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Thread: Something Different in a Strat?

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    Something Different in a Strat?

    I do guitar and pickup work for my blues playing grandson.
    He mainly plays his 4 single coil strats.
    He also has a tele and a firebird.
    He just wound up with a big head silver metallic squier strat. (I haven't seen it, not sure maple or RW, or trem type)
    We want to make something different, not more Single coils.
    Thinking about a 3 full sized humbuckers, with a swimming pool route.
    Anybody out there had a strat with 3 big humbuckers?
    Another idea is HSH, but the S would be a custom blade bucker.
    Any ideas for something different?
    T

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    Consider mini-bucker, single-coil, and P-rails, going from neck to bridge. Flip the bridge and middle pickup connections on the 5-way selector switch, so that you get neck, neck+bridge, bridge, bridge+middle, and middle in the 5 positions. Use a cap of half or 1/3 the value of the neck tone for the bridge tone, and install a 3-position toggle for the bridge pickup to get you the P-90, rail SC, or full HB for the bridge pickup.

    If that doesn't get you a cornucopia of tones - some familiar, and some very un-Strat-like - I don't know what would.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    I like building mini's the least of all, no fun and expensive to build.
    Most intense performing players, don't care for all the splitting.
    Bedroom players like them some though.
    I do think a Single coil rail in the middle would be cool.
    I've built a lot of those for tele players.

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    $28 at Warmoth.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Another way to do it is with 3 mini spt switches.
    One per pickup.
    None on-all on.
    A MV, MT and a kill button.
    Like this but with pickup holes hsh
    I could get the warmoth PG, and drill the holes for the mini switches.

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    Was watching a review today of a Fender Parallel Universe Thinline tele that had TV Jones filtertron style pups and for the tone it has a bass cut rather than a treble cut. I thought that was an interesting idea.

    I have a Warmoth strat style partscaster that has EMG pickups and the David Gilmour EXG and SPC controls. It definitely is a different take on a strat.

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    Supporting Member mozz's Avatar
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    3 p90's.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    P90s? Sounds good.
    But, I don't have any p90 stuff, and he don't need another Single coil guitar.
    I have tons of big Bucker parts, and lots of strat sized rail stuff.
    Was mainly wondering if anyone has had any good results with 3 buckers in a strat?

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    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    There's no law that says a strat body has to have three pickups. You said you wanted to try one of the filtertron kits from amplified parts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by John_H View Post
    There's no law that says a strat body has to have three pickups. You said you wanted to try one of the filtertron kits from amplified parts?
    Two buckers on a Strat-type body has never really impeded JImmy Herring's ability to stun us.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_H View Post
    There's no law that says a strat body has to have three pickups.
    Coodercaster. Just kidding.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    No rules on amount of pickups, that's for sure.
    A 21 fret 25-1/2 scale strat, has a lot of area to put 3 pickups.
    There's no reason not to.

    It is interesting to see what ideas you guys come up with!
    One thing I like about strats is the loaded pickguard.
    You can build it all up ahead of time.
    I have a bunch of Single coil PGs in my shop.

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    Last edited by big_teee; 11-07-2018 at 04:04 AM.
    "Here I come to save the day!"
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    I once saw a strat style with 3 p-rails with the switches in the mounting rings in addition to the regular 5 way. It's fun to experiment with that stuff, but on the other hand, I have a HSS tele style with switches that give something like 11 combinations and I only ever used the bridge or neck pups. On the other, other hand, I have a HSH strat with a 5 way. Positions 2 + 4 are half a hb combined with the middle. It offers 5 good sounds. That seems like the best set up for me.

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    I'm convinced that part of what gives an LP Jr it's "solid" sustain quality is the lack of string pull from a front pickup creating subtle modulations. For that matter, I'd opt for very low string pull pickups. May give some of the very low inductance Lace Alumitones a try? The high end character can then be shaped with caps and resistors as needed for more classic pickup sounds A Wilde Q-filter can be used if a midrange dip is required, or the pickups can be used as filters via a series wired "blend" knob for the same kind of sound as I have done with my Wilde Microcoil equipped guitar. It's really usefully versatile without a lot of switches. You can always leave the pos 2 and 4 blend knob in one place if and just use the switches to select tones, but I find myself making use of the blend knob more and more over the months. You will eventually get very quick at dialing in certain tones, and making fine adjustments if needed. Here's a link to the wiring I drew up:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx0...ew?usp=sharing

    A few cap values can be changed for the pickup inductance values or for slightly different peak points if needed. Lotta wires to connect, but I love it.

    Here's a description of the options:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

    Here's a video demo I made using S-Gear amp modeler:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx0...ew?usp=sharing

    It's b4 I added the 250k resistor over the 2 &4 pos, so it's a bit bright. I made some other less complete demos since. I'm still planning to make a demo showing the 2nd harmonic octave sounds it can get in the pos 4 OoP blend settings.

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    Last edited by Fluoroscope 5000; 11-07-2018 at 10:05 AM.

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    Not to take away from the considerable possibilities you describe, but the "Contour"/bass-cut control, found on G&L and Reverend guitars is an underexploited addition to the basic 3-knob Strat. Do people normally use both Tone pots? I don't know. But a master volume/tone and master bass-cut offers lots of tonal flexibility without impeding normal sounds or control-use, and doesn't require changing to unfamiliar pickups.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    He has an American strat with noiseless, and the S1 switch.
    Plays it some.
    Has the Tele with the 4 way switch, I just reworked for him.
    Uses it a lot, really likes the bridge pickup, but doesn't use the series part much.
    I would never get him to use the blend, or the split positions.
    He's a high energy player that solos a lot, and sings, he doesn't even use the tone much.
    Likes a 5 way, but it would need to be wired like his other guitars.
    He switches guitars a lot on stage, different tuning, and for different styles.
    I have a 2 humbucker pickguard rigged up with split, parallel, series, & rev. polarity on neck bucker.
    He only played it in series on neck and bridge.
    I ended up taking that pickguard off, and putting Single coils back in.
    I will probably build up a HSH, with a rail in the middle with MV, Kill button, MT, and 5 way.
    All on a custom Warmoth loaded pickguard.
    Thanks,
    Terry

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    "Here I come to save the day!"
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    Teee, your grandson is a lucky kid! You are awesome for supporting him!

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glebert View Post
    Teee, your grandson is a lucky kid! You are awesome for supporting him!
    He's a fun kid.
    He's 19 majoring in music/business in college, and electric guitar is his main instrument.
    He's really getting good. At least I think so.
    Wants to wind up in music business production, of some kind in Nashville.
    Be a session player, or whatever.
    He performs all he can, both acoustic, and electric.
    T

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    "Here I come to save the day!"
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    (Philip Scheib / Marshall Barer) - circa 1955

    Terry

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    May give some of the very low inductance Lace Alumitones a try?
    Alumitones are neither low inductance nor low impedance by principle. Production models show high inductance/impedance. Their measured frequency response reveals no benefit over traditional PUs.
    Furthermore, the flux density measurements (1400G IIRC) at the pole surface indicate more string pull than any traditional strat PU.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmholtz View Post
    Alumitones are neither low inductance nor low impedance by principle. Production models show high inductance/impedance. Their measured frequency response reveals no benefit over traditional PUs.
    Furthermore, the flux density measurements (1400G IIRC) at the pole surface indicate more string pull than any traditional strat PU.
    Thank you for that.
    I missed the alumitone recommendation.(I only scanned the post)
    As I mentioned in the OP, I make traditional pickups.
    I don't use anyone's pickups but my own.
    I rewind others, but to my own specs.
    So that limits what I'm wanting to do.
    T

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    "Here I come to save the day!"
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    How about 2 pairs of (low wind) strat type PUs arranged side by side in HB configuration (one of each RWRP) for bridge and neck and maybe another SC for the middle position. Preferably with alnico 2 (or 3) magnets for less string pull. This should give a vast variety of wiring options.

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    Last edited by Helmholtz; 11-07-2018 at 11:28 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmholtz View Post
    Alumitones are neither low inductance nor low impedance by principle. Production models show high inductance/impedance. Their measured frequency response reveals no benefit over traditional PUs.
    Furthermore, the flux density measurements (1400G IIRC) at the pole surface indicate more string pull than any traditional strat PU.
    The "Humbucker" is listed as 1.4H, but I forgot they have a Ceramic magnet right on the surface. I think I confused them with the Sensors...my bad.

    An HSH possibility following in the "blade" theme would be a Wilde L500R, or a 4H 0r 2.8H L90 in the bridge with an L45S in middle and a L500C or a 2.8H or 2H L90 in the neck. 250k pots is good with either setup. It would really be better balanced with another L45S in the neck, but the middle L45S could be raised up high without as much string pull as an AlNiCo poled. The L45S has very strong fundamental response with a sweet high end that could easily pass for a low inductance HB with the tone knob down a bit. They are all AlNiCo 5 powered -- the L90 having the strongest magnetic power of the three with more fundamental strength than the L500 (mini HB). The Stainless blades them relatively low string pull without the high end loss of Fe Steel. Cheaper than other "boutique" pickups as well.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluoroscope 5000 View Post
    The "Humbucker" is listed as 1.4H, but I forgot they have a Ceramic magnet right on the surface. I think I confused them with the Sensors...my bad.

    An HSH possibility following in the "blade" theme would be a Wilde L500R, or a 4H 0r 2.8H L90 in the bridge with an L45S in middle and a L500C or a 2.8H or 2H L90 in the neck. 250k pots is good with either setup. It would really be better balanced with another L45S in the neck, but the middle L45S could be raised up high without as much string pull as an AlNiCo poled. The L45S has very strong fundamental response with a sweet high end that could easily pass for a low inductance HB with the tone knob down a bit. They are all AlNiCo 5 powered -- the L90 having the strongest magnetic power of the three with more fundamental strength than the L500 (mini HB). The Stainless blades them relatively low string pull without the high end loss of Fe Steel. Cheaper than other "boutique" pickups as well.
    I make my own boutique pickups.
    If I didn't emphasize that, I apologize!
    I don't know what all the L numbers you list are?
    Like I said, I don't buy pickups, I make pickups, and work on guitars some.
    This thread was intended to see if anyone had any experience with a 3 humbucker strat.
    Was trying to figure out what to make and put in the big head squier!
    Thanks,
    T

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    Maybe something to consider (or not): A few times a played a 3 HB SG. I never felt comfortable because the middle HB got in the way of my pick and every now and then I hit the PU. For me the middle HB would need to be set really deep.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmholtz View Post
    Maybe something to consider (or not): A few times a played a 3 HB SG. I never felt comfortable because the middle HB got in the way of my pick and every now and then I hit the PU. For me the middle HB would need to be set really deep.
    I agree.
    That is why I was leaning toward a SC sized medium wound rail, in the middle.
    Don't know if that would help and give more playing room or not?
    **Another thing I thought about trying, is A8 magnets in neck and bridge.
    That would allow a lower mount.
    I've made some A8-buckers, that sounded quiet good.

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    Last edited by big_teee; 11-08-2018 at 04:09 PM.
    "Here I come to save the day!"
    That means that Mighty Mouse is on the way!
    (Philip Scheib / Marshall Barer) - circa 1955

    Terry

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    Don't know if that would help and give more playing room or not?
    Definitely yes. If you have a HSH pickguard you could mount some generic HSH PUs (no wiring) and let your grandson test acoustically.

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    W/kill button

    Another thing I plan on doing on this PG?
    The three Pot holes, would be
    Volume
    Kill button
    Tone
    Since he hardly uses the tone pot, put it on the back.
    This is the guitar that I will put the PG on.
    I keep it at my house, and he plays it when he's here.
    I can't play it, all my stuff is left handed.
    Not sure if this is the PG on it right now?
    It now has a mint green PG, with my 4/2 Single coils.
    4/A3s 2/A5s on A & E.
    Sounds heavenly, but ready to throw it in the pile, and build up the bucker Guard!
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    "Here I come to save the day!"
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    Robbie Robertson used a Strat with the middle pickup moved over against the bridge pickup. As he tells it, this was because he felt the middle pickup tended to get in the way of his picking. I've never heard anything about whether the switching or wiring was different, though.
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    Supporting Member eschertron's Avatar
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    I'm no Robbie Robertson, but I have used a 'superswitch' with a HSH strat to get different combinations of series or parallel coils. 4-wire HBs give good flexibility. The only thing I can contribute to the thread is to say there will always be more pickup combinations possible than any reasonable switching system will allow. The combinations that you or your grandson prefer, well, only you will know. It is fun trying different combinations

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    Master Destroyer nosaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    Another thing I plan on doing on this PG?
    The three Pot holes, would be
    Volume
    Kill button
    Tone
    Since he hardly uses the tone pot, put it on the back.
    This is the guitar that I will put the PG on.
    I keep it at my house, and he plays it when he's here.
    I can't play it, all my stuff is left handed.
    Not sure if this is the PG on it right now?
    It now has a mint green PG, with my 4/2 Single coils.
    4/A3s 2/A5s on A & E.
    Sounds heavenly, but ready to throw it in the pile, and build up the bucker Guard!
    You already have a blower switch?
    https://www.seymourduncan.com/blog/t...-blower-switch

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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    I agree.
    That is why I was leaning toward a SC sized medium wound rail, in the middle.
    Don't know if that would help and give more playing room or not?
    **Another thing I thought about trying, is A8 magnets in neck and bridge.
    That would allow a lower mount.
    I've made some A8-buckers, that sounded quiet good.

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    I generally pick right in front of the middle SC, so I'd guess it allows more room than an HB. If anything, I'd think you'd then want weaker magnets in the bridge and especially neck HB as not to overpower the middle SC rail? There's a type of more powerful AlNiCo II used by DiMarzio that might be available to all now. Maybe try that in the full sized HB rails and AlNiCo V in the middle rail. I think AlNiCO 8 might saturate the Stainless rails, which may increase eddy-currents that dull the high end. That's what I've heard anyway. Maybe that's why pickups that use it sound more bassy? Maybe just use it in the bridge rail if you want more power there? S0 8, 5 and the new 2.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    I already have the two humbuckers made.
    The bridge is a hybrid pickup with one blade, and one slug bobbin.
    It will have a nickel no holes cover on it.
    The neck will be a double slug coil with a no holes cover.
    I will try A8 bar magnets in those two full sized humbuckers, so the pickups can be mounted a bit lower.
    The Center strat sized rail will be ceramic, with chrome blades.
    There are no alnico magnts available for the strat rails.
    The rails have enough steel to mellow the ceramic.
    After trying that combo, If I don't like the sound, I'll tear them up and change it.
    Will be an interesting experiment.
    Thanks for all the input guys!
    T

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    Last edited by big_teee; 11-09-2018 at 11:33 PM.
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    Old Timer tedmich's Avatar
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    how about something really different?

    true temper frets! A tad spendy though...

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/True-Temper...CF5x:rk:4:pf:0
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    description includes one of the better explanations of the reason for these, now coming out of a Texas company allied to the Swedish inventor! The odd shapes are achieved by casting the fret metal, so I guess no stainless steel before some breakthrough in metal 3D printing.

    original patent here: https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publ...114076A1&KC=A1

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  33. #33
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    I have enough trouble getting ideal position with straight frets!. What's string bending like with those things? I just can't get behind the idea. Different string gauges, tensions, action set up and even nut height will all affect the accuracy of the fret position. Looking at those frets I can't imagine they're actually accurate. Look at the irregularity of the first fret alone as it relates to the uncompensated nut! You can pretty much toss accurate first position chords out the window. Have you ever played first position chords where you felt the intonation was off by even nearly the amount of compensation in those frets? And why are they so wildly wiggly! Why not a smooth line between the calculated ideal for each string? I've never seen a compensated nut that had to be that irregular.

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    Last edited by Chuck H; 11-12-2018 at 03:46 PM.
    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

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    Quote Originally Posted by nosaj View Post
    You already have a blower switch?
    Hey Jason, a blower switch & a kill switch are different. The Blower basically makes the guitar a single bridge pickup wired straight to the output jack. A Kill switch mutes the output of the instrument instantly. This allows for rapid on-off transitions, like a Mega-Tremolo. As fast as your finger can hit a pinball machine button is as fast as you can turn your guitar on and off.

    Best user I know is Buckethead. I'll be back to update with links.

    Justin

    Buckethead, Viva Voltron Live:
    https://youtu.be/dr92pzltdcM
    And, something a little more "Buckethead," Smooth Criminal & Space Noises. Cue to 2:50 for kill switch goofiness or just enjoy the whole thing.
    https://youtu.be/rmR3kp1pYt0

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    Last edited by Justin Thomas; 11-12-2018 at 12:23 PM.
    "... If an older Boogie and classic Marshall had a (clearly illegitimate) child and you baked it in an oven set to clown shit crazy." - Chuck H. -
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    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

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