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Thread: Fender American Standard single-coils vs SSL1

  1. #1
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    Default Fender American Standard single-coils vs SSL1

    Hi.
    Looking to get my MIM Fender HS Strat (currently with STK-S7n and Screamin' Demon bridge) back to SSS. I still have my original loaded pickguard but I don't like pickups in the MIM so was looking for SSL1n/SSL1m/SSL5b.
    But I found a good deal on a loaded pickguard with Fender American Standard neck and middle and SSL1b bridge (yes SSL1b as shown in the seller picture).
    How do they compare?
    How do they match together?
    Will the SSL overpower the AS or the AS will overpower the SSL?
    Yes I know the SSL1 bridge is nothing like the SSL5 bridge. But since I'm getting a deal maybe I could make a compromise and settle with a more traditional strat tone. Or if the SSL1 is a bit louder than AS it might do the job.
    Or should I skip the deal and go with my prime idea of SSL1 neck and middle and SSL5 bridge?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fender American Standard single-coils vs SSL1

    Fender has changed their single coils many times over the years

    I can only say based on the stock pickups from my 2009 American Standard

    They are very generic sounding single coils. Not particularly high or low output at all. They're just "fine". Not the quietest either by single coil standards.

    I'd say if you can score a loaded guard for cheap that has a Duncan in the bridge position and you mostly use the bridge position then go for it. I think they match fine with the Duncan.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fender American Standard single-coils vs SSL1

    I will ask the seller there from what year.
    I will mostly use the neck and the middle. Are SSL1 a big improvement and should I just go for them instead?
    Last edited by donaldr; 08-30-2019 at 02:41 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Fender American Standard single-coils vs SSL1

    My personal belief is that the SSL 1’s would indeed be a big upgrade and I’d go for those easily over the am standard PUPs.
    They give a vintage, late 50’s tone vs the generic sound of American Standards. And they’re hand wound. Easy decision really

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fender American Standard single-coils vs SSL1

    Well, the SSL-1 is the pickup that defines iconic Strat sounds. So if you like a Stratty sounding Strat, that is the one to get over anything else.
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Fender American Standard single-coils vs SSL1

    The AS pickups are way higher output than an SSL1. SSL1 are vintage pickups, like 50's style vintage. The 2000's American standard pickups scream

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fender American Standard single-coils vs SSL1

    Quote Originally Posted by donaldr View Post
    Hi.
    Looking to get my MIM Fender HS Strat (currently with STK-S7n and Screamin' Demon bridge) back to SSS. I still have my original loaded pickguard but I don't like pickups in the MIM so was looking for SSL1n/SSL1m/SSL5b.
    But I found a good deal on a loaded pickguard with Fender American Standard neck and middle and SSL1b bridge (yes SSL1b as shown in the seller picture).
    How do they compare?
    How do they match together?
    Will the SSL overpower the AS or the AS will overpower the SSL?
    Yes I know the SSL1 bridge is nothing like the SSL5 bridge. But since I'm getting a deal maybe I could make a compromise and settle with a more traditional strat tone. Or if the SSL1 is a bit louder than AS it might do the job.
    Or should I skip the deal and go with my prime idea of SSL1 neck and middle and SSL5 bridge?
    What other members say.


    I'll add some excerpts of my archives about SSL1's vs 2000 Amer Std PU's like those mentioned above:

    -SSL1 have formvar insulated wire wound directly on the magnets. Amer Std have polysol insulated wire wound on a plastic bobbin. For those who care, it changes the "Q factor" of the coils. SSL1 have a flatter/ slightly more hi-fi response (a wider resonant peak). Amer Std are more focused (with a pointy resonant peak).

    -SSL1's measure typically 6.5k and 2.6H of inductance for all positions. 2000 Amer Std measure 6K / 2.2H for neck and mid but the bridge unit measure 7.7k/3.8H and includes "inductance boosters" (the black screws that we see between the poles when the pickup is seen from below).

    -As said above, Fender A5 rods are more charged. When an average value of 241 Gauss is measured on SSL1's (with the probe of the gaussmeter a few mm above the poles), this average value rises to 341 Gauss with Amer Std.

    -Tonal consequences: with less inductance, more magnetism and a pointier resonance, 2000 Amer Std PU's are grittier but less bassy/ more scooped than SSL1's when it comes to neck and mid PU's; conversely, the bridge PU is beefier - and closer to a strong Telecaster PU, to some extent.


    Last but not least:

    -I've mounted a set of SSL1's in an Amer Std Strat instead of stock pickups a few months ago and the owner has considered it as a vast improvement. Personally, I really like the SSL1's (maybe my favourite Duncan pickups) but I find them better with maple fretboards. Amer Std might still be interesting for a guitar with rosewood fretboard.

    FWIW. Tech data are not there to knock out the readers but to be shared with those who like or need such info. :-)
    Duncan user since the 80's...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Fender American Standard single-coils vs SSL1

    Thanks for you replies.
    Tried my friend 2008 MIA Fender Strat VG, found the pickups useable and I agree they are a bit higher output. Per your comments, I assume they will overpower the SSL1b.
    Not looking for the vintage correct strat sound, just a useable strat sound I hear on countless blues/pop/classic rock albums.
    So crazy, looking on the used market for months and nothing. Now there's another one popping around, this time a loaded pickguard with SSL1n/SSL1m/SSL5b (what I was looking for!!!!) but with an Obsidian Wire Custom Blender. Will check if I can modify the circuit to Custom Vintage (VTT) instead.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Fender American Standard single-coils vs SSL1

    The seller replied.
    Q: What year are the American Standard pickups?
    A: 2001

    Q: Is bridge pickup (SSL1b) equal, higher or lower than neck/middle pickups?
    A: More output/sustain from bridge but well balanced
    Last edited by donaldr; 09-17-2019 at 10:22 AM.

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