#1
First my specs:
MIM Fender Lonestar Stratocaster
SD Pearly Gates (Bridge)
Texas Special single coils (middle, neck)

I play Vai, Satch, hair metal, hard rock, blues (clean/distorted), heavy metal and some punk.

So, guys, I was wondering if you can help me pick a new neck pickup to match my bridge pickup.

I am looking for a higher output stacked humbucker (single coil size).
I would like it to match (close-ish) to the output of my bridge pickup.
I would like it to be able to still do "poppy" blues while also doing loud and smooth distorted tones (ala Vai and Satch)

I was looking at these pickups so far:
SD Hot Rails, Cool Rails and JB Jr.
I was looking into some Dimarzio sc sized pickups

Basically, I am lost and scared and and I need your guidance. Any advice?

Thanks so much in advance!
#2
Don't get the hotrails. It sounds like crap in the neck.

I would recommend the Dimarzio Injector neck model or the HS2/HS3 stacked single coils.

If you want to go duncan, I would look at the Classic Stack.
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#3
Would the cool rails be better than the hotrails? Do they have enough bite to them?

I just want something that wil match my pearly gates well without sounding week. I want a neck pickup with punch but I am afraid the Hot Rails is too powerful.
Last edited by Uber_Kitty at Oct 28, 2011,
#4
Pretty much any sc-sized bucker will have less "bite" than a typical single coil. By "bite" I mean top-end response.

Your current pickups should give you a relatively balanced output when adjusted right. Play around with the height of the pups if you haven't already.

The CR is rather versatile and can handle distortion relatively well, but it does not have the bite of a single coil. It's output isn't too high, so it wouldn't overpower your bridge-pup.
I'm just not sure I can recommend it. You ask for a pup that can handle some drive, so that points to the Cool Rails. You also ask for more bite, which you should have plenty of, and which the CR does not offer. And balance shouldn't be an issue with your current setup, either. auerghzqegh8zhasdghasrfewr8er
#5
Quote by TheQuailman
Pretty much any sc-sized bucker will have less "bite" than a typical single coil. By "bite" I mean top-end response.

Your current pickups should give you a relatively balanced output when adjusted right. Play around with the height of the pups if you haven't already.

The CR is rather versatile and can handle distortion relatively well, but it does not have the bite of a single coil. It's output isn't too high, so it wouldn't overpower your bridge-pup.
I'm just not sure I can recommend it. You ask for a pup that can handle some drive, so that points to the Cool Rails. You also ask for more bite, which you should have plenty of, and which the CR does not offer. And balance shouldn't be an issue with your current setup, either. auerghzqegh8zhasdghasrfewr8er


Maybe I was not explaining myself correctly.
I guess when I say bite I mean the wrong thing.

Basically, I don't like the distorted tones of my current texas special singles. They buzz, are muddy, and sound overall terrible.

I want something that can handle distortion (think Vai, Satch, hair metal etc) while still being able to get smooth cleans/little distortion (Eric Johnson, clean blues with pop.) All of course with no buzz.
#6
Quote by Uber_Kitty
Maybe I was not explaining myself correctly.
I guess when I say bite I mean the wrong thing.

Basically, I don't like the distorted tones of my current texas special singles. They buzz, are muddy, and sound overall terrible.

I want something that can handle distortion (think Vai, Satch, hair metal etc) while still being able to get smooth cleans/little distortion (Eric Johnson, clean blues with pop.) All of course with no buzz.


not really going to be able to get both sounds as they are very different and requier different things from a pickup. check out Lace Sensors website as their pickups may do the trick. the blue is often used as a neck pickup with some balls that still retains many of the good points of a regualr single coil.
#7
Which single coil sized neck pickup will sound most like Satriani in, lets say, Satch Boogie?

I like the idea of getting the distortion from a hot rails but I am afraid of the power killing off nice clean tones for blues.

Are there any Lace pickups that fit the mold? What about Dimarzio?
Last edited by Uber_Kitty at Oct 28, 2011,
#8
Quote by monwobobbo
not really going to be able to get both sounds as they are very different and requier different things from a pickup. check out Lace Sensors website as their pickups may do the trick. the blue is often used as a neck pickup with some balls that still retains many of the good points of a regualr single coil.

+ 311 to Lace Sensors!

#9
Quote by Ippon
+ 311 to Lace Sensors!



Which one pickup fits these characteristics?:
No hum
Decent cleans for blues (still needs the strat pop)
Handles distortion very well and smooth
Matches my Pearly gates in the bridge's output nicely.

Thanks.

EDIT:
I think I want something with no hum and with better distortion handling. I do not like single coils for distorted and all I have is an HSS strat.
Last edited by Uber_Kitty at Oct 28, 2011,
#10
Quote by Uber_Kitty
Which one pickup fits these characteristics?:
No hum
Decent cleans for blues (still needs the strat pop)
Handles distortion very well and smooth
Matches my Pearly gates in the bridge's output nicely.

Thanks.

EDIT:
I think I want something with no hum and with better distortion handling. I do not like single coils for distorted and all I have is an HSS strat.


any pick up you go with will pretty much have to be a bit of a compormise. if you want the nice cleans and more of a traditional strat blues sound it ain't coming from a humbucker type pup. on the other hand as you mentioned the single coils don't have that fat humbucker sound. sorry but i can't think of a pup that meets all your criteria believe i'd use it if i could. my strat plus has a blue in the bridge and silvers in the neck and middle. i'm still thinking that the blue will give you what you want within reason. check out my tune The Land Unknown which was recorded with that strat. the cleans were done with the silver and the heavier stuff with the blue, neck solo stuff also on a silver.
#11
I just really want to be able to handle distortion our of my neck pickup. I am afraid the lace sensors will be too thin. I want the meat of a humbucker without the loss of the bluesy *pop* I have come to love out of my strat.
#12
You're asking for two different sounds that you won't get from a single pup. The CR is a midle-of-the-road kind of solution, so it might work for you. Unfortunately, there aren't many guitars that it comes stock in, so you can't go to the next guitar store and try it out. So it's a bit risky.

You could also get a hotter pup (like a HR, for example) with four-conductor wiring and install a switch for coil-splitting, to get a single-coil kind of tone. That might get you closer to the desired results than the CR, but it's still not guaranteed to. Split-sounds are generally pretty weak and thin compared to real single coils.
Last edited by TheQuailman at Oct 29, 2011,
#13
I think part of the issue is that your bridge pickup is already a very low (relatively) output humbucker. There aren't really a lot of how output SC sized humbuckers - that kind of defeats the purpose of having an SC sized humbucker. So a lot of SC buckers out there are going to overpower your PG, and give your guitar a really awkward balance.

I don't really see anything that could be a better option than a CR. Maybe a lil' 59?
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#14
Quote by Uber_Kitty
I just really want to be able to handle distortion our of my neck pickup. I am afraid the lace sensors will be too thin. I want the meat of a humbucker without the loss of the bluesy *pop* I have come to love out of my strat.


dude i can't make this any clearer. YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. ok now that we have that out of the way. sorry man but as yo can see no one has come up with a pup that will do both for you sorry. now once again i use the blue LS i suggested as my bridge pickup and it works fine with distortion or for cleans. are there some compromises, well yes. it doesn't have that super clean strat spank but it does retain enough of it to work out fine for all but the most crystal clean tones.
#15
look at a dimarzio virtual vintage heavy blues 2
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