#1
Is there anything about having a humbucker in a Stratocaster that makes it "versatile" besides being able to play metal? I'm buying my first good guitar soon, probably a Strat and I'm not sure if I should go with HSS or SSS. Any advice?
#2
The idea behind the fat strat (or HSS strat like you call it) is that the bridge pickup is thicker sounding with more output. I wouldn't call it more versatile unless you have the option to tap the coil.

It's really personal preference. Play them both and see what you like more.
Quote by strat0blaster
This is terrible advice. Even worse than the useless dry, sarcastic comment I made.

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#3
It's a completely different sound, hopefully, you could get a guitar where the humbucker is coil-tapped, meaning that you can play on one of the single coils on the humbucker, getting a single-coil bridge sound

Frankly for a first guitar, you want all the versatility you can get.
#4
Ok, first of all, the HSS Strat is considered more acceptable for metal because modern "metal" is played almost exclusively on a bridge HB. While it may be worth it to have a Humbucker on your guitar, that does not necessarily make it more versatile. However, you will almost never get a decent modern "metal" (Metal is in quotes because bands like to call themselves post-grunge punk-core and shit like that) sound of out a stock HSS stratocaster, because even that pickup is not high enough output to get the ridiculous amount of gain necessary for that sound. An HSS strat would probably be very effective at getting a Van Halen type sound (or a late seventies/early eighties hair metal sound), as it, for the most part, matches the guitars used during that time: (what would now be considered) medium-output HB in the bridge, bolt on neck maple neck, and alder body. It'd be maybe less appropriate for a late-eighties, GNR type of sound, as Slash brought the Les Paul back into popularity with early GNR records, but the stock HSS Strat would be more suited for that type of stuff than the SSS Strat.

The SSS Strat, though, is no less versatile than the HSS Strat, it just lacks a Humbucker sound. It's suited to better types of music; Funk, Soul, "wild" Blues, Surf, Garage Rock, Noise Rock, etc. Stuff that doesn't need high-gain lead playing.

Between the two, I'd pick the SSS Strat, personally, as I am much more a Surf, Garage Rock, Funk, R&B, and Punk Rock Player than I am a Metal, Hard Rock, and Hardcore player, if that helps you at all. Just remember that there are more types of music than just Metal, Rock and Blues, as is often forgotten on this forum, and the HSS Strat mostly applies to those genres.
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#5
Two different sounds, not too much more versatile than the SSS.
I personally got an HSS because I have more uses for a bridge humbucker than a singlecoil, while I really love the neck and middle singlecoils.
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#6
The humbucker gives it a brighter sound and it's easier to get a rock/metal sound.
"You're not hardcore unless you live hardcore"
#7
HSS vs SSS...
Well, the one thing I've noticed, though maybe that's moot because it's about starterpack strats, is that the bridge pickup on my old HSS strat was more prone to picking up harmonics than my friend's SSS strat.
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#8
Quote by stealstrings
The humbucker gives it a brighter sound and it's easier to get a rock/metal sound.


I would say humbuckers are darker sounding overall, but it really depends on how the pickup is wound and what value pots you are using. 250k pots and a humbucker is going to sound pretty dark unless you have a no-load ton control.
Quote by strat0blaster
This is terrible advice. Even worse than the useless dry, sarcastic comment I made.

Quote by Cathbard
I'm too old for the Jim Morrison look now. When I was gigging I had a fine arse.
#9
Quote by PsiGuy60
HSS vs SSS...
Well, the one thing I've noticed, though maybe that's moot because it's about starterpack strats, is that the bridge pickup on my old HSS strat was more prone to picking up harmonics than my friend's SSS strat.


Humbuckers naturally have more output, so it will pick up more harmonics and overtones.
Quote by strat0blaster
This is terrible advice. Even worse than the useless dry, sarcastic comment I made.

Quote by Cathbard
I'm too old for the Jim Morrison look now. When I was gigging I had a fine arse.
#10
I went with the HSS when faced with this decision and tbh if I did it hain I would do SSS. I dont play metal, and overall I never really use the bridge pickup in general, though I did rewire it so the middle tone knob could change the HB, so that did help. The stock HB has som nice bite, but overall, if your not going to utilize the HB for the HB sound, go with the classic SSS.
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#11
In my opnion the fat strat is the more versitale option here. The reason is, that is just easier to get into the hard rock/metal area. You can even get modern metal tones with the right rig. Meanwhile you can easily get tones for funk, blues, soul, surf rock etc.

If hard rock/metal isn't your thing, forget about HSS and go for a SSS. It will even save you some money.
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#12
Quote by stonyman65
I would say humbuckers are darker sounding overall, but it really depends on how the pickup is wound and what value pots you are using. 250k pots and a humbucker is going to sound pretty dark unless you have a no-load ton control.


Yeah, depends what you're playing. A bit of gain and treble and you've got a nice classic rock sound.
"You're not hardcore unless you live hardcore"
#13
Yngwie Malmsteen says you dont need humbuckers for metal, and hes right.

get the SSS and put Fury in them or whatever.
#14
An HSS Strat is not more versatile than a SSS Strat. It's just versatile in different areas.
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#15
Quote by Spaztikko
Yngwie Malmsteen says you dont need humbuckers for metal, and hes right.

get the SSS and put Fury in them or whatever.




You do realize Yngwie uses stacked humbuckers, right?

http://www.dimarzio.com/pickups/strat/hum-canceling-strat/hs-3

http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/electric/stratocaster/medium-output/stks10_yjm_fury/
Quote by strat0blaster
This is terrible advice. Even worse than the useless dry, sarcastic comment I made.

Quote by Cathbard
I'm too old for the Jim Morrison look now. When I was gigging I had a fine arse.
#16
If you even want to play metal, I'd say sss strat (with a decent distortion together, or either a nice amp). You can get any sound with an sss strat, not the best guitar for metal yet, it's pretty fun. But I'd say damaging the sound of strat is not good. Bridge pickup is perfect for rhytm and dirty rock lead tones, you can get the lead tone with humbucker too but not the bright rhytm sound the single coil have.
#17
Quote by cemges
If you even want to play metal, I'd say sss strat (with a decent distortion together, or either a nice amp). You can get any sound with an sss strat, not the best guitar for metal yet, it's pretty fun. But I'd say damaging the sound of strat is not good. Bridge pickup is perfect for rhytm and dirty rock lead tones, you can get the lead tone with humbucker too but not the bright rhytm sound the single coil have.

You must be new to guitar.
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#18
Quote by JesusCrisp
You must be new to guitar.

Not really, i am used to use any sort of equipment at any time in case of need. I sometimes have to play metallica, anthrax etc with 21 fret sss strat( hopefully 1979 custom shop), and it sounds actually killer (it sounds more like a rock monster, thats how it is supposed to be) , it does not get a metal tone yet is enough versatile for playing everything, and so is a les paul, if you consider buying one. But what else, the sinhle bridge pickup gives the classic bright rhytm sound that i am in love, and also the mote twangy leads, and no coil tap can grt that sound. So i say you dont need a humbucker at all. I am not new to guitar but maybe to english.
#19
Quote by cemges
Not really, i am used to use any sort of equipment at any time in case of need. I sometimes have to play metallica, anthrax etc with 21 fret sss strat( hopefully 1979 custom shop), and it sounds actually killer (it sounds more like a rock monster, thats how it is supposed to be) , it does not get a metal tone yet is enough versatile for playing everything, and so is a les paul, if you consider buying one. But what else, the sinhle bridge pickup gives the classic bright rhytm sound that i am in love, and also the mote twangy leads, and no coil tap can grt that sound. So i say you dont need a humbucker at all. I am not new to guitar but maybe to english.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you can't play metal on singlecoils, but humbuckers are arguably better suited for it. If you like playing high gain on singlecoils, that's cool, but saying that singlecoils are better for high gain rythm tones than humbuckers is, well, kind of controversial.
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Yamaha THR10X
Marshall JCM900 SL-X
Ibanez WD-7 Weeping Demon Wah
TC Electronic Polytune
Seymour Duncan Tweakfuzz
#20
Quote by JesusCrisp
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you can't play metal on singlecoils, but humbuckers are arguably better suited for it. If you like playing high gain on singlecoils, that's cool, but saying that singlecoils are better for high gain rythm tones than humbuckers is, well, kind of controversial.

I didnt say that. I said even if it's not the most suited pickup for metal, i wouldnt sacrifice it's classic sound for humbucker.