#1
Hi all!

I use a Fender USA standard strat 2008 and I've the tone gets really weak and tinny the higher on the fretboard you play. Switching to the bridge pickup doesn't help, after the 12th fret the tone has no sustain and no warmth. Is there something wrong with the set up of my guitar that can be rectified?

Cheers!
Fender USA Standard Stratocaster
PRS SE Custom
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Tonerider British Distortion
Tonerider American Overdrive
Boss DD7
Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker
Treble Booster.
#2
You could try heavier strings. The higher up the neck you go; the less the strings vibrate. That affects the strength of your tone.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#3
But I've never had this problem when I've used humbuckers and the same gauge strings?
Fender USA Standard Stratocaster
PRS SE Custom
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Tonerider British Distortion
Tonerider American Overdrive
Boss DD7
Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker
Treble Booster.
#4
I think standard single coils are weaker than most humbuckers and pick up/amplify less of the vibrations? I really don't know much about pickups to be honest, but I do believe they have a lot less output.
#5
I thought it might be a pickup output issue But the output is fine on the lower frets, it's full, rich etc etc. If the output was low overall then it would be an obvious pickup issue.
Fender USA Standard Stratocaster
PRS SE Custom
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Tonerider British Distortion
Tonerider American Overdrive
Boss DD7
Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker
Treble Booster.
#6
Quote by bicko19
But I've never had this problem when I've used humbuckers and the same gauge strings?


That is probably the reason - your ears are really accustomed to the sound and feel of humbuckers so the single coils seem a bit wierd. Since they probably have a lower output than the humbuckers on your PRS, you could set the gain on the amp a bit higher to compensate. Thicker strings and a proper setup could also help.
#7
It's the pickups

You won't notice the lack of output on a single coil on the lower frets because the pickups are raised closer to the strings to compensate. When the string is shortened the amplitude of the vibration is lowered, resulting in a lower volume, which the humbucker has less trouble picking up.

You can fix this by using more compression to even out the volume, although the tone will still sound twangy on the high frets. This is just what strats sound like, try disguising it with heavier strings.
#8
There are less audible overtones when you fret that high, maybe humbuckers are better at picking them up which would make the sound fuller.

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#9
Could also be a few other things, the string height and the pickups height. Lower action can choke the sustain a bit, and the magnetic pull from the pickups can affect the string oscillation.
#10
Well I'm going to shield the strat to eleminate the 60 cycle hum, after that's done I'll take it into my local shop and get it serviced and set up again! If that doesn't help, I'll look into a higher output bridge pickup or heavier strings!
Fender USA Standard Stratocaster
PRS SE Custom
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Tonerider British Distortion
Tonerider American Overdrive
Boss DD7
Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker
Treble Booster.
#11
^Shielding won't get rid of 60 cycle hum, it'll just reduce any interference/external noise you're getting. If you want to get rid of 60 cycle hum, look into the Suhr Silent Backplate. It isn't cheap (~$250-300) but it will get rid of the hum.
Another option would be a set of Kinman noiseless pickups. They're very good pickups, made in Australia too!

Single coils generally like bigger strings, thin strings on a Strat will sound a bit weak.
#12
i've only done a little bit of research on pickups but it is clear that single coils will have lower output. humbuckers are two single coils in series and therefore produce a higher output than just one coil. now at least for tube amps, a lower output signal from the guitar means less compression/distortion from the first gain stage. as far as the difference b/t higher and lower frequencies...that can be attributed to many things. the distance b/t the pickups and the strings and the amplitude of the vibrations are two that have already been mentioned.

another factor is the fact that circuits will behave differently at different frequencies. that is just the dynamic that capacitors and resistors have when they are connected together. that is how tone shaping circuits are made. the pickups themselves may not be voiced the way you like. but in general the issue is that single coils and humbuckers are different beasts and will thus behave differently. the best solution is the fiddle with the amp controls and try to find that sweet spot for that guitar. increasing the gain is definitely a good place to start. if your amp has a presence knob then use it. higher gauge strings are a good option if you don't mind higher tension.
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