Pickup suggestions. S/S/S Strat

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by homeunit, May 23, 2020.

  1. homeunit

    homeunit Supporting Member

    Messages:
    896
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, B.C
    Hi guys and gals,

    I recently acquired a parts strat, (maple neck & alder body) and I am thinking of upgrading the pickups.

    currently it has
    - dimarzio Virtual solo in the bridge. It’s way too thin and bright for me.
    - dimarzio Area 58 in the middle. Pretty average sounding, not great, not awful
    - dimarzio Heavy Blues in the neck. Not bad, not great.

    I’ve messed with the p/u heights and it’s sounding about as good as it ever will.

    I’m running a Mesa TC-100 pretty much exclusively into channel 1 as a pedal platform and it sounds fantastic with my mahogany bodied strat with juiced P90s.

    The s/s/s doesn’t sound bad, it’s mainly the bridge position pickup that’s more or less useless without dramatic eq change on the amp.

    I attempt to play a wide range of rock music but bought the guitar mainly for gilmour and knofler tones, but I’d like to be able to play heavier stuff with it as well.

    My thoughts are the put the Duncan ssl5 matched set that Gilmour uses and be done with it.

    As always though, I would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions you guys might have.
     
  2. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Supporting Member

    Messages:
    29,757
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Location:
    Center Line MI
    Does it help to connect one of the tone controls to the bridge instead of the middle or neck?
     
    Humble Texan Fan, TL;DR and homeunit like this.
  3. homeunit

    homeunit Supporting Member

    Messages:
    896
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, B.C
    Maybe, I haven't tried that. I added a mini toggle to add the neck and bridge together and that's its own thing. It's just the bridge on it's own is thin and brittle. It would be nice to either replace the whole lot, or find something that balances better with the neck and middle pickups.
     
    cygnusx1 likes this.
  4. doc

    doc Member

    Messages:
    6,688
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    Expect more noise with the Duncan SSL set, but they sound pretty good. I do think you might try moving the middle tone to the bridge and keep it rolled down a bit. I tend to like to have some thin and edgy myself - its just part of the Strat voice to me. One set I like that tends not to have as much edge in the bridge is the Wilde Microcoil set. Not noiseless, but not as noisy as most traditional Strat sets.
     
    Kilometers Davis and homeunit like this.
  5. DillingerJ

    DillingerJ Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2019
    Dimarzio Injector is pretty great, I have it in my only Strat. I changed to this from a vintage style single coil to get a bit more lows, mids, and power, while still keeping the Strat tonal character of the guitar. Noiseless and heavy enough for 80's rock but does crystal clear cleans too. The Fuzz Universe album by Paul Gilbert is the best demo of this pickup
     
    MkIII Renegade likes this.
  6. gulliver

    gulliver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,606
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    I would swap them around within various positions, first ... just for the fun of it. Doesn't need to be an expert job, take 20 minutes and solder them in.

    These are my favorites right now, for thick and tasty tones:
    http://onamacwindery.com/products/stratocaster/supremes.html

    Here's a quick iPhone recording I did when I first got them, neck PU in an American Deluxe Strat. I sold the guitar, but still have the pickups; in a different Start.
     
    homeunit likes this.
  7. homeunit

    homeunit Supporting Member

    Messages:
    896
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, B.C
    I like that quite a bit, thanks for posting that.
     
  8. Nigel Davenport

    Nigel Davenport Member

    Messages:
    241
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    I've tried a few. I really like Suhr v60lps and Fender Fat 50's. Both are balanced sets if adjusted properly.
     
  9. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Supporting Member

    Messages:
    29,757
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Location:
    Center Line MI
    To hear the sound you wouldn't even need to solder if the leads are long enough. Just remove the guard and swap their positions with the wires still connected . Pos 2 and 4 on a 5 way might be off but you could audition all 3 in the bridge to see which works best.
     
    gulliver and Sneaks like this.
  10. sedawkgrep

    sedawkgrep Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,773
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    At first thought this seems mis-wired. Virtual solo should not be thin. I’d also reorder them with the 58 in the neck and blues in the middle.
     
    rjpilot, TTHX and ferrinbonn like this.
  11. homeunit

    homeunit Supporting Member

    Messages:
    896
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, B.C
    Thin might not capture it, piercing and very treble heavy compared to the other pickups. Not warm, round or smooth.
     
  12. TL;DR

    TL;DR Member

    Messages:
    161
    Joined:
    May 17, 2020
    The strat bridge without the EJ mod can be tough to love. Even with an overwound Torres pickup with a base plate, I still roll the tone down on my strat bridge.
     
  13. homeunit

    homeunit Supporting Member

    Messages:
    896
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, B.C
    What is this EJ mod you speak of?

     
  14. TL;DR

    TL;DR Member

    Messages:
    161
    Joined:
    May 17, 2020
    Sorry! It’s just wiring the neck and middle pickup to the front tone knob, and the bridge to the second tone knob.

    that’s what the Torres sounds like
     
    GilmourIsGod likes this.
  15. homeunit

    homeunit Supporting Member

    Messages:
    896
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, B.C
    That sounds fantastic man, very nice. I suppose it clean up well? What are you using for amps and pedals?

    Thanks for that trick. I'll get that done for sure.
     
    TL;DR likes this.
  16. ferrinbonn

    ferrinbonn Member

    Messages:
    1,007
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2017
    Location:
    California
    Isn't that bridge pickup their darkest and hottest single coil? If it's too bright for you I wouldn't be looking at other single coil strat pickups. Put in a humbucker or a single coil sized humbucker.
     
    Humble Texan Fan and TTHX like this.
  17. sunking101

    sunking101 Member

    Messages:
    468
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2020
  18. homeunit

    homeunit Supporting Member

    Messages:
    896
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, B.C
    I don’t know about a humbucker. I just find it very icy and harsh. I looking for something a little warmer and smoother.

    keep in mind, I’m a big Gimour guy, so there’s that, lol.
     
  19. David Garner

    David Garner Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,173
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    Location:
    Yorkville, Georgia
    Having gone down this path for a few years after getting my Strat let me save you some heartache. Figure out if you want Gilmour and Knopfler or “heavier stuff.”

    You can get the bridge pretty thick and ballsy with an SSL-5, which is what Gilmour uses. That in the bridge with 2 SSL-1s will nail Gilmour tones. But position 2 is going to suffer some, and that’s in the Knopfler wheelhouse. Much heavier than Gilmour solos and you’re really getting out of traditional Strat territory entirely. The beauty of the Strat is as a change up to heavier tones (or vice-versa). It has low output pickups that punch and sparkle, but are scooped and glassy and not at all thick and full of midrange. You can thicken it up a multitude of ways, but it works best when you let it be what it is. So my advice is rip out those Dimarzios, put a full set of SSL-1s in there (Duncan’s “California 50s” set), and learn how to get Strat tones first. Meaning, start with Knopfler, work through Hendrix, and then start thinking about Gilmour. You’ll be happier with it when you learn to let it be what it is, and you’ll have a better handle on whether you need to change that bridge pickup to an SSL-5 or just do what I’d do and leave it be.
     
    homeunit and TL;DR like this.
  20. David Garner

    David Garner Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,173
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    Location:
    Yorkville, Georgia
    Also, since it’s mainly the bridge you don’t like, play with the pickup height. Balance it so the bass side is even with or even slightly higher than the treble side. Too many folks set it slanted like the neck and middle and then wonder why it is too bright.
     
    homeunit likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice