single slot humbucker or Fralin SP43?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by buddastrat, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Need a more powerful bridge pickup for my strat (single coil size). Here's what I just tried -

    a CS hot stack with alnico V's, it's a custom order, but it's going back to Duncan as it's real noisy. Cool how it looks totally like a single coil but has a little more meat. Not much, even though it 20K ohms! I guess the stacks read differently for some reason.

    I also have used a hot rails from time to time and always pull it out faster than an Yngwie lick. It's muddy, loose, undefined and too compressed on overdrive for me. Tone Zone, same thing. Those pickups get too murky and smooth and the top end is gone even with 500K pots, and then the single coils suck.

    I don't want to lose the percussivness and tightness of single coils, I just want more beef with that. I was thinking of trying the Fralin SP43. Is it real middy or does it keep a lot of treble/prescence frequencies? You guys with them, do you still use 250K pots? Is it real noisy since it's a hot single coil?

    If I had to sum up in one word, what I want from a bridge strat pickup it'd be "aggressive". I want it to scratch and claw, and give notes authority and sound open and clear. I don't want a sludge fest that sounds lacks dynamics and sacrifices tone for volume/output.

    Something else out there that would work well?
     
  2. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    The middle pic in this axe of mine is a SP43. I'll try to answer your questions.

    1. This PUP sounds like a fat/strong single coil more than either a HB or a P90. Buy if it that's what you want, don't if you really want to sound like a HB or P90.

    2. It has excellent bite and bottom but it definitely does add some middiness. I don't really see how you can avoid that with a hotter PUP like this one, it's part of the tradeoff.

    3. I use 500K pots with mine, I think they work well with this PUP. Lots of usable, good brightness. Can't comment on how 250Ks sound.

    4. Here's an option with this PUP not listed on the website but you can request it custom from Lindy (I did). Tap the PUP at 6.0K, attach the tap to a minitoggle, and now you have the best of both worlds: a quality, legit regular Strat PUP tone and the fatter full SP43 tone.

    5. Mine isn't particularly noisy at all.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. jamison162

    jamison162 Supporting Member

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    SP43 rocks and works with 250k. No pickguard change needed. In fact, I liked the SP43 and SP42 better than many humbuckers in the bridge position.
     
  4. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Sounds good so far. I keep coming close to getting an SP43, then I think about the noise and look for a humbucker. I prefer the look of the SP43, as I'm not a fan of the rail look, but if it sounds good, I can live with it even if it's pink.

    One of the best sounding guitars I have is the Nocaster relic and that bridge pickup sounds great. It's meaty and strong (must've got wound differently at the factory, it measures around 9K ohm), but still has a single coil thing to it, but it's a tele and it's got the brass saddles, and is a different animal compared to a strat. I'm mostly a rock guy and how I end up with a tele, I'll never know but that ash body/maple neck and that hotter pickup make it do some great early Van Halen sounds. Real tight and aggressive and that's what I want from a strat. It's a bit noisy of course with that single coil but it sounds real punchy and there's just a hint of middiness when on clean, but on overdrive that little bit of extra mids gives it that juice. Jon you're right, it's that tradeoff with a hotter pickup.
     
  5. Kelsey

    Kelsey Member

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    Have you considered the SD Antiquity I Custom bridge pickup -- it's wound to about 9.5K but still retains a good Strat tone with more beef. Since it uses alnico 2 mags, there is a lot of latitude in how close you can get it to the strings. It doesn't seem any noisier than a standard Strat wind. The SD Twangbanger is pretty beefy, fat, and smooth, landing somewhere between a Strat and a Tele. Both of these pickups still sound good clean, but they sound really nice with OD. I haven't used the SP43, but I thought clips of the Vintage Vibe Strat-sized P90 sounded more like a Gibson P90 than the SP43.
     
  6. Kelly

    Kelly Member

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    The SP43 will get you there. Sounds like a big, fat single coil with clean tones, but is great with overdrive. You'll easily attain AC/DC and Yngwie type tones, without the hollowness of regular single coils.
     
  7. rollyfoster

    rollyfoster Supporting Member

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    any experience with the single slot pearly gates?
     
  8. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    That's what I'm wantin' right there. I read a few reveiws where they say the tone is round. I don't want round. Round to me sounds bloated and fat. I want muscular sound, not tubby. Still say the 43 guys?
     
  9. Kelly

    Kelly Member

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    Sounds like you want the same thing I did. I found it with the SP43.
     
  10. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey Budda -

    I also like the Harmonic Design Tele bridge pickup - the Super 90. Sounds great. I've never tried the Fralin SP43 - I'm sure it sounds great. So does the HD Super 90. It'll roll you right up to AC/DC too (GRIN - what a gas!) It's strong and focused - no bloating.

    Good Luck, Dana
     
  11. halorealm7

    halorealm7 Member

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    +1
    I really like the STP, best of everything.
     
  12. imguitardan

    imguitardan Member

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    I have SP43's in all my Fenders. I hated my Tele until I made the switch. At first I ordered a 15% over bridge with a stock neck and it was pretty dark (I put a 1 meg vol pot in to brighten it up) but ended up with just about stock specs. Then I had to buy a set for my Strat b/c the Tele sounded better (and I loved my Strat before).

    Only you will know if the SP's will work for you. They add a lot of girth to your tone but still sound like single coils. If the hum of single coils bothers you, then you should get a stacked or rail style pup. I think these are about the perfect rock pups and any of my geeky friends who've heard them all want to know what they are. I use a Strat and Tele with these before I use my P90 Goldtop (which is an AMAZING sounding guitar). I would recommend customizing your winding %. They thought I was crazy to want a 15% over bridge (I probably was). Now I don't like how dark overwound pups can become. If I were to order them again, I'd get 43's with a 5% over stock bridge and whatever Fralin saez will balance with it. You could go with 42 gauge wire and have it wound hotter 10% over) for a similar but different vibe.

    Call and ask to talk to Lindy (he'll talk your ear off!) He'll also help guide you in the right direction. He's totally accesable and if you tell him what you want, he'll point you in the right direction.

    Bottom line. These are the best, most natural yet muscular single coils outside of a stock P-90. I say go for it.
     
  13. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    First off, the HD STP and S90 are totally different PUPs.

    I have the STP in the bridge slot of my Reverend Avenger now and used to have a S90 in my Tele's bridge position for almost a year. They are both very different sounding PUPs than an SP43. The STP is much more like a regular Tele bridge PUP, it's not hot like an SP43. And the S90 is off the charts hot. Mine measure at 16.0 ohms and sounded nothing like either a true P90 or an actual Tele PUP though if AC/DC is really what you're shooting to sound like who am I to say the S90 can't do that.

    One of the cautions you have to approach people's gear opinions with here is that people almost always like to recommend what they have. That's cool, why would they have it if they didn't like it? But that's a far step from having actually owned, and played for months, all of the options. Approach the reviews with that in mind.
     
  14. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Thanks, I'm goin' to try one. I was playing my relic strat tonight and it's real ballsy and got some low end from the wood, the bridge pickup measures 6.2K ohm. I was pretty happy with it tonight just like that, from Ozzy to Eric Johnson it sounded real good and not too thin on the bridge. But on most days, I'm wishin' for just a little more muscle and power. But I love that lean, single coilness over most buckers. It just sounds mean you know.
     
  15. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Jon, if I got it tapped, could it be wired in a regular strat (five way) for auto split so when I mix bridge and middle it's automatically tap the pickup? That's how I wire Duncans, but I've never had a single coil with a tap on it.

    I've read on the Duncan forums that tapped single coil won't sound like a regular single coil for some technical reason that I can't remember!
     
  16. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks Jon - you're exactly right, I named the wrong HD pickup. It's the S-90 I was referring to, and you're right, it's hotter than a pistol.

    Mark Robinson has one in one of his Teles. He handed me the guitar mid-set once, and I was amazed and how hot the output was. Sounded pretty good w/ the vol knob backed off too, but it was very very hot. I've grown to like that guitar's sound - me being a more traditional Tele player, it was kinda fun to have so much 'under the hood' for a change.

    Excellent advice on gear suggestions too - well said.

    Thanks, Dana O.
     

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