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Re: Suggestions for Strat bridge PU?

3/26/1999 8:09 PM
Steve A.

Re: Suggestions for Strat bridge PU?
    Fender refers to the linkage as the "Power Strat" and as you mention, it can be more appropriate for solos than rhythm work. My comparison was not so much to single coil pickups but to the single-coil sized humbuckers (like the Hot Rails and the Cool Rails) which I found to be way too muddy for my tastes when I got into tweaking my tube amps.  
    The actual single coil pups used would also make a difference in the results (I've added the Sup'Strat harness on one strat with Lindy Fralins and one strat with Van Zandts, and am very happy with the results on both). The N/B series linkage is like an "ace in the hole" when you want a little more volume and distortion from your amp (I use the N/B parallel linkage a lot more- but the neck pickup by itself most of the time...)  
Steve Ahola
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3/26/1999 3:01 PM
Mike B

Thanks for the input - I'll have to look into the Lindy Fralin PU's. I guess I've been scared off by the price...  
I have tried various S/P switching schemes and although I got some interesting sounds, it wasn't what I was really after.  
I'm thinking of checking out a Duncan Custom (SSL-6). It's tapped so I can always drop back to an 'original' single-coil sound.  
I'll let you know how it works out...  
Mike B
3/26/1999 2:00 AM
Steve A.

Suggestion #4: Add a backing plate to your existing bridge pickup (Lindy Fralin sells them for about $12). This makes the strat bridge pickup a little bit like a tele bridge pup with a reflecting plate.
3/26/1999 7:39 AM
Steve M.
Re: Suggestions for Strat bridge PU? (long)
I have two frankenstrats that I've tried various pickups in. I have three pickguards that have the exact same hole spacing so that I can swap PUs out with ease.  
Right now I have a set of Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro Strat II PUs in one of my guitars. These sound really good to me. The are true single coils, so you get the buzz, but the high end is really sweet, not clanky or tinny in the bridge position like some PUs can be.  
Other PUs I've tried:  
Lace Transensors: very good sounding, but be aware that you need a 500k pot to make all the strings balanced in loudness.  
Seymour Duncan Hot Stack Strat PUs, these are the ones with the ceramic bar magnet instead of the pole peices. I have these in my other guitar right now and these sound pretty good to me. Even though they are *hot* they still retain clarity and high end. They are not *that* much more powerful than a stock pickup, at least certainly not 2X like the Dimarzios you tried. The coils are purposely wound a tad weak at least compared to a normal humbucker, I know, I wired them to get just one coil, coils in series ("normal" humbucking), and coils in series. One coil alone was pretty weak sounding, the parallel coils was only marginal, the series wiring sounded the best. These do a pretty good job of approximating the SC sound in a humbucking PU.  
Fender Lace Sensors: I've tried both the "Gold" and "Silver" and these sound pretty good to me, they are pretty smooth, but don't have the single coil buzz. I like the Silver better as it has a midrgangey quality and sounds good in the bridge position. The Gold is similar to a stock strat PU. However, some people don't like these as they are reportedly "sterile" sounding. And to be honest, they do lack a little of the magical single coil sound of the Duncan APS IIs.  
EMG SAs: These are active PUs and you probably will have to use a set of them as you can't mix and match with passive PUs. I had a set of these in one guitar and they are definately more powerful sounding than the stock single coils. They sound great in the bridge as the high end is slightly rolled off. These also have the reputation of being sterile sounding. However David Gilmour and the Georgia Satellites have both used them to good effect.  
Evans Eliminator PUs: I had a set of these in my guitar for a while, but didn't really like them. They are a side by side PU design, ie two coils with three pole pieces each, and are humbucking. I found them to be too bright, even though the bridge PU I had was specially designed for the bridg position.  
Schecter tapped single coils with 1/4" pole pieces: these sounded pretty good clean, but distorted they took on kind of a fuzz-box sound, I really didn't like these.  
Fender 57/62 reissues: These have a similar sound to the Duncan APS IIs, but not as sweet sounding. These come stock on the 57 and 62 Fender reissue vintage strats. They sound much better than the American Strat PUs IMHO.  
Finally, I'd have to agree with Steve A. on two counts: put in a TBX control, I have one on my guitar and it does a great job of cutting down some of the "icepick" effect. Also I plan to try the bridge plate to see if that helps at all.  
Hope this helps,  
3/26/1999 3:12 PM
Mike B

Wow, thanks for all the comparative info.. I've used a few of the PU's you've described (57/62 reissue and Lace Sensors specifically ) and have similar impressions - especially regarding the sterile quality of the LS's.  
A local music shoppe let me borrow a CD that Seymour Duncan puts out that basically showcases all of his pickups. You can step through, track by track, and listen to every one of his pickups in the same guitar, with the same amp. I really liked the sound of the APS II's although the Custom had a bit more output. I'm leaning toward the Custom right now (SSL-6). I'll keep you posted.  
Mike B
3/26/1999 9:36 AM
fet Re: Suggestions for Strat bridge PU?
EMG for me, the lower-output set (can't remember the model number), with the treble pickup added to the bottom tone control - I've used this for 12 years. Loud, crisp, clear, plenty of "quack", no noise at all. I've got the trem blocked and the battery mounted in the trem cavity in back, so no need to remove pickguard for battery changes. I highly recommend this setup!
3/26/1999 2:00 PM

Texas Specials are good. A lot of current model strats come with these, so you can check out the sound of these first-hand at your local music emporium. I like to use a treble bleed cap across the volume control, which allows a somewhat more vintage sound when volume knob is rolled back a little. I don't know about just changing the bridge pickup, but I guess that's ok if you like the sound of the stock Am Std mid & neck now.  
I've get pleasing performance with DiMarzio's Red Velvet in the bridge position. It's not muddy, and it's tonally between a strat & tele bridge sound. It comes with the metal plate Steve A. spoke about.  
The DiM FS-1 is a very early "hot strat" single coil, and is really outdated now. There has been much learned about magnetic pickup technology in the past ten years, as evident by many improved designs and/or manufacturing techniques.  
Your AmStd strat should have come with either a TBX control (earlier) or a DeltaTone pot (recent). If yours is a Delta, it is completely disconnected from the pickup circuit @10.

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