Single pickup recommendations for middle and neck, strictly clean with a scooped warm chime?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Nickerz, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. Nickerz

    Nickerz Member

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    So I've got an H-S-S guitar I want to put together and I'm looking for some recommendations on the single coils. I've already decided on a metal humbucker, and for the sake of arguments not breaking out about "matching" that etc, I'll just say I've got that handled.

    But I'm lost on singles. I'm definitely one of those guys that basically never used the neck pickup and I've decided I just don't like a humbucker neck pickup. I don't like how they sound for cleans and I hate it in rhythm.

    The only middle coil sound I've ever liked even remotely was a 57\62 pickup. I happen to like a number of neck singles, but I'm not sure what my options are entirely.

    I'm looking for a classic fender sound with a lot of chime, clarity and warmth with some bottom. This I think would most accurately be considered "scooped" and "true vintage."

    I've watched some videos on the EMG SA and it definitely does not have a strat sound. Those are out. Even the S, while nice, doesn't really have the "chime."

    Basically my thoughts here are that I am 100% okay with having a much lower output pickup middle and neck, I really dislike the "boominess" that comes with high output neck tones. I also really dislike the peak\treble on high output singles when used with vintage stuff like an AC30.

    I just want chime and sweet single coil bliss. And hoping you can help point me in the right direction.

    I plan on using these for cleans 100% of the time and my bridge 100% high gain. I'm not sure how "position 4" would play into this. That might be a consideration, but I don't think it's ultimately that important. I don't use the middle or neck for solos either, I dislike the sound, even though it works for someone like Hendrix. Frankly I like my leads on the bridge and never deviate from that.

    Thanks for any help single junkies!
     
  2. Joe Perry

    Joe Perry Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm sure you'll get a phone book full of recommendations. Suhr V63 /ML Classic (not standard). Classic strat tones in spades.

    Just FYI to clarify, to avoid confusion Suhr renamed the ML classic to V63. They still make the ML standard which is spicier. I have (& like) both but if vintage strat tones are what you are after, the V63/classics are what you want.

    They are readily available and have a RWRP middle or just get two necks if you don't want RWRP.
     
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  3. Hudman_1

    Hudman_1 Member

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    You’re in a trick bag. You will need low output single coil pickups to get the chime you want but you’re going to sacrifice output (volume). This could be problematic when switching from your high output humbucker to your neck or middle pickups.
     
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  4. e???

    e??? Member

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    Probably true. I think I'd go fat 50's in this situation, full and bodied enough while still able to be warm
     
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  5. jlectka

    jlectka Supporting Member

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    I used a dimarzio cruiser for that with good results. Not actually a single coil but single coil sized. Andy Timmons makes them sound rather good. Beautiful cleans and fit nicely with humbuckers.
     
  6. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Member

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    You're describing low output, vintage wind singles. There are lots of them. Duncan and Dimarzio are great options. Smaller builders like Klein, Lollar, and Fralin are not so small any more, but they make what you're looking for.

    If your playing environment is studio or home, you'll like the vintage output next to your metal 'bucker. You can compensate for volume differences. If you plan on stage work with a guitar set up like you're describing, it will be frustrating, at best.
     
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  7. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

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    I'm looking for a classic fender sound with a lot of chime, clarity and warmth with some bottom. This I think would most accurately be considered "scooped" and "true vintage."

    See Duncan SSL1.
     
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  8. Wee Jock

    Wee Jock Member

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    Isn’t scooped and warm the opposite of each other? I would take scooped to be an absence of mids and warm the presence of mids.
     
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  9. JDJ

    JDJ Member

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    Klein S-5 pickups.
     
  10. jvin248

    jvin248 Member

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    .

    You are pursuing much of the same search that I have undertaken for the same reasons. Maybe this helps.

    -You want low kohms neck and middle.
    -Mount them low, close to the pickguard, especially if higher output magnets.
    -Keep them uneven heights for more #4 Quack. Sometimes tipping the pickups E vs e to opposite sides helps.
    -Look up the Ibanez RG HSS series wiring diagram or the Fender HSS switching where #2 is single coil of the humbucker split out.
    -Test higher kohm volume pots (within spec or next 'bracket') to get brighter, or lower kohms to get darker.
    -Tone cap lower uF will give more 'sparkle'/'presence' (let more highs through).

    Lately the most consistent for what you are looking for are in the Indonesian made Squier Strats. Yes, ceramic bar magnets that make grown men run and scream like little girls. Most of the SD pickups, especially humbuckers, tend to be wound for 'warmth' which means higher internal capacitance and a tendency for muddiness. There was a time the most commonly popularized problem players fought was 'ice pick' and I think that's how the SDs evolved. But when you like clean cleans it's hard to find one that fits.

    If you have another HH guitar, you can try lowering the neck pickup to the pickguard/trim ring and raise the screw poles 1/8-1/4inch in a 'Strat Stagger' pattern and that will clean up a lot of the tone issues you don't like. More of a single coil clean with humbucking protection.

    .
     
  11. Mincer

    Mincer Member

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    Antiquity II Surfers. They are warm compared to true 50s-voiced single coils. But you are gonna get spoiled with them and start using the neck pickup a lot more.
     
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  12. Spooky Action

    Spooky Action Member

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    Duncan SSL-2, the flat pole version of the SSL-1
    It is better with modern neck radiuses.
     
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  13. Gclef

    Gclef Member

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    Fender custom shop 69s

    That is what they do.
     
  14. Nickerz

    Nickerz Member

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    So would you say even the high output "vintage" pickups are getting away from that sound? Should I really just be looking at the 57\62 and that's that?
     

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