#1
Hey i have a little squire strat and plan to pimp out my squire :p
So far i plan to get a SD SSl-1 pup for my neck pickup because i want the john frusciante tone and if i did my research he uses SSl-1 in his bridge

I need recommendations for my middle pickup but i dont intend on changing it because i almost never use it and if theres something im missing out on please let me know.

So far for my bridge pick up i want a pup for metal and i was eyeballing the SD Hotrails but those are kinda pricey.Im wondering if the EMG s4 passive rail pups are any good.Im trying to find a single coil humbucker since i don't want to have to change my pick guard.

I plan on doing the installation of myself following some SD diagrams that are 1 volume 2 tone and 5 way switch i found on the website.

Can ya please recommend some pickups i should get and any other background information that would help me. thanks
#3
Neck pickups and bridge pickups are entirely different. Frusciante having one in the bridge of his guitar doesn't have any relevance to the neck position of your guitar. As far as the rail pickups go, look into GFS (America), Iron Gear (UK) or G&B (both countries plus everywhere else). Really, most rail style pickups end up sounding mostly the same, especially if you'll be using them with a lot of distortion. Also bear in mind that single coil-sized humbuckers don't give you the full tone of a humbucker, they sound more like the pickups found in Firebirds or the early Les Paul Deluxe guitars. They can be okay for metal but only if you've got a suitable amp, which brings me to the main point.

Your amp dictates your tone far more than your pickups do. Pickup changes are really for tweaking your tone, not for defining it. If you're not happy with your tone then it's almost certainly your amp that needs changing. Even if your amp is fine, you still should give us more infomation about the sort of tone you're after. It's hard to recommend pickups when youv'e not talked about your amp, your pedals (if you use any), your exact playing style, budget, country you're in, etc.
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#4
Quote by MrFlibble
Neck pickups and bridge pickups are entirely different. Frusciante having one in the bridge of his guitar doesn't have any relevance to the neck position of your guitar. As far as the rail pickups go, look into GFS (America), Iron Gear (UK) or G&B (both countries plus everywhere else). Really, most rail style pickups end up sounding mostly the same, especially if you'll be using them with a lot of distortion. Also bear in mind that single coil-sized humbuckers don't give you the full tone of a humbucker, they sound more like the pickups found in Firebirds or the early Les Paul Deluxe guitars. They can be okay for metal but only if you've got a suitable amp, which brings me to the main point.

Your amp dictates your tone far more than your pickups do. Pickup changes are really for tweaking your tone, not for defining it. If you're not happy with your tone then it's almost certainly your amp that needs changing. Even if your amp is fine, you still should give us more infomation about the sort of tone you're after. It's hard to recommend pickups when youv'e not talked about your amp, your pedals (if you use any), your exact playing style, budget, country you're in, etc.


Well as far as my playing style for metal i like to cover metallica stuff so of course i'd need a different pup then my standard squire pup.So about the John Frusciante stone i thought i read somewhere that he uses SSl-1 pups in the neck of his guitar but i'll take your word on it.What pickup would you recommend for getting his tone?The current amp i use right now is a peavey vypyr 15 and as for effects i have a pod x3.As far as budget i'd want to spend no more than $150 USD and im also in America.
#5
Okay, if he uses it in the neck then go for it (I actually always thought he stuck to original vintage guitars and didn't use branded pickups, but whatever). Before you said he used it in the bridge.

Your amp is decent enough, but neither it nor the POD benefits from high output pickups. If you bought a Hot Rails (or any similar pickup), all of that output would just be going to waste. In fact it will most likely make your tone quite muddy. I would recommend you look into getting a Cool Rails instead, or one of the many cheaper copies; as I said before, GFS should do some and G&B do - you'll have to search for 'em though as no regular store will stock them - but ideally though you should save up and buy the proper Seymour Duncan versions. You should be able to get the SSL-1 and a Cool Rails for about $100 combined. If you upgrade your amp any time soon [ithen the Hot Rails would be a better choice.

Don't worry about your middle pickup, no point spending money replacing something you don't use anyway.

Seems like you've got it pretty spot-on already. Only thing si'll add is you might want to consider the DiMarzio 'rail' style pickups as well, especially the Tone Zone S. It's pretty much a cross between the SD Cool Rails and Hot Rails. It will give you a little more power than the Cool Rails without getting quite as muddy as the Hot Rails. DiMarzio pcikups are also sometimes a bit cheaper than SD pickups, depends where you shop. Something to think about.
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#6
Okay, if he uses it in the neck then go for it (I actually always thought he stuck to original vintage guitars and didn't use branded pickups, but whatever). Before you said he used it in the bridge.

Your amp is decent enough, but neither it nor the POD benefits from high output pickups. If you bought a Hot Rails (or any similar pickup), all of that output would just be going to waste. In fact it will most likely make your tone quite muddy. I would recommend you look into getting a Cool Rails instead, or one of the many cheaper copies; as I said before, GFS should do some and G&B do - you'll have to search for 'em though as no regular store will stock them - but ideally though you should save up and buy the proper Seymour Duncan versions. You should be able to get the SSL-1 and a Cool Rails for about $100 combined. If you upgrade your amp any time soon [ithen the Hot Rails would be a better choice.

Don't worry about your middle pickup, no point spending money replacing something you don't use anyway.

Seems like you've got it pretty spot-on already. Only thing si'll add is you might want to consider the DiMarzio 'rail' style pickups as well, especially the Tone Zone S. It's pretty much a cross between the SD Cool Rails and Hot Rails. It will give you a little more power than the Cool Rails without getting quite as muddy as the Hot Rails. DiMarzio pcikups are also sometimes a bit cheaper than SD pickups, depends where you shop. Something to think about.

sweet deal bro,but yeah about the cool rails are you saying that i should put those as my bridge pickup?I thought that doesn't sound good for metal according to the description.Also you didn't comment about those EMG s4's.There also rails pickups also.Do you know any information about them?When i youtube them to try to hear their tone i can only find one video.
#7
Yes, stick the Cool Rails in the bridge. Don't pay attention to what manufacturer descriptions say; Seymour Duncan also claim that the Vintage Rails sounds like a traditional Strat pickup, but it doesn't at all. The Cool Rails is simply a Hot Rails with slightly lower output, so amps like your Vyper and effect processors like your POD can deal with it better. You only need high output pickups when you're using a naturally high-gain, all-valve amp and you don't want to use boost pedals. With your set up, high output will only produce a muddy tone. The Cool Rails gives you the closest sound to a full humbucker in a single coil size while not being muddy when going through effect processors and so on. Or again, DiMarzio make the Tone Zone S which is halfway between the Cool Rials and Hot Rails, so you might want to give that a go too.

As far as the S4 goes... don't buy it unless you can get it really cheap and have no other options. EMG make great active pickups but their passive pickups are overpriced and aren't terribly good. Also, the S4 in particular is made to sound bright and is closer to the SD Vintage Rails, it won't do metal well at all.
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#8
Quote by MrFlibble
Yes, stick the Cool Rails in the bridge. Don't pay attention to what manufacturer descriptions say; Seymour Duncan also claim that the Vintage Rails sounds like a traditional Strat pickup, but it doesn't at all. The Cool Rails is simply a Hot Rails with slightly lower output, so amps like your Vyper and effect processors like your POD can deal with it better. You only need high output pickups when you're using a naturally high-gain, all-valve amp and you don't want to use boost pedals. With your set up, high output will only produce a muddy tone. The Cool Rails gives you the closest sound to a full humbucker in a single coil size while not being muddy when going through effect processors and so on. Or again, DiMarzio make the Tone Zone S which is halfway between the Cool Rials and Hot Rails, so you might want to give that a go too.

As far as the S4 goes... don't buy it unless you can get it really cheap and have no other options. EMG make great active pickups but their passive pickups are overpriced and aren't terribly good. Also, the S4 in particular is made to sound bright and is closer to the SD Vintage Rails, it won't do metal well at all.


I can get the S4's for $55 USD and i check out the Tone Zone s and i could only find it in a full size humbucker and im not willing to change my pickguard cuz thats alot more work for a first time project.Oh and for GFS are they just a company that makes copies of picksup? I've never heard of them.If so are these the copies of the cool rails?
http://www.guitarfetish.com/Lil-Killer-Black-Humbucker-Rail-Pickup-for-Strats-Three-Versions-Available_p_461.html

If i got those what winding would i want for my bridge and can i just follow a SD diagram for 3 single coils 1 volume 2 tone and a 5 way switch?Can you provide a link to the proper diagram because there are many of them and i dont want to screw up my wiring :p
#9
Quote by thatguy512
I can get the S4's for $55 USD
Not worth it.

and i check out the Tone Zone s and i could only find it in a full size humbucker
That's the Tone Zone. The Tone Zone S only comes in single coil size (hence the added 'S'). Try having another search, somewhere will have them.

Oh and for GFS are they just a company that makes copies of picksup? I've never heard of them.If so are these the copies of the cool rails?
http://www.guitarfetish.com/Lil-Killer-Black-Humbucker-Rail-Pickup-for-Strats-Three-Versions-Available_p_461.html

If i got those what winding would i want for my bridge and can i just follow a SD diagram for 3 single coils 1 volume 2 tone and a 5 way switch?Can you provide a link to the proper diagram because there are many of them and i dont want to screw up my wiring :p
Those are the ones, yes. And you'd want the 10k winding - the 15k is more like a Hot Rails, the 6k is more like a Vintage Rails and the 10k is a copy of the Cool Rails.

All (at least, almost all) single-sized humbuckers come with four-conductor wiring while true single coils usually only come with two wires. Also, every company uses different coloured wires for different things - for example, with Seymopur Duncan pickups the black wire is the "hot" output while on Gibson pickups the hot output is the red wire. I believe GFS pickups come with a basic diagram to explain how they should be wired, but if you get in trouble the Seymour Duncan wbesite has an explanation how the colours that different companies use "convert" to each other.
The actual diagram you need to follow for a humbucker in the bridge and two single coils with one volume, two tone controls and a 5-way switch is HERE. Bear in mind that diagram uses the Seymour Duncan colours. If you end up with a pickup from another company then you may have to switch some of the colours around. Again, the SD website has a page which explains this fully for each major company.
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#10
Quote by MrFlibble
Not worth it.

That's the Tone Zone. The Tone Zone S only comes in single coil size (hence the added 'S'). Try having another search, somewhere will have them.

Those are the ones, yes. And you'd want the 10k winding - the 15k is more like a Hot Rails, the 6k is more like a Vintage Rails and the 10k is a copy of the Cool Rails.

All (at least, almost all) single-sized humbuckers come with four-conductor wiring while true single coils usually only come with two wires. Also, every company uses different coloured wires for different things - for example, with Seymopur Duncan pickups the black wire is the "hot" output while on Gibson pickups the hot output is the red wire. I believe GFS pickups come with a basic diagram to explain how they should be wired, but if you get in trouble the Seymour Duncan wbesite has an explanation how the colours that different companies use "convert" to each other.
The actual diagram you need to follow for a humbucker in the bridge and two single coils with one volume, two tone controls and a 5-way switch is HERE. Bear in mind that diagram uses the Seymour Duncan colours. If you end up with a pickup from another company then you may have to switch some of the colours around. Again, the SD website has a page which explains this fully for each major company.


Hmm i hope installing pups is as easy as it sounds.Seems like you just have to be able to solder and follow a diagram.Also this is a random question would most common humbuckers come with 2 wires?
#11
Quote by thatguy512
Hmm i hope installing pups is as easy as it sounds.Seems like you just have to be able to solder and follow a diagram.Also this is a random question would most common humbuckers come with 2 wires?


Most come with 4. They are called 4 conductor. As long as you aren't doing any fancy wiring, 2 of the wires do not get soldered to anything.
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#12
Quote by itchy guitar
Most come with 4. They are called 4 conductor. As long as you aren't doing any fancy wiring, 2 of the wires do not get soldered to anything.


alright i must have some odd pups then cuz i want going to try to install full size humbuckers but they have 2 wires and i gave up cuz the cavity is way to small to solder in
#13
Quote by MrFlibble
Not worth it.

That's the Tone Zone. The Tone Zone S only comes in single coil size (hence the added 'S'). Try having another search, somewhere will have them.

Those are the ones, yes. And you'd want the 10k winding - the 15k is more like a Hot Rails, the 6k is more like a Vintage Rails and the 10k is a copy of the Cool Rails.

All (at least, almost all) single-sized humbuckers come with four-conductor wiring while true single coils usually only come with two wires. Also, every company uses different coloured wires for different things - for example, with Seymopur Duncan pickups the black wire is the "hot" output while on Gibson pickups the hot output is the red wire. I believe GFS pickups come with a basic diagram to explain how they should be wired, but if you get in trouble the Seymour Duncan wbesite has an explanation how the colours that different companies use "convert" to each other.
The actual diagram you need to follow for a humbucker in the bridge and two single coils with one volume, two tone controls and a 5-way switch is HERE. Bear in mind that diagram uses the Seymour Duncan colours. If you end up with a pickup from another company then you may have to switch some of the colours around. Again, the SD website has a page which explains this fully for each major company.


i forgot to ask would i need to change pots?I honestly dont know anything about pots so dont laugh if thats a stupid question.
#14
You shouldn't need to change control pots. Single coil-sized humbuckers are made to work well with the 250k pots that most single coils use, which is what you guitar should already have.
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