#1
I have a satin blue mexican Strat, alder body (I think) with rosewood fretboard, and with 3 single coil pickups (all of which are stock) and would like to change the bridge pickup out for a humbucker... basically convert it from an SSS layout to an HSS. I have checked under the pickguard and it is already carved out to accept a full size humbucker.
I play mostly hard rock and some metalcore (Killswitch Engage, for example) but would like the something that will keep the guitar relatively versatile and will sound decent when playing clean.

I think I have it narrowed down to either a Seymour Duncan SH-5 (custom) or SH-11 (custom custom). Which of these two would be better for the Strat that I have? It's my understanding that the Strat is a "bright" guitar. The SD website says the SH-11 is good for bright guitars, but has a "spongier" bottom end. They say the SH-5 is good for drop tunings, which I use a lot, but is recommended for "warmer" guitars. The SH-5 sounds like the better choice for me but how will it sound in a "bright" guitar like the Strat if they recommend it for a "warmer" guitar?

People have suggested the SHR-1 Hot Rails to me but I've heard some say it's muddy when you play clean through it and I would prefer to just have a normal full size humbucker instead of a single coil sized humbucker. I don't mind buying a new pickguard. I also wouldn't mind putting a switch in to be able to split the humbucker if that will help any.

Advice/suggestions? Any help is appreciated.


Links:
http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/electric/humbucker/progressive/sh5_duncan_cust/
http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/electric/humbucker/progressive/sh11_custom_cus/
#2
well the Duncan Custom has this high end grind that can get harsh and brittle, which is why they suggest it in darker and warmer sounding guitars. Otherwise it might get harsh and ice-picky.

The Custom Custom would be better suited for your guitar, but the magnet makes a huge difference, an A2 magnet is soft sounding, so the high end will be noticeably softer, but the low end can become indistinct and muddy very easily as, like Seymour Duncan says, it's soft and squishy feeling. It can really be an issue in the neck pickup, but it might be ok for you if you're just putting it in the bridge.

You MAY want to consider the Custom 5, which I believe is the same pickup as the Custom and Custom Custom, only with an A5 magnet, which is going to be warmer than the ceramic, less compressed than ceramic, but at the same time, more defined, especially in the highs and lows than an A2 which is in the Custom custom.
#3
^ that's what i was going to say, though i should add that i've only tried the ceramic and alnico II versions. But assuming switching to alnico V will do what I suspect it will, it might be the best option.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#5
Ok, the SH-14 Custom 5 with the Alnico V magnet seems like it might be a good compromise between the SH-5 and SH-11.

Another one that caught my attention was the SH-6 Distortion. Any thoughts on that one? The description sounds like what I'm trying to achieve, although it does use a ceramic magnet. Resonant peak is right around the same as the SH-14 and SH-11.. lower than the SH-5 so maybe it wouldn't be so harsh and brittle sounding. DC resistance a little higher than all the others.

http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/electric/humbucker/progressive/sh6_duncan_dist/
Last edited by gdw6813 at Aug 4, 2009,
#6
i'd have thought the DD would most likely be really trebly and thin in your alder strat. i tried one in a washburn alder superstrat (granted, though a krank, which probably helped it to sound more metallic), and i didn't much like it.

depends on what tone you're after, of course. But if you're scared your strat will sound too bright, i'd look elsewhere...
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#7
Ok. I think I'm going to go ahead and eliminate the SH-5 and SH-6 as they'll probably be too trebly for my guitar and my tastes.

Last one (hopefully) I want to ask about... SH-4 JB. Another Alnico V humbucker.. little bit higher DC resistance than the SH-14, and different bass/mid/treble specs. This one seems to be pretty popular in general but how would it sound in a Strat and how would it compared to the SH-14 and SH-11, clean and distorted?

Link to SH-4...

http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/electric/humbucker/progressive/sh4_jb_model/
#8
it'll probably sound pretty hair metally, tha's probably the best way to describe it (though i guess you could say the same for the DD). the jb has got quite a weird voicing, and it's really hot. I'm not a big fan, as i said i haven't tried the custom 5, but i preferred the custom and custom custom to the JB. one advantage with the JB, though, is that loads of guitars are loaded with it, so with any luck you can try it first. an alder jackson superstrat (dinky, probably?) would probably give you some idea of how it'll likely sound- though i should add that I've tried the JB numerous times, and in every guitar (even ones with very similar specs) it's sounded different (sometimes slightly, sometimes very different!), so it's not going to be foolproof.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#9
Ok, I think I'm going to go with the SH-14 Custom 5. Sounds like it will be a good choice.

If possible, I would also like to wire the humbucker such that it can be switched to run as a single coil (this is called coil splitting, right?). Would it be possible to get an S-1 switch that comes on American Strats w/ humbuckers and wire that to split the humbucker? I can't seem to find anywhere that sells the S-1 switch by itself. Am I stuck using a toggle or slide switch?

I also found a black/white/black HSS pickguard at Stewmac so I can keep the look I have now but have a pickguard that will accept a humbucker.
#10
a push-push or push-pull volume or tone knob is the usual way of accessing coil splits, unless you just don't like that method. It means you don't have to add switches to your guitar...
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#11
Ok. I actually found a vendor on eBay that sells new S-1 pots for Strat...

http://cgi.ebay.com/Fender-Strat-S-1-Switch-Pot-Potentiometer-250k-NEW_W0QQitemZ400066834120QQcmdZViewItemQQptZGuitar_Accessories?hash=item5d25d76ec8&_trksid=p3286.m20.l1116

The S-1 knob they put on Strats is a push-push whereas it's a push-pull on Teles, right? Is 250K the right resistance? Does that price seem reasonable?
Last edited by gdw6813 at Aug 11, 2009,
#12
why do you want an S1 switch anyway? that might not be what you want... I'm not sure, but all you need is a push-push or push-pull pot, as far as i'm aware, anyway.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#16
They probably do. It's kinda of a weird thing with HSS Strats...because one value might make the humbucker muddy, the other might make the singles too bright. You can try it one way, see if you like it, if not, try it the other way.

There are also methods of modifying the taper to something like 300-350K, to get some middle ground, so the singles won't be too bright with a 500K pot...You can read about it in the tutorials at projectguitar.com.
#18
Alright, I actually found a place that sells (almost) everything I need...

http://www.darrenriley.com/fenderparts.htm

They have a 500K S-1 pot and the knob, and the SH-14 pickup too. No black HSS pickguard though.. prob. just get that from Stewmac. Looking at parts lists on Fender's website, it looks like they put 250K S-1 pots in the HSS and 500K S-1 pots in the HH, so I dunno. Whatever I guess.

Thanks for all the help guys.
Last edited by gdw6813 at Aug 12, 2009,
#19
Quote by gdw6813
Just trying to keep the guitar looking stock I guess. The part number matches up w/ Fender's website, I figure I'll give it a shot.


a push-pull will keep it looking stock too, surely? if anything, it'll look more stock than the s1 switch, which, although subtle, is noticeable to a trained eye, whereas a push-pull you're not going to notice unless it's in the "pull" position.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#20
Enh, I'd rather have a push button in the middle of the volume knob rather than pull the knob up. The S-1 pot is stock Fender, although you're right that it isn't stock for my specific guitar. Besides, it would be hard to pull a Strat knob up, they're not designed well for that.. (not knurled very well, and they taper in a little bit) so I'd have to get a different knob for a push/pull to work well.

Went ahead and ordered my stuff from darren riley.. he sent me an email saying I should get it Saturday, which is pretty sweet (except I probably won't have my pickguard from Stewmac by then ).. but overall it seemed like a pretty legit place for parts.
#21
that's possible about the push-pull not working well with the strat knob; you could always consider push-push, though. if you have your heart set on the s1 style of switch, though, by all means go for it, just make sure it'll let you switch what you want to switch.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#22
Ok, I think this is the right wiring diagram but I'm not 100% sure. Does this seem right for what I'm trying to accomplish?

http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/wiring-diagrams/schematics.php?schematic=1h_2s_1v_2t_5w_pp

The other choices is the same but instead of push-pull on the end it's "split" or "auto-split". What does that mean?


Other diagrams... (I'm using the "Strat" drop-down box)

http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/wiring-diagrams/
#23
i think the first one you posted is right, but wiring isn't exactly my strong point.

auto-split usually means that, on an HSS guitar, on positions 4, where the bridge pickup is combined with the middle, the bridge humbucker is "split" to just one coil being active (instead of combining the full humbucker with the middle single coil) to make the sound more stratty, as it'd be on a strat with 3 single coils. you can do a similar thing with HSH, ibanez do it, for example. If you're going to use a push-pull, though, there's not much point, as with the push pull you'll have the option of splitting the bridge pickup, or not, in combo with the middle pickup, and you might as well have the option, kind of thing.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#24
Ok.

Now on that diagram, where it shows the 6 holes on the push/pull pot, with the red and white wires going into it... the S-1 isn't quite the same. What's the right way to wire the red and white wires to the S-1 pot? Here's what the bottom of the S-1 pot looks like. Sorry for the blurry pic.
Attachments:
s1_pot.JPG
#25
oh jeez, you're way out of my comfort zone now.

the G B&C forum might be better for wiring questions
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#27
if I was you I would preserve the beauty of your guitar and get a singlecoil sized humbucker.....Dimarzio makes a bunch of them...I love the HS-3...and don't worry its not gonna make you sound like Yngwie (not that that would be a bad thing lol) but its a solid humbucking pickup in sc size....if u still wanna go with a full sized humbucker I've always liked the Dimarzio Fred and Super Distortion....not a big fan or Duncans at all I've tried a few back in the day before I found dimarzios to b my fav and they all sounded like they added mid range....but that could just be me....but like u were saying that u heard a strat was a "bright" sounding guitar that has a lot to do with the bridge pickup being angled towards the bridge....but I can get huge low end heavy sounds out of mine with the HS-3 ....a lot of it is your amp EQ and obviously effects pedals if u use them....for instance if u have a DS-1 as your distortion box your gonna have to set the tone lower than with other pedals cause the tone sweep is "brighter" I don't know if that makes sence...sorry I got off subject but just try a few different pedals out and read reviews at harmoney central or other places....later
Fender 70s Ri Strats w/various Dimarzios
Modded 1982 Marshall JCM800 2203

Boss DS-1,Dunlop Crybaby,MXR Phase 90,Ibanez AD9,Boss CH-1

Check out randy dobsons underground ,tell me what you think