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Thread: Replacing single coil pickups on a 2015 HSS MIM Strat

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    Default Replacing single coil pickups on a 2015 HSS MIM Strat

    Hi,

    my HSS MIM Strat is about to go into maintenance and I'm wondering if I should have the single coil pickups swapped also. I'm a beginner guitar player and I like the humbucker sound. I'm looking to get a more Gilmour type of sound with the possibility to run the single coils with more gain and od. I might also change the original humbucker.. but ideally and cost-wise preferably not.

    Any recommendations for neck / middle pickups? So far I've looked into SSL-1 neck and SSL-3 or SSL-5 in the middle - would these work well with the stock MIM bridge humbucker?

    Thanks!

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Clint 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing single coil pickups on a 2015 HSS MIM Strat

    Welcome to the forum. Those are great pickups, you can't go wrong with them. I have 1s in neck and middle and the 5 in bridge. Your idea to put a 3 or 5 in the middle is good. Putting a high powered pickup in the middle can be like a secret weapon - another good neck tone.
    Last edited by Clint 55; 04-08-2017 at 06:05 PM.

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    Default Re: Replacing single coil pickups on a 2015 HSS MIM Strat

    Also decide if hum-cancelling is important. The humbucker will cancel hum, so sometimes switching to a single coil can be jarring, as you start to hear the hum. The Classic Stack and Custom Stack are great, hum-cancelling pickups.

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    Default Re: Replacing single coil pickups on a 2015 HSS MIM Strat

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    Also decide if hum-cancelling is important. The humbucker will cancel hum, so sometimes switching to a single coil can be jarring, as you start to hear the hum. The Classic Stack and Custom Stack are great, hum-cancelling pickups.
    +1... I recently started using these and can say, so far, I'm really diggin them. And they are dead quiet.

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    Default Re: Replacing single coil pickups on a 2015 HSS MIM Strat

    Hi,

    thanks for the input - I did some more homework and also discovered these hum-cancelling single coils. Also as a result, I'm now thinking of replacing the original humbucker as well. So now the pickup selection would be as follows: SH-16 The 59 Custom (bridge), STK-S4M RV/RP (middle), STK-S4N (neck).

    I called the guitar service technician.. He told me that he could have the SH-16 wired so that the volume pot would, in addition to controlling volume, control the coil splitting. Like not as in on/off, more like stepless control. Sounded kind of interesting, but what would I be expecting tone-wise? This trick would involve also replacing the original volume pot.

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    Default Re: Replacing single coil pickups on a 2015 HSS MIM Strat

    Can't help ya there, as I've yet to split anything... I'm sure someone will chime in with some info for ya.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Clint 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing single coil pickups on a 2015 HSS MIM Strat

    https://youtu.be/oSejFS-qF2A

    He demonstrates the spin a split at 10:15. It's where a knob controls how much of one coil of the humbucker is cut to ground.

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    Default Re: Replacing single coil pickups on a 2015 HSS MIM Strat

    Thanks for the spin split video! I think the technician actually meant the splitting would be controlled via a tone knob and not the volume knob. Sounds interesting though, methinks I'm going to have that mod done..
    Last edited by Paverick; 04-11-2017 at 01:08 AM.

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    Default Re: Replacing single coil pickups on a 2015 HSS MIM Strat

    Get em

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    Default Re: Replacing single coil pickups on a 2015 HSS MIM Strat

    Allright, got the STK-S4, STK-S4, SH16 Custom hybrid installed. Changed the other tone pot to control the '59 Custom hybrid splitting. When that tone knob is turned all the way down, I essentially have a regular 3 single coil strat. Just as described earlier in this thread. The remaining tone knob now works as a "master" tone knob for all pickups. Additionally I changed the strings to 10 gauge EB Cobalts.

    Results? Well, so far I am totally liking the upgrade(s)! Sounds like a different guitar altogether vs. the original MIM setup. At switch position 2, the '59 Custom hybrid works really nicely with the STK-S4m. And of course the hum is gone.

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    Default Re: Replacing single coil pickups on a 2015 HSS MIM Strat

    Sounds like a fun and versatile setup, enjoy.
    Oh no.....


    Oh Yeah!

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    Default Re: Replacing single coil pickups on a 2015 HSS MIM Strat

    That is actually very close to the setup I use, and I love it. I can't imagine you not getting the sounds you want out of those pickups and that wiring.

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    Default Re: Replacing single coil pickups on a 2015 HSS MIM Strat

    I would recommend the STK-S6 (advertised as kind of a noiseless SSL-5) in the neck, and the SSL-1 in the middle. Be sure to wire the STK-S6 with auto split for hum cancellation in notch position with the SSL-1. No need to order for RWRP models, regular SSL-1 and all duncan STK-Sx models are already hum canceling with each other.

    Edit: I combine a STK-Sx neck with regular SSL-1 middle to get hum cancellation at notch position with auto split of the stack one by using a regular 5 way switch. No need there to get a fancy super 5 way which is kind of difficult to get for me here. I don't care about the hum from the middle pickup at all because I don't use that with a lot of gain. On the other hand I like to engage the noiseless neck pickup a lot for soloing which really takes care of the hum when using more distortion for lead. I tend to go back and forth between neck and bridge humbucker a lot, inspired by Blackmore in that sense.

    Edit 2: I know you already got the upgrade but just wanted to share my comments for this thread .
    Last edited by IMENATOR; 04-21-2017 at 06:44 AM.
    Who took my guitar?

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    Default Re: Replacing single coil pickups on a 2015 HSS MIM Strat

    So the STK-Sx models do not have to be paired for humbucking effect, such as STK-S4n + STK-S4m? That is a useful piece of information for future use.

    I did check out the STK-S6 (and S9) pickups. But I stumbled across a few references and based on those, the SSL-5 type pickups in the neck and/or middle positions maybe would not have been what I was looking for.

    By the way: the switch positions 2-5 now have a really distinct tone difference compared to the stock MIM pickups. Switching between the MIM single coils did not produce such a clear difference.
    Last edited by Paverick; 04-21-2017 at 10:36 AM.

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    Default Re: Replacing single coil pickups on a 2015 HSS MIM Strat

    If you wire them to split in positions 2/4, then you do need a "middle" to cancel hum. If you aren't splitting, it isn't necessary as they are all humbuckers.
    Oh no.....


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