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#1
I have had the Standard American strat for about 2 years now and I absolutely love it!

However I have started playing more metal recently, so I was wondering whether I should change my pickups to emg's. Possibly the 81 and 85 ones, just wondering how I would change the pickups, and any idea about price of doing it?
#2
You can try out some singlecoil-shaped humbuckers - this might be easier than routing your strat for humbuckers ..
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#3
Buy a guitar with emg's in it, don't spoil the strat and have a bit of variety.
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#4
Don't plan on keeping the versatility of your strat if you install EMGs. If you think you'll still play other styles I would suggest buying another guitar suited for metal. If you like the strat look and feel the Jim Root Strat is actually a great guitar. But you don't think you'll play anything other than metal there are tons of pickup options out there. I would go with Samhuinn suggestion of looking into some single coil sized buckers, routing an american would be a shame.
#5
Install a Hot Rails in the bridge and a series/parallel switch. That way you get really high output humbucker bridge tones, you can get a kind-of lighter single coil-ish tone and you've still got the important middle, neck and combined tones that the Strat is famous for.
#8
NO

DO NOT DO IT OMG. I say this as an owner of EMG pickups.

If you want EMGs just buy another guitar, but I think what you feel is missing is the thickness of humbuckers in the neck, not EMGs themselves. EMGs are very... not that great for anything BUT metal. And even other pickups can do metal.
-Hill
#9
...yeah it's not like two great Strat players like David Gilmour or Mike Keneally have used EMGs in a strat >_>
(well they were single sized EMGs...but still! )

Anyway, what I would suggest without buying a new guitar is to either buy a new pickguard, a HSS one, and get a decent humbucker for the bridge pickup (if you want something rather high powered try something like a DiMarzio X2n or Deactivator or something) and either keep the stock singles or change them to something else I dunno.
Alternatively as others have said, single sized humbucker if you don't want to change the pickguard.

Though to be honest a strat with single coils can do metal perfectly fine. It's your amp that mainly provides the heavy tone. Sure it's not conventional, but it's not like playing through a cranked Soldano SLO100 will sound like blues just because you're on a strat!
#10
you know what, check what's under the pickguard. I have an american deluxe HSS strat, i wanted to change it to an HH format and was worried i'd have to route; off comes the pickguard and BAM Fender had already routed it for HSH. It now has an HH pickguard on it w/ two SDs and it sounds sick!!!!
#11
Just save up and buy the Jim Root Strat, Alder starts with Emgs sound off to me for some reason.

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#12
dude im in the process of doin the exact same thing to my american strat. i bought it cause i was in a blues phase but now its got no balls for what i wanna do with it, but i'd never get rid of it cause its the nicest guitar iv ever played and i dont have the luxury of just being able to go out and buy another guitar like alot of the other posters seem to have. i tried the hot rails in the bridge but it still wasnt gutsy enough so now iv bought a HSS pickgaurd and am gonna put in a full size humbucker while iv kept the standard Fender middle and neck pickups for those sweet Fender cleans. hopefully im not wasting my time and money. anyways... your local guitar store or a luthier should be able to help you out with the installation, not sure where you are but iv paid about $40-$50 nzd for a pickup installation and set up. thats not including the price of the pickups of course
#13
Well, you could always do a David Gilmour and stick single coil EMG's in it. Anybody want to say Gilmour's red strat is bad? No? Didn't think so.

Godamn EMG haters. SA's are a great pup.
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#14
Thanks guys. Yeah I definitely don't want to ruin the strat! I like some variety too. And no more comments saying buy a new guitar because i'm not made of money and i love my strat! At the moment it plays metal pretty fine through a heavy amp, so i may look into a single coil humbuckers.
#17
The only problem is like these have 3 single coil pickups so i'd have to change everything. Would i get a good metal sound with these and still have a bit of variety?
#18
Just put EMG's in any POS shit guitar, it will sound like 90% of all other guitars with EMG's.

Look into Dimarzio or Bareknuckle pickups for teh metulz..
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#19
Quote by Cathbard
Well, you could always do a David Gilmour and stick single coil EMG's in it. Anybody want to say Gilmour's red strat is bad? No? Didn't think so.

Godamn EMG haters. SA's are a great pup.


+1

that being said... going for an 81/85 combo might be cracking a walnut with a sledgehammer. put a reasonably high outout passive bridge pickup in there (us strats are normally hsh routed, all you need is a new pickguard), keep the stock middle and neck pickups, and you've spent the least amount of money, for something which'll likely do what you want, and for something which can still get you 60% of the classic strat tones.
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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.

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#20
The link i posted comes with 3 single coil pickups, can you order just like 1 of the pickups? or will 3 be fine?
#21
Lace Sensor pickups. Red, Silver, Blue set. gives you some real balls for metal and retains the positive qualitues of your strats sound, they are also noiseless.
#22
i don't see why you're so set on emgs... it's a lot of work (when all you really need to change is the bridge pickup), and by and large (generalisation warning), the single-coil style pickups which sound more like strat singles won't do the heavier stuff as well, while those that do the heavier stuff better won't do the strat tones as well.

Seriously: HSS with a passive bridge humbucker, combined with your stock single coils will pretty much give you the best of both worlds (as close as you're likely to get, anyway), at the least cost to you.

It's win-win.



I haven't tried them, but I'm just concerned that those EMGs you linked to will just sound more or less like strat pickups. Which would be sorta a waste of money for what you want.

EDIT: to clarify what I mean here:

You seem to have got it into your head that the reason why your strat doesn't sound so good for metal is because it doesn't have EMGs (I apologise if this isn't what you're thinking, but we see this a lot round here). That's not the problem, at all. The reason it doesn't sound too great for metal is because it doesn't have a bridge humbucker.

First of all, regarding the EMGs, plenty of companies make pickups which sound good for metal, and secondly, not all EMGs are aimed at metal tones. The SAs aren't, for example, from what I can remember of them, they pretty much sound like lower output strat pickups- not what you want at all, in other words, as your stock pickups already do those type of tones. EDIT #2: yeah, just checked the EMG website. Apparently the SVs you linked to are based on 1959 strat pickups. In other words... they might be even lower in output than your current pickups. LOL. When people say EMGs are good for metal, they generally mean the 81 and 85.

As I said, I'd be concerned that the emgs you linked to might sound pretty similar to what you already have, and be a waste of money.

EDIT: oh and i'd also be very wary of anyone saying not to stick a bridge humbucker in there as it'll ruin the strat.

It won't. It's reversible. And it's the reason you're not getting the tones you want.

I mean it's not like a USA standard strat is particularly vintage-accurate, anyway.
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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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 27, 2011,
#24
For the love of god please buy a different guitar. I owned a deluxe strat with a fairly high output humbucker and it was absolutely HORRID for metal. Bought my schecter blackjack last november, it's worth less than half of what the strat was brand new and it sounds better in almost every aspect besides country and certain types of mid gain rock. The SD Blackouts are great for any type of rock/metal and the cleans are awesome. I'm not sure what type of wood my strat was made out of (alder i think) but it had the worst sustain on a high end guitar, that is not what you need or want for metal. Putting a humbucker in isn't going to make your guitar sound heavier, it will always sound like a strat.
Last edited by maowcat at Aug 27, 2011,
#25
I said don't bother commenting if you're going to suggest a new guitar I am not going to give up my Fender Strat i adore playing it! But in response to you others, yeah I understand about Emg's i was never ever only looking at them i only posted that link because i came across them whilst looking I am going out tomorrow to have a look at guitar equipment and stuff, but I am almost certain that i shall buy a HSS pickguard with a passive bridge humbucker, any idea what humbucker to get? and is the pickguard that Arby911 posted - http://www.anthillmusic.com/storefrontprofiles/DeluxeSFItemDetail.aspx?sfid=155275&c=847854&i=240446581 fine?
#26
What amp?
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#27
Quote by jonny_page
I said don't bother commenting if you're going to suggest a new guitar I am not going to give up my Fender Strat i adore playing it! But in response to you others, yeah I understand about Emg's i was never ever only looking at them i only posted that link because i came across them whilst looking I am going out tomorrow to have a look at guitar equipment and stuff, but I am almost certain that i shall buy a HSS pickguard with a passive bridge humbucker, any idea what humbucker to get? and is the pickguard that Arby911 posted - http://www.anthillmusic.com/storefrontprofiles/DeluxeSFItemDetail.aspx?sfid=155275&c=847854&i=240446581 fine?


In the interests of full disclosure, I haven't tried it, I was merely suggesting an alternative plan. There are a LOT of prewired SSH strat pickguards out there, I'm sure you can find one that meets your needs.

OTOH, this one is so cheap that even if it doesn't it's not like you dropped a pile of cash on it...and you don't have to jack up your factory pickguard etc.
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#28
I'm looking at the pickguard you posted actually it looks nice, would i just take it into my local guitar shop and ask them to fit it? Also The SD-6B looks really good for what i want, anyone know much about these?
#29
if you're going to let your local shop fit it for you, there's no need to get a prewired pickguard- that's only to save you work if you're doing it yourself, lol. Now, they may charge slightly less to fit a prewired one, but I'm guessing it'll make little difference (could be wrong, of course, if money is a problem then it wouldn't hurt to ask).

Personally I'd stick with your stock middle and neck pickups, get a new HSS pickguard, and ask your local shop to fit them and the pickup of your choice in the bridge position.

by sd-6b, do you mean a seymour duncan distortion?

Quote by Cathbard
What amp?


+1
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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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 27, 2011,
#31
it'll work, but again it's a wee bit like the emgs- like cracking a nut with a sledgehammer. Unless you're only planning on playing metal (by metal i mean anything as heavy or heavier than hair metal), personally I'd go with a more versatile pickup so you can get a wider range of tones. One of the customs, perhaps, if you want to stick to duncans.
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?
#32
hot rail in the bridge like has been said before gets some nice 80's and early 90's metal tones i'm sure even some newer metal tones can be had with the right eq
#34
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You only play acoustic then?

Batteries, AC power, whatever...
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#35
Quote by imaginary.frnd
I'd hate having a guitar that needs batteries in order to work.

I run rechargeable batteries in mine with a socket on the back of the guitar to plug a charger into. Before a gig I just plug it in and give it a charge. Never been a problem.
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#37
ok i have a HSS strat ... your guitar is "dig" for any configuration provide you change the pickguard to what you need .

want to keep single coil configuration but want a humbucker for metal ... drop a Hot rails . IMO for having 1 strat with a hot rails and the other with a "full size humbucker " sh-6 .. well they are very similar . i couldnt believe it until i heard it yesterday .. the hot rails is truly a single coil size humbucker that has the sound of a real humbucker + a great versatility . its powerful .


i even prefered it to my sh-6 ( duncan distortion ) .

emg are raves about .. their great pickup but i believe an active pickup with a lot of power sound better in Mahogany body . i dont think alder is suitable for emgs . but it might work .

but you could just drop a hot rails ( can be find on ebay sometimes for 50 $ ) .. nothing else to change and have a strat for metal ( mostly thrash , old school etc.. ) maybe not for drop W tuning that modern model using .

i play metallica, megadeth , maiden and i love my hot rails . i can even say better than my full size humbucker sh-6 .

Hot rails FTW . youll keep the 2 middle and neck pickup single coil .. which are great and hot rails for punk metal thrash metal etc.. it make a very versatile axe .


the hot rails is high on low end which compensate for the brightness of strat guitar . IMO thats a winning combinaison.

nothing against emg .. but thats a expensive set up to do on a strat .
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Last edited by Skysc at Aug 28, 2011,
#38
I'd have to tell you to either buy a new guitar, or get 3 humbuckers, and coil tap each of them when you want a Strat tone, but then you'd also have to get each of them with an on/off toggle to give you a full range of tones. If you want to do that, you can go to warmoth.com and creat a pickguard, but you'll end up having to put in slots for the on/off toggles. You're better off pickup up a cheapo Jackson and being done with it. There's a pretty good Jackson Dinky for around $800, and it's got a Strat shape and feel, and you can put in different pickups when you want. I just think it'd be too much of a hassel to be able to rewire a Strat with EMG's (plus you'd have to route the body for the 9 volt), just to play metal some of the time, but still play blues or jazz the rest of the time.
#40
I would like to retract my original post, i wasn't aware that american strats are already routed to accept humbuckers. Just listen to anything Dave_Mc says, hes a good dude.
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