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Thread: Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

  1. #1
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    Default Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

    Iíve got my heart set on a Hot rails bridge for my Strat. Been debating for weeks what to put in the middle and neck.

    I want the neck to be fat but with an emphasis on treble/clarity (not muddy)

    Anyone have suggestions on the middle? I can take or leave the honk/quack sound. I hardly ever use any positions other than 1 and 5.

  2. #2
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

    A few more questions....do you want the neck and/or middle to sound like a single coil pickup, or humbucker? I am a little confused by your second statement. 'Fat', to me, means a lot of mids...but you want more treble. Can you explain a bit further?
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  3. #3
    tonewood instigator
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    Default Re: Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

    Sounds to me like you'd prefer a Tele to a Strat.
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  4. #4
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Blille's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

    I'm gonna suggest the duckbucker for the middle.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

    Okay let me think. So let’s forget about fat. How about I want the mids to be less than the bass but the treble to be the highest. I don’t want it too mid heavy or sounding muddy I’d like the bass to sound tight. I would prefer the neck to be a single coil size humbucker but I wouldn’t mind if the neck and middle were single coils either

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    Default Re: Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

    I do want a tele eventually but the plan is to make this strat able to do great rock tones while being versatile.

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    Default Re: Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

    What’s your thoughts on the duck bucker and what style music is it best for?

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    Toneologist Synapsys's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

    My vote would be Classic Stack middle and neck. It's what I have on my ash strat clone, also with a Hot Rails bridge.
    Guitars:Gibson LP Trad ('57 Classics), PRS SE CU 24 Flametop (TB5/PGn), Ibanez RG870RWZ (PATB set), Jackson DK2M1H (TB4) & DK2 (TB10/VRn/CRn), LTD MH-1000HS (Pegasus/HRn), ST213A (HRb/STK-S4 m&n) & TE212 (Hot Stack/A2Pn), Dean Cadillac 1980 (59 set) & Old Skull V (TB6/JazzN), Squier VM JM (SJM-1 set);Effects:Korg Pitchblack Poly, Digitech Drop, MXR CAE MC404 & EHX Wailer wahs, L6 HX FX & Stomp, Fender FVP-1, EHX Volume Pedal; Amp & Cab:H&K GM 40 Dlx, L6 DT25 cab;

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    Default Re: Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by Synapsys View Post
    My vote would be Classic Stack middle and neck. It's what I have on my ash strat clone, also with a Hot Rails bridge.
    This is absolutely what I would recommend, too. It blends well with the Hot Rails.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

    @synapsys What type of music do you play.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by Synapsys View Post
    My vote would be Classic Stack middle and neck. It's what I have on my ash strat clone, also with a Hot Rails bridge.
    @synapsys What type of music do you play.

  12. #12
    Toneologist Synapsys's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

    Everything from cleanest cleans to high gain (goth rock, progressive rock/ metal and death metal). The Classic Stacks are truly versatile.
    Guitars:Gibson LP Trad ('57 Classics), PRS SE CU 24 Flametop (TB5/PGn), Ibanez RG870RWZ (PATB set), Jackson DK2M1H (TB4) & DK2 (TB10/VRn/CRn), LTD MH-1000HS (Pegasus/HRn), ST213A (HRb/STK-S4 m&n) & TE212 (Hot Stack/A2Pn), Dean Cadillac 1980 (59 set) & Old Skull V (TB6/JazzN), Squier VM JM (SJM-1 set);Effects:Korg Pitchblack Poly, Digitech Drop, MXR CAE MC404 & EHX Wailer wahs, L6 HX FX & Stomp, Fender FVP-1, EHX Volume Pedal; Amp & Cab:H&K GM 40 Dlx, L6 DT25 cab;

  13. #13
    Ultimate Tone Slacker
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    Default Re: Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

    Given use of only neck & bridge for most part, I'd look at an STK-S7 Vintage Hot Stack Plus for the neck, and an STK-S4m Classic Stack Plus (RW/RP) in the middle. Lets you do coil splits for 2+4 positions if you want, while keeping noise cancellation.

    STK-S7 should be fat but not dark, great for SRVish neck tones without having to resort to girders instead of strings. Should balance well with the hot bridge pickup, while still sounding stratty.

    STK-S4 is the hum-cancelling stacked humbucker take on the SSL-2 classic strat pickup (which is the flat version of the SSL-1, which has been used by greats like David Gilmour in the middle & neck).

    STK-4 & STK-S4m (m in middle again) would work fine, if you want traditional output singles in both positions. Again, don't absolutely need one RWRP, but just like with conventional singles, I prefer to have the additional noise cancelling options.

    I'd avoid the Duckbucker myself, I don't think it sounds as good as an SSL-1/2--which I wont use because of the noise, but I play around annoying fluorescent buzz emitters too much, so I go for the Stack Plus line.

  14. #14
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Blille's Avatar
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    Default Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by Danjk View Post
    Whatís your thoughts on the duck bucker and what style music is it best for?
    I donít think itís specific to any genre. Given that you were going to go for humbucker on neck and bridge, this would give you classic quack strat tones without hum. If you donít want that, then donít put it IMHO itís designed to do just that:

    ďThe Duckbucker is a single coil sized humbucker designed to be wired in parallel to give you a sparkly single coil tone. Its unique, split-pole pattern with 3 poles on each coil, also contributes to the single coil bounciness and snappy low end. [...] The 4-conductor lead wire gives you access to series wiring for a hotter, humbucker tone. Great in the middle, especially when in-between two higher output pickups, for that Strat quack in positions 2 & 4. ď

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

    The Duckbucker accomplishes that task very well, but has a pretty low output compared to other pickups.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by Despair View Post
    STK-S7 should be fat but not dark, great for SRVish neck tones without having to resort to girders instead of strings. Should balance well with the hot bridge pickup, while still sounding stratty.
    I have the STK-S7 in the neck position of an MIM SH Strat. It's not dark but it's a bit bass heavy (was designed as a bridge pickup).

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by donaldr View Post
    I have the STK-S7 in the neck position of an MIM SH Strat. It's not dark but it's a bit bass heavy (was designed as a bridge pickup).
    compared to the hot rails it might be ok, but thats my impression as well. i like it as a bridge pup with vintage output singles but havent tried it with hotter pups

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

    Really appreciate all replies. Thanks everyone

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Help me choose a middle and neck pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    compared to the hot rails it might be ok, but thats my impression as well. i like it as a bridge pup with vintage output singles but havent tried it with hotter pups
    I have the STK-S7 neck with a Sreamin Demon bridge in a HS Fender Strat. I have to raise the SD and lower the STK-S7 for volume balance. I have a tone pot wired to the SD so I can balance the tone with the neck. But comparing with other guitars using same patch I came to the same conclusion as you: might be a good bridge pickup (which it was designed for) with STK-S4 neck/middle.

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