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

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Trebor Renkluaf, May 22, 2011.

  1. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Silver Supporting Member

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    Anybody have tips on setting up strat pickups to get maximum quack in positions 2 & 4?

    PS - I think the term should be quackage and that all strats should be set up for maximum quackage.
     
  2. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Member

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    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.
     
  3. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    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.
     
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  4. 1radicalron

    1radicalron Member

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    Try lowering the Middle pickup. Make it 1/8" lower to the strings than the Bridge P/U.
     
  5. bluesking55

    bluesking55 Supporting Member

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    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
     
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  6. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Silver Supporting Member

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    Most of my strats are single volume/single tone so that's not an issue.
     
  7. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Silver Supporting Member

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    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!
     
  8. sixstringslut

    sixstringslut Member

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    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.
     
  9. imguitardan

    imguitardan Member

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    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.
     
  10. gitarboy

    gitarboy Silver Supporting Member

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  11. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
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  12. randelli

    randelli Member

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

    Post up an example of great quackage please.
     
  13. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Mark Knopfler (Dire Straights), on "Sultans of Swing" is a classic example of Strat quack:

     
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  14. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Silver Supporting Member

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    "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.
     
  15. Cymbaline

    Cymbaline Member

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    Eric Clapton - Just One Night, the whole album. Great quackage all over that album.
     
  16. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    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.
     
  17. rabbuhl

    rabbuhl Member

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  18. notnac

    notnac Senior Member

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    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.
     
  19. Rock Johnson

    Rock Johnson Member

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    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.
     
  20. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    lol.

    Btw, now for cluck, the formula is different than quack. Of course, we can't give out all the secrets.
     

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