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arcadesonfire

Strat bridge pickup: single vs humbucker

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Hiya guitar folks.

I’ll be upgrading to an American deluxe Strat not too long from now, but I’m having a heck of a time deciding whether I want all three single coils or if I want a humbucker in the bridge. What pros and cons do you see to each?

If you’ve got a bridge single coil in a Fender-style guitar, what do you use it for??

I’ve got a plexi/baseman clone w EL34s and love a good Van Halen tone; I could get  even closer with a Strat + humbucker than w my Hamer! But then again, a bridge single coil on a Strat or tele has a unique, crunchy/sharp sound. And I rewired my current Strat so the bridge SC can pair w either other p/u; I get two kinds of squawk!

So which do I want or need more?

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I have a Fender Strat with the bridge humbucker 

Mine is a MIM FSR . I don’t know if I would want to rewire anAmerican but I went to a master tone and used the spare tone control for dial a tap

 Jumped the wire that taps the bridge for bridge/middle to the bottom tone pot removed the cap and now have  humbucker or single coil or anything in between 

I find it useful to balance the bridge volume as well

Edited by gardo

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depends what you put it in

i have a set of kinman woodstock+ in one of my strat. here you get all the punch and power what you wantthere is no need for a humbucker, altoughsome of the strat twang is lost

the other strat has stock pickups all the twang what you wish, but for the crunch t sounds different.

in the tele i put a lil59 humbucker in to make it a tuned down stoner rock machine, which worked as planned...

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Put a bucker in the bridge, and add a push pull for series/parallel. Grunt when you want it, clean chimey when you want that also.

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11 minutes ago, badpenguin said:

Put a bucker in the bridge, and add a push pull for series/parallel. Grunt when you want it, clean chimey when you want that also.

I agee.  Most versatile guitar I ever had was an hss strat with a split bridge.

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I have several different Strats with different pickup combinations. 

I always keep at least one SSS Strat for a traditional sound. The 2 & 4 switch positions produce the best tones of the bunch.  

Getting a humbucker to match the singles isn't quiet as easy as slapping whatever you have in the bridge position.  If the Humbucker is too hot for the singles you can have a miss match  I had to try several different types of humbuckers to get one to work well in one of my Strat builds.  I eventually used a EVH style Mighty Mite in there and it was an ideal match.  I later I found another Ibanez which I like allot too.  Both have a more vintage wound DC resistance/impedance. 

I have one Strat that I put 3 mini humbuckers in there.  I bought the pre cut pickguard and I already had the extra pickups.  Came out looking very similar to this except it was a Tortoise pickguard. .  I even did a recording using it here so you'd have an idea what it sounds like.  

Related image

 

To be honest I'm not exactly thrilled by the sound of three mini's  There isn't allot of tonal difference between them using the 5 way switch, just more of the same.  The pickups I had were fairly hot wound too.  I been buying some others that are closer to the original NY style minis with a 6 to 6.5K DC resistance and 3 Henry coils.  If they still sound too fat, I plan to sell that loaded pickguard off and put the single coil pickguard back in that guitar. 

I could see maybe using one of those mini's, but 3 is overkill unless you do something like throw the middle pickup out of phase with the others to get some Quack tones out of it. 

I've yet to try one of those Strat sized mini humbuckers.  They fit in the normal strat pickguard and you can find loads of them on eBay for peanuts.  I played with one guy who had one in his Strat but his Crappy Crate amp sounded like ass so I really couldn't judge how good it sounded.  I suppose I should try one just so I know first hand.  They are supposed to match single coil outputs too so you don't have to worry about imbalanced outputs being a problem.  Add a couple of push/push pots and you're cooking with gas. 

Push/Pull suck with start knobs. The wedge shape make them too hard to pull out.  Push/Push work like a ball point pen. You just use them like a push button switch and turn them on and off. https://www.amazon.com/KAISH-Guitar-Anymore-Potentiometer-Imperial/dp/B07K7GBMMJ/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_267_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=MDAA6EDYM1Z5SQVZQ5T4

Image result for strat sized mini humbucker

 

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Thanks everybody! I was also disappointed with the mini-humbuckers... I had purchased and put one in my current Strat's bridge years ago, but I took it out because it wasn't good for either sound. 

But I am happy to hear your advice about splitting a humbucker. I had always thought that was more a gimmick than a useable tool. So it's nice hearing your experiences. I think that's the way to go, and I can experiment with different humbuckers over time.

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One thing that I think Anderson does is to change the effective pot value when the split is active. So when it's a humbucker it sees 500K and when you split it sees 250K. Best of both worlds. 

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