Author Topic: HSS Strat - suggestion for the "H"  (Read 1625 times)

PhiloB

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HSS Strat - suggestion for the "H"
« on: May 25, 2017, 07:44:51 AM »
I picked up a used $150 LTD St-203 (Strat) because the pickups sounded really great and the neck was equally nice.  Problem is, I already own a Strat with Sunday Handwound pickups that sounds great (but different).
For versatility, I'm thinking about replacing the bridge with a humbucker.  The neck and middle measure right at 6.0k resistance.
I've watched video after video on YouTube.
Here is what I think I want....
1. A pickup that will compliment the neck and middle eq wise (not sound out of place).  From my research, all I've been able to determine is that the stock pickups are Alnico - I suspect Alnico ii based on the sound.  Again they are around 6.0k
2. 4 conductor wire so I can wire position 2 with a single coil of the humbucker and get the traditional strat quack.
3.  Low out put humbucker (ill wire the bridge position to be a full humbucker - not coil split.) By low output I just mean that volume wise, I don't want a big jump in output when going from neck to bridge. 
4. Being a budget guitar, I don't care to drop a lot of money on a pickup.  I'd love to pick one up for between 50-75 but that's not hard and fast.  If there is something that costs more but well worth the investment I'd entertain it.

I respect the collective opinion of Madbean forum.

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sonnyboy27

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Re: HSS Strat - suggestion for the "H"
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2017, 08:16:43 AM »
Following because I'm thinking about doing something similar to my cheapo Xaviere strat (which sounds really good, it just needs fretwork). I'm in the middle of fret filing on it right now.

GermanCdn

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Re: HSS Strat - suggestion for the "H"
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2017, 08:39:17 AM »
While it doesn't necessarily meet your pricing requirements (it might if you find the right deal or used), a Seymour Duncan SH or TB-16 (depending on if you want proper trem pole spacing) is a really good Strat humbucker.  It's slightly hotter than a '59 (it's a hybrid of the '59 and the Custom), got four wire hookup, think they're around 10k.  Got one paired with a '59 in my Singlecut Trem and it sounds really good (not as good as the Custom Custom, but that's a lot hotter).

In the less money land, going with a GFS '58 or VEH would meet all of your requirements, though I think the VEH is 12k so it might be a little hot.
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PhiloB

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Re: HSS Strat - suggestion for the "H"
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2017, 09:11:12 AM »
Thanks GermanCdn.  So you think a 10-11k will balance output wise with a 6k middle and neck?
Also, is trembucker spacing worth insisting on?  I had a HH strat that I used Gibson spaced buckers in and sounded great...but I never compared them directly to a properly spaced humbucker


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Ralfg

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Re: HSS Strat - suggestion for the "H"
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2017, 09:17:54 AM »
Are you looking for a full sized humbucker or a single sized one?  Personally I love Nordstrand pickups, I've searched far and wide for great Versatel pickups and I just think they fit my tonal pallet perfectly. The NVH 3 for warmth and the NVH 5 for a more sweet bright sound.

I think output isn't too much of a worry here because you want the bridge pickup to be hotter than the rest. I don't know the specific mechanics but I think it has something to do with the amount of vibration you can get out of the string with its poisition. Neck pickups will always seem louder. Also as long as you don't get a mega hot pickup you could adjust the pickup height to balance everything out.
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PhiloB

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Re: HSS Strat - suggestion for the "H"
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2017, 09:22:16 AM »
Ralfg, I want a full size I think.  I had a single sized JB jr in the past.  It sounded good, but not like a full sized imo.
*off to google Nordstrand


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PhiloB

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Re: HSS Strat - suggestion for the "H"
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2017, 10:24:44 AM »
$138 for the Nordstrand is approaching the $150 I have invested in the whole guitar.
In all honesty, $35 for a GFS makes more monetary sense but I hate spending money on mediocre gear and regretting it when it doesn't meet my needs/wants.
That said, I watched a 3 pickup blind shootout on YouTube and I picked the GFS:/
I also wanted to give Timbo_93631 a shoutout, he wound me some strat pickups a couple years ago that were exactly what I asked for and I'm still really digging them today.  I'm not sure he winds humbuckers though...I sent him a PM and will report back for those interested in his Sundaywound pickups.


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pickdropper

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Re: HSS Strat - suggestion for the "H"
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2017, 10:31:58 AM »
While it doesn't necessarily meet your pricing requirements (it might if you find the right deal or used), a Seymour Duncan SH or TB-16 (depending on if you want proper trem pole spacing) is a really good Strat humbucker.  It's slightly hotter than a '59 (it's a hybrid of the '59 and the Custom), got four wire hookup, think they're around 10k.  Got one paired with a '59 in my Singlecut Trem and it sounds really good (not as good as the Custom Custom, but that's a lot hotter).



Twice now I've looked at this and ended up going with the Custom Custom.  It does have more output than the single coils, but it sounds so good that I deal with it.
In the less money land, going with a GFS '58 or VEH would meet all of your requirements, though I think the VEH is 12k so it might be a little hot.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 12:33:23 PM by pickdropper »
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GermanCdn

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Re: HSS Strat - suggestion for the "H"
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2017, 10:54:16 AM »
Thanks GermanCdn.  So you think a 10-11k will balance output wise with a 6k middle and neck?
Also, is trembucker spacing worth insisting on?  I had a HH strat that I used Gibson spaced buckers in and sounded great...but I never compared them directly to a properly spaced humbucker


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10k will give you a bump in volume, but not ridiculous.  6k is in the medium hot strat range, so you should be pretty good.  But if you can stand a little more bump, the Custom Custom is the way to go.  When Jacob was over at my place a few weeks back, I think he ran through about 40 guitars with JBs, Classic 57s, 57/08s, 59s, Tone Zones, Custom, Custom 5, Custom Custom, HFS, Klein 58s, Burstbuckers, Dragon II, 500T, McCarty, DGT, etc, and I think our consensus was that the Custom Custom was hands down the best bridge humbucker of the bunch.

Is trembucker spacing worth insisting on?  Meh, probably not.  I just personally don't like the look of the pole pieces not lining up with the outside strings on a trem loaded guitar.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 11:01:43 AM by GermanCdn »
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PhiloB

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Re: HSS Strat - suggestion for the "H"
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2017, 11:04:46 AM »
That's good info, thanks!


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pickdropper

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Re: HSS Strat - suggestion for the "H"
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2017, 12:34:26 PM »
Thanks GermanCdn.  So you think a 10-11k will balance output wise with a 6k middle and neck?
Also, is trembucker spacing worth insisting on?  I had a HH strat that I used Gibson spaced buckers in and sounded great...but I never compared them directly to a properly spaced humbucker


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10k will give you a bump in volume, but not ridiculous.  6k is in the medium hot strat range, so you should be pretty good.  But if you can stand a little more bump, the Custom Custom is the way to go.  When Jacob was over at my place a few weeks back, I think he ran through about 40 guitars with JBs, Classic 57s, 57/08s, 59s, Tone Zones, Custom, Custom 5, Custom Custom, HFS, Klein 58s, Burstbuckers, Dragon II, 500T, McCarty, DGT, etc, and I think our consensus was that the Custom Custom was hands down the best bridge humbucker of the bunch.

Is trembucker spacing worth insisting on?  Meh, probably not.  I just personally don't like the look of the pole pieces not lining up with the outside strings on a trem loaded guitar.

Some of it is guitar dependent, too.  I love the Custom Custom in my 25.5 scale guitars, but I quite like the Custom 5 in my 24.75" Baker.
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GermanCdn

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Re: HSS Strat - suggestion for the "H"
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2017, 04:37:22 PM »
Thanks GermanCdn.  So you think a 10-11k will balance output wise with a 6k middle and neck?
Also, is trembucker spacing worth insisting on?  I had a HH strat that I used Gibson spaced buckers in and sounded great...but I never compared them directly to a properly spaced humbucker


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10k will give you a bump in volume, but not ridiculous.  6k is in the medium hot strat range, so you should be pretty good.  But if you can stand a little more bump, the Custom Custom is the way to go.  When Jacob was over at my place a few weeks back, I think he ran through about 40 guitars with JBs, Classic 57s, 57/08s, 59s, Tone Zones, Custom, Custom 5, Custom Custom, HFS, Klein 58s, Burstbuckers, Dragon II, 500T, McCarty, DGT, etc, and I think our consensus was that the Custom Custom was hands down the best bridge humbucker of the bunch.

Is trembucker spacing worth insisting on?  Meh, probably not.  I just personally don't like the look of the pole pieces not lining up with the outside strings on a trem loaded guitar.

Some of it is guitar dependent, too.  I love the Custom Custom in my 25.5 scale guitars, but I quite like the Custom 5 in my 24.75" Baker.

Agreed.  The Custom Custom is actually installed in one of my SC250.
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wgc

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Re: HSS Strat - suggestion for the "H"
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2017, 05:12:33 PM »
I love the custom 5 personally. The custom custom is a close second. Also, a screaming demon is less hot than you might expect, kind of "paffy." For dimarzio, I like the Fred most but haven't tried many. Probably all a bit hotter than you are looking for though.

Also wanted to say you can often find them gently used on eBay for less $$.

I've thought about trying to match desired specs with cheap Chinese pups but haven't done it yet.

And final thought, it might be cool to set up a pup swap thread.
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PhiloB

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Re: HSS Strat - suggestion for the "H"
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2017, 09:48:23 PM »
I like the pup swap idea.  Quite possibly the hardest thing to shop for guitar wise.


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nunonaos

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Re: HSS Strat - suggestion for the "H"
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2017, 07:08:14 AM »
In a SSH guitar, you have to put a very bright humbucker, so that when you change to the bridge pickup, your sound doesn't become duller..
I had an SSH LTD guitar and put in a sh12 and it sounded great.
It's very important the pots you have (250k Vs 500k). I believe a 500k volume and 250k tone pot(s) is a good solution

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