#1
Hey everybody!

I bought an American Standard strat a couple months ago. I bought it mainly because of the color. I knew when I bought it that it wasn't a very practical guitar for me, as I play nearly all humbucker type music. Well I'm tired of not playing it, and I really don't like the sound of the pickups that are in it right now. It has the Fat 50's single coils in it. I'm looking for a fatter/higher output sound. Not really looking for death metal here, but something that could handle 80's type metal, or something like that.

As far as I know (I can't confirm as I don't want to take off the strings to remove the pickguard), all American standard strats are routed for HSH. So now it just comes down to pickups.

I have some pickups in mind - I'm thinking either the Red, Silver, Blue Lace Sensor Set. That way, I wouldn't have to change the pickguard. However, I'm not sure if that'll be what I'm looking for. I have looked at the hotrails, and mini JB.
My other thought is to change everything to HSS, and just go with a standard humbucker in the bridge. Like a tone zone or something like that.

Basically, do any experienced strat people know of a good pickup combinaion for a strat in an SSS configuration that would give a fatter, more output sound. Anybody have an experience/opinions on any of these options?

Thanks!
Fender American Select Strat HSS Antique Burst
Fender American Select Strat HSS Transparent Crimson
Fender American Deluxe Strat
PRS Custom 24 USA
Gibson Les Paul Standard
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Parker PDF100
#2
I would recommend sticking single-coil sized humbuckers in. Go HSH or HSS/SSH. If you're looking for metal, I do not thing single coils are going to give you those tones without a serious noise gate and effects pedals.
#3
I read the RED lace sensor is a humbucker-type sound. Can anybody confirm that?

I mean I have several guitars for metal, but i often play to eric clapton, and even this single coils are super thin compared to his. I know his guitars have a booster, and i think he used vintage noiseless pickups? I'd even be willing to settle for fatter single coil sounds. Does anybody think the lace sensors would do that well?
Fender American Select Strat HSS Antique Burst
Fender American Select Strat HSS Transparent Crimson
Fender American Deluxe Strat
PRS Custom 24 USA
Gibson Les Paul Standard
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Parker PDF100
#4
Lace Alumitones or Deathbuckers might make you happy, too. Due to their unique design, I know the Alumitones come in SC & HB sizes that are nearly identical in output. The Alumitone Deathbuckers might be likewise. Saves you a step...

You might also look into the Fernandes Sustainers.
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#5
What amp are you using? I just got an American standard and it has the custom shop pickups in it which were much hotter than I thought they would be. Then again it could be because of the orange.

I have heard a lot of good things about the Lace Alumitones.
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, PRS S2 Custom 24, MIA Standard Strat, Charvel So Cal Pro Mod, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Mesa DR Tremoverb combo 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#6
It's a 6505+ head, that I'm trying to get rid of, for something more versatile. Perhaps the issue is not just more output, but just a fatter sound. Even though it has a lot of gain, they're still single coils, with the typical thin and "bitey" tone.

Also, in regards to the gain. They still don't handle all of that gain very well. I can back off the gain, but then obviously the sustain goes away.
Fender American Select Strat HSS Antique Burst
Fender American Select Strat HSS Transparent Crimson
Fender American Deluxe Strat
PRS Custom 24 USA
Gibson Les Paul Standard
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Parker PDF100
#7
Check out the DiMarzio Fast Track II (single coil-size humbucker designed for the bridge).

If you decide to go full-size humbucker in the bridge, consider putting the Fast Track II in the neck position and put a Suhr Aldrich Bridge pickup in the "H" spot.
#8
I think that your original idea was right. I have never played a single coil through a 6505 which probably is more gain oriented than my TH, but then again single coils will tend to have that bite, which is why I bought mine, it rounded out my sound. Perhaps a pickup switch will work, but if you are looking to get rid of the amp I would wait. Your next amp might respond really well to singles.
Honestly I was never a fan of single coils until I paired this fender with my orange. They sound great together. Of course I am still in the honeymoon phase, but still very happy.
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, PRS S2 Custom 24, MIA Standard Strat, Charvel So Cal Pro Mod, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Mesa DR Tremoverb combo 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#9
Quote by bobafettacheese
I think that your original idea was right. I have never played a single coil through a 6505 which probably is more gain oriented than my TH, but then again single coils will tend to have that bite, which is why I bought mine, it rounded out my sound. Perhaps a pickup switch will work, but if you are looking to get rid of the amp I would wait. Your next amp might respond really well to singles.
Honestly I was never a fan of single coils until I paired this fender with my orange. They sound great together. Of course I am still in the honeymoon phase, but still very happy.


That could very well be. I'm going to head to guitar center tomorrow and try out the amp I have in mind. I'll test it with another american standard guitar and see how that goes.

The 6505 is a very metal amp obviously, and it doesn't have a very "round" tone. It's a one trick pony. Which could be why I hate the sound of the guitar right. This guitar and the 6505 just might not "click".
Fender American Select Strat HSS Antique Burst
Fender American Select Strat HSS Transparent Crimson
Fender American Deluxe Strat
PRS Custom 24 USA
Gibson Les Paul Standard
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Parker PDF100
#10
I would check out the Dimarzio pre-wired pickguards or something similar. You can do it the old fashioned way and throw a humbucker in the bridge, but that would require replacing the pickguard, changing the pots to 500k, and having pretty much everything rewired. Going with "stacked" single coils or single coil-sized humbuckers will do pretty much the same thing but without all of the work and new parts.

Pickups are really personal taste, but I would look into these for humbuckers:
Dimarzio Tone Zone (or the Tone Zone S)
Dimarzio Air Zone
Dimarzio PAF PRO (or the Pro-Track)
Seymour Duncan JB
Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates
Seymour Duncan Screamin' Demon
Seymour Duncan TB-5 Custom
Seymour Duncan Hot Rails

and these for "stacked" single coils:
Dimarzio Injector (with 500k pots)
Dimarzio HS2 or HS3 (the classic Yngwie sound)
Lace Sensor Holy Grail (fat vintage sounding stacked pickups)
Seymour Duncan Cool Rails
Seymour Duncan Classic Stack or Hot Stack.

In addition to changing out the pickups, I would STRONGLY suggest investing in some good locking tuners (either Schaller or Sperzel) and a Floyd Upgrades Brass sustain block. Not only will these sustain blocks give you more sustain, but it also gives you better harmonics and a HUGE sound.

If you like having your tremolo floating but like to change tunings, a Tremol-no would be awesome because it allows you to "block" the bridge into a dive-only or completely fixed mode and then be able to switch back to floating again just by turning a screw.

Links:
http://dimarzio.com/pickups/strat/hum-canceling-strat
http://dimarzio.com/pickups/humbuckers/high-power
http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/electric/humbucker/
http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/electric/stratocaster/
http://www.fu-tone.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=87&products_id=232
http://www.fu-tone.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=70&products_id=208
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.
Last edited by stonyman65 at Nov 11, 2013,
#11
For an HSS configuration maybe the Andy Timmons set: Dimarzio AT-1 + 2 Cruiser (bridge model) for neck and middle.

For SSS a Fast Track 2 and 2 Choppers might work.
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
#12
Quote by stonyman65
I would check out the Dimarzio pre-wired pickguards or something similar. You can do it the old fashioned way and throw a humbucker in the bridge, but that would require replacing the pickguard, changing the pots to 500k, and having pretty much everything rewired. Going with "stacked" single coils or single coil-sized humbuckers will do pretty much the same thing but without all of the work and new parts.

Pickups are really personal taste, but I would look into these for humbuckers:
Dimarzio Tone Zone (or the Tone Zone S)
Dimarzio Air Zone
Dimarzio PAF PRO (or the Pro-Track)
Seymour Duncan JB
Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates
Seymour Duncan Screamin' Demon
Seymour Duncan TB-5 Custom
Seymour Duncan Hot Rails

and these for "stacked" single coils:
Dimarzio Injector (with 500k pots)
Dimarzio HS2 or HS3 (the classic Yngwie sound)
Lace Sensor Holy Grail (fat vintage sounding stacked pickups)
Seymour Duncan Cool Rails
Seymour Duncan Classic Stack or Hot Stack.

In addition to changing out the pickups, I would STRONGLY suggest investing in some good locking tuners (either Schaller or Sperzel) and a Floyd Upgrades Brass sustain block. Not only will these sustain blocks give you more sustain, but it also gives you better harmonics and a HUGE sound.

If you like having your tremolo floating but like to change tunings, a Tremol-no would be awesome because it allows you to "block" the bridge into a dive-only or completely fixed mode and then be able to switch back to floating again just by turning a screw.

Links:
http://dimarzio.com/pickups/strat/hum-canceling-strat
http://dimarzio.com/pickups/humbuckers/high-power
http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/electric/humbucker/
http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/electric/stratocaster/
http://www.fu-tone.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=87&products_id=232
http://www.fu-tone.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=70&products_id=208


This was INCREDIBLY helpful. I so much appreciate this. I am definitely looking through all of these! And I did have in mind changing out the tuners already. It seemed like a good idea.

I love the idea of the Tone Zone S. But I just hate the look of non-uniform pickups. Having one railed and then the others with standard magnets will probably drive me crazy. I know, super picky. The Tone Zone is my favorite pickup, and I'd really like to hear it in this guitar.
Fender American Select Strat HSS Antique Burst
Fender American Select Strat HSS Transparent Crimson
Fender American Deluxe Strat
PRS Custom 24 USA
Gibson Les Paul Standard
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Parker PDF100
#13
Just bite the bullet and buy a new pickguard in an HH config, a new switch, new pots, and capacitors. While you're at it, you can get the S-1 volume pot from Darren Riley for like $15 and a superswitch for even less so you can do coil splitting without having to pull up a knob or add switches.

Then if you ever want to sell the Strat you can swap back to the original setup with just 3 solder joints and you won't take the hit for if being "customized".
#14
Quote by CkY freak
This was INCREDIBLY helpful. I so much appreciate this. I am definitely looking through all of these! And I did have in mind changing out the tuners already. It seemed like a good idea.

I love the idea of the Tone Zone S. But I just hate the look of non-uniform pickups. Having one railed and then the others with standard magnets will probably drive me crazy. I know, super picky. The Tone Zone is my favorite pickup, and I'd really like to hear it in this guitar.


I have the Tone Zone in the bridge position of my strat, along with an Area 67 in the middle and an Injector model in the neck. It sounds great. The Tone Zone is chunky with lots of mids, the Area 67 is the classic 60's strat sound, and the Injector is a beefed up stacked single coil that goes well with the bridge humbucker.

If you are going to run a bridge humbucker (or any humbucker for that matter) I would strongly suggest using 500k pots along with it. You can get away with the standard 250k pots that Fender uses, but the tone will be a little bit darker and you won't get as much output (for reference, a 500k pot turned down half way would be about equivalent to a 250k pot at max)
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.
#17
Quote by CkY freak
I read the RED lace sensor is a humbucker-type sound. Can anybody confirm that?

I mean I have several guitars for metal, but i often play to eric clapton, and even this single coils are super thin compared to his. I know his guitars have a booster, and i think he used vintage noiseless pickups? I'd even be willing to settle for fatter single coil sounds. Does anybody think the lace sensors would do that well?


lace sensors are a great way to go. the red has a high output humbucker sound whereas the blue has more of a PAF sound. they still retain many of the positive qualities of single coils as well. see Valley OF Gwangi in my profile which was recorded with my strat with lace sensors in it.
#18
Quote by monwobobbo
lace sensors are a great way to go. the red has a high output humbucker sound whereas the blue has more of a PAF sound. they still retain many of the positive qualities of single coils as well. see Valley OF Gwangi in my profile which was recorded with my strat with lace sensors in it.


Personally, if I were you CKy Freak, I would choose a bridge pickup that retains some of the single coil qualities since you have humbuckers in all of your other guitars.

I have an American Special Strat with Texas Specials in them, and I find they're working very well for what I do, which is mainly heavy rock. The guitar has the Greasebucket tone circuit in it, which does help to get the heavier tones I need.

I'm actually really digging using single coils for heavy rock. I've found my tones are rounder, a tad less gainy, and have more clarity.
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