single coil sized humbucker for strat w/ splitting

dirk_benedict

Silver Supporting Member
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6,467
My current gig is a covers thing and a strat is the perfect sound for 98% of the material. But there are a couple tunes in the set where higher gain sounds are required and I've never been happy with what I've been able to achieve with my strat and the combination of amps/pedals at my disposal.

Though, I really hate the idea...I am toying with putting in a single-coil sized humbucker in the bridge for when I need that extra push over the cliff. But I'd something with splittable coils so I can still get the standard bridge strat sound.

Anyone have any good recommendations/experiences here?

BTW- the gear at my disposal currently:
Thin Skin "Wild Wood" '62 strat.
Hiwatt Studio/Stage 2x12 combo
Dirt pedals: Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive, ZVex Distortron, Hartman 8va Fuzz and an 20yr old unmodded DS-1

The sounds I am trying to get- a 80s distortion style, more like you hear on pop tunes with heavier guitars than metal.
 

dlc1953

Member
Messages
1,591
The Sd Little 59 under some decent amount of gain can get pretty agressive had it in my MIM Strat for a couple of years.Took it out and went all SC but really kinda miss the punch you can get with the L59.
 

McStrats

Member
Messages
1,982
A SC sized HB in a Strat won't sound anything like a full sound HB in a stop tail type guitar. I know that isn't exactly the question you asked but it probably is the sound you are shooting for if you are doing covers. The split sounds will be a disappointment too.

Been there and got the t-shirt. I play in a cover band too and I bring a Strat and a dedicated HB guitar to gigs.
 

jpagey

Member
Messages
4,191
Bardens are nice.
I've tried Duncan 'lil '59's, but they lacked oomph. I settled on the Duncan JB Jr. It's perfect.
 

Britishampfan

Member
Messages
3,036
You can easily get a full humbucker sound with a mini humbucker for strat.

It really depends how hot you want to go.

I have a few I`ve used over the years and own a few that I would not sell.

1- Dimarizo Pro-Track- Nice least hot
2- Duncan JB Junior- Great for just about anything a little hotter
3- Dimarizo Super Distortion- Really like this pickup, hot 80`s sound
4- Duncan Hot Rails- Really hot, Rock to mod metal sound.

Just remember the hotter you go the bigger jump back to your single coils that`s the thing I don`t like about mini humbuckers.

They are nice pickups and easy to install when I need "that " sound.

In Last metal band the guys liked the strat hot rails sound better than my Les Paul with stock pickups. It was just as heavy if not a heavier sound.

Good luck
 

dlc1953

Member
Messages
1,591
Bardens are nice.
I've tried Duncan 'lil '59's, but they lacked oomph. I settled on the Duncan JB Jr. It's perfect.
Hey I was just wonderin if you run the Jr with 250's.I tried it with 500 and the high's were total ice pick. Would consider it again cause of the output but not if i can't tame the T's.
 

ES330

Member
Messages
5,219
NONE of those single-coil sized humbuckers does the split coil thing very well. and most don't sound like a humbucker either. BUt if you're after a single-coil sized humbucker, the Dimarzio Tone Zone S is the best I've tried... especially in the Bridge I've tried all that SD and Dimarzio make...
 

jpagey

Member
Messages
4,191
Hey I was just wonderin if you run the Jr with 250's.I tried it with 500 and the high's were total ice pick. Would consider it again cause of the output but not if i can't tame the T's.
I am pretty sure the pots weren't changed when this p/u was installed-I need to pull the pickguard. Mine is NOT ice picky.
 

Sensates

Member
Messages
821
I think some higher output humbuckers do split well. And i find these SC sized humbuckers tend to be punchier than normal ones.

Tried the Dimarzio Fast Track 2 in the bridge of a strat, it was very nice. I also like the split blade pickups from G&L Legacy Specials.
 

dirk_benedict

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,467
I guess to further describe what I am looking for...

I don't need a full-on humbucker sound. A p-90 guitar that I also use with this gig + the other gear I have at my disposal gets me most of the way there. So, if a sc-sized HB will get me to at least that area, I'd be happy.

My problem (like a lot of people) just seems to be able to find a good rhythm crunch tone with a strat. It's too "loose" and unfocused, you know?

Will check out these options here..
 

89strat

Member
Messages
1,216
NONE of those single-coil sized humbuckers does the split coil thing very well. and most don't sound like a humbucker either. BUt if you're after a single-coil sized humbucker, the Dimarzio Tone Zone S is the best I've tried... especially in the Bridge I've tried all that SD and Dimarzio make...
I agree. I have it in the bridge of my main strat with two fender hot noiseless in the other positions. This is what's in the fender 57 hot rod strat. Go to a fender dealer, try it out. that's what I did. I then had Fender send me the wiring diagram because I like the in-between sounds I was getting in the 4th position also. I think it's a very effective pickup. And although it doesn't sound like my les paul, it does come close to my PRS.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
27,895
You know, my recommendation would be different. I just don't think you can get what you want with a smaller humbucker, the split sound is just going to be a bit lame for your strat style lead work... So, 3 other suggestions:

1. Rout that sucker for a full sized HB, bridge or neck and get one that taps well.

2. Drop in a boost circuit (really pretty inexpensive, I know Dan at T1M has one the size of a guitar pick, less than $100), so when you need that beefy lead you just flick the switch that engages the boost, have it EQ'd for a little more mids so it sounds humbuckery.

3. Wire the guitar so you can have bridge and middle pickup in series as well as parallel, increasing output like a humbucker...
 

jiml

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,941
Have a Lil59 in the back of my partsostrat now, not diggin' it. Going back to a Lollar Special, but gonna add a baseplate to it to see if that will fatten it up.
 

dincorcelles

Member
Messages
176
I use a SD JB jr in my strat for humbucker tones. Although I don't split the coils, the in-between bridge and middle position still sounds like a strat to me :)
 

dirk_benedict

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,467
Update: I picked up a SD JB Jr...found one for short $$ on Ebay. Will report back the results... Now I have to find a push-pull pot I guess!
 




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