#1
I´m coming closer to a final decision as for the upgrafe pickups for my Strat. At this stage I need the advice of the more experienced folks on this: which HB sounds better WHEN SPLIT at the BRIDGE position of a Strat: The Alnico II Pro (APH-1B4C), or the Pearly Gates (SHPG1B)? I mean which of these two gets closer to the sound of a real single coil Strat pickup at the BRIDGE when split?

Thanx in advance for your replies!
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#2
Neither of them sound good split. They're low-output humbuckers, the split coils sound very weak and not anything like a strat single coil. They were never meant to sound good split, and it shows. Series/Parallel gets you a bit more output at least but it's still a long ways from a strat bridge pickup.

The Rio Grande Tallboy is designed to sound like a proper single coil when split. The Duncan P-Rails would be another option, it's got an actual dedicated single coil right in there.
#3
^ +1, also don't be afraid to consider EMGs. Something like an 89X in the bridge could be an excellent choice, as it splits into a full SAX, which is a sweet, excellent single coil.

The EMG 89 and 81TW are the only pickups, as far as I'm aware (my info could be out of date now) that split into a REAL, actual single coil. Just worth keeping in mind, obviously if you don't want actives that is totally fine. But something like an 89 will split into a way better sounding single coil than anything else, except possibly a P-Rail, TBH.

Even the P-Rails are a little gimped out though, not exactly a true full single coil, but it's the second best option next to an 89/81TW AFAIK.
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Last edited by Offworld92 at Aug 27, 2013,
#4
Quote by Offworld92
^ +1, also don't be afraid to consider EMGs. Something like an 89X in the bridge could be an excellent choice, as it splits into a full SAX, which is a sweet, excellent single coil.

The EMG 89 and 81TW are the only pickups, as far as I'm aware (my info could be out of date now) that split into a REAL, actual single coil. Just worth keeping in mind, obviously if you don't want actives that is totally fine. But something like an 89 will split into a way better sounding single coil than anything else, except possibly a P-Rail, TBH.

Even the P-Rails are a little gimped out though, not exactly a true full single coil, but it's the second best option next to an 89/81TW AFAIK.


Man, you are completely right. I have exactly this combination of EMGs installed in my Ibanez DN 520. And it really sounds cool. But for my Strat I wanted something more vintage, classic sounding. A humbucker, that would sound good in combination with low/vintage output single coils, such as the Duncan Alnico II Pro or the SSL-1 pickups.... is there a good HB match to these SCs? If it sounds good splitted, that is only a bonus, the main thing is, it has to sound good in combination with vintage output middle and neck single coils....
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#5
Yeah, I would just take a chance with a P-Rail.

Anything hot enough to split into an acceptable sounding single coil most likely isn't going to sound vintage.

FWIW I've read that the JB splits decently, but that's most likely not what you're looking for.
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#6
there are things like the stag mag (which i haven't tried) which split into a "real" single coil, but the problem with them is that, presumably, the full humbucker tone suffers.
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#7
The P-Rails is pretty hot. It would overpower those single coils pretty badly, and the voicing isn't vintage strat friendly at all. The JB is very hot as well but the voicing is very close to a strat bridge pickup, and you could lower the pickup to compensate and probably have a decent blend.

I think the real answer here though is the Rio Grande Tallboy. It splits to a true strat single coil and has an output more in line with the other pickups in the guitar. It's the passive, vintage voiced equivalent to those EMG X series pickups. Seems like exactly the right pickup for this situation.
http://www.riograndepickups.com/scart/ProductPage.asp?ImageLink=TBHB&ProductName=For+Humbuckings
#8
....ok, so if the Tall Boy, then what vintage-sounding Duncan single coils are a better match for it: the Alnico II Pro, or the SSL-1?
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#9
Piling on a bit, definitely give the Rio Grande Tallboy a look. Excellent pickup for your needs.

However, you may also wish to check out RailHammer or Vintage Vibe pickups.

I'm currently considering the RailHammers for a change on a guitar I own, and I contacted them directly. They don't have any coil-split sound samples available out there, but Joe Naylor (owner of Reverend Guitars & RailHammer pickups) responded personally and told me they work great when split. He suggested I go for a Chisel in the bridge and a HyperVintage in the neck for some more aggressive singlecoil tones when the bridge is tapped, or a pair of HyperVintage if I wanted a more traditional singlecoil sound in all positions. Given that, I'm thinking he HyperVintage would be best suited to your needs.

Vintage Vibe is a one-man operation, and when you order from them, Pete Biltof essentially does custom winds at non-custom prices. I'm getting a HB and HB-sized P90 for another project...
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#10
Quote by Offworld92


Even the P-Rails are a little gimped out though, not exactly a true full single coil,


PRails split into *exactly* a true full single (blade/rail) coil -- and a P90 coil.

No "gimped out" about it.

In addition, there are three output levels of PRail available. The SHPR-1 and TBPR-1 are theoretically the bridge and neck variants, but of course you can use them anywhere. The rail coils on each are 5.60Kohm and 8.56Kohm (Alnico V). The SHPR-2 is wound even hotter and has a Alnico 8 magnet. So you can mix and match as you wish.

It's no small thing that your other single coil option on these pickups is a full-boat P90 coil, and these are 7.25Kohm or 10.20Kohm on the Alnico V versions.
Last edited by dspellman at Aug 28, 2013,
#11
One more dark horse candidate:

Carvin has one pickup that I've got installed in the bridge of several guitars: the M22SD. It was designed as a properly raucous rock-type pickup -- it's about 13-14Kohm and powered by an Alnico V magnet. And it splits perhaps better than any other non-dedicated pickup I've heard.