Tom Anderson single coil flavors and best PAF

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by Pedro Asfora, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. Pedro Asfora

    Pedro Asfora Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2018
    Hey guys,

    This is my first post here, after much, much lurking around.

    I've finally been able to make up a reason to order a custom Tom Anderson guitar. I'll order it from the Mesa Hollywood store (simply the best customer service I've ever seen. The amount of emails we've exchanged and the detail of the responses shocked me and continue to make me smile. Truly a great bunch.)

    Anyway, I first wanted a Suhr, but the TA's were less expensive and may fit me better. My doubts are within the many pickup flavors.

    Perfect world scenario: Two preferrably noiseless vintage sounding single coils, 60's era strat tone, and also being able to pull off a good jazz tone with some activity in the tone pot area (I really like the dark, plucky sound when the tone is almost all the way off).
    In the bridge, a PAF that is warm and bitey but with vintage output for clarity and good balance with the singles. Great for distortion but also usable in clean settings. To be series/paralleled a lot. With the Suhr, I was going V60LP and Thornbucker (which seems to be one of the most popular combos, unfortunately).

    The most popular single coils from TA are the SC1's, the vintage voiced and only ones that aren't are the VA7's, and the other ones are the SA's.

    The descriptions are really vague and interchangeable, and youtube demos are pretty unsatisfactory. Does anyone know more about these pup's? The SC and SA's can be split as they are stacked, and I saw a video of a different wiring that made them sound incredible, here's the link:

    The SA's sound awesome in it.

    Any insight on characteristics for these single coils?
     
    macmax77 likes this.
  2. stratoquack

    stratoquack Supporting Member

    Messages:
    670
    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    N. Georgia
    I have SA's in my Hollow Drop Top and SC1's in my Classic.
    The SA's are closer to a "strat" sound IMO, however they are a really hot pickup.
    The SC's sound great in the #2 and #4 position, but the neck pickup alone sounds sort of dull and nondescript.
    I'm hot for a new TAG right now and I'm torn on pickups too.
     
    darchirnoj likes this.
  3. FiestaRed

    FiestaRed Supporting Member

    Messages:
    21,432
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2003
    Location:
    Citrus Heights, CA
  4. brokenvail

    brokenvail Member

    Messages:
    736
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Go with the SF1 or if you prefer a slightly bluesier (darker/fatter) sound do an SF2. For a humbucker get an HF1+ or HF2. The HF series is in the paf vein. Mind range hump with high end sparkle. If you the 2 is a little darker and hotter (but not real dark or super hot) than the 1+
     
  5. mrwolf

    mrwolf Member

    Messages:
    263
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    In the neck SC1- (minus)
    In the mid SC1
    In the bridge HF2 (Anderson don't make a good PAF in my experience)

    I have that but with a H2+ in the bridge because I love it.
    The SC1- is better in the neck and works much better with gain than the regular SC1.
    I also have VA7.2 singles in another and they've totally blown me away. I previously regarded the Suhr V60LP as the best true single but honestly the VA7.2 has replaced it.
    I'm enjoying them so much that I'm honestly considering putting a pair in my Drop Top.
    Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
  6. brokenvail

    brokenvail Member

    Messages:
    736
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    It is funny. I hate the LP’s. I like the 60’s and ML. I often wonder about the 70’s and new 63
     
  7. mrwolf

    mrwolf Member

    Messages:
    263
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    The 70's are scooped and bright. I hated them
     
  8. kevin hart

    kevin hart Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,641
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    I have an ash body maple neck and board S style guitar.

    I have SC1's in the neck and middle along with a HF1+ in the bridge. I really like all of the pickup positions with this setup. SC1's do a great single coil tone with no noise and the HF1+ sounds great with overdrive, but still does cleanish tones well.
     
    darchirnoj likes this.
  9. brokenvail

    brokenvail Member

    Messages:
    736
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    HF1+ is great in bridge. There is something about the top end I did not love so I moved on but it is killer there
     
  10. kevin hart

    kevin hart Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,641
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    I guess we hear some things the same. I've used both Suhr V60Lp's and the ML Standards. Even though they are both excellent pickups, I much prefer the ML's.

    In my opinion, you really can't go wrong with Suhr or Anderson.
     
    darchirnoj and brokenvail like this.
  11. Pedro Asfora

    Pedro Asfora Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2018
    Wow, I didn't check up here after a couple days' silence and been so pleasantly surprised by all the answers, thanks guys!

    So, I actually emailed Tom about this and he said if I love vintage pickups and want that tone, VA7's (albeit didn't mention what era these replicate, I imagine 60's due to popularity), but that if I sometimes struggle with all-vintage, the SC1-'s are the next best thing, plus they're noise cancelling which is a huge plus in my book :aok. Regarding the PAF, he said HC1+.

    I'm looking more towards the vintage output vibe for this build, feels like the better choice after having my main guitar sport Vai and Petrucci pickups :dude (which surprises everyday, the Petrucci in the neck has the best jazz tone I've ever played from a superstrat).

    I'm going back and forth with Suhr vs. Anderson, and on the Suhr front going back and forth between V60LP's and the V63's (which apparently are a re-branded ML Classic, if I'm not mistaken). I love the V60LP tone, but sometimes I feel that they could fail to give me tones besides the 60's style, while maybe the V63 covered more fronts. The humbucker would definitely be thornbucker though.

    Do you guys know how the VA7's and SC1's compare relating to the Suhrs'? Every TA sound clip I've found on YouTube sounds very sterile, doesn't match what I've read in the slightest. Since my quote for the TA was cheaper, and I love the look of the chocolate maple neck, maybe I'll just get a TA and put Suhr's in it if I don't love the tone :D
     
  12. Husky

    Husky Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,127
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    That's why we try to make so many models !
    This is what they do though and I love the Ritchie Blackmore vibe personally but I put V60LP in all my guitars. Thinking about a Blackmore guitar though ;-)
     
    1bluzman likes this.
  13. brokenvail

    brokenvail Member

    Messages:
    736
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Nothing wrong with a Tag with suhr pups...I did it before. Unless the Suhr singing to have the ssc2 you can get the tag VA’s. As I said before I am not a 60’s lp fan. That low resonance is. It my thing at all. They don’t have the high end I want. I much prefer the 60’s or the Ml which actually have a high resonance peak
     
  14. Husky

    Husky Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,127
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    I just want to make sure people understand you can’t choose a pickup in a vacuum. It will depend on the speaker, amp and the rest of your chain. Think of pickups like a spice when cooking. I think of all the build like ying/yang
    A little sweet a little sour, brighter Speakers and amp and sweeter pickups. The V60LP works perfectly with a BF Super and alnicos for instance. And do consider our single coils don’t make noise in our guitars. But for me the ML standard is darker than the V60LP mainly because it has more turns. So for clear spank I’d do the 63 which don’t have a hot bridge.
     
  15. Pedro Asfora

    Pedro Asfora Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2018
    I totally agree John! This is also why I'm having a hard time figuring these things out, so many variables. The guitar this is meant for is standard strat spec regarding woods though, so it's a bit easier in that element. I did have a 74 hardtail strat (avatar pic) for quite some time, with the staggered pole piece pups, and am pretty familiar with that sound in particular, loved it!

    They felt a bit cloudy to me for what I want though. It was an alder body strat, rosewood board. I want more chime, more clarity, but not so much that it loses all punch. Pardon if this is getting so vague, but I think similarly to the philosophy that you do about your entire guitars: I want a pickup that feels vintage, but has a modern spice to it. It may be splitting hairs, but that's just how anal I get about this stuff.

    Due to all of that, and going by the word of Tom Anderson, the pickup in his selection could be the SC1-, although I have never heard it, only read a description. If it was a Suhr, possibly a V63 or ML Standard, if the V60LP would be the greasier of them all.
     
  16. Pedro Asfora

    Pedro Asfora Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2018
    Even with no SSC? The hum was always a pain in the neck for me, even when I split my hums.
     
  17. Husky

    Husky Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,127
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    I’m saying that price might be higher for ours because it has the SSC. If you buy his and install our pickups you won’t be quiet except in combo positions. Can’t go wrong with either though except ours is a Classic S sized body if that matters.
     
  18. Pedro Asfora

    Pedro Asfora Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2018
    Oh, I see! That could be the case. If I'm not mistaken his is also the classic shape though, the relatively new Classic Icon S. The other ones I've heard were indeed smaller.
     
  19. dazed1

    dazed1 Member

    Messages:
    183
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Realize this is an older thread but thought I would chime in. I own several Suhrs (v70s in one and ML in the other) and I just got a new Anderson with SC1 neck and middle and HC2 bridge. I would echo what Mr. Suhr said regarding the entire chain. Amp, speakers, cab, etc. If your entire rig is tweaked for vintage single coils and you dont wanna mess with it stay with vintage pickups. The SC1s require a slight change to get the most out of them, but they can sound fantastic.
     
    darchirnoj and brokenvail like this.
  20. dazed1

    dazed1 Member

    Messages:
    183
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    To add a little more about the SC1’s I would say they sound best through a brighter amp / speaker combo because they can be a little flat. Best demo online I found is this one:



    Mine is spec’d exactly like this one. This is through a z-wreck.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice