Stacked humbucker for my strat....JB Jr, Little '59 or Hot Rails?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by jimmyohio75, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. jimmyohio75

    jimmyohio75 Member

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    Tomorrow I am going to GC to buy a single coil sized humbucker for my new strat. Which of these do you like best?

    JB Jr
    Hot Rails
    Little 59

    I want thick, ballsy molasses with articulation.

    Don't tell me to get a full sized bucker because I have decided I want to keep the classic S-S-S look to my new strat. I already have a pearly gates in my Lonestar. I just want to thicken up the bridge on my new strat.:dude
     
  2. 73watermutt

    73watermutt Member

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    I have the JB jr and really like it.
     
  3. Todd Lynch

    Todd Lynch Member

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    I've years of experience with these pickups. I find the Lil 59 to have a lot less punch (in the bridge position) than what I want/need; I find the JB Jr to have grating highs that I can't tolerate; I find the Hot Rails to be 'hard' sounding, but the most usable to me - offering plenty of output/drive/sizzle and nice, rounded highs.

    It's a trade off; experimentation is expensive, yet key.
     
  4. A440

    A440 Silver Supporting Member

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    don't rule out the lil screamin demon

    or

    offerings from dimarzio
     
  5. RichieRich

    RichieRich Senior Member

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    which are the single coil looking humbuckers that actually look like real single coils and dont have the small dual rows of magnets or rails?
     
  6. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    those are stacked pickups, unlike anything mentioned so far. they cancel hum while still sounding like single coils. unfortunately, they tend to be weaker than stock pickups, as the over-and-under coils "fight" each other, reducing output.

    the only stacked strat pickups that i'm aware of that solve this problem and thus have any life or power are dimarzio's virtual and area pickups (not the hs ones) and kinman's offerings. there's a new duncan stack plus that supposedly uses similar technology, but i haven't heard one yet.
     
  7. jtm622

    jtm622 Member

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    I've got a Little '59 in my Strat (bridge) and another in my Tele (bridge)... I had a "Hot Rails" in the Strat, but pulled it out and put in the "Little '59" after I heard what a vast improvement the Little '59 made in the sound of that Tele...
    That said, I think that the sound of all three of those pups you mentioned is probably somewhat similar. Like gtrwrks said, I find that the Little '59 is slightly "less hot" (smoother sounding) than the "Hot Rails" - I don't think you can go wrong with either the Hot Rails or the Little '59 though...
     
  8. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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    What did you end up getting? Am Deluxe V-Neck?
     
  9. jimmyohio75

    jimmyohio75 Member

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    Nope I got a great deal on a slightly used 2008 Am Std in Charcoal Frost Metallic(my favorite color).
    I am taking it to get a professional setup tomorrow. I am also having him put something in the bridge, not sure what yet.
     
  10. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    You're talking about a humbucker...

    I have an old 1965 Epiphone Olympic that I was using a JB Jr. in. It wasn't "big" sounding enough for me. Don't get me wrong, it was a cool pickup- just not what I was looking for. I got a Fralin Steel Pole pickup. It's "only" a singlecoil- but it smoked the JB in terms of output and "liveliness." I would say it's closer to a P-90 sound than any kind of Strat sound.
     
  11. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    it's gonna hum, but +1.
     
  12. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    I've had a Hot Rails and a Lil '59 in the bridge position of my Strat and for what it sounds like you want, I'd recommend the Lil'59. Splitting it gives a good crisp single coil-ish tone which I actually like.

    I haven't had the chance to try a JB jr yet so I can't say about that one.
     
  13. Stormin

    Stormin Supporting Member

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    Skip the SD stuff and try a Harmonic Design Super-90. It's very P90-ish and does the humbucker deal very well in a Strat - very punchy and ballsy. I also have one in a Tele.

    Stormin!
     
  14. RichieRich

    RichieRich Senior Member

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    thanks!

    i'm not as concerned with bucking hum as much as i am with getting a nice thick humbucker sound out of, what looks like, a traditional single coil
     
  15. A440

    A440 Silver Supporting Member

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    the fralin sp43 is great in the bridge

    if you want humbucking tone, you might want to look at the dimarzio virtual solo. it has the appearance of a stock single coil.

    HarryJ has posted some tunes where he used various dimarzios. the newer Heavy Blues 2 sounds nice too.
     
  16. plagtr2

    plagtr2 Silver Supporting Member

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    Went through this with one of my Strats. I found that I really did not bond with any single coil sized humbucker in the bridge. Tried a Lil '59, JB Jr., and a few others. Seems like a full sized humbucker is the way to go in a "super-strat". They just seem to have "more" of everything. THAT SAID, I now have a Frailin SP43 in the bridge of that guitar & am VERY happy! Not a humbucker tone as others have stated--more of a P90'ish thing. It just seems "right". Has some beef, but plays well with the other pickups & still does the strat thing. Worth a look if you are wanting to maintain the single coil size.
     
  17. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Damn plagtr2, sounds just like my experience. I just installed a Fralin SP43 and it's great. Perfect strat bridge pickup. Perfect for any type of rock right up to the heavy stuff. Only thing I'm not digging is the noise. seems to have even more hum than the traditional singles, I guess because it's hotter.

    The thing with all those mini' humbuckers are similar to fat free food. JB jr, Hot Rails, etc.. Their okay until you hear or taste the real thing. I agree with many here and say get either a full bucker or get a good single coil. The lil buckers are inbetween both sounds and don't do anything great.
     
  18. plagtr2

    plagtr2 Silver Supporting Member

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    Good call on the comparo to fat free food! Well put!:AOK
     
  19. shredtrash

    shredtrash Supporting Member

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    I've actually used all 4 of those pickups. I tend to prefer a more classic rock sound with a bit of punch and power from the bridge humbucker. My rankings (best to worst) are:

    1. Little Screamin' Demon: All of the punch of the JB without the biting highs. Cleans up well too. Don't let the name fool you. I played these pickups (full size and Strat size) for years. Will probably buy another soon for a Strat I have now.

    2. JB Jr.- Great pickup for hot leads. Lot's of output but the highs can be a bit much in spots.

    3. Little '59- Not enough output for me. Never had enough to allow for good, sustaining leads. Sounds much different than its full-sized counterpart.

    4. Hot Rails- Waaayyyy too much output for me. Did not clean up at all. Only recommended it you are playing metal. Anything, even semi-clean sounds awful.
     
  20. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

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    I haven't tried the Screamin' Demon. I have the JBjr in one of my Strats. It is thick and mid-rangy with a bit of bite on its top end. Since I have it incorporated into the tone stack, I can roll of highs if needed. It's great for hot leads, and if you wire it so that it splits properly, it'll do the cluck thing with the middle pickup.

    Tell ya what - I've gone through the same thing. I'd highly, Highly, HIGHLY recommend Harmonic Design's S-90 pickup - like a fat-sounding P90 in the bridge. I have that in my Stevie Ray Johnson Strat (srv neck/ej body/harmonic design pups). It's not as hot as the JBjr, but man does it rock


    Peace,

    jb
     

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