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Bridge humbucker suggestions needed

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  • Bridge humbucker suggestions needed

    I have an HSS Stratocaster (alder body, vintage trem in dive-only) equipped with a pair of hot-wound BG V60 single coils and a BG Hellabucker in the bridge. Sadly I'm not very happy with the Hella. It's a fairly bright pickup with a lot of bite and definition, and combined with the Strat's natural bright tone and my signal chain, higher notes go distinctly into ice pick territory. There's no body to the sound, which make leads kind of a sad affair.

    I need an alternative. I am playing straight into a JCA22h and matching cab. Strings are 9s most of the time but occasionally 10s. Standard and drop D both. Here are my basic thoughts:

    • High output splittable. The Hella actually splits very well and I love the Strat position 2 quack. I don't want to lose that, but I would not mind gaining more body in that setting.
    • Defined, clear sound. I don't want fat high output mud, particularly in D tunings. The amp is already very mid heavy...
    • I have a bridge no-load tone control, so I can dial out some treble and I do like that flexibility. Don't want to go TOO dark. Just find more body and thickness in the tone.
    • Less than $100, ideally closer to $50. Used is probably fine.

    The Dimarzio Crunch Lab and Super 3 caught my eye so far. Maybe an L500XL type also?

  • #2

    Hmmm, that's kind of a tough problem because it's hard to understand exactly what it is about the Hellabucker that you don


    • Promit
      Promit commented
      Editing a comment

      Just to be clear, the bridge tone control is a no load pot, so in the 10 position the pickup is not going through any tone circuit at all. Direct to the volume pot and out to the jack. I expect to roll off some treble from there, and may need to play with the component values. But the fully open setting without a tone circuit is just too bright/thin for me. Pulling the volume back to 8 or so actually does a lot for the sound, but it starts to dull the neck a bit more than I want.