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    trower lives on his middle pickup, and pretty much always has.

    but heck yeah, the strat neck pickup is the greatest fender guitar sound ever, except for the tele bridge pickup, which is why my tele has one of each.
     
  15. slopeshoulder

    slopeshoulder Senior Member

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    Yup. you. me, and scott henderson. I use the bridge pickup all the time. I love the neck pickup, and I'm discovering the middle pickup.
     
  16. Bo Faulkner

    Bo Faulkner Member

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    I have the bridge position tone control mod on all my strats and tend to spend more time in that position .. the in betweens are the least used for me. seems that they just dont cut as well as the others by themselves.. I really dig the in between on my R7 though
     
  17. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    My band played as a trio tonight. With just me on guitar, I was able to use the strat neck pickup whenever I felt like it. With additional instruments, I tend to play it less. If there is any trick to the strat for me, it's finding the right amp. Some are way better than others with the strat, at least for the ways I want to play it.
     
  18. angelo

    angelo Member

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    The middle pickup, like the middle child, is often misunderstood. Very useful to me. "tighten up" neck leads if they get a flub sound that night - especially with disto. Fatten up the bridge if it seems too bright that night or to "loosen" it if the bridge is too "tight" that night.

    Every strat I own or have owned has a tone control dedicated to the bridge. That is a must for me.

    All that said, the neck is my favorite.

    I have a McCarty and a Mel with Buckers, but in the end, 1 guitar? Strat 95% of the time.
     
  19. zenfreud

    zenfreud Member

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    Exactly what I run into. I dial in my drive pedals to give some heft and grunt to the bridge pickup which results in the neck pickup being far too bloomy in the lows and undefined in the highs. I guess muddy is the typical description.

    You always hear about guys dialing in two drive pedals for their rhythm and leads. Why don't I read about more players dialing in one drive/eq for the bridge pickup and one for the neck pickup?

    One more thing: when I read that guys are dialing back the tone control on the bridge pickup, they're turning down the highs. It's shunting upper frequencies to ground. But it's not fattening the bridge. It can't. Maybe this is just semantics, but turning down the highs is very different from having an active mid boost on a guitar. Now that can add some fat.
     
  20. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    Oh yeah, that's right!!
    No more RWRP for me.

    On a good set I do like the middle by itself too.
     

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