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Thread: Coils vs fullsize humbucker in strat?

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    Default Coils vs fullsize humbucker in strat?

    I have a strat and I am thinking of changing the neck pickup. I was thinking of either putting a coolrails or fullsize humbucker.

    What will be the main differences between the two? Does the coolrails have any stratty characteristics? Which would sound better split?

    I know that these are general questions. But I am looking for somewhere to start.

    Descriptions for both clean and distorted tones are welcome

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    Tone Member panamang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coils vs fullsize humbucker in strat?

    If you won't miss the strat tone coming from the neck, a full size humbucker is the the way to go. The mini's, like a cool rail, were designed to fit in a single coil slot where there was no room for a full size bucker. Remember, mini's are a substitute for a full size bucker but not a replacement. As far as tone goes, you'll get a bunch of opinions on this forum. But if you want to go humbucker go full size if you can.

    Btw - My franken double fat strat has a JB in the bridge and a Jazz in the neck. I "personally" love it. But that's my opinion.

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    Default Re: Coils vs fullsize humbucker in strat?

    I agree. And there are some full size buckers that do a decent single coil sound when split (I dig the Stag Mag for this) - I can't say the same for any single-sized rails pup I've used. Either one would be OK to split and combine with the middle, but the full size might still be a little better.

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    Default Re: Coils vs fullsize humbucker in strat?

    no humbucker in the neck will quite give you that sweet chimey tone the way a single coil can but there are some that come close when split. The jazz is a good one for this as well as a pearly gates. there are a few others. If you have a floyd rose equiped guitar then you have to use a little hotter neck pickup and for that I used after much trial and error-a full shred neck. the trick is to get a humbucker thats designed for the neck that has a high resonent peak. most singles have a high resonent peak usually over 8 and thats why they chime so easily. The Jazz and pearly gates neck pickups both have high resonent peaks so split-they chime well, like a single coil does. I dont like minnie humbuckers cuz to me they still dont sound like singles and they dont sound like humbuckers eather. Another advantage to the Jazz and Pearly gates neck humbuckers is that when you play with distortion, you can switch to full on neck humbucker for a much fatter blues lead tone or switch the neck humbucker to single split tone for a narly snappy stevie ray type lead sounding tone. Its like haveing 3 differant lead tones (including the bridge humbucker)without haveing to stomp on a pedal or change your amp setting. If you can, head to a guitar store and tryout a strat with 2 humbuckers to check this out. Again the cleans wont be quite as chimey but haveing more versitility is for most people well worth it. Good luck.

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    Default Re: Coils vs fullsize humbucker in strat?

    philthis,
    Have you tried a Stag Mag, Rio Grande Tallboy, or other bucker that specifically claims to do a good single coil sound when split? IMO the Stag Mag does this.

    It does sound different than most "normal" buckers, which could be seen as a negative by some - but that's another question.

    It also may not sound as good to a certain player as a *specific* single coil does - but that's a taste call and true of other real single coil pickups as well.

    IMO, anyone looking for a neck bucker who also wants a good neck single coil sound should definitely give the Stag Mag a listen.

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    Tone Member ratkent's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coils vs fullsize humbucker in strat?

    I really like the Cool Rails in the neck position of a Strat. For me it retains just enough of that Strat thing but it is very smooth and has a good deal of output to make it keep up with a bridge humbucker. It's somewhere between a standard single coil and a P90. It can still do funk and spank but can also get a great violin type lead tone with some gain. Great pickup.

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    Default Re: Coils vs fullsize humbucker in strat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jester700 View Post
    philthis,
    Have you tried a Stag Mag, Rio Grande Tallboy, or other bucker that specifically claims to do a good single coil sound when split? IMO the Stag Mag does this.

    It does sound different than most "normal" buckers, which could be seen as a negative by some - but that's another question.

    It also may not sound as good to a certain player as a *specific* single coil does - but that's a taste call and true of other real single coil pickups as well.

    IMO, anyone looking for a neck bucker who also wants a good neck single coil sound should definitely give the Stag Mag a listen.
    I have not heard the Stag Mag but that does not mean it is a bad pickup. However I cannot recomend somthing I havent heard so I did not recomend it although I did say and believe there are other pickups out there with high resonent peaks that may do a good job as well. The Stag Mag sounds interesting. I will have to check it out. Thnx for the tip.

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    Default Re: Coils vs fullsize humbucker in strat?

    Quote Originally Posted by ratkent View Post
    I really like the Cool Rails in the neck position of a Strat. For me it retains just enough of that Strat thing but it is very smooth and has a good deal of output to make it keep up with a bridge humbucker. It's somewhere between a standard single coil and a P90. It can still do funk and spank but can also get a great violin type lead tone with some gain. Great pickup.

    I think it's almost the equivalent of the much sought after mini-bucker (the firebird type). I think a cool rails in the neck is a superb choice. I intend to have either a cool rails or a mini-bucker in my charvel-alike when I have it built.

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