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Strat humbucker install

2/19/1997 12:06 PM
P Freuler
Strat humbucker install
I recently purchased a Mexican made Fender Strat reissue. Having always played SGs, and SG type guitars, I just could not get used to the thin sounding single coil pickups. So I purchased a new pickguard (Warmouth) for a humbucker in the bridge position and the other two still single coils. I anticipated having to get out my router to cut out the space for the humbucker. Much to my pleasant surprise, when I removed the old pickguard, the guitar had been made at the factory to accomodate a humbucker already. While it was pretty much a matter of just soldering in the new one, there was one small catch. When I went to install the new pickguard, only three of the screw holes lined up with the holes for the original pickguard. So, I installed the three screws that did line up, and CAREFULLY drilled new pilot holes in the new positions. Were this a vintage American strat I would not have done this for any of you who might be shreaking at such a thought. But the old holes cannot be seen, and I can restore it to its original condition with little fuss. The guitar sound is vastly improved in my opinion, but still sounds much like a strat, with added testicular fortitude.
3/7/1997 6:27 PM
Mark Hammer

Check out Craig Anderton's most recent book of electronic projects for  
guitarists. He has a schematic for a tone control that essentially  
"pans" between single coil and full humbucker sound. Apparently this  
was used on early production Peavey guitars. I installed it on a guitar  
I had a number of years ago and found it to be both simple and effective,  
and it doesn't require anything terribly exotic. If you don't mind  
altering one of your tone controls, I highly recommend it as a way of  
regaining the original Strat single-coil sound, while keeping the  
more muscular sound on tap. Incidentally, the tone control mod is  
passive, and doesn't require doing anything risky to the pickup itself,  
as long as you have access to all four wires from the pickup.  
Incidentally, anyone ever installed a P-90 as a bridge pickup on a Strat?  
I'm curious. For years I had a Strat configuration on an old Epiphone  
Coronet (NOT its original configuration). Recently, I grew tired of  
its inability to accurately reproduce Strat tones (the light-weight  
mahogany body gets in the way of that), and threw together an ersatz  
P-90 (roughly the same dimensions, but entirely home-made, with #41  
wire, coming in at around 9k, which means LOTSA windings) and installed  
it in the bridge position. Yowza! Not muscular in the traditional  
humbucker sense, but talk about cutting power! I'm wondering what a  
real P-90 sounds like on a Fender product. You rarely see them.
3/14/1997 9:13 AM
Pat Freuler
Humbucker Install
Thanks for the tip on Anderton's book. I've check it out at the library before and copied some of the projects in it, but not that one. Of course that was before I had a strat. As it happens, I am interested in some mods on the standard strat set up so I'll look that one up.
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