#1
I've had a Fender HSS Strat since 2001 and recently purchased a Epiphone Les Paul Standard. I was thinking having 3 single coils installed in the Strat to get a new tone and be completely opposite from the Les Paul.

Is this a good idea or should I just have a new, hotter, set of HSS pickups installed? Or should I just leave it alone? Also how much should this cost to have a professional do this for me at a guitar store?
#2
The two guitars will sound very different, even if the same humbucker was installed in the bridge of both.

A cheap option could be to get a push/pull pot installed in one of your volume/tone controls to split the humbucker.

Otherwise, you'd need to buy a new scratch plate & single coil pickup. Fitting shouldn't be more than £40 (or equivalent). Pretty straightforward to wire yourself though if you have access to a soldering iron.
#3
it's up to you, really.

since you now have an epi to cover the humbucker tones you might well decide you'd rather have the strat do all the strat tones for more versatility.

if you never use all the strat tones though HSS might make more sense.
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?
#4
You could also swap out the bridge HB with a HB-sized P90 and find some new tones that way!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#5
I have a 2000 Fender Std SSS strat and Epi LP also. I was considering going to HSS since I didn't like the sound of it and wasn't playing it as much. I ended up getting a used SSS set from an American strat with less output than the MIM pickups it had, and a new wiring setup with 2 push/pulls and other mods and it now sounds SOOOO much better. In the end, it depends on what you are playing, but I am glad I stayed with SSS. Split humbuckers do not sound the same as real Fender single coils. My LP and Es-339 can coil split and its nothing like the strat if that's the sound you want.
#6
My advise would be Don't do it Keep the HSS and do not change it . I have a Fender Hss and I have a Epip and there is a world of difference in the two guitars ,
#7
Don't like the HSS, huh? Don't blame you.
Some see the glass half full, others see the glass half empty. Me? I see that the glass is refillable.
#8
Quote by dazzzer30
My advise would be Don't do it Keep the HSS and do not change it . I have a Fender Hss and I have a Epip and there is a world of difference in the two guitars ,


Yeah I do like the differnece in their humbucking sounds, so I have considered just looking into hotter HSS aftermarket pickups.


Quote by NewDayHappy
Don't like the HSS, huh? Don't blame you.


I bought the guitar in high school knowing that I wanted a Fender but wanted a harder rock sound. I have a love hate relationship with it. If I want more of a Clapton or SRV tone I regret the HSS model. But if I want a Van Halen or grunge type sound I love it.
#10
I have a 2014 model of the Hss and I am happy with the humbucker in mine in fact I think fender did a great job in balancing out all there pickups in the HSS . I wouldn't know what replacement pickups would be best but I would be interested to know If you find one?. Personally people knock the HSS and haven't even played it or give it a chance, it is a very versatile guitar and for many people it is an option over the SSS and les paul .
#11
the advantage of having a SSS guitar is that you get a better consistency when switching from bridge to neck etc. and you have access to a bridge single coil, which has its qualities, especially on cleaner settings. That being said, modding it probably isn't cost effective and you risk having a pickup that is slightly in the wrong place. You'd probably be better off selling it and buying a true SSS guitar .
#12
If you want a hotter Humbucker, I'd say the Seymour Duncan JB, or Dimarzio Super Distortion would be a good option. I've used both on Strats and got on with them well.

Never been a huge fan of stock Fender pickups.
#13
Quote by matthewa
If you want a hotter Humbucker, I'd say the Seymour Duncan JB, or Dimarzio Super Distortion would be a good option. I've used both on Strats and got on with them well.

Never been a huge fan of stock Fender pickups.



I'm going to look into those. I've heard that many times about stock Fender pickups, at least on a Mexico built Strat like mine.
#14
I am changing mine from an SSS to an HSS.....all I had to do was get a pick guard and the actual humbucker. As far as I was told, all recent American standard strats are routed for HSH configurations and the pickups attach to the pick guard as opposed to the EVH style of mounting them to the wood of the guitar.

You might even be able to use your existing pick guard if the mounting holes are correct....it would just look weird.
#15
Fender and Gibson models are going to have such different tones anyway. There's no need to switch out the bridge pickup on your Strat.
#16
I'd do a coil split personally. Some things call for a humbucker, some call for a single, and a split humbucker is an awesome option to have on an HSS strat.
Guitars:
Davison SG
Line 6 Variax 600
Line 6 JTV 69s
Squier Classic Bibe Telecaster Thinline
#17
Keep the strat HSS and replace the humbucker with a TV Jones Duo-tron or Powertron Plus?

Personally I rarely use my strat's bridge pickup (it's SSS). I was thinking of putting a hot rails in there...
#18
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Fender and Gibson models are going to have such different tones anyway. There's no need to switch out the bridge pickup on your Strat.


no need, but he might prefer it now he has the humbucker thing covered with another guitar. or he might not, it's up to him.

i mean if it's down to "need" he probably doesn't need a second guitar
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?
#19
Yet another reason to go with a HB-sized P90!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#20
sort of kills position 4, though. at least with a humbucker you can auto-split it- not perfect, but some improvement over the full humbucker tone when combined with the middle single coil (IMO). again, depends on what you want.

i sometimes wonder if a tapped p90 would help for that... i'm guessing it'd have to be tapped down to "underwound" levels, though (and most p90s which are tapped go between "vintage" and "hotter"). could be wrong.
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?
#21
Quote by Dave_Mc
sort of kills position 4, though. at least with a humbucker you can auto-split it- not perfect, but some improvement over the full humbucker tone when combined with the middle single coil (IMO). again, depends on what you want.

i sometimes wonder if a tapped p90 would help for that... i'm guessing it'd have to be tapped down to "underwound" levels, though (and most p90s which are tapped go between "vintage" and "hotter"). could be wrong.


(Emphasis mine)
I can't speak directly to that...YET.

That Fret-King Super 60HB (HSS) I ordered from Frets in England was supposed to be a Fret-King Super 60SB (P90SS), but they sold out. I took the HB anyway- it was the same price- since I didn't have a Strat of any kind at that point. No regrets, though- it's a helluva axe! And I WILL get one of those SBs...someday.

I'm TRYING to get a 2011 Reverend Manta Ray 390, which has a 5 position selector...but it has 3 P90s.

And the other guitars I own with P90s all have either 3 position or blend selectors.

But P90s- even the HB-sized ones- vary in hotness just like singlecoils and HBs. So, if you pick the right one, it should work at least as well as any HB in position 4. Probably better.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#22
Quote by drewblades

I bought the guitar in high school knowing that I wanted a Fender but wanted a harder rock sound. I have a love hate relationship with it. If I want more of a Clapton or SRV tone I regret the HSS model. But if I want a Van Halen or grunge type sound I love it.


That's exactly how I would describe my relationship with my old HSS Strat, some tones were beautiful, like the middle pickup, but the bridge pickup was just too harsh on my ears. If I ever insisted on getting a Strat, it would be a SSS.
Some see the glass half full, others see the glass half empty. Me? I see that the glass is refillable.
#23
^ a strat bridge single coil is normally harsher than a humbucker. depending on what exactly you mean by "harsher", of course.

Quote by dannyalcatraz
(Emphasis mine)
I can't speak directly to that...YET.

That Fret-King Super 60HB (HSS) I ordered from Frets in England was supposed to be a Fret-King Super 60SB (P90SS), but they sold out. I took the HB anyway- it was the same price- since I didn't have a Strat of any kind at that point. No regrets, though- it's a helluva axe! And I WILL get one of those SBs...someday.

I'm TRYING to get a 2011 Reverend Manta Ray 390, which has a 5 position selector...but it has 3 P90s.

And the other guitars I own with P90s all have either 3 position or blend selectors.

But P90s- even the HB-sized ones- vary in hotness just like singlecoils and HBs. So, if you pick the right one, it should work at least as well as any HB in position 4. Probably better.


your fretking doesn't have autosplit, does it? if not, i'm guessing that'd sound similar in position 4 to what i mean.

and yeah i'm guessing a lower output p90 would work better for it, but my own feeling (which might well be wrong) is that it'd have to be very low (i.e. lower even than vintage output, which tends to be similar to a PAF in my experience) to work well. A lot of players hate split humbuckers, but in my opinion for the in-between position they're about as good as it gets without having a real single coil in there.

Edit: I don't see how it would work better... with a split humbucker, you have the wrong magnet and polepieces, but at least the coil shape and size is (roughly) correct (and with judicious humbucker selection, the output will be about right, too). with a p90, none of those things is right.
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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 29, 2014,
#24
Quote by Dave_Mc
^ a strat bridge single coil is normally harsher than a humbucker. depending on what exactly you mean by "harsher", of course.




Well I had a Seymour Duncan Dimebucker in the bridge, maybe that's why it was harsh. I don't recommend that pickup to anybody.
Some see the glass half full, others see the glass half empty. Me? I see that the glass is refillable.
#25
yeah that wouldn't help. me neither
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?
#26
Quote by Dave_Mc
yeah that wouldn't help. me neither


Even before I had a Dimebucker put in and it was just factory stocks, the bridge pickup just sounded way too trebley for my tastes. I'm not the most knowledgeable guy in the world and I'm not even sure how this makes sense because I like two humbuckers in my guitars, but part of me feels like what makes a Stratocaster is their single coils, not their humbuckers.
Some see the glass half full, others see the glass half empty. Me? I see that the glass is refillable.
#27
Quote by Dave_Mc

your fretking doesn't have autosplit, does it? if not, i'm guessing that'd sound similar in position 4 to what i mean.


Autosplit? Never heard of it, and I have looked at the specs of that guitar online. Doesn't mean the FK doesn't have it, but I doubt that it does.

and yeah i'm guessing a lower output p90 would work better for it, but my own feeling (which might well be wrong) is that it'd have to be very low (i.e. lower even than vintage output, which tends to be similar to a PAF in my experience) to work well. A lot of players hate split humbuckers, but in my opinion for the in-between position they're about as good as it gets without having a real single coil in there.


I like the tones I get out of coil-splitting with a good HB- I have a few. I consider the option it a selling point. I was comparing unsplit HB mixed with singlecoils vs. P90s with singlecoils.

Edit: I don't see how it would work better... with a split humbucker, you have the wrong magnet and polepieces, but at least the coil shape and size is (roughly) correct (and with judicious humbucker selection, the output will be about right, too). with a p90, none of those things is right.

Dammit! I'm in Texas. You're in England, right? Go try a Super 60SP and report back!

I'm thinking that the right P90- classic, singlecoil-sized or HB sized- would work just fine.

Hmmm...y'know, I recommended to Cathbard a Rio Grande sc-sized P90 for his use, and he raves about it. OTOH, it was a hot one, and it went into a Tele he's using for punk.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#28
Quote by NewDayHappy
Even before I had a Dimebucker put in and it was just factory stocks, the bridge pickup just sounded way too trebley for my tastes. I'm not the most knowledgeable guy in the world and I'm not even sure how this makes sense because I like two humbuckers in my guitars, but part of me feels like what makes a Stratocaster is their single coils, not their humbuckers.


oh yeah i mean if you like single coil strat tones then you want sss. but humbuckers are common enough in strats these days that i'd say the super/fat strat is arguably another one of the "classic" guitar styles. different, sure, but nice in its own way.

You have an MIM, right? the tone knob isn't connected to the bridge pickup. that mgiht be your problem right there. with no tone knob it's like the tone is constantly set to "11".

Quote by dannyalcatraz
(a) Autosplit? Never heard of it, and I have looked at the specs of that guitar online. Doesn't mean the FK doesn't have it, but I doubt that it does.


(b) I like the tones I get out of coil-splitting with a good HB- I have a few. I consider the option it a selling point. I was comparing unsplit HB mixed with singlecoils vs. P90s with singlecoils.


(c) Dammit! I'm in Texas. You're in England, right? Go try a Super 60SP and report back!

I'm thinking that the right P90- classic, singlecoil-sized or HB sized- would work just fine.

(d) Hmmm...y'know, I recommended to Cathbard a Rio Grande sc-sized P90 for his use, and he raves about it. OTOH, it was a hot one, and it went into a Tele he's using for punk.


(a) Yeah like Ibanez uses. It automatically splits the humbucker when it's combined with the single coil in positions 2 and 4 on the 5-way switch. The disadvantage is you can't combine the full humbucker with the middle single- to me that's not a problem, because I don't like that sound, and while having a push-pull knob gives you both options, it's too awkward to hit the push-pull and the switch at the same time (IMO) for quick changes.

I don't think your fretking has it, I think I remember reading a review where it said it didn't.

(b) I'm not sure I'd consider it a selling point... but I'd prefer to have it all the same I figure you might as well have it when you don't lose anything, though it can be added later, I suppose, if you really cared.

(c) I'm in Northern Ireland. And I have a super 60sp right here in my house. I'm telling you, the p90 kills position 4, to my ears. it overpowers the middle single coil in the same way that a full/unsplit humbucker would do. It does seem to be a fairly hot p90, though- it's at very least vintage hot, maybe even a bit hotter than that (though the strat-style single coils are also I'd say easily vintage hot output as well). So that's why I said a lower output one may work. I also have the tele SSS fretking (tele single coil bridge pickup, middle and neck strat single coils), and its position 4 is much better- a little twangier than on a strat, but 90% of the way there. And the strat singles sound slightly harder edged and twangier than on a real strat too, I'm guessing because of the different bridge, so position 4 may well sound slightly twangier as much because of the guitar's construction as because of the tele bridge pickup.
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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 29, 2014,
#29
Quote by Dave_Mc
oh yeah i mean if you like single coil strat tones then you want sss. but humbuckers are common enough in strats these days that i'd say the super/fat strat is arguably another one of the "classic" guitar styles. different, sure, but nice in its own way.

You have an MIM, right? the tone knob isn't connected to the bridge pickup. that mgiht be your problem right there. with no tone knob it's like the tone is constantly set to "11".



No, it was an American HSS Strat Special.

Sold it a few weeks ago and picked up an ESP EC1000 instead.
Some see the glass half full, others see the glass half empty. Me? I see that the glass is refillable.
#30
ah ok, yeah the tone's connected to the bridge pickup on that one.

I dunno. maybe it's just a trebly bridge pickup? or maybe you just don't like it?
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?
#31
Quote by Dave_Mc
ah ok, yeah the tone's connected to the bridge pickup on that one.

I dunno. maybe it's just a trebly bridge pickup? or maybe you just don't like it?



I noticed I'm not the only one, I see people with HSS Strats all the time complaining about their guitars. IMO, if I want a Strat, I go with SSS because that's what Fender does best. Hybrid guitars are just not pleasing to my ears.
Some see the glass half full, others see the glass half empty. Me? I see that the glass is refillable.
#32
Can't you just get a SSS pick guard? It should fit rift in, although the same can't be said the other way.
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


#33
Quote by Dave_Mc


(c) I'm in Northern Ireland. And I have a super 60sp right here in my house. I'm telling you, the p90 kills position 4, to my ears. it overpowers the middle single coil in the same way that a full/unsplit humbucker would do. It does seem to be a fairly hot p90, though- it's at very least vintage hot, maybe even a bit hotter than that (though the strat-style single coils are also I'd say easily vintage hot output as well). So that's why I said a lower output one may work. I also have the tele SSS fretking (tele single coil bridge pickup, middle and neck strat single coils), and its position 4 is much better- a little twangier than on a strat, but 90% of the way there. And the strat singles sound slightly harder edged and twangier than on a real strat too, I'm guessing because of the different bridge, so position 4 may well sound slightly twangier as much because of the guitar's construction as because of the tele bridge pickup.


Then you're a tin-eared Irish Killjoy!

Yeah, if I went that route, I WOULD go with one of the smoother voiced P90s unless the singlecoils were hot. I'd probably also ask the pickup maker for his opinion before buying. So far, doing that has served me well. They MAY know something about partnering pickups.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#34
^ hehe

and yeah absolutely. if i were getting a p90/s/s set I'd ask the manufacturer if there were any way to make the outputs match well and not kill position 4's quack. I'd mention I'd be ok with taps as well.

Quote by NewDayHappy
I noticed I'm not the only one, I see people with HSS Strats all the time complaining about their guitars. IMO, if I want a Strat, I go with SSS because that's what Fender does best. Hybrid guitars are just not pleasing to my ears.


I dunno. I love superstrats- though I also know why a lot of people don't. As you said, you sort of end up with a hybrid, which does a bunch of wildly different tones really well, but the overall instrument might not quite "gel" together as well.

Also a lot of people complain about Fender humbuckers. it's possible fender just isn't that great at making humbuckers, too.
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?