#1
Iron Maiden sound. I know Dave uses a hot rail in the bridge but not sure what else, or is he all hot rails? I have never upgraded pickups in any of my guitars but I have a lovely custom strat that I got set up last weekend and my God it plays like a dream. I want to keep the strat "vibe" but would like a little bit more oomph for it. I'm pretty set on a hot rail bridge unless you guys can really sell me on another single coil slot pickup. What would you recommend me for neck and mid? Some places I read hot rail bridge, vintage rail mid, and cool rail neck is a good versatile setup. Thoughts?

Thanks guys. Really enjoying playing again during my "second wind" so to speak. I've always been a better drummer but love playing guitar too!
#2
SD just released a Dave Murray loaded pickguard; feel free to do your own thing but that's Hot Rails neck and bridge and JB Jr. middle. Iirc his sig Strat had Dimarzio Super Distortions but I could be totally making that up.
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Last edited by K33nbl4d3 at Aug 17, 2015,
#3
Oh nice, I'll need to check that out. Are loaded pickguards like that just as good of quality as buying and wiring them all in individually? Probably a dumb question lmao.
#4
I've never used one, but the pickups used are the real deal so I can't imagine it'd be worth cutting corners elsewhere
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#5
I see. Just looked it up, and 300 is a bit more than I was wanting to spend. It is nice that it's all put together already and all that. How important are the pots that come on it? My current tone and volume knobs work great so I assume they'll be fine with new "singular" pups too, right?
#6
Yeah, if your pots work fine and you're able to do the wiring yourself you might as well save yourself the money and install the pickups individually and you'll be fine.
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#7
Here is one that costs you 220 USD with a tenner shipping if you live in the US and A:

click
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#8
I'd just get a JB Jr for the bridge. I had one modified to fit my old tele and it did iron maiden and most other 80's-00's metal rock absolutely fine.

you could just buy a HSS unloaded pick-guard for $10ish and put a full sized HB in it
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#9
Quote by Robbgnarly
I'd just get a JB Jr for the bridge. I had one modified to fit my old tele and it did iron maiden and most other 80's-00's metal rock absolutely fine.

you could just buy a HSS unloaded pick-guard for $10ish and put a full sized HB in it

If your guitar is routed for a humbucker in the bridge, that is.
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#10
Quote by icanhasgodmode
If your guitar is routed for a humbucker in the bridge, that is.

yeah, good point.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#11
Quote by icanhasgodmode
If your guitar is routed for a humbucker in the bridge, that is.

I thought that was pretty standard with Strats, nowadays, though?
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#12
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I thought that was pretty standard with Strats, nowadays, though?

Could be, but you can't be sure. But you're gonna lift the pickguard anyway, so you'll see it before you order anything anyway.
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#13
I have a Kent Armstrong Power Blade in the bridge of my strat and it's amazing. I like it quite a bit more than SD Hot Rails and they are under $40.
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#14
I'd look into the lil killer/puncher set of rails from Guitar Fetish. Price is pleasing and from every source I've heard they're darn good.
#15
Dave Murray have used Hotrails in all three positions for quite a while, but recently switched the middle pickup for a JB Jr citing better clean tone as the reason, Janick Gers uses JB Jr's and have done so since he joined Maiden in 1990 as far as I know. As for Adrian, he used/uses a full size DiMarzio Super Distortion and never used any other position on his Strat/Charvel San Dimas models (as well as in his Les Paul Deluxe that's been routed to accommodate the full size humbucker).

No need to buy the loaded Murray pickguard, just switch neck and bridge humbuckers for either JB Jrs or Hotrails and you're good to go (these pickups are designed to go with 250k stock Stratocaster pots) - how many use the middle position anyway?

Oh, I have the JB Jr's in mine. Really nails Gers' tone, if you like that.
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#16
Quote by HomerSGR
Dave Murray have used Hotrails in all three positions for quite a while, but recently switched the middle pickup for a JB Jr citing better clean tone as the reason, Janick Gers uses JB Jr's and have done so since he joined Maiden in 1990 as far as I know. As for Adrian, he used/uses a full size DiMarzio Super Distortion and never used any other position on his Strat/Charvel San Dimas models (as well as in his Les Paul Deluxe that's been routed to accommodate the full size humbucker).

No need to buy the loaded Murray pickguard, just switch neck and bridge humbuckers for either JB Jrs or Hotrails and you're good to go (these pickups are designed to go with 250k stock Stratocaster pots) - how many use the middle position anyway?

Oh, I have the JB Jr's in mine. Really nails Gers' tone, if you like that.


Thanks a lot for the info. Really helps my decision out

How is the clean on the JB Jr. / Hot Rails neck pickups? I know the bridge versions can growl but am unsure how the clean on the neck pickup is. Thanks!
#17
This probably isn't that useful but I figured I'd just add this:

For what it's worth, I just checked, and it's the old Murray signature Strat I was thinking of that had a Super Distortion in the bridge, a DiMarzio PAF DP-103 in the neck and a vintage-style Fender singlecoil in the middle position. Presumably modelled after his old workhorse from the '80s:

As HomerSGR says, though, I think it was somepoint between Bruce eras that he came to favour the Hot Rails, since I can only find post-reunion photos of him using the things.

My two cents on that old signature - the fact that it was using a "vintage-style Fender" middle pickup probably suggests that that pickup's not supposed to get much mileage and is just there for the aesthetic, or it'd be a branded, named one.
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#18
Quote by Dinglebuttz

How is the clean on the JB Jr. / Hot Rails neck pickups?


I haven't tried the JB Jr. but the hot rails neck's clean tone is middling at best. I'm not much a fan. It splits reasonably well, though, and I guess the clean tone split is a bit better.
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#19
Thanks again! Man this is a hard decision... Just saw the "Everything Strat" set as well and that is tempting me as well, but I rarely use the middle pickup as is and am probably better off just buying a new neck and bridge pup and leaving the mid alone.
#20
Quote by Dinglebuttz
Thanks a lot for the info. Really helps my decision out

How is the clean on the JB Jr. / Hot Rails neck pickups? I know the bridge versions can growl but am unsure how the clean on the neck pickup is. Thanks!


The JB Jr has a clean tone that is many many miles better than the Hot Rails, which have awful clean tone. I mean really bad (imo obviously but im super persnickety about cleans)
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#21
Quote by Acϵ♠
The JB Jr has a clean tone that is many many miles better than the Hot Rails, which have awful clean tone. I mean really bad (imo obviously but im super persnickety about cleans)


So a Hot Rails in bridge and a JB Jr at neck would be a good combo in your opinion? Or would HR bridge and a Lil 59 neck be better? I know it's all preference but I don't have any way outside of YouTube videos to hear tones but those can be misleading!
#22
In my opinion, routing the pickguard and putting humbuckers in would be the best solution for you if humbucker tone is what you're after

but if you dont want to do that, i would forego the Hot Rails altogether and go with the classic JB Jr-Lil 59 bridge-neck combo
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#23
Quote by Acϵ♠
In my opinion, routing the pickguard and putting humbuckers in would be the best solution for you if humbucker tone is what you're after

but if you dont want to do that, i would forego the Hot Rails altogether and go with the classic JB Jr-Lil 59 bridge-neck combo


Thanks a lot. I will listen to some sound clips tonight and see how they sound!
#24
Quote by Acϵ♠
The JB Jr has a clean tone that is many many miles better than the Hot Rails, which have awful clean tone. I mean really bad (imo obviously but im super persnickety about cleans)


nah i was being charitable. yeah unsplit the hot rails' clean tone is pretty much horrible. it's way too hot, and way too warm. it's like they were trying to compensate for the inherently thinner tone from a single coil-sized pickup, but massively overdid it.

split the cleans are decent.
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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.

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Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?