#1
Hey guys,

I have a 2011 Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster with the stock N3 noiseless pickups and I've been wondering if I should try putting in an SD Hot Rails in the bridge so that I can get some higher level of output.

I've read that they don't have the same level of output as a regular humbucker, which is fine with me, as I also have an LTD MH-400 with EMGs in it, so I don't need something with the same level of output as those. But I would like a little more than what comes with the stock pickups.

My amp is a Peavey Triple XXX 40W combo and the music I play is generally along the lines of anything from Iron Maiden to Symphony X (though I play Symphony X on my LTD in D Standard) to Rainbow to anything in between. So mainly classic rock/metal as well as modern metal with some softer tunes as well from time to time.

So basically my question is, would it be a worthwhile purchase for me? I'm a little concerned about the quality of the cleans too. I don't need amazing cleans but I do like to be able to have decent cleans on my guitar. Also, I don't want to completely lose the "strat sound" by changing pickups.

What do you guys think?
#2
Hot Rails have much more output than the Fender noiseles spickups. Also they sound nothing like a single coil. The point of Hot Rails is to get a high output humbucker sound in a single coil size. It'll do the Iron Maiden stuff alright and anything heavier than that but don't expect it to be much good for clean tones and it will completely overpower the other pickups. It's not MEANT to have as much output as active pickups but measuring it my Tele with a Hot Rails gives more output than my LTD Viper with an EMG 85.

There's the SD Classic Stack Plus which sounds like a single coil with just a little more bass, about 50% more output than a normal single coil and it's hum-cancelling. That might do what you want. The SD Hot Stack has as much output as the Hot Rails but it does have a slightly brighter tone at least. SD Cool Rails gives a humbucker-like tone but it's very very slightly brighter than the Hot Rails and it has more normal output.
#3
Thanks for the info.

I was thinking of Cool rails as well but something more along the lines of a Cool Rails in the neck, Vintage Rails in the middle position and Hot Rails in the bridge. Apparently a lot of people seem to like this setup which gives a fairly versatile sounding guitar.
#5
I've got three Hot Rails in each of my Strats and they're fantastic, but they're definitely for the heavy stuff. As already said, they don't sound at all like a Strat single coil pickup. If you don't like the Fender Noiseless, there are more sedate offerings from SD that should suit your needs.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#6
look into a Lace Sensor Blue or Red (higher output of the 2). i have a blue in th ebridge of my strat which does give me more balls but retains enough strat character to keep me happy. the red is great for metal sounds.