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Old 08-17-2015, 09:58 PM   #1
Dinglebuttz
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Strat pickups for...

Iron Maiden sound. I know Dave uses a hot rail in the bridge but not sure what else, or is he all hot rails? I have never upgraded pickups in any of my guitars but I have a lovely custom strat that I got set up last weekend and my God it plays like a dream. I want to keep the strat "vibe" but would like a little bit more oomph for it. I'm pretty set on a hot rail bridge unless you guys can really sell me on another single coil slot pickup. What would you recommend me for neck and mid? Some places I read hot rail bridge, vintage rail mid, and cool rail neck is a good versatile setup. Thoughts?

Thanks guys. Really enjoying playing again during my "second wind" so to speak. I've always been a better drummer but love playing guitar too!
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Old 08-17-2015, 10:04 PM   #2
K33nbl4d3
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SD just released a Dave Murray loaded pickguard; feel free to do your own thing but that's Hot Rails neck and bridge and JB Jr. middle. Iirc his sig Strat had Dimarzio Super Distortions but I could be totally making that up.
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Old 08-17-2015, 10:11 PM   #3
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Oh nice, I'll need to check that out. Are loaded pickguards like that just as good of quality as buying and wiring them all in individually? Probably a dumb question lmao.
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Old 08-17-2015, 10:15 PM   #4
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I've never used one, but the pickups used are the real deal so I can't imagine it'd be worth cutting corners elsewhere
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Old 08-17-2015, 10:24 PM   #5
Dinglebuttz
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I see. Just looked it up, and 300 is a bit more than I was wanting to spend. It is nice that it's all put together already and all that. How important are the pots that come on it? My current tone and volume knobs work great so I assume they'll be fine with new "singular" pups too, right?
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:04 AM   #6
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Yeah, if your pots work fine and you're able to do the wiring yourself you might as well save yourself the money and install the pickups individually and you'll be fine.
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:11 AM   #7
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Here is one that costs you 220 USD with a tenner shipping if you live in the US and A:

click
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:19 AM   #8
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I'd just get a JB Jr for the bridge. I had one modified to fit my old tele and it did iron maiden and most other 80's-00's metal rock absolutely fine.

you could just buy a HSS unloaded pick-guard for $10ish and put a full sized HB in it
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:21 AM   #9
icanhasgodmode
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Originally Posted by Robbgnarly
I'd just get a JB Jr for the bridge. I had one modified to fit my old tele and it did iron maiden and most other 80's-00's metal rock absolutely fine.

you could just buy a HSS unloaded pick-guard for $10ish and put a full sized HB in it

If your guitar is routed for a humbucker in the bridge, that is.
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You can tell if it's eager, because you put your hand down her pants and it feels like a horse eating oats.

Nicest compliment on my looks:
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Putting the 'sex' in 'convicted sex offender'.
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by icanhasgodmode
If your guitar is routed for a humbucker in the bridge, that is.

yeah, good point.
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icanhasgodmode
If your guitar is routed for a humbucker in the bridge, that is.

I thought that was pretty standard with Strats, nowadays, though?
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:34 AM   #12
icanhasgodmode
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Originally Posted by K33nbl4d3
I thought that was pretty standard with Strats, nowadays, though?

Could be, but you can't be sure. But you're gonna lift the pickguard anyway, so you'll see it before you order anything anyway.
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You can tell if it's eager, because you put your hand down her pants and it feels like a horse eating oats.

Nicest compliment on my looks:
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Putting the 'sex' in 'convicted sex offender'.
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Old 08-18-2015, 10:47 AM   #13
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I have a Kent Armstrong Power Blade in the bridge of my strat and it's amazing. I like it quite a bit more than SD Hot Rails and they are under $40.
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Old 08-18-2015, 06:41 PM   #14
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I'd look into the lil killer/puncher set of rails from Guitar Fetish. Price is pleasing and from every source I've heard they're darn good.
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Old 08-19-2015, 09:45 AM   #15
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Dave Murray have used Hotrails in all three positions for quite a while, but recently switched the middle pickup for a JB Jr citing better clean tone as the reason, Janick Gers uses JB Jr's and have done so since he joined Maiden in 1990 as far as I know. As for Adrian, he used/uses a full size DiMarzio Super Distortion and never used any other position on his Strat/Charvel San Dimas models (as well as in his Les Paul Deluxe that's been routed to accommodate the full size humbucker).

No need to buy the loaded Murray pickguard, just switch neck and bridge humbuckers for either JB Jrs or Hotrails and you're good to go (these pickups are designed to go with 250k stock Stratocaster pots) - how many use the middle position anyway?

Oh, I have the JB Jr's in mine. Really nails Gers' tone, if you like that.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:13 AM   #16
Dinglebuttz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomerSGR
Dave Murray have used Hotrails in all three positions for quite a while, but recently switched the middle pickup for a JB Jr citing better clean tone as the reason, Janick Gers uses JB Jr's and have done so since he joined Maiden in 1990 as far as I know. As for Adrian, he used/uses a full size DiMarzio Super Distortion and never used any other position on his Strat/Charvel San Dimas models (as well as in his Les Paul Deluxe that's been routed to accommodate the full size humbucker).

No need to buy the loaded Murray pickguard, just switch neck and bridge humbuckers for either JB Jrs or Hotrails and you're good to go (these pickups are designed to go with 250k stock Stratocaster pots) - how many use the middle position anyway?

Oh, I have the JB Jr's in mine. Really nails Gers' tone, if you like that.


Thanks a lot for the info. Really helps my decision out

How is the clean on the JB Jr. / Hot Rails neck pickups? I know the bridge versions can growl but am unsure how the clean on the neck pickup is. Thanks!
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:34 AM   #17
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This probably isn't that useful but I figured I'd just add this:

For what it's worth, I just checked, and it's the old Murray signature Strat I was thinking of that had a Super Distortion in the bridge, a DiMarzio PAF DP-103 in the neck and a vintage-style Fender singlecoil in the middle position. Presumably modelled after his old workhorse from the '80s:
Ugly outfits herein

As HomerSGR says, though, I think it was somepoint between Bruce eras that he came to favour the Hot Rails, since I can only find post-reunion photos of him using the things.

My two cents on that old signature - the fact that it was using a "vintage-style Fender" middle pickup probably suggests that that pickup's not supposed to get much mileage and is just there for the aesthetic, or it'd be a branded, named one.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:01 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinglebuttz
How is the clean on the JB Jr. / Hot Rails neck pickups?


I haven't tried the JB Jr. but the hot rails neck's clean tone is middling at best. I'm not much a fan. It splits reasonably well, though, and I guess the clean tone split is a bit better.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:08 AM   #19
Dinglebuttz
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Thanks again! Man this is a hard decision... Just saw the "Everything Strat" set as well and that is tempting me as well, but I rarely use the middle pickup as is and am probably better off just buying a new neck and bridge pup and leaving the mid alone.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinglebuttz
Thanks a lot for the info. Really helps my decision out

How is the clean on the JB Jr. / Hot Rails neck pickups? I know the bridge versions can growl but am unsure how the clean on the neck pickup is. Thanks!


The JB Jr has a clean tone that is many many miles better than the Hot Rails, which have awful clean tone. I mean really bad (imo obviously but im super persnickety about cleans)
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