#1
Hey all,

I was wondering if a HSS guitar is a good choice when looking for a widely usable guitar? I mean, the bridge humbucker for the distortion, singles for nice clean tones and some softer playing I suppose?

I know a lot of people are looking for the ultimate hybrid guitar but I just want to know if a HSS could be a step in the right direction.
I'm trying to piece together my next guitar choice, part by part.
#2
absolutely. if ur building this urself and want to take it further, id suggest HSH with coil splits on the buckers.
Mesa F-30 - 1x12 V30
PRS SE Custom 24 (GFS Crunchy PATs)
PRS SE Singlecut (Evo/Air Norton)
1989 Starforce (GFS PowerRails)
Morley Tremonti Power Wah, TS7 (808-Mod), Pitchblack, Boss DD-3, DE FnC
#3
I got a Fender Mexican HSS Strat... It's great for all styles of music. It's a real beauty and very versatile guitar, but I guess with any guitar you need to pair it up with a good versatile amp (with good pedals).

But if you already got a guitar with a tone similar to the humbucker bridge pickup in the HSS strat (with the same quality of course), than you're better off buying a SSS imo.

I hope this was helpful to you, good luck on picking your guitar! Just promise you try different guitars out before buying one
#4
Hey thanks for the quick replies

Sadly I'm not building it myself, no tools... hell not even a shed atm
Oh and I thought about HSH, but coil splits hadn't come to mind... those basically turn humbuckers in singles right?

And I think you're right guus but I've got a plan regarding my amp, I just really want a nice playing guitar right now, even though I play through a spider. (flameshield and such )
And I currently have a strat copy SSS but I'm quite sure that once I get a better guitar I won't play it much anymore, cause it's just not that good. So my new guitar needs to be as versatile as possible

Yes I shall try and play as many different guitars before laying down the cash. Too bad prices are quite high around here though, so I might end up doing the actual buying from the internet... which kind of defeats the point of trying out all those guitars. :/
#5
I don't think HSS strats are as great as everyone says depending on the use. It doesn't make a guitar more versatile since most humbuckers sound good clean and distorted. HSS guitars are good if you want the tone of a humbucker, not the output. Using a high output humbucker with regular single coils creates an imbalance and switching pickups isn't as usable since the amp settings for your humbucker probably won't sound good for your single coils and vice versa. A lot of HSS setups limit the tonal palate instead of widening it since you'll have one setting that's good for distortion and like 3 that are good for clean. I personally think HSH is more versatile because you get 2 humbucker settings and 3 single coil settings. It's not that efficient to switch between them unless you have some sort of volume control but switching between the humbuckers sounds good and switching between the single coils sound good.
#6
Ah, alright thanks for the input man UG teaches me something new every day xD

Hm. So seeing as I have a SSS now, I could just go for twin humbuckers. That might ensure my future usage of my first guitar.. don't know if I necessarily want that :P

Hm I'm still kind of lost. So many options. And I really like les paul shapes, they usually have twin humbuckers, but then they also have quite a fat neck which I don't really like.. damnit.
#7
jelifish19 has some good points, but the changes arent nearly as extreme as he says. i have a HSH setup in my strat, with hot rails vs stock single coils. big difference in output, but only technically. u have to remember neck pickups always have lower output anyway because they get more string vibration, and thus more volume. plus u can raise the singles higher than the humbucker.

if ur looking at a stock HSS strat, chances are its a fairly low output humbucker anyway and the volume difference wont be huge.

as for changing ur amps tone going from humbuckers to singles, maybe, but maybe not. but even if u have to...its a turn of a knob....

HSH with splits is def an amazing setup, but HSS is fine also. although i would kinda recommend keeping ur old guitar as SSS and getting a HH or HSH guitar next. ur versatility will be greater, but ull have to use 2 guitars (1 of which u dont like). the decision is up to....which sounds are more important? do u REALLY wana ditch ur old guitar and sacrifice that little extra versatility?
Mesa F-30 - 1x12 V30
PRS SE Custom 24 (GFS Crunchy PATs)
PRS SE Singlecut (Evo/Air Norton)
1989 Starforce (GFS PowerRails)
Morley Tremonti Power Wah, TS7 (808-Mod), Pitchblack, Boss DD-3, DE FnC
#8
Well I wouldn't get rid of my old guitar, so it'll still be in arm's reach... but yeah aside from me being able to practice on it I don't really like it that much, aside from the fret access which is nice. But that doesn't say a whole lot about build quality.

Hm HSH with splits sounds really interesting but I don't think a lot of mid-range guitars have such elaborate electronics... my budget will be a lot higher then for my current guitar but still probably below €500,-

Man why can't I just be a fanboy and totally love one brand, that would be so much easier

Edit: I don't know a lot about Hagstrom besides hearing they make fine semi-hollows, but this beauty surely tickles my fancy and has a nice price tag to boot:
Hagstrom XL5 IS Any thoughts? I'm not too sure about the tremolo, but I really like the look and it's a HSH. I just wonder what those humbuckers can deliver..
Last edited by MrKoks at Sep 28, 2009,
#9
if u want a humbucking guitar mainly for distortion, dont get a semi hollow. first off, the pickups will be way too low output. plus, ull probably get a decent amount of feedback from the guitar.

the only companies i can think of off the top of my head for HSH setup would be mexican fenders and ibanez. then if u have some extra cash, take it to a shop and have them wire up the splits.
Mesa F-30 - 1x12 V30
PRS SE Custom 24 (GFS Crunchy PATs)
PRS SE Singlecut (Evo/Air Norton)
1989 Starforce (GFS PowerRails)
Morley Tremonti Power Wah, TS7 (808-Mod), Pitchblack, Boss DD-3, DE FnC
#10
Hm I thought that particular Hagstrom wasn't a semi-hollow though...

Yea a HSH strat was the first thing that came to my mind but I already have a strat copy and I got that mainly because of financial limitations, not because I really like strats (well at least not 'traditional' ones)... I might have to look into ibanez. I could still just give up a little versatility and go for twin humbuckers, though. I could get a luthier to wire up splits on a HH and still be pretty versatile, right? Plus it'd be easier to find a nice, affordable HH guitar as compared to HSH, I think?
#11
Quote by MrKoks
Hm I thought that particular Hagstrom wasn't a semi-hollow though...

Yea a HSH strat was the first thing that came to my mind but I already have a strat copy and I got that mainly because of financial limitations, not because I really like strats (well at least not 'traditional' ones)... I might have to look into ibanez. I could still just give up a little versatility and go for twin humbuckers, though. I could get a luthier to wire up splits on a HH and still be pretty versatile, right? Plus it'd be easier to find a nice, affordable HH guitar as compared to HSH, I think?


u could do that, but that middle single when used with a bridge or neck single is a great tone. but if u still use ur other guitar, then yes, thats a good option. dont go to the luthier right away though. u might find if u play both guitars, u might not need the single tone on ur new guitar.
Mesa F-30 - 1x12 V30
PRS SE Custom 24 (GFS Crunchy PATs)
PRS SE Singlecut (Evo/Air Norton)
1989 Starforce (GFS PowerRails)
Morley Tremonti Power Wah, TS7 (808-Mod), Pitchblack, Boss DD-3, DE FnC
#12
Alright man thanks for the friendly advice, it's going to be either HSH or HH.

Now to think of what bodytype... this is going to be a problem as well because all the shapes I think look great (basically les paul with a cutaway/double cutaway) I find to sit very awkwardly on my leg somehow..

And then there's the fat neck thing. :/

By the way, if I were to get like a schecter omen with two humbuckers or something like that (quite metal guitars, so to speak), would they still be able to produce a nice clean/bluesy tone?
Last edited by MrKoks at Sep 28, 2009,
#13
A H H setup is much more is more versatile than people give it credit for, but the HSS is one of the best setups out there in terms of variety.
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#14
schecters are great guitars for the price. they are only "metal" cause of how most look and some come with EMGs. as long as u get one with passives, ull be good to go.
Mesa F-30 - 1x12 V30
PRS SE Custom 24 (GFS Crunchy PATs)
PRS SE Singlecut (Evo/Air Norton)
1989 Starforce (GFS PowerRails)
Morley Tremonti Power Wah, TS7 (808-Mod), Pitchblack, Boss DD-3, DE FnC
#15
You say you like Les Paul double cut shape... Thought about an SG? Much lighter, even easier on the leg (Though I can't imagine how any LP/LPDC shaped guitar could cause you issues) and you can get one with pretty much any kind of pick ups, P-90s, Humbuckers, or Single coils (In that order, I'd recommend an SG Classic, an SG Standard (Or '61 RI if you got 1300 bucks), or an SG-3 limited edition (It's basically a strat in an SG body)
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---------
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Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
#16
Personally I hate HSS or HSH guitars. The middle pickup gets in the way and my pick always hits it. I owned an HSS guitar once and cranked the middle single coil all the way down even with the body.

All my guitars are HxH setups with 5 way switches.
#17
Alrighty then thanks for the input guys!

Phantom, yea I've thought about an SG (I really like the ones with the worn wood/vintage wood finish) but how're their necks? As fat as a les paul or less? SG's overall are more affordable then LP's as well, at least where I shop. And I don't know why LP's bother me, the best I can think of is that they don't really have like a 'niche' to put your leg in so to speak, because of the round form.

Hm Rick I hadn't thought about it that way yet... I guess those are the little things you find out when you actually try the guitars eh

Hm and yea the looks of most Schecters might have mislead me a bit.. I've been looking at the diamond omen, one of their less expensive models, and I must say I quite like it. But then, a worn-brown SG is also very nice...

I do think I've decided about the pickups, though. It's going to be HH, for the sake of practicality. And I now know that twin buckers can just as well have a nice clean tone so all my needs'll be met.

Edit: Wow just saw the Cort M600. That's a lovely guitar, and it goes for €400,- .. I'd have to find one to try out though... but it does sort of have the roundness of a LP so not sure if that'll be comfortable.
Last edited by MrKoks at Sep 29, 2009,