#1
I put some new pickups in my strat. Custom Shop '57's. I like the Neck and Middle pups but the bridge just has too much treble. I can't get a good "strat" sound out of it. I'm looking for that good, fat bluesy sound. These pickups were a gift and are an upgrade from the stock pickups that were in there, but the bridge just isn't cutting it.

A few people have recomended I put a "Clapton Mid Boost Preamp" kit in it. Has anyone had experience with this? Is it going to give me a noticeable tone improvement? I can solder a bit, but not great. Is this something I can do without screwing up my guitar or, if I get this, should I have someone do it for me? I looks to me like I'll have to change all three pots, the switch and the plug. Anyhow, I just spent a bunch of money on a new amp so I'm really looking to get this thing sounding sweet! Any and all advice would be appreciated.
Thanks!
Guitars:
Gibson SG
'96 Fender Strat
Ibanez AS120

Amps:
100w All tube 2x12 custom

Effects:
Electro-Harmonix Q-Tron
EP Boost
Fulltone OCD
Ibanez TS9
RAH OD
Strymon Lex
Timeline
TC Trinity
#2
Quick side note - I was thinking of replacing the pots and switch anyway, I'm just not sure if I should go with stock stuff or something like this. I'm also concerned about having to change a battery occasionally. Seems like it could be a hassle.
Guitars:
Gibson SG
'96 Fender Strat
Ibanez AS120

Amps:
100w All tube 2x12 custom

Effects:
Electro-Harmonix Q-Tron
EP Boost
Fulltone OCD
Ibanez TS9
RAH OD
Strymon Lex
Timeline
TC Trinity
#3
Quote by flavaham
Quick side note - I was thinking of replacing the pots and switch anyway, I'm just not sure if I should go with stock stuff or something like this. I'm also concerned about having to change a battery occasionally. Seems like it could be a hassle.



well battery's only need to be changed in a set of 2 active humbuckers like yearly....i could imagin it would last a lot longer in your case....its not really a hassle
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The only real answer to the SG vs Les Paul debate is to get a Flying V and laugh at all the suckers who don't have one.


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if you embrace inaccurate intonation it can be quite arousing.


I <3 TWEED
#4
when i think of a good blues sound, i think of a strats middle and neck pickup. All strat bridges are trebley.
#5
Quote by nickdohle
when i think of a good blues sound, i think of a strats middle and neck pickup. All strat bridges are trebley.


Haha, fair enough. This one just seems to be a bit out of place in the series though. The middle and neck sound really good. When I switch to the bridge it's more like a Les Paul kind of gainy sound.

Anyhow, anyone have good luck with the Clapton Mid Boost or similar products?
Guitars:
Gibson SG
'96 Fender Strat
Ibanez AS120

Amps:
100w All tube 2x12 custom

Effects:
Electro-Harmonix Q-Tron
EP Boost
Fulltone OCD
Ibanez TS9
RAH OD
Strymon Lex
Timeline
TC Trinity
#6
Mid Boosts are for making single coils sound more like humbuckers. The Clapton one is stupidly powerful, it can be hard to get a clean sound with it. Even with it "off" it's still boosting the output by 12dB. With it halfway up it's more powerful than typical EMG active humbuckers. With it full-on it creates more output than any other pickup around, even actives and those 22k neodymium humbuckers. It also not only amplifies the pickups' regular sound but all the background hum and noise too. That's why Clapton uses noiseless single coils with it, which are actually humbuckers themselves.

Also the Clapton mid boost eats through batteries fairly quickly and it requires extra routing.

EMG do a much lighter mid boost called the SPC which fits in any Strat without routing but it's a pain to install with non-EMG passive pickups. Also all these systems use a battery obviously, so you'd need to either route and install a battery box or you'd have to put the battery under the pickguard and get used to taking the pickguard off every time it needs changing. Batteries for these boosts don't last as long as they do with active pickups. 200 hours is about average life span for mid boosts. Some are a little longer, a lot are a lot shorter. One version of the Clapton mid boost only lasts 90 hours.



Okay, all that stuff done, I think I know an easier solution for you.

A lot of Strats are wired so the neck and middle pickups have a tone control but the bridge pickup doesn't. Not only does this mean you don't have the option of rolling off the treble with the tone control but it also means the bridge pickup is only going through one pot instead of two. This is why it can have a brighter tone and more output than you expect, in comparison to the neck and middle pickups. So your first task is to double-check that your bridge pickup does have a tone control on it. When the bridge pickup does have a tone control on it it's usually shared with the middle pickup. So long as your bridge pickup is going through one of the tone controls then that's your first step towards balancing it out.

If the pickup does have a tone control on it and is still too bright then you may want to replace either the tone or volume control with a pot rated below 250k. Most pots are +/- 10% of their stated resistance, so one 250k pot could actually be 275k and another could be 225k. 50k is enough of a difference to audibly effect the tone of a pickup. So checking the resistance of the current pots and replacing them with ones closer to or below 250k may help round off your tone a little more.

The same thing goes for the capacitors on your tone controls. Lots of guitars just have ceramic disc caps and not all caps are going to read dead-on what they're specified to be. Switching to Sprague orange drop caps or paper-in-oil caps of various kinds can give you a constantly SLIGHTLY warmer tone than a ceramic disc cap. Most Strats come with .033uf or .047uf caps, you could switch to a 0.068uf to roll off even more treble although this would have little to no effect if you like your tone control left at 10.

You might also just want to mess with the pickup height. Moving pickups closer to the strings gives more output, a thicker tone and perhaps a little less sustain. Moving them further away gives a clearer tone, perhaps a little more sustain and lower output.