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Thread: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

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    Default Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    I'm looking for a '59 alternative in a H-S guitar, From the sound clips on the duncan website, the STK-S6 sounds the closest to it, the lil'59 sounds muffled and kinda dull, as well as lacking output.

    But the graphics on the SD website say that the STK-S6 is about half the output of a '59 ???? Is this correct? I emailed SD and they told me the STK-S6 is even higher in output than a full size '59, i'm so confused now.


    Does anyone have experience with these pickups??

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    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    Welcome to the forum!

    I wouldn't trust the output graphs...they really need to be re-done. The STK-S6 doesn't sound like a 59 or any PAF at all, to me. It is louder, and sounds like a middy single coil. A PAF is certainly scooped and the tonal opposite. If you are looking for the sound of a PAF in a single coil size, you'd get closer with the Little 59 or Red Devil, than any of the single coil stacks.
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    Default Re: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    Welcome to the forum!

    I wouldn't trust the output graphs...they really need to be re-done. The STK-S6 doesn't sound like a 59 or any PAF at all, to me. It is louder, and sounds like a middy single coil. A PAF is certainly scooped and the tonal opposite. If you are looking for the sound of a PAF in a single coil size, you'd get closer with the Little 59 or Red Devil, than any of the single coil stacks.
    on the soundclips on the website the STK-S6 sounds closest to me, i mean it definitely sounds like a singlecoil and the '59 like a humbucker, but in terms of EQ and output they seem to be pretty similar (the Dirty Amp clips showed it best IMO)

    I don't need to get a PAF sound per se, but just something similar in output and EQ, for example i like the idea of the hotrails but they have way too much mids and sound too compressed.

    I already have a lil'59 installed right now and i don't like it.

    Does the STK-S6 really have more output than a '59 ? what if you lower it a bit?

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    Default Re: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    The way the singlecoil sounds has a different 'attack'. You can have a similar output seemingly, but humbuckers have a fatter less dynamic initial note followed by a thicker sustain. Singlecoils have a much more strident initial note attack.....even in stack form.
    As long as you know that you will have that difference than thats ok.

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    Default Re: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    I also find the sound of a lil 59 as "muffled and kinda dull", not at all close to the sound of a full-sized 59.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
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    Ultimate Tone Member OsvyRock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reee View Post
    I'm looking for a '59 alternative in a H-S guitar, From the sound clips on the duncan website, the STK-S6 sounds the closest to it, the lil'59 sounds muffled and kinda dull, as well as lacking output.

    But the graphics on the SD website say that the STK-S6 is about half the output of a '59 ???? Is this correct? I emailed SD and they told me the STK-S6 is even higher in output than a full size '59, i'm so confused now.


    Does anyone have experience with these pickups??
    I have mine in the neck position of my Squier Strat. I also have a 59' in my DBZ Bolero. What would you like to know?
    They're somehow close outputwise, but different tones. What do you have installed in your bridge position and which are your tone expectations?
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    Default Re: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexR View Post
    The way the singlecoil sounds has a different 'attack'. You can have a similar output seemingly, but humbuckers have a fatter less dynamic initial note followed by a thicker sustain. Singlecoils have a much more strident initial note attack.....even in stack form.
    As long as you know that you will have that difference than thats ok.
    yes i'm aware of this, i just want it to be somewhat similar in terms of EQ and output.

    I ordered the STK-S6 after talking with duncan CS some more

    Quote Originally Posted by OsvyRock View Post
    I have mine in the neck position of my Squier Strat. I also have a 59' in my DBZ Bolero. What would you like to know?
    They're somehow close outputwise, but different tones. What do you have installed in your bridge position and which are your tone expectations?
    I already ordered it, but i'd still like to hear your experience with the pickup.

    I'm aware it will sound different since it's basically a noiseless singlecoil, but i want it to be similar in output and EQ (not too mid-heavy).

    in the bridge position sits a JB trembucker.

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    Ultimate Tone Member OsvyRock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reee View Post
    yes i'm aware of this, i just want it to be somewhat similar in terms of EQ and output.

    I ordered the STK-S6 after talking with duncan CS some more



    I already ordered it, but i'd still like to hear your experience with the pickup.

    I'm aware it will sound different since it's basically a noiseless singlecoil, but i want it to be similar in output and EQ (not too mid-heavy).

    in the bridge position sits a JB trembucker.
    You'll be fine mate! I use a TB-4, STK-S7, STK-S6 configuration. The STK-S6 is quieter (noisewise) than the JB. It sounds like a beefy stratty pickup with a blues vibe. It's no pushover and plays amazingly well on cleans and dirt tones. It will not get out of my guitar!
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    Default Re: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    I love my STK-S6 in the neck of my HSS Strat, it pairs very well with a DiMarzion H8 seems to be an OEM kind of version of a PAF Pro, it came stock in my Sambora Standard Stratocaster MIM 1996, and I mean it both tone and output wise. It is not that kind of 50's super sweet single coil but it is not a humbucker sound at all either, it really sounds like a stratocaster pickup to me but just some extra meat with all the articulation you want from a single coil, I think it will match really fine with any vintage output humbucker in the bridge, but some people have used it with a JB in the bridge and they reported they liked it, listen to the discontinued MIM HS Charvels demos, I think it is not bad at all. Just don't get obsessed with "it is not 100% vintage sound", I don't care as I like its sound anyway and I really think it is a great neck pickup for HSS guitars, just don't go super high output with the bridge hb, you don't need a super hot hb neither if your amp or pedals can give you enough distortion.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0N_zegGJTg

    My personal recommendation is be sure to split it (and your humbucker too) for the in between position of your HS guitar to get nicer quack sound, I have a SSL-1 in the middle and that strat can go from sweet chime to metal (the the proper amount of amp distortion) and anything in between.
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    Default Re: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    So it's definitely hotter than the lil '59?

    part of me wants to keep the lil '59 since i like the tone, but it just doesn't have enough output, i hope the STK-S6 will give me that.
    Last edited by Reee; 05-22-2019 at 08:09 AM.

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    Default Re: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reee View Post
    So it's definitely hotter than the lil '59?

    part of me wants to keep the lil '59 since i like the tone, but it just doesn't have enough output, i hope the STK-S6 will give me that.
    I have never tried a lil 59 and I cannot tell. Can you elaborate more on why you are moving away from it or what is your current neck pickup?

    Do you really use your neck pickup with high gain for soloing for example or do you use it only for cleans and some mild overdrive rhythm?

    Edit: I ask this because in my mind an HS can either be approached as a HH more articulation from the neck pickup OR neck for less gainy sounds then brindge gor high gain and lead which really means don't care about volume mismatch on their own.
    Last edited by IMENATOR; 05-22-2019 at 10:23 AM.
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    Default Re: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    Wait, Is your lil 59 a neck or bridge model? if it is a neck maybe you can simply buy the bridge model for a bit more output. You can always lower the JB a bit too.
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    Default Re: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    Quote Originally Posted by IMENATOR View Post
    Wait, Is your lil 59 a neck or bridge model? if it is a neck maybe you can simply buy the bridge model for a bit more output. You can always lower the JB a bit too.
    I would definitely second this- if you find some of the rails a little too compressed, you might take a listen to the sound samples of the Vintage Rails.
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    Default Re: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    Quote Originally Posted by IMENATOR View Post
    I have never tried a lil 59 and I cannot tell. Can you elaborate more on why you are moving away from it or what is your current neck pickup?

    Do you really use your neck pickup with high gain for soloing for example or do you use it only for cleans and some mild overdrive rhythm?

    Edit: I ask this because in my mind an HS can either be approached as a HH more articulation from the neck pickup OR neck for less gainy sounds then brindge gor high gain and lead which really means don't care about volume mismatch on their own.
    good question, i like it to be like a HH setup, i don't like when the neck pickup lacks output.

    I have tried the lil 59 bridge in the neck in the past but that was way too muddy, right now i have the lil 59 neck in the neck which is ok, but like i said earlier it lacks output, and you can only set the pickup so much higher until it touches the string or starts sounding bad

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    Default Re: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reee View Post
    good question, i like it to be like a HH setup, i don't like when the neck pickup lacks output.

    I have tried the lil 59 bridge in the neck in the past but that was way too muddy, right now i have the lil 59 neck in the neck which is ok, but like i said earlier it lacks output, and you can only set the pickup so much higher until it touches the string or starts sounding bad
    Well, if you already ordered the STK-S6 then you just gotta try it. The other stacked single coil I would think of when trying to pair with a JB would be the Parallel Axis Stack, sounds killer in the demos but not sure how loud it can be. Back to the humbuckers, I wonder if a lil screaming demon bridge could be a better option, the demon is famous for being a very well articulated hb and maybe the lil hb version could help you.

    Edit: if you live in the US I think you have to keep in mind the 21 days exchange policy by SD.
    Edit 2: Also, there is a rails pickup called Cool Rails, there is a demo of Cool Rails in the neck (not sure if that was a neck or bridge model) and a JB
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5rLApyRIWI
    Last edited by IMENATOR; 05-22-2019 at 03:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    Quote Originally Posted by IMENATOR View Post
    Well, if you already ordered the STK-S6 then you just gotta try it. The other stacked single coil I would think of when trying to pair with a JB would be the Parallel Axis Stack, sounds killer in the demos but not sure how loud it can be. Back to the humbuckers, I wonder if a lil screaming demon bridge could be a better option, the demon is famous for being a very well articulated hb and maybe the lil hb version could help you.

    Edit: if you live in the US I think you have to keep in mind the 21 days exchange policy by SD.
    Edit 2: Also, there is a rails pickup called Cool Rails, there is a demo of Cool Rails in the neck (not sure if that was a neck or bridge model) and a JB
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5rLApyRIWI
    I also have 14 day return policy where i bought it, but the problem is the costs of the luthier, i can't solder myself

    the cool rails sounds cool but i think it will also lack output

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    Default Re: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    I'd suggest that between this pickup swap and the next one, you learn how to solder. It isn't difficult, and supplies are cheaper than a pickup. Lots of tutorials on this site as well as YouTube, too. And its fun!
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    Default Re: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reee View Post
    I also have 14 day return policy where i bought it, but the problem is the costs of the luthier, i can't solder myself

    the cool rails sounds cool but i think it will also lack output
    Oh, I don't think that lack output when paired with a JB, in the video link it sounds very well balanced to me, and you and always try the bridge model. And as Mincer said you should try to learn to solder, it is not that difficult but even you don't then don't forget about the Duncan Liberator, have your luthier solder it once and you can do all the pickup swapping solderless after that. I have int my HSS strat.
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    Default Re: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    the liberator is a cool concept, i'll look into it, the soldering stuff just looks like something i'll mess up really bad lol.

    can the liberator be wired for a lefty?

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    Default Re: Does the STK-S6 have the same output as a '59 humbucker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reee View Post
    the liberator is a cool concept, i'll look into it, the soldering stuff just looks like something i'll mess up really bad lol.

    can the liberator be wired for a lefty?
    Ahhh, I don't have a clue, I did not even noticed lefties need to turn the knob the other way around. That is a question for SD.
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