#1
I'm upgrading my Fender MIM Stratocaster and I want to change its pickups. I've been doing some research about pickups, and it seems like Seymour Duncan and DiMarzio pickups are the possible best choice for pickups. So, I want recommendations from Seymour Duncan.
First, I want to tell that I want a HSS configuration for my Strat. And make the humbucker on the bridge to be available for coil-tapping (I know that I need a new pickguard if I want an HSS config on my Strat, I don't know if my MIM Strat is set to HSS, if it's not, I'll let the expert guitar techs here in my place to set it in HSS). I'm playing through a Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb plus a Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion pedal that I use for hard rock, classic rock, grunge and metal songs.

So, for the sound. The genres I usually play on my Strat are:
Blues
Grunge (Nirvana)
80's pop (The Smiths - I'm addicted to Johnny Marr's clean tone)
Metal (Metallica and Megadeth - I just do some classic metal songs, I'm not a shredder as of now, just some few leads is what I can do because I'm more of a rhythm guitarist)
Hard Rock/Classic Rock (AC/DC, RATM, etc.)
Post-rock/Ambient
Shoegaze/Dream pop/Indie music

I play a lot of genres, but the very often ones, as of now, are - Classic rock, Hard rock, Rock, Metal, Blues and Pop (The Smiths only, that arpeggiated style of Johnny Marr, and his bright/clean/vintage-ish sound).

So, it's like I want a bridge pickup that will give more punch and crunch. I also have a Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion, so I want a recommendable bridge pickup partnered with Boss DS-2, and want the sound to have more punch/crunch/grunge, but at the same time, it would sound vintage-ish when in clean channel (I really want a bridge to sound more vintage-ish).

For the middle pickup, I don't know what I want with this, maybe a moderate sound coming out of it. Not too bassy like the neck pickup, not too trebley like the bridge pickup. Just recommend a bridge pickup according to the sound I want, and then recommend a middle pickup that will match the bridge pickup, or a good partner for the bridge pickup.

For the neck pickup, I want a pickup good for lead pieces, solos, blues solos/leads. Maybe a fatter and warmer sound, and a bit more bassy (but not too much bass that it comes to the point where I only hear the 6th string). Or just recommend a neck pickup that will be the best partner for what you've suggested for the bridge and middle.

So, it goes like this:

Bridge - More punch and crunch/heavier when partnered with Boss DS-2/in distortion
- Vintage-ish sound when in clean channel, not too dark, warm, or fat (like Johnny Marr's tone)

Middle - Moderate sound, a bit more loud than the bridge (increased mid-range, I guess) and not too bright/trebley and not too bassy
- A good partner for the bridge and neck PU

Neck - Good for solos and leads (distorted and clean)
- A good partner for the bridge and middle PU

That's it. Also, I really don't know much about coil-tapping a humbucker. What I know about it is that, in order to coil-tap a humbucker, you need to add a switch on your guitar, or let some expert guitar techs change your tone knobs to be pressed (push or pull) like a killswitch/kill pot/push pull pot. And a humbucker has two coils which bucks the hum, and when you coil tap the humbucker, the other coil will be deactivated and only one coil will be activated. I think that when I'm playing in distorted sound, and I'll do some distorted rhythm parts, I'll use the humbucker, and when I'm playing in clean channel (or even other songs/music, distorted or not, that uses single-coil), I'll coil tap the HB.

Lastly, please be consistent on recommending pickups. If you suggest SD, then go SD all the way, or if you suggest DM, go DM all the way. Thanks!
#2
So wait, your strat is currently S/S/S atm? You will need a new pickguard if you want to use a full-size humbucker. You will also need to see if your guitar is already routed for anything other than S/S/S (Many strats have universal, or "swimming pool" routing).

I'm not too knowledgeable on Duncan/DiMarzio single coil stuff (Personally, I like the nicer Fender stuff, such as Texas Specials just fine), but as far as a good humbucker for you goes, you'd probably be happy*with a tried and true Duncan JB. It's usually a safe bet when you need a moderately hot, but pretty versatile pickup. It'll be fairly balanced, but somewhat bright in a strat. They make a single coil sized JB jr. model too, if I remember correctly
- Gibson Flying V 120 #1 (White)
- Gibson Flying V 120 #2 (Cherry)
- Gibson SG Standard ('61 style)
- Jackson DK2M

- ENGL Fireball 60
- Avatar 4x12

- Many pedals, plus other stuff
#3
Quote by FlightofIcarus
So wait, your strat is currently S/S/S atm? You will need a new pickguard if you want to use a full-size humbucker. You will also need to see if your guitar is already routed for anything other than S/S/S (Many strats have universal, or "swimming pool" routing).

I'm not too knowledgeable on Duncan/DiMarzio single coil stuff (Personally, I like the nicer Fender stuff, such as Texas Specials just fine), but as far as a good humbucker for you goes, you'd probably be happy*with a tried and true Duncan JB. It's usually a safe bet when you need a moderately hot, but pretty versatile pickup. It'll be fairly balanced, but somewhat bright in a strat. They make a single coil sized JB jr. model too, if I remember correctly


Yes, my strat is SSS. I'm gonna make sure if it's routed to HSS or not. I've searched about Seymour Duncan JB, and I think it fits my style, as it's more recommendable for heavy blues to heavy metal. With that wide range of tones, the SD JB will hit classic rock, hard rock, grunge and other heavy stuffs on the road. This pickup will be on my list of choices as I'm more of a rock guitar player. Plus, I think it will be a good partner for my Boss DS-2. I'm gonna look for a great partner for this pickup.
#4
You could always throw a single coil sized humbucker in there.
I used to have a ToneZone bridge in my SSS strat and it sounded great. I changed it out for an Injector though, as it was just too loud compared to the middle and neck single coils.
I'm sure you can sort that out if you change some components though, but I just wanted to hotswap my current bridge pickup.
That said, I'd check out the DiMarzio Injectors as they are absolutely killer. Your strat will still sound like a strat with single coils though, but they definitely work a lot better for metal than any other single coils I played.
Things with strings:
Ibanez J.Custom, Prestiges, RG8, SR5 bass etc
LP's, Strat, Tele
Noiseboxes:
ENGL Retro Tube 50
5150 III 50W
Orange Terror Bass
#5
are you sure you want the middle pickup to be louder than the bridge?
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?
#6
Except you're not running through a 65 DR are you? You're going through a Stagg.

I remember your old thread man.
Quote by SimplyBen
That's the advantage of being such a distance from Yianni. I can continue to live my life without fear of stumbling upon his dark terror.


Quote by Toppscore
NakedInTheRain aka "Naked with shriveled pencil sized bacon In The Rain"
#7
Quote by Dave_Mc
are you sure you want the middle pickup to be louder than the bridge?


I think I wrote it wrong. I want the middle to be moderate, not to be louder than the bridge.
#8
Dimarzio AT-1 bridge, Fast Track middle, Chopper or Pro Track neck.

Should do the trick.
However, you should really ditch the Boss Distortion and at least invest in some decent dirt pedals if you're already playing pedals through a clean amp.
Fender American Special HSS Stratocaster
Ibanez 1987 Roadstar II Deluxe
Yamaha THR10X
Marshall JCM900 SL-X
Ibanez WD-7 Weeping Demon Wah
TC Electronic Polytune
Seymour Duncan Tweakfuzz
#9
Quote by Eppicurt
Except you're not running through a 65 DR are you? You're going through a Stagg.

I remember your old thread man.


I've revised my old thread, because the answers I got there are very generic and unhelpful. So, here's my new thread, and I've got good answers. Now I don't have to worry about people saying "upgrade this first" "upgrade your" "upgrade that", because honestly, I'm no new to that, I already kept that inside my mind. Also, it's annoying to get answers like that, and my question is "what pickups for me" not "what should I upgrade first", so that's the main reason I made another thread. Don't get me wrong about this, and don't think that I'm an immature and ignorant type of person.
Last edited by mightycornholio at May 30, 2013,
#10
^ But man, you can upgrade anything you want but your amp and will still sound like sh*t if your amp is garbage.
Fender American Special HSS Stratocaster
Ibanez 1987 Roadstar II Deluxe
Yamaha THR10X
Marshall JCM900 SL-X
Ibanez WD-7 Weeping Demon Wah
TC Electronic Polytune
Seymour Duncan Tweakfuzz
#11
Quote by JesusCrisp
^ But man, you can upgrade anything you want but your amp and will still sound like sh*t if your amp is garbage.


Don't worry about it man, I'll have the Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb this September. Anyway, thanks for your recommendations.
#12
Quote by mightycornholio
I think I wrote it wrong. I want the middle to be moderate, not to be louder than the bridge.


ah ok

one of the duncan customs maybe for the bridge

Not sure about the middle and neck- i've only really tried the ssl1 and alnico II pro of the duncan singles and i reckon they might be a bit low output for what you want (though the SSL1 is very nice). I haven't liked the hum cancelling duncan "single coils" I've tried, but I haven't tried anywhere near all of them.

the dimarzio virtual vintages are pretty nice for hum cancelling single coils, might be worth a try. though they've got new models now which are different from the ones i have, so
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?
#13
Quote by mightycornholio
Don't worry about it man, I'll have the Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb this September. Anyway, thanks for your recommendations.

Then why even buy the pickups now? You could get the amp, play it for a while, then find the pickups aren't suitable for what you were looking for. Seems very backward.
Quote by Fat Lard
Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

Quote by captainsnazz
brot pls
#14
Quote by BladeSlinger
Then why even buy the pickups now? You could get the amp, play it for a while, then find the pickups aren't suitable for what you were looking for. Seems very backward.


I'm not buying the pickups "now", I'm searching for the right pickups "as of now", and then I'll buy it "sooner or later" after I buy the amp. The amp comes on September, and then we'll buy the pickups on December. I'm gonna treat that as a very nice Christmas gift. This is not backwards, this is preparation for the future, and I can see that I'm looking forwards not backwards.
#15
Seriously TS? What's wrong wit you? Did you actually delete the earlier thread and recreate this thread again just because you were getting answers you didn't like?

Again, amp first than pickups. Otherwise it's all spitting and pissing in the wind.

You say you're not new to upgrades, but your actions suggest otherwise. An experienced upgrader knows that pickup descriptions without running your guitar through the amp is about as useful as having teeth in your butthole.

Regardless of how much you search and read, you really only know how a pickup will react when you have the amp on hand.
Quote by Blompcube
it's so cool to hate Gibson, even the federal Department of Justice hates them.

( )( )
( . .) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
C('')('') signature to help him gain world domination.
Last edited by ragingkitty at May 30, 2013,
#16
Quote by ragingkitty
Seriously TS? What's wrong wit you? Did you actually delete the earlier thread and recreate this thread again just because you were getting answers you didn't like?

Again, amp first than pickups. Otherwise it's all spitting and pissing in the wind.

You say you're not new to upgrades, but your actions suggest otherwise. An experienced upgrader knows that pickup descriptions without running your guitar through the amp is about as useful as having teeth in your butthole.

Regardless of how much you search and read, you really only know how a pickup will react when you have the amp on hand.


That's why the amp comes first to me, on September, pickups on December. Two months (Oct - Nov) is enough for me to find my own desirable pickups. What I want to know here in my thread is just some sort of reference. Read my other replies, mate.
#17
Again pissing in the wind. Read our replies too instead of reading what you want to read. You need to know exactly what it is about your entire tone that you don't like before making a change.

You can waste everyone's time by asking for a reference, when you receive your amp, your perception of what needs to be tweaked will change again. If its a reference point you want, you can easily get that by reading pickup descriptions or watching youtube videos.
Quote by Blompcube
it's so cool to hate Gibson, even the federal Department of Justice hates them.

( )( )
( . .) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
C('')('') signature to help him gain world domination.
#18
Quote by mightycornholio
I'm not buying the pickups "now", I'm searching for the right pickups "as of now", and then I'll buy it "sooner or later" after I buy the amp. The amp comes on September, and then we'll buy the pickups on December. I'm gonna treat that as a very nice Christmas gift. This is not backwards, this is preparation for the future, and I can see that I'm looking forwards not backwards.

You just seemed very caught up in justifying your decision against the suggestions you were given. It's your money, dude. Just seems like a weird way to go about it.
Quote by Fat Lard
Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

Quote by captainsnazz
brot pls