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Strat - now that I moved the tone control to the bridge pup, I don't need a 'bucker

SoCalSteve

Member
Messages
2,276
I've been toying with the idea of putting a humbucker in the bridge position but have hesitated because I still like to have the single-coil tone available.

Moving the lower tone control to the bridge pickup and rolling it back to about 3-5 really gets a very fat tone out of it. I've got the best of both worlds now with this simple, free mod.

Have alot of you guys found the same thing?
 

dumbell78

Member
Messages
4,957
I really want to do this on my 65 Strat but Im a little gun shy because I dont want to put any extra solder points on the guitar. I have played a few with the tone control connected to the bridge and it makes a world of change. Very cool!
 

Kontalonis

Member
Messages
151
Great idea IMO. I've always shied away from the bridge pickups on strats because i have no control over them. Anybody know the theory as WHY they put a tone on the middle as opposed to the bridge? The middle pickup would be the least used pickup i would think amongst the vast majority of strat pickers.
 
Messages
23,951
My Jimmie's were already all set, but I have swapped over all my other Strats.

Except the CS NOS '60 sunburst Time Machine, for the reasons Dumbell states.

I've also added quite a few bridge baseplates (from Bill Callaham).

But I have a new plan for at least one of the Strats: 4 way switch offering me

1) Bridge;
2) N + B in parallel;
3) Neck;
4) N + B in series, all governed by one tone control.

The second "tone" dial converts to a middle pickup blender.

Wait, wait, not done yet. The N + B will be RWRP towards each other, the middle pickup will not have 60 cycle cancellation when blended in only with the bridge. You just switched locations between the (former) neck and middle pickups is all. No tone control on that middle location pickup, BTW.
 

marsos52

Member
Messages
2,139
i could not think of playing a strat with out a tone control for the bridge
i like making the second tone pot work for the middle and bridge and all it takes is
a small jumper wire

for some reason i just cant get along with a s/s/h setup i had a awesome melancon
set up that way and i changed pickups so many times and never could get a combo
that i liked, the closest was a rio grande calibrated set but i just had to sell it off

a base plate and the wire jump for tone control rules
 

gearitis

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,456
My favorite Strat tone control set up is the neck and middle pickups on one tone control, and the bridge pickup on the other one.
 

K-Line

Vendor
Messages
8,274
Move the tone control to bridge and throw in a Lollar Special. Whn you roll it back it almost gets to the p-90 realm.
 

tjmicsak

Member
Messages
5,597
1. Rout for a slanted HB centered to use the original single coil mounting screws.
2. Install a Duncan JB with coil split and phase reverse switches.
3. Install phase reverse switch on the middle Pup.
4. Bridge the tone pot to share the bridge Pup.
4. Find out you now have:
a) single coil strat tone (split)
b) Tele bridge tone (splt with bridge Pup phase reversed)
c) A second sweeter #2 position (same as "b" but add middle Pup reverse phase)
-this uses the non adjustable bobbin with the middle
d) Humbucker tone


Next moment in evolution-
Rout the neck for a '59 and wire as previous post with middle blender.
 

ReddRanger

Member
Messages
3,072
Moving or adding a tone control to the bridge is one of the easiest and best mods you can do to a Strat. I'll never use a Strat bridge without a tone control again.
 

SoCalSteve

Member
Messages
2,276
It's really great. Like I said, I wanted to keep the traditional single-coil tone 'cuz I like playing old surf guitar stuff sometimes as well as other nice, spanky clean stuff. Now, by rolling the tone knob back and stepping on my Transparent OD, I can get some thick humbuckeresque tones as well.
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,690
I don't like how it takes away bridge pickup output though even when tone is on 10, it's like you lowered you volume knob to 9 compared to the stock wiring. A little less output and a little mellower tone. It neuters the bridge pickup to me. A no load pot maybe the perfect solution.
 

Drifting

Member
Messages
1,050
I've been toying with the idea of putting a humbucker in the bridge position but have hesitated because I still like to have the single-coil tone available.

Moving the lower tone control to the bridge pickup and rolling it back to about 3-5 really gets a very fat tone out of it. I've got the best of both worlds now with this simple, free mod.

Have alot of you guys found the same thing?
Totally. My strat is so tonally complete now. I actually find myself using the bridge pickup 2/3 of the time which is unheard of on a strat!

I love the simplicity as well, didn't have to muck around a whole lot, anyone can do this mod.

I tried the single coil sized humbucker for awhile in my strat, but I just didn't dig it. I can't put my finger on why, but I just did not like it.
 
Messages
23,951
I don't like how it takes away bridge pickup output though even when tone is on 10, it's like you lowered you volume knob to 9 compared to the stock wiring. A little less output and a little mellower tone. It neuters the bridge pickup to me. A no load pot maybe the perfect solution.
That's what I've got on these two "Cubic Zirc" American Series 60th Anniversary Strats with the AV 57/62 pickups they come with. Sounds good; sounds even better with a base plate from Callaham Guitars on the bridge pickup.
 

CitizenCain

Member
Messages
4,821
I don't like how it takes away bridge pickup output though even when tone is on 10, it's like you lowered you volume knob to 9 compared to the stock wiring. A little less output and a little mellower tone. It neuters the bridge pickup to me. A no load pot maybe the perfect solution.
The noload pot is a great solution to many setups. My fave Strat wiring now is the bridge blender pot, which gives you MV, MT and the bridge blender. You use a noload pot for the blender by design, add one for the MT control and you're golden!
 

SoCalSteve

Member
Messages
2,276

scottlr

Member
Messages
23,676
It's the best, most useful mod ever!
Yes, indeed! I often wondered why this was not the stock wiring from the beginning.

I never used the bridge pup on a Strat, until I got a G&L Skyhawk that had tone controls (though different than standard) for the bridge pup. Damn, I used it all the time! It is a must have for me, on a Strat!
 

Bubbles

Member
Messages
43
I've had 5 Strats over the years (down to 2 now!) and have always put the tone control on the bridge P/U, you can get a very humbuckerish tone.
I think that Leo (or somebody else high in Fender) said that they didn't bother with a tone control on the bridge P/U because the amps of the time were very "dark sounding" and they wanted the brightest possible tone so a control for the bridge P/U was considered a waste of space.
 




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