Strat Bridge + Middle pups together? Strat Bridge HB pup suggestion?

guitarnut_1

Member
Messages
1,981
I really like the out of phase of bridge and middle pup, but the bridge pups is really thin sounding and I am considering putting a Humbucker in single coil format in the bridge, will the bridge and middle pups then sound anything similar to the 2 single coils I have at the moment? Would in this position the Bridge be then coilsplit?

What pup would you recommend for the bridge? I was considering the Duncan Little JB....

Thanks!
 

Blix

Wannabe Shredder
Silver Supporting Member
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25,986
No, you'll lose that sweet in-between tone with a small humbucker there. Which pickups are in it now?
 

Average Joe

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11,712
If the mid/bridge position is important to you you will be better off with a full sized humbucker that split in position 2.
 

guitarnut_1

Member
Messages
1,981
No, you'll lose that sweet in-between tone with a small humbucker there. Which pickups are in it now?
This is exactly what I wanted to know, then I will probably stick with the skinny sounding bridge pup. I absolutely love position 2 and 4 on a strat, it's THE Strat sound, quackiness! I have Gold Lace Sensors at the moment and they sound very well, apart from the rather scinny sounding bridge pup.

I don't want a fully sized humbucker in this guitar.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
14,584
I wrote the following reply only to then realize i misread your post and later saw you are talking about a single coil size humbucker. But i'll leave the post anyways and before you read it i'll just say this. I tried many SC size humbuckers in strats for years and none were satisfying.I think they are a compromise in either direction. Maybe not for you, i dunno. But i feel the only way to get what you're after in a fully satisfying way is a full size HB. So you can route the bridge slot and do what i did and the results are IMO much better. I realize you likely won't, but i went to the trouble of typing all this so if you do happen to consider that option, heres my take....

One of the reasons l use a dimarzio super distortion in HSS strats and have for years is exactingly what u r looking for. Because itls high output, when you split it you get a very convincing SC sound. And i kid you not when i say i actually feel itls a better SC sound then when i've had real SC's in the bridge. It also combines beautifully with the middle and gives me better quack than a SC. But i split it in bridge/middle with the coil closest to the middle p/u being the active one. Obviously you don't want to have to manually split it every time u go to bridge middle, so i used the tone control side of the switch to make it split in position 2 automatically. Of course you have to remove the tone controls from the switch and just have a master tone, but no matter to me because i don't like tone controls and unhook mine anyways. But you could always use a super switch if you don;t want to have a single master tone. Or maybe you will even like the quack with the HB on full, who knows. Anyways, the super D is a great option because it;s like having the option of a HB and SC in the bridge. Plus, assuming you use distortion and clean up with your volume control, the available sounds and output levels with this setup make it easy to get anything you need out of the guitar without any help from boosts or anything. With the bridge in HB mode you can set your amp for as much drive as you need (unless you're a metal guy) and roll it back for less drive or switch to bridge/middle or neck or anything else and roll the volume down for clean chimey tones. Or bridge alone split great chime and single coil grind turned up. It's the most versatile setup imaginable. There may be better pickups for you, but i;m just giving you what i experience with this one, and it caused me to stop my search for a HSS bridge pickup many many years ago. It just plain works for me to the point i have since had zero desire to switch.
 

Mincer

Member
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4,545
I always auto split the humbucker in HSS guitars to get sort of a quack tone (it isn't really out-of-phase) with just 2 coils together. With a JB Jr, you can either split it and combine it, or run it in parallel and combine it. Keep in mind, though, the JB Jr sounds nothing like a single coil pickup by itself, if that is what you are after. Something like a higher output single would do the trick, like a Quarter Pound.
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,691
If you really love the great, 70's quacky strat tones, you can't use any humbucker in the bridge. I went to the extreme and had a custom bucker with mismatched coil, so that the split, single coil near the bridge would be exactly like the other single coils, still sucked.

But I finally found a solution...I built my HSS to sound the best it could for the bucker's full/series tone and then built up a nice SSS. Now I finally have the best of both.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
14,584
If you really love the great, 70's quacky strat tones, you can't use any humbucker in the bridge. I went to the extreme and had a custom bucker with mismatched coil, so that the split, single coil near the bridge would be exactly like the other single coils, still sucked.

But I finally found a solution...I built my HSS to sound the best it could for the bucker's full/series tone and then built up a nice SSS. Now I finally have the best of both.
Well, maybe my Super D does it better then most and you didn't try that one, who knows. But i can tell you this....just like i said above, my SD equipped strat with autosplit quacks better then with SSS. And in fact i went BACK to SSS recently (van zandt) because it's been years and i wanted to see how i felt now and soon went back to HSS after realizing the SD not only quacks better, but i like the split tone better even using the H by itself. But as quack goes, it out quacks my strat as SSS easily. Don't know why but it does. And i swear i feel the split tone is better than a SC in the bridge ! Not exactly the same as a SC but very close and actually better to my ear than a SC in a strat bridge position. Some here have cited the anderson H2 as having great split tone but i have one and to me the SD does that and quack better. I think it's a very underrated P/U in that regard. really like the full out HB tone too. It's win win win.
 

guitarnut_1

Member
Messages
1,981
The above posts go to say that the split JB mini hum in the bridge, together with the middle pup will not quack good, so I would either have to live with the singlecoil bridge, or put a fully sized humbucker.

Just wanted to add that I couldn't care less for the bridge single coil by itself, I would prefer any humbucker instead, no matter if a mini or a fully sized one. What I don't want to loose is the quack in position 4 (middle and bridge together).

I actually love a humbucker in the bridge, it sounds awesome by itself.... but would've prefered to keep the looks and the pickguard of the guitar original.

The current bridge single coil also sounds pretty weak output wise. And it's as high as it gets.
 

ripgtr

Member
Messages
9,210
For a while, I had an HSH strat. It was a junky old MIM body, so I took the dremel to it. Put in a couple low wind PAF pickups. position #2, with the single in the middle and the humbucker in the bridge, though not as great as a real strat, was certainly good and useable and close enough for live work, in a pinch.

But those were low wind buckers. Which sounded not all that different than a single coil. Somewhat, but not as different as you might imagine. If you put in a higher wind/gain pickup in the bridge, yea, you are going to lose that.

Also, I play the bridge pickup on a strat all the time. I dial the amp for it, and actually use an EQ or treble boost for position #2, at least live. Thin bridge pickup, to me, means either it is a pickup I won't like or amp settings I won't like.
 

qblue

Member
Messages
1,042
I have a 1990 Strat Ultra (cousin to the Plus model) that has a splittable Dually red Lace sensors (actually two red Laces placed together in the bridge). The adjacent three way toggle switch allows the single coil upper/HB/single coil lower operation. While quack from the #2 position with the dually humbucker is so-so, quack from the single coils are real and spectacular; I like the lower coil best; the quack from the the gold middle and red Laces is great. I have a blue sensor in the neck.

The laces do it better because they essentially are noiseless and allow the quack to be louder and clearer than my 1970 SSS Strat.

Here is the basic layout: The 3-way toggle is between the tone knobs, now in the middle/ HB mode. Fender does not have the schematics for this instrument as they "lost" them after the contract with Lace was not renewed.
 

guitarnut_1

Member
Messages
1,981
Try a Duncan SSL-6 in the bridge. It is anything but weak and thin and sounds good in the #2 position.
the Lace Gold pups are not really thin sounding, they even tend to have more mids than "usual" single coils. Still this might be a good idea to try a fat single coil in the bridge, possibly even a Texas Special or this Duncan SSL-6.

I've had 3 fat Strats until now, and kind of always felt, they were not "real" Strats due to the humbucker in the bridge. And position #2 was miles away from the sound of 2 real single coils. It's that Mark Knopfler Sultans of Swing sound, that basically DEFINES a Strat IMHO, it would be criminal to loose this.

I really like these Plus Ultras, top notch instruments! Will get one for sure at some stage.....
 

ledzep618

Member
Messages
4,753
the Lace Gold pups are not really thin sounding, they even tend to have more mids than "usual" single coils. Still this might be a good idea to try a fat single coil in the bridge, possibly even a Texas Special or this Duncan SSL6
Your original post says you feel your bridge pickup is thin sounding lol.

But yeah the SSL-6 will cure your ailments. For what it's worth, I thought the same as you - that a strat isn't really a strat without 3 single coils. Now my strat is a humbucker in the bridge and a single in the neck, no middle. And I couldn't be happier with how it plays.
 

guitarnut_1

Member
Messages
1,981
Your original post says you feel your bridge pickup is thin sounding lol.

But yeah the SSL-6 will cure your ailments. For what it's worth, I thought the same as you - that a strat isn't really a strat without 3 single coils. Now my strat is a humbucker in the bridge and a single in the neck, no middle. And I couldn't be happier with how it plays.
what I am saying is that I don't feel the Gold Laces are thin sounding pups per se, but the bridge pup does sound skinny, that's a fact. I've raised it to the max and it is just weak and thin. I currently never use it, apart from position #2 together with the middle pup.

My next step will be probably a stronger mid rangier single coil for the bridge......
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,691
Well, maybe my Super D does it better then most and you didn't try that one, who knows. But i can tell you this....just like i said above, my SD equipped strat with autosplit quacks better then with SSS. And in fact i went BACK to SSS recently (van zandt) because it's been years and i wanted to see how i felt now and soon went back to HSS after realizing the SD not only quacks better, but i like the split tone better even using the H by itself. But as quack goes, it out quacks my strat as SSS easily. Don't know why but it does. And i swear i feel the split tone is better than a SC in the bridge ! Not exactly the same as a SC but very close and actually better to my ear than a SC in a strat bridge position. Some here have cited the anderson H2 as having great split tone but i have one and to me the SD does that and quack better. I think it's a very underrated P/U in that regard. really like the full out HB tone too. It's win win win.
well I don't like the Super Distortion pickup, so then I'm back to square one anyhow. Simply the position of the split coil is in the wrong place and that can affect things. Besides, I like a lower output, clearer bucker that has some single coil qualities even in humbucker mode and that ends up working nice with a 250K pot.
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
22,754
I have an HSH Strat. The 2 and 4 positions sound fine.
I have an HH Strat. Ditto.
I have two Telecasters with Strat middle and neck pickups. I'd use those for any situation that called for Strat quack.

It's not the black magic that folks are making it out to be.
 

Mincer

Member
Messages
4,545
Yeah, but there are a ton of picky people out there! I use an HH-style, and the 2 & 4 positions are inner and outer coils, respectively (humcancelling). Those work fine for any quack I need, even sound quackier than most Strats (even mine!).
 

Colamander

Member
Messages
1,372
I have a SD Custom 5 in the bridge position of my HSS strat, and it sounds awesome in both full HB and position 2 (split with middle SC). It's a great pickup. I credit the Music Zoo Charvels (which I can't afford) for turning me on to this pickup.
 




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