#1
I'm looking for one of these in decent condition but wondering about the tone of the guitar with the factory pickups. I know the single coils give a great traditional strat tone, and have heard that the Super 3 is a great high output pickup, especially with basswood. But, the few super strats I have had over the years were a little different being alder bodies and having various Duncan pickups ( I liked the Full Shred & Duncan Custom the best). I was always able to get a good neutral tone out of these, and I'm hoping the HM strat doesn't color the tone too much with its particular wood and pickup combination? I don't like a fuzzy, overly middy 80's metal tone anymore, now more of a thick, raw modern metal tone with balanced mids & highs, and big punchy lows. I have heard that both basswood, and the Super 3 have a lot of mids. Overkill? I know the amp is about 80% responsible for the overall tone but wanted to make sure this is a fairly neutral and balanced sounding guitar I can really work with. Looking to get a Bugera 333XL half stack soon btw. Thanks for any advice or info you can offer.
#3
You'll be fine. Pickups and wood have less effect than most people think.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#4
Quote by ChadT
I'm looking for one of these in decent condition but wondering about the tone of the guitar with the factory pickups. I know the single coils give a great traditional strat tone, and have heard that the Super 3 is a great high output pickup, especially with basswood. But, the few super strats I have had over the years were a little different being alder bodies and having various Duncan pickups ( I liked the Full Shred & Duncan Custom the best). I was always able to get a good neutral tone out of these, and I'm hoping the HM strat doesn't color the tone too much with its particular wood and pickup combination? I don't like a fuzzy, overly middy 80's metal tone anymore, now more of a thick, raw modern metal tone with balanced mids & highs, and big punchy lows. I have heard that both basswood, and the Super 3 have a lot of mids. Overkill? I know the amp is about 80% responsible for the overall tone but wanted to make sure this is a fairly neutral and balanced sounding guitar I can really work with. Looking to get a Bugera 333XL half stack soon btw. Thanks for any advice or info you can offer.


if you are talking about the HM model from the late 80s then the sound is geared toward the popular soujd of the day. the Fender HM strat was a good guitar but wasn't as ballsy sounding as many of it's peers. the single coils had a little more output than a traditional strat as well. probably not the best option for a modern metal tone stock.
#5
I’ve hung onto mine (a Fender USA HM Strat - HSS config.) because currently it’s my only guitar with a trem – and for the nice traditional Stratocaster tones as you’ve said. I’ve had Stratocasters and I like the HM Strat neck a bit better. Fret board is a little wider and flatter for string bending. I think the HM fret board is supposed to have a compound radius but not sure-it does feel nice. The stock single coil pups sound great. The bridge humbucker is not stock. Seller said it was a DiMarzio SD but I don’t the model. I know it was replaced because he said so and it didn’t have the wires for coil splitting. The guitar had the small toggle switch for coil tap but nothing was soldered to it, so I made it a “neck on” switch which basically provides two more pickup combinations when combined with the selector switch (bridge + neck and all three pickups). So I don’t know anything about the stock hum but suspect that the previous owner changed it out for better tone.

There’s a lot of good information on the HM Strat Forum here:
http://www.heavymetalstrat.com/

The forum is not very active for answering your questions but the old threads are informative.

Thanks
EBMM JP6, EBMM Bongo Bass 5-string, Heritage H140CM, ESP Tele Copy, ESP P-Bass Copy, ESP Maverick, Fender HM Strat, Ibanez ST-55, Epiphone Broadway, Taylor 310, Seagull S-12, Musicman Sixty-Five Reverb, Fender HRD, Ampeg B-25B
#6
I have a 1989 Fender HM Strat, which I have owned since 1996. It is black, with the maple/rosewood neck. I have changed the bridge pick up to a Gibson Les Paul custom pick up from the early eighties. The neck pick up has been changed to a DiMarzio hot rail style pick up. The five position switch has been replaced with a three position switch. The coil switching switch has been removed. This guitar sounds absolutely amazing, with more sustain than any other guitar on the market. It delivers Gibson Les Paul tone, and Fender Stratocaster tone, all in one instrument. I play classic rock, blues, and heavy metal music. It has been gigged all over the country, and never ever had any problems. I have had hundreds of compliments on the sound this guitar makes.