ibanez1997
UG's sociopath
Join date: Jun 2011
759 IQ
#1
Hey UG,

I am looking at upgrading the bridge and neck pickups in my HSS Strat in the next couple of months. I've settled on a Dimarzio Crunch Lab for the bridge (okay, I admit it, Petrucci fanboy ) but I'm wondering whether to go the single coil or stacked humbucker route in the neck.

I generally play prog and melodic metal, so not looking for anything ridiculously high output. Looking for a pickup to handle smooth, singing leads (a la Petrucci or Eric Johnson) and cleans. I'm not sure on the single coil, but if I go for a stacked humbucker it will probably be a Dimarzio Air Norton S, although I'm open to other suggestions.

I appreciate any help. Thanks!
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
2,967 IQ
#2
how's the strat routed? if it's routed for a full-sized humbucker in the neck, and that's the tone you want, it might make more sense to go for that. I don't have tons of experience with single coil-sized humbuckers, but the ones I've tried, I haven't been too fussed on (assuming I was after a humbucker-type tone).

EDIT: ah just saw your sig. I think the MIMs are HSS-routed, so probably ignore what I just said.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

ikey_
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2009
4,739 IQ
#3
whatever do you, i would highly recommend a noiseless pup, like a noiseless single.

generally that means stacked, but in some cases lace sensors are true singles, but have a unique design.

i just stumbled onto these guys. about the same retail price as SD or dimarzio (about 70-100 a pup). this is a stacked single. they also have rails.

http://www.teslapickups.com/?products=plasma-sts
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
Last edited by ikey_ at Oct 12, 2013,
Maidenheadsteve
I do the guitar good
Join date: Nov 2011
2,177 IQ
#4
I'd go hot rails in the neck if it's routed for single coil, it's great for legato. If it can take a full size humbucker, then the liquifire is an easy pick.
Charvel So-Cal (SH6TB/N). Joyo pxl pro.
Loop1=Crybaby from hell, Seymour Duncan 805 or Green Rhino, EQD Hoof. Loop 1 into ISP decimator II.
Loop 2 (FX loop)-Line6 M9. Loop 2 into mxr 10band. All into a Peavey Triple XXX 212, Ibanez IL15.
ibanez1997
UG's sociopath
Join date: Jun 2011
759 IQ
#5
Thanks for the advice!

As far as I know, it's routed for HSS. I'd take the pickguard off and check, but I don't have a spare set of strings to put back on when I'm done.

The Lace Sensor Blue looks very tempting. The cleans are gorgeous, but I can't seem to find any high-gain clips. If you know where I could find a few, I'll check them out.

The Hot Rails look interesting too, but I'm not sure how they stack up to the Air Norton S. From the one good demo I found on YouTube, it seems that they have a little more bite and are not quite as smooth. If I'm wrong, please correct me!

Thanks
Maidenheadsteve
I do the guitar good
Join date: Nov 2011
2,177 IQ
#6
Was the video a "hot rails vs air Norton s"? As in, same type of guitar and same amp, just different pickups? Because that has a factor. But in the grand scheme of things, the HR's and ANS should have limited differences. Both are warm, even dark at some points with big midranges. If I had to guess a difference, the ANS might have a bit more low end.

From my own experience the hot rails aren't bite-y by any standards. You actually have to make sure the bridge pickup is warm too, otherwise the high end won't cut through. But they are very smooth. Like I said, perfect for rapid legato runs or trilling in general.
Charvel So-Cal (SH6TB/N). Joyo pxl pro.
Loop1=Crybaby from hell, Seymour Duncan 805 or Green Rhino, EQD Hoof. Loop 1 into ISP decimator II.
Loop 2 (FX loop)-Line6 M9. Loop 2 into mxr 10band. All into a Peavey Triple XXX 212, Ibanez IL15.
Last edited by Maidenheadsteve at Oct 12, 2013,
ibanez1997
UG's sociopath
Join date: Jun 2011
759 IQ
#7
No, it wasn't a direct comparison, I couldn't find one anywhere. It was probably just a difference in amps. I'll see what I can find on the difference between the two. Just out of curiosity, do you currently use a Hot Rails neck, and if so, what guitar is it in?
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
2,967 IQ
#8
i really don't like the hot rails
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
2,967 IQ
#10
they sound like ass

EDIT: ok more serious answer

I just think they kinda fall between two stools. they don't really sound like a single coil and they don't really sound like a humbucker. when wired as a humbucker it's way too warm (IMO) and just doesn't really sound "right", for want of a better word. It's like duncan realised a single-coil sized pickup is inherently a lot less warm than a humbucker (which is true), but then overcompensated way too much. it's also way too hot (this is more personal preference, but still).

To be fair, the split tone is pretty good. But considering the series (humbucker) tone, to me anyway, is almost unusable, i'd rather just have a single coil.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

Last edited by Dave_Mc at Oct 12, 2013,
ibanez1997
UG's sociopath
Join date: Jun 2011
759 IQ
#11


I think I get what you mean, but I'm hoping to try it out before I make a call. They sound fairly good to me, but that's going from the one well-recorded clip I've heard so

Do you have any experience with the Air Norton S, or know any other pickups that might work for what I'm after?
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
2,967 IQ
#12
nah i've never tried the air norton s, unfortunately. or really any of the other name brand rail-type pickups. I just know I'm not fussed on the hot rails
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

ikey_
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2009
4,739 IQ
#13
i didnt like the hot rails bridge pup in a strat. i found it sterile, and harsh IMO. true dave, the hot rails brudge was also CRAZY high output compared to the stock strat singles. like so much, the birdge pup basically acted as a boost pedal.
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
Last edited by ikey_ at Oct 12, 2013,
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
2,967 IQ
#14
^ yeah the neck hotrails is a fair bit less hot than the bridge, and even the neck version is pretty hot.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?