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Thread: Need more air in a HSS mahogany strat

  1. #1
    Ultimate Tone Member Dave Z's Avatar
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    Default Need more air in a HSS mahogany strat

    Fender offered a few years back, American series with the Diamondback humbucker and Tex-Mex pickups; Mahogany body, rosewood fretboard. For a strat, that mahogany and rosewood is gonna be warm anyway and I find the stock pickups middy and, though sweet, kind of lacking character and harmonics.

    (BTW, I already have a mahogany strat in HH with a JB/Jazz mix so have a good rock&roll guitar there, and I have a SSS maple neck with the Almico IIs so got good old time strat tone covered.)

    What I'm looking for: a HSS setup that retains some strat vibe in the singles but with a cleaner less middy sound than the Tex-Mex with some grind and harmonics when crunchy. I've found Duncan's pickups always to have character, just not sure what singles to pair with their humbucker lines. I tried the pickup selector but it always came back with the same combos, 59/Custom with vintage singles, Pearly Gates with Antiquities (and the JB with customs..already have a JB git and not what I'm looking for)

    I'm a bit concerned the 59/custom is going to be too dark; the sound sample sounds cleaner than the JB but the EQ chart shows a ton of mids and bass, very JB-like. I don't want another JB. But the PG paired with antiquities? Seems like it'd overwhelm the antiquities volume wise.

    Anyone paired the PG with singles they like? TIA!
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  2. #2
    Ultimate Tone Slacker eclecticsynergy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need more air in a HSS mahogany strat

    SSL-1 and the flat pole SSL-2 have the classic, chimey/glassy Strat tone. There's a reason this wind hasn't changed in forty years.
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  3. #3
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Need more air in a HSS mahogany strat

    The C/59 hybrid is more open than thick. The stock A5 version can sometimes be thought of as scooped, as both it's parents are like that even without the hybrid combing effect.

  4. #4
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need more air in a HSS mahogany strat

    The Hybrid isn't dark at all. The 2 pickups it is built out of, the 59 and Custom, are wide open- not many mids at all, but tight low end and sparkling highs. I love the Hybrid in an HSS setup- I wrote a blog about how I use mine (and my choices for the other pickups).
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  5. #5
    Ultimate Tone Member Dave Z's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need more air in a HSS mahogany strat

    Quote Originally Posted by eclecticsynergy View Post
    SSL-1 and the flat pole SSL-2 have the classic, chimey/glassy Strat tone. There's a reason this wind hasn't changed in forty years.
    For real, and you wonder why they don't show up in the wizard. They're A5 magnets, so will contrast well with the A2pros int he other strat. Now to figure out which humbucker...
    USACG Superstrat - Duncan JB & Jazz
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  6. #6
    Ultimate Tone Member Dave Z's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need more air in a HSS mahogany strat

    @Mincer -- I have to agree from the tone sample on the pickup info page. I'll look around for some more samples of the Hybrid. Good blog BTW, I have S1 switching in the strat now and I was going to keep that (if I could figure out how Fender wired it) but your approach is tempting.
    USACG Superstrat - Duncan JB & Jazz
    USACG Tele, Fender '52 neck & nocaster bridge
    Fender Deluxe Strat Duncan Noiseless Plus (4/4/7)
    PRS Tremonti SE, PafPro & Duncan 59n
    Charvel/frankenstrat, Duncan A2Pros

  7. #7
    Ultimate Tone Slacker eclecticsynergy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need more air in a HSS mahogany strat

    I love the Hybrid but haven't used one in a Strat yet. The 59B might also be worth considering for a mahog Strat. A vintage output classic that ought to pair really well with a pair of SSL-2s.
    .

    Distortion becomes somehow pure in its wildness

    The note that began all can also destroy

    .

  8. #8
    Ultimate Tone Member Dave Z's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need more air in a HSS mahogany strat

    Quote Originally Posted by eclecticsynergy View Post
    I love the Hybrid but haven't used one in a Strat yet. The 59B might also be worth considering for a mahog Strat. A vintage output classic that ought to pair really well with a pair of SSL-2s.
    Agreed, after listening to a bunch of clips on YouTube, the 59 w/SSL2s is where I'm going. Nice open sound. I was thinking PG but it's got a lot of honk. thanks all for the input!
    USACG Superstrat - Duncan JB & Jazz
    USACG Tele, Fender '52 neck & nocaster bridge
    Fender Deluxe Strat Duncan Noiseless Plus (4/4/7)
    PRS Tremonti SE, PafPro & Duncan 59n
    Charvel/frankenstrat, Duncan A2Pros

  9. #9
    Ultimate Tone Slacker eclecticsynergy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need more air in a HSS mahogany strat

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Z View Post
    Agreed, after listening to a bunch of clips on YouTube, the 59 w/SSL2s is where I'm going. Nice open sound. I was thinking PG but it's got a lot of honk. thanks all for the input!
    I think going with an A5 humbucker at the bridge was a wise choice to match the SSL2s.
    IMO the humble 59B doesn't get as much love as it deserves.
    .

    Distortion becomes somehow pure in its wildness

    The note that began all can also destroy

    .

  10. #10
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Need more air in a HSS mahogany strat

    An American strat... with Mexican pickups...and a mahogany body.... ok

    Uh.... trade it for a japanese or american alder/maple/maple and don't look back?
    "New stuff always sucks" -Me

  11. #11
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need more air in a HSS mahogany strat

    Mexican pups?
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  12. #12
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need more air in a HSS mahogany strat

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Z View Post
    Agreed, after listening to a bunch of clips on YouTube, the 59 w/SSL2s is where I'm going. Nice open sound. I was thinking PG but it's got a lot of honk. thanks all for the input!
    The 59 is a *great* bridge pickup. I think it will work well.
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