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Thread: Neck pup for strat: ssl-1 —> ?

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    Default Neck pup for strat: ssl-1 —> ?

    Hi,

    I’ve got a MIM strat that has ssl-1/1/5 in them and they sound good. A colleague gave me a prs silver sky for a few days and I was surprised it’s not lightyears away, but there is a three dimensionality in the tone, a woody component - particularly on the neck which I care about most. A smack when you pluck a string and some extra sparkles on top. In terms of sustain and harmonics the are equals, but I was wondering if I could replace the neck to get it closer into that territory. The silver sky has 63/64 pups and the ssl 1 is a 50s so my hope is that a 60s pup could do the trick - at least good enough for me;-). So maybe an antiquity 1/2, maybe the suhr landaus, i read also other custom vintage winders (lollar, fraylin, ...) to which i am not opposed to.
    The acoustic base sound is slightly different, the prs is more resonant and more full bodied, but the electric sound is soo close, i hope somwthing can be done... apart from that i am happy with an ok middle and great bridge pup.


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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Neck pup for strat: ssl-1 —> ?

    the antiquity 2 surfers might be a touch closer to the silver sky. the ssl1 are not 50's pups though, closer to early 60s. getting your mim fender to sound like the prs might be tough. even if you put the prs pups in your strat, they wont sound the same

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    Default Re: Neck pup for strat: ssl-1 —> ?

    Cheers! My expectation is that they will not sound the same, but I feel the missing wood, that slight honk can come from a different pickup. Just to gain that tonality/timbre I am seeing in the prs.

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    Senior Member David Garner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Neck pup for strat: ssl-1 —> ?

    I'm wondering if it's not the guitar more than the pickups. The SSL-1 should be a reference Strat tone.

    Maybe try something like the Fender CS 54s?

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    Default Re: Neck pup for strat: ssl-1 —> ?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Garner View Post
    I'm wondering if it's not the guitar more than the pickups. The SSL-1 should be a reference Strat tone.

    Maybe try something like the Fender CS 54s?
    I recently put a ssl1 in my squire deluxe neck and really have enjoyed it

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    Default Re: Neck pup for strat: ssl-1 —> ?

    To my knowledge the ssl-1 is modeled after the 50s pup, there’s the ‘
    Seymour Duncan SSL-1 California 50's Strat Pickup Set’ where i basically replaced the bridge to the hotter ssl-5. It is still a different sound to the 60s antiquities. Maybe not much, but a slightly different base model.

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    Default Re: Neck pup for strat: ssl-1 —> ?

    Stupid question, but have you played with the height of the SSL-1? I can make them sound boomy, bright, weak, and beefy by playing with the height. The tone you're looking for might be there with a little tweaking. Bonus is that it's free to try.
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    Default Re: Neck pup for strat: ssl-1 —> ?

    I am pretty sure the Surfer II can get there. To me, it has a '3D' thing going on that I don't find in many single coils.
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    Default Re: Neck pup for strat: ssl-1 —> ?

    Quote Originally Posted by numb3r23 View Post
    To my knowledge the ssl-1 is modeled after the 50s pup, there’s the ‘
    Seymour Duncan SSL-1 California 50's Strat Pickup Set’ where i basically replaced the bridge to the hotter ssl-5. It is still a different sound to the 60s antiquities. Maybe not much, but a slightly different base model.
    A SSL1 reads 6.5k, FWIW. To compare to the specs of vintage Strat pu's listed here: http://guitarhq.com/pickups.html

    Now and regarding what you want: If I had to make a MIM Strat closer to a PRS Silver Sky, maybe I'd start with a bone nut and a metal block trem unit rather than with new pickups. YMMV.

    Good luck in your tone quest. :-)
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    Default Re: Neck pup for strat: ssl-1 —> ?

    Quote Originally Posted by freefrog View Post
    A SSL1 reads 6.5k, FWIW. To compare to the specs of vintage Strat pu's listed here: http://guitarhq.com/pickups.html

    Now and regarding what you want: If I had to make a MIM Strat closer to a PRS Silver Sky, maybe I'd start with a bone nut and a metal block trem unit rather than with new pickups. YMMV.

    Good luck in your tone quest. :-)
    yes!!! Better anchors for your string helps a great deal. I also found that the SSL1 is actually, amazing. But Nordstrand pickups are better. Their singles are some of the best I've ever heard. The AxesRUs pickups come in second.

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    Mojo's Minions dystrust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Neck pup for strat: ssl-1 —> ?

    Quote Originally Posted by freefrog View Post
    Now and regarding what you want: If I had to make a MIM Strat closer to a PRS Silver Sky, maybe I'd start with a bone nut and a metal block trem unit rather than with new pickups. YMMV.

    Good luck in your tone quest. :-)
    +1

    Based on the OP's description of the unplugged differences, my first thought was a better bridge or at least a trem block.
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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    Default Re: Neck pup for strat: ssl-1 —> ?

    as long as the nut is cut well, i wouldnt mess with it. the bridge on the other hand may be worth upgrading. im a big fan of callaham hardware but its pricey

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    Default Re: Neck pup for strat: ssl-1 —> ?

    Thanks for all the feedback. I have ordered the callahan bridge yesterday along with the antiquity surfer neck after playing around with the height as well as amp settings. I hope to put it in thursday/friday and will reply back. The nut is fine, but I will have it in the back of my head if I want to do more things on it. For now i am curious on those two changes and what they will bring in overall sound. Again i dont want to get a silver sky sound, but rather some of the voicing/tendency. Cheers for all the suggestions.

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    Default Re: Neck pup for strat: ssl-1 —> ?

    between the bridge and pup, you should notice a shift in the right direction

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    Default Re: Neck pup for strat: ssl-1 —> ?

    Ok, big strat pimping yesterday and totally worth jt. I put in the antiquity 2 in the neck, a little 59 in the bridge, locking tuners and the callaham trem system with 5 springs. The middle stayed the ssl-1 rwrp but I changed the 2nd tone to cover bridge and middle.
    The acoustic sound is very different, more intense overall. The electric sound is just what i was after, neck and neck+middle are exactly what I wanted in voice and timbre. The little 59 is just the right difference for a bridge that I hoped for. As it is I am happy, it sounds and feels awesome.
    If i want to change things further I would likely make one pot push pull to change the little 59 from serial to parallel and a super switch for middle+bridge position. Many thanks for the reccs, love this guitar.

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    Default Re: Neck pup for strat: ssl-1 —> ?

    glad it worked out! sounds like a great setup

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    Default Re: Neck pup for strat: ssl-1 —> ?

    Quote Originally Posted by numb3r23 View Post
    Hi,

    I’ve got a MIM strat that has ssl-1/1/5 in them and they sound good. A colleague gave me a prs silver sky for a few days and I was surprised it’s not lightyears away, but there is a three dimensionality in the tone, a woody component - particularly on the neck which I care about most. A smack when you pluck a string and some extra sparkles on top. In terms of sustain and harmonics the are equals, but I was wondering if I could replace the neck to get it closer into that territory. The silver sky has 63/64 pups and the ssl 1 is a 50s so my hope is that a 60s pup could do the trick - at least good enough for me;-). So maybe an antiquity 1/2, maybe the suhr landaus, i read also other custom vintage winders (lollar, fraylin, ...) to which i am not opposed to.
    The acoustic base sound is slightly different, the prs is more resonant and more full bodied, but the electric sound is soo close, i hope somwthing can be done... apart from that i am happy with an ok middle and great bridge pup.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    That's exactly why I don't really care ssl-1 that much. They have this clean boominess that's really difficult to rein in. I switched neck to VZ Blues. Tonal difference was pretty close to what you described wanting.
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