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Post subject: Strats With Humbuckers - Question
Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:24 pm
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I have a Korean Strat that I have been using mostly for amusement and education.
It's the one pictured below in my sig-line.
It has been my personal test-bed for trying new things with Strats pretty much ever since I bought it.
In fact, that's the exact reason I bought it; as an inexpensive guitar to hack up and modify and basically throw caution to the wind.

I have an idea for a configuration I've never tried and I don't think I've ever seen before either but before I shell out any money I was hoping maybe someone has some insight.
I am considering the possibility of installing strat sized humbuckers in all 3 positions.
I am not asking about which pickups to select.
I can handle that part.

The thing that keeps me from just jumping right in head first is the question of quack in positions 2 & 4.
If I do this I would like to keep the switching very simple so I'm not really interested in complicated wiring and extra switches and coil tapping, etc.
I already have that.
I want to try something different.
I want the buckers to always be used as buckers.

Does anyone have a 3 bucker Strat?
Does anybody know someone with a 3 bucker Strat?
Does anyone have any experience at all with this arrangement?

I've been searching YouTube but there isn't very much there that is of any use in answering my question.
I want to know if there would be any sort of quack using 2 buckers with each running on both coils in positions 2 & 4.
If there is zero possibility of quack then it is quite likely I wouldn't spend the money to conduct the experiment.

I have my HSH Partsocaster and it has nice quack but it has quite a complicated wiring scheme which includes coil tapping and which I have no control over.
It just happens automatically when the switch is moved so that means I haven't actually heard the guitar without the coil taps in positions 2 & 4.

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Post subject: Re: Strats With Humbuckers - Question
Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:41 pm
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I have three Strats in the configuration that you envision, all of them with DiMarzio Virtual Vintage noiseless pickups and standard Strat wiring with 5-way switching. There is ample quack available in positions 2 and 4. The only modifications to the standard wiring schematic is the lower tone control connected to the bridge pickup and replacement of the .047 ufd mica tone cap with a Russian milspec P-I-O axial of .022 ufd.

Rest assured, if the first of these three guitars didn't work out as planned I wouldn't have built two more.

Arjay

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Post subject: Re: Strats With Humbuckers - Question
Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:58 pm
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Yes, you and I have talked about this before and I have tried this very guitar with a set of 3 Area pups in it and there was ample quack.
I think we both got the idea from Martian (RIP).

That said, do you not think it would be different with actual humbuckers?
You know, where the coils are side by each rather than stacked?

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Post subject: Re: Strats With Humbuckers - Question
Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:04 pm
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The tone *may* be different with "real" humbuckers but I cannot say with certainty since I have no empirical experience with them installed in a Stratocaster.

As for my association with DiMarzio's, it predates my membership in this forum by a couple of years (thus I did not get the idea from our beloved friend).

Arjay

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Post subject: Re: Strats With Humbuckers - Question
Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:15 pm
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Yah, I've got no experience with that either.
That's why I'm asking.

I too have long been a fan of DiMarzios, since before coming here but I thought he convinced us both to try their Area line of stacked singles.
Maybe it was just me.

Hopefully someone will see this and give some insight about the quack question.

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Post subject: Re: Strats With Humbuckers - Question
Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:23 pm
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Something I've heard anecdotally is, when coil-tapping "real" humbuckers the output signal is not as hot as that of a true single-coil pickup. Thus, it stands to reason that when using two tapped humbuckers in a parallel out-of-phase mode, the overall gain *may* be diminished in comparison to a pair of actual single-coils wired similarly. Further investigation and testing is probably warranted.

Arjay

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Post subject: Re: Strats With Humbuckers - Question
Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:58 pm
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Yah, I spoke to Lindy Fralin on the telephone back when I was planning my Partsocaster and sourcing parts.
He said the same thing.
He said he actually makes humbuckers specifically designed to be coil tapped.
One of the coils is wound hotter than the other and the hot side is used for the tap.
He said the drawback was that the humbucker's tone leaned away from true humbucker tone and a bit toward the single coil sound.
It sounded really interesting to me at the time but I ended up going in another direction.

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Post subject: Re: Strats With Humbuckers - Question
Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:56 pm
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If you're thinking about the SD S/C-sized side-by-side humbuckers, yes, I fitted a Strat with a JB Jnr (bridge) and 2 x Lil'59's. Rather like the Everything Axe kit.

I wasn't keen and swapped back after a year or so. Problem was exactly what you're querying - lack of quack. Tapping would've meant extra switches - didn't want that - and I'm not sure one 'bank' of those HB's wouldn't be a bit too thin (soundwise) anyway. I doubt it'd be the same as tapping a full-size HB; certainly my Pearly Gates' sound fine when auto-tapped for the in-between position.

But this is/was just my opinion, of course. And I've only tried SD's. DiMarzio 'rails' type might be totally different!

Cheers - Peter.


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Post subject: Re: Strats With Humbuckers - Question
Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:28 pm
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Youtube channel "Guitarlessons365", and I believe Texas Blues Alley both use H-H-H equipped strats, though it's hard to tell whether they are tapped and often hard to catch the selector position.

For hands-on experience, see if you can find a local music shop with a Dave Murray Strat in stock. That is a pair of Hot Rails with a JB in the middle.

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Post subject: Re: Strats With Humbuckers - Question
Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:07 pm
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I have been looking all over the internet for answers and the results are all pretty much the same.

With real humbuckers (side by side coils, each coil having their own magnet or set of magnets) in all 3 locations there will be no quack in switch positions 2 & 4.
The closest I can expect is a version of the "jangle" you get with a Les Paul with both pickups armed.
As a result of my searching efforts, I have decided the only route that gives me what I'm hoping to find is an HSH configuration.

I'm now thinking of going with one volume, one master tone and one blender pot so I can blend in the neck pup to get me that Tele style tone that I have come to love with the Kinman K9 harness I have in my Partsocaster.
I won't use another K9 though since I have learned I rarely use the series/parallel option and also because I have learned that Kinman does not stand behind their product as well as one might expect.
I had a pot fail on me and they refused to supply a replacement without charge.
That doesn't wash in my world.
I've played guitars that had been flogged hard for 40 plus years and the original pots still worked just fine.
In fact, up until my Kinman issue I had never once in my life replaced a pot due to failure.
Due to swapping between single coils and humbuckers, yes but not due to failure.
Due to me overheating them with the soldering iron years ago when I lacked experience, yes.
Just not due to wear and tear.

Anyway, I have my answer.
Now it's a matter of deciding whether or not to go ahead with an HSH config.
I already have that in my Partsocaster so I don't know if I can justify the effort and expense.
Maybe if I try it with Seymour Duncans instead of DiMarzios?
Would that make it easier to justify?
LOL

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Post subject: Re: Strats With Humbuckers - Question
Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:25 am
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I ran DiMarzio SDS single coil in my '78 Strat. Ever since the mid 80s I've been partial to Duncan, however, I have no personal experience with Duncan single coils or single coil sized 'buckers.

One option to the blender would be to use an S1 switch. It's just a 4P2D switch, so you could wire either coil-tap or a "Tele Mode" option. Personally, I'll be using it with Noiseless, so it will enable Tele mode, while moving the 2nd tone control from the bridge to the middle.

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Post subject: Re: Strats With Humbuckers - Question
Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:23 am
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I've become accustomed to the master tone and the blender pot and I like it that way.
It's simple and very useful in that you can decide how much neck pup to blend in.
Plus, there is no push-button to fail down the road.

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Post subject: Re: Strats With Humbuckers - Question
Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:27 pm
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I have three upgraded Squire strats, two have Hot Rail Humbuckers in all three positions. Not a huge fan of the single coil sound and HB's solve the hum issue. The Basswood Strat has Seymore Duncan Hotrails in the Bridge and Middle Position, these are ceramic based whilst the neck PU is an ARTEC Alnico. The other Strat has a full thickness Agathis body. The Agathis body has a much warmer Tone (natural un amplified tone that is) compared to my Alder and Basswood bodied Strats and the latter is fitted with Artec Hot Rails. I find the Artec Ceramic excellent in the bridge position and Middle, currently Alnico in the neck position but a tad too warm so will probably replace with a Ceramic version. I prefer ceramic based Pick ups for the extra mid range and higher output, the Artec is a very good pick up and a bit brighter than the Seymour Duncans - output is about the same.

The Seymour Duncan equipped Strat has all three pick ups coil tapped via pull Tone/Vol controls with integral switch but I hardly ever use the coil taps. Same for the 5 position switch, I tend to mainly work with positions 1, 2 or 3.


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