Tips for setting up strat pickups for maximum quack (quackage)?

Keyser Soze

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1,476
My experience is that pickup height is an issue. Obviously the adjacent pickups need to be fairly equally balanced, but the pickups should also be kept relatively low. Too high and the frequency cancellations that give you the quack can get buried in the overall heavy output.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
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38,256
wiring it so that there's not more than one tone pot on the pickup pair (say, by moving the middle pickup tone to the bridge, so the N+M doesn't get two tones hitting it) keeps the sparkle in there.
 

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
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13,661
wiring it so that there's not more than one tone pot on the pickup pair (say, by moving the middle pickup tone to the bridge, so the N+M doesn't get two tones hitting it) keeps the sparkle in there.
Most of my strats are single volume/single tone so that's not an issue.
 

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
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13,661
Try lowering the Middle pickup. Make it 1/8" lower to the strings than the Bridge P/U.
Lindy fralin told me one time,i live by his shop, maxium quack is too lower the neck/bridge p'up or get a slightly hotter middle pup
Lower the middle... lower the neck and bridge... which one is it?!? LOL!!! :D

I actually tried what Peter Florance of Voodoo Pickup suggested:
http://www.voodoopickups.com/Installing and Setups.htm
When I first fired her up I was getting some serious quack in position 2, not so much in position 4. The problem was the bridge pickup was noticeably lower in volume than the neck or middle. When I raised the bridge pickup to match volume, I lost some quack. I'm trying to find that setting were the single pickup volumes are all balanced and yet I'm still getting maximum quack. Is that doable, or is at always a compromise?

BTW, I don't use position 3 very much, so if I could optimize for neck tone/volume, bridge tone/volume and quack that would be fine. The funny thing is, I've actually got the middle pickup adjusted right now to where it sounds good!
 

sixstringslut

Member
Messages
529
Too hot of pickups will kill it, keep on the cooler side for MAX-Quack. Though hotter will still quack, the levels of 2 &4 will be lessened considerably.
I think the Mid is the key so Lindey is probably right. Do what he says.
 

imguitardan

Member
Messages
3,949
Pickup height and output make a big difference in the quack zone.

Option I: If one pup is much hotter than the other you'll get more quack when their combined.

Option II: set the bridge and neck pup to where you want them, drop the middle pup as low as you're willing.
 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,847
To maximize quack, I'd recommend a mismatched (higher or lower winding and/or height setting than bridge and neck) RWRP middle pickup. Personally, I don't use/like positions 2 or 4 so I always order my Strat pickups with a non-RWRP middle as this configuration tends to sound better to my ears in 1, 3, & 5.
 
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randelli

Member
Messages
91
I must be doing something wrong; my 2 & 4 sound more full - not "quackier".

Post up an example of great quackage please.
 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
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17,847
I must be doing something wrong; my 2 & 4 sound more full - not "quackier".

Post up an example of great quackage please.
Mark Knopfler (Dire Straights), on "Sultans of Swing" is a classic example of Strat quack:

 

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
Gold Supporting Member
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13,661
I must be doing something wrong; my 2 & 4 sound more full - not "quackier".

Post up an example of great quackage please.
"Sultans of Swing"
"Sweet Home Alabama"
Classic strat quack.
"Lenny" by SRV also has some great quack moments, although Stevie switches pickup settings in the tune.
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,691
Yeah no RWRP in the middle for the quack like you hear from the examples above, it sounds sweeter in the notched positions to me. RWRP is nice for noiseless but it sounds a little different, (kinda sterile).

Also agree with low output pickups, try for under 6K ohms for all of them.
 

notnac

Senior Member
Messages
657
My Suhr Strat bypasses the tone in positions 2 and 4. It is the first guitar I've ever owned where 2 and 4 were the same volume as the other positions.
 

Rock Johnson

Member
Messages
4,745
I tried lowering all the pickups last night (all 3 basically decked to the pickguard) and hey... more quack!

I ended up raising the bridge up just a hair - maybe 1/8" from the pickguard - and it worked pretty good. Took a lot of the shrillness out of the bridge pup, too.
 




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