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Old 06-15-2015, 10:37 AM   #1
jeffreylang11
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Pickup selection

Good morning. I am making some changes to my old guitar and pup change is one, but I have a question which may be stupid. My crap guitar is a Washburn, Mercury series, nothing special... its an HSS config.

I wanted to have the H be a metal pup like a Seymour Duncan Invader or Dimarzio X2N (kinda liking the blade look)... I havent really looked at single coils yet for the other 2, but the middle a blues pup (similar to the the metal) and the neck be just a regular pup... Could I put bridge pickups in all the slots (i know its physically possible) and why would I not want to do that?

I play mostly hard rock/metal, but also like blues and some clean playing/acoustic also. Then depending on what I am playing, I could just switch pups with the 5 way and have the desired pup. Stupid??

Thoughts....
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:45 AM   #2
Blademaster2
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I am not sure I understood your question fully, but I understand that the difference in the bridge pickup for a Strat-style guitar is the physical spacing of the poles (slight angle, causing different width between pole pieces). Otherwise I have used different pickups in location on guitars and never had a problem with the results. Switching with a 5-way seems okay, but you might get some unusual tones when they are in the "combined" positions. Otherwise try it and see what you get - it is always a good experience to try different ways and hear the results for yourself. None of these decisions is irreversible.

Last edited by Blademaster2 : 06-15-2015 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:50 AM   #3
jeffreylang11
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Thanks for the reply. So yeah, basically using 3 bridge pickups instead of the typical bridge, mid, and neck pickups.
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:12 PM   #4
Draco H.
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the reason you would not want to do that is because they wont be reverse wound so it won't cancel hum. Or maybe it will cuz the bridge is a humbucker
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:46 PM   #5
Roc8995
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The label of "bridge" pickup is really only a guideline for where the manufacturer suggests it might sound good. It's not uncommon at all for strat pickup sets to have no difference whatsoever between the bridge, middle, and neck pickups. Bridge pickups tend to be hotter, as I'm sure you've found if you've been researching pickups. But don't expect to throw a "bridge" pickup in the neck and have it sound like it would in the bridge. It won't, it's going to sound like a hot neck pickup.

Anyway, the only caution I'd give is that, since the position is more of a suggestion than a real design difference, there may not be a real advantage to using them in the other positions. For example, a Lace Gold "bridge" and "middle" and "neck" pickup are exactly the same; there's no advantage to buying the "bridge" to use for the other positions because it will sound different only because it's in that position, not because it's actually a different pickup. So don't expect to have three "bridge voiced" options, because the position is not going to let them all sound like bridge pickups.

Oh, and sometimes single coil "bridge" pickups will have shorter wires because they assume it's the closest to the wiring cavity. It's not a big deal, you can always just add extra wire if you need, but it's something to keep in mind.
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Old 06-23-2015, 01:03 PM   #6
jeffreylang11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc8995

Anyway, the only caution I'd give is that, since the position is more of a suggestion than a real design difference

... a Lace Gold "bridge" and "middle" and "neck" pickup are exactly the same; there's no advantage to buying the "bridge" to use for the other positions because it will sound different only because it's in that position, not because it's actually a different pickup. So don't expect to have three "bridge voiced" options, because the position is not going to let them all sound like bridge pickups.



Ahhhh... THATS what I was looking for, just wasnt sure how to word it... Thank you very much, you've been a big help
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Old 06-26-2015, 12:19 AM   #7
Schiz31
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Worth noting:

If you have an HSS setup, and plan to keep it that way, you may want to make sure your middle single is meant to be a middle single. As far as specs go, Middles and Necks tend to be identical, but the middle is usually reverse-wound. Its polarity is opposite the neck, which allows a humbucker effect in position 2. That's typically a standard part of the Strat setup.

As for using Bridge pickups in other positions, it CAN matter, but often doesn't. Long story short, due to the way strings vibrate, Bridge pickups tend to be more sensitive, since they have to respond to shorter movements. Putting a bridge pickup in the neck position will give you a more sensitive pickup, in an area that is naturally much more responsive. In some cases this makes a very high gain situation. Some people go for that.

Ultimately, its your ears, and what you like. But for what it sounds like you want, which is a very versatile guitar, I would get a good humbucker (I prefer the Invader to the DiMarzio, but if you like blades, check out the Dimbucker. Shit's SICK) a reverse-wound middle single coil, and a good neck single coil.
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Old 06-26-2015, 07:33 AM   #8
jeffreylang11
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Very cool. Thank you for the advice. I will keep that in mind!
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