Strat bridge pickup advice

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by 1973Marshall, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. 1973Marshall

    1973Marshall Member

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    I have two Strats, a 54 RI and a 62 RI. The 54 has the Duncan SSL5 in the bridge and I love it. It's not something I immediately think about until I've been called in to record and the SSL5 guitar often makes the cut. It's thicker, still stratty and full of rich harmonics.

    The 62 RI is a brighter and punchier guitar and has the Dimarzio Area 61 in it. I've really enjoyed this set for years not but I've found this guitar isn't my first choice for important sessions. It's a little thinner sounding, etc. I've wondered if I should put a Dimarzio Heavy Blues 2 or any silent SSL5 equivalent (as this is my hum-canceling guitar).

    The issue is to I go higher output or not? My fear is having two strats that sound essentially the same and losing the differences. The other side is that after years of comparison I favor the 54 Strat for the more important work by a mile due to the bridge pickup.

    Do I celebrate the differences or make a change?
     
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  2. Mikhael

    Mikhael Member

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    Are they both made of the same woods?

    The decision to change pickups is going to be purely personal. If you want it to be able to "back up" the other guitar, you'll change the bridge pickup. If not, then it's another flavour at your disposal.
     
  3. Bucksears

    Bucksears Silver Supporting Member

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    Personally, I want a 2nd Strat set up for higher output, and the SSL6 (flat-pole version of the SSL5) is the bridge I'm designing that build around (in my head).
    My main Strat has an APST-1 (Twang Banger), which is hotter than a typical Strat bridge, but ain't 'high output'.
     
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  4. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Don't care for hot strat pickups. I had an SSL5 and thought it was too middy/smooth. Lost the snarl and aggressive strat bite. not to mention no #2 cluck. Didn't have the strat thing to me. I like a leaner/meaner strat tone and let the amp do it, and if I want the mids and thickness, a pedal. That way I can turn it off and still have a strat sound. With a hot pickup, I can't turn it off.
     
  5. Gevalt

    Gevalt Member

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    Baseplate and tone pot worked for me. Each mod improved the sound about as much as the other.
     
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  6. rburkard

    rburkard Gold Supporting Member

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    Agreed. Best Strat mod for the bridge pickup. No more pickup chasing necessary. This will solve the common problems associated with harsh, thin, trebly sounds better than any pickup change IMO.
     
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  7. burningyen

    burningyen Member

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    Try a DiMarzio Virtual Solo.
     
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  8. Jarick

    Jarick Supporting Member

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    What other pickups are in your guitar?

    I would maybe think about the Injector bridge model. I had a Virtual Solo and it's picky about guitars...sometimes great, sometimes not. Last time I used it it sounded a bit too warm and dull. If you like the SSL-5, you would probably like other hot single coils. The Injector Bridge seems like a middle ground between the 61 and the Virtual Solo.

    Tone pot should be a must if you haven't already, it will take the edge off. Base plate I found was fairly subtle. I have an SSL-5 but haven't installed it yet...way too many pickups. Need to try it sometime...
     
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  9. 1973Marshall

    1973Marshall Member

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    Has anyone here tried the FS1, Heavy Blues or Injector? I'm curious if these are a good way to go.

    Area 58-58-61
     
  10. 3of5

    3of5 Member

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    I have a Strat with Area 61, Area 58, Heavy Blues II. I like the HBII a lot. I used a 500k tone pot for the bridge so I could get more brightness if I want it (I usually have the tone dialed down about half or more). I thought the Injector bridge seemed fairly similar.
     
  11. GenoVox

    GenoVox Member

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    ^^^
    THIS

    Like a cross between a standard Strat pickup and P90 - love it
     
  12. dazco

    dazco Member

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    What i found is the only way i was able to NOT go hotter was a A3 pickup. They sound a lot fatter than A5 even at low vintage output. If you looked at a spectrum analysis of one compared to an A5 my guess would be you would see the ultra high frequencies getting shelved and a bit of a boost at the lower trebles. So it's like trading higher treble frequencies for lower ones. You may or may not like the sound of them but it liminates the thin-ness A5 typically has. I really like them but it IS a different sound snf i prefer A5 in a guitar that doesn't sound thin with A5 in the bridge. I have 2 strats and one has A5 and the other A3. If i swap them around each guitar doesn't sound good. I;s say they work best in maple neck starts. Not sure why they are not more popular but there are not a lot of them around. I use the tonerider version but they are slightly on the hotter side of vintage. Thats not why they sound fat tho, as A5's i have used that are wound like that and even a good bit hotter were a lot thinner sounding.
     

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