#1
Hi, my band is starting to become more indiefied you could say. I'm selling my mexican strat that i've had for 6 months because i'm looking to invest more with what i have. I've had my eye on a standard american fender strat but the Suhr classic pro series has caught my eye, i like the fact that is has zero-hum, has great playability and sound. All i want to know would the HSS type be decent for indie and hard rock? or am i better off getting the SSS? I like all types of music so as i understand now the HSS would be more versatile? I need help trying to figure out what to choose, cheers guys.
#2
The Suhr is going to be a huge step up from a MIM, for sure. HSS or SSS is total preference, and it's hard to know what will suit you best. HSS is commonly billed as "more versatile" but that's context-dependent. Certainly the bridge humbucker has more output and tends to work really well for a lot of high gain and heavier styles, but if the versatility you're looking at is in a different direction - country, rockabilly, funk - the single coil might fit better. Even if you can't play the Suhr version, I'm sure a guitar shop near you has a selection of SSS and HSS strats you can try out to get a feel for what each of those types brings to the table.

Personally, I struggled with HSS guitars for years and years because they were "more versatile" and just never got along well with them. They always felt like too much of a compromise. The humbucker will deliver if you need metal or heavy rock out of it, but they always felt a bit out of place to me, they don't mix well with the single coils (the Suhr does better than most, with the auto-split in position 2; still not great), and eventually I decided that the humbuckers were better suited to a different guitar altogether instead of shoehorned into a strat. Lots of people feel differently, and if you're a one-guitar sort of person then your needs will be different. But I think a strat loses a lot when you remove the bridge single coil, and the humbucker isn't a strict upgrade unless you really need it.

Careful if you're buying the Suhr used. The Classic Pro series didn't always come stock with the SSC system.
#3
Roc8995 I like your point about having humbuckers in a seperate guitar for that purpose. I have an epiphone with alnico ii pickups that work very well for that hard rock sound i want, however i seem to feel like if i am going to pay so much for a new guitar, i should perhaps have it fully equipped just in case i feel i want to cover all aspects of the spectrum of music? But i suppose do i need to spend that much on a Suhr rather than just go for a cheaper strat coil model? Ah good shout, yeah i will definitely be buying new. Another question, if down the line i needed to sell it on, would a suhr hold its value ya think? Cheers

EDIT: about the SSC system, the newer suhr models have the noiseless V70 pickups for that. Which sound great, almost transparent through the tone.
Last edited by mitchell9d at Jul 30, 2016,
#4
I don't think it's necessarily a good idea to think of an HSS guitar as "fully equipped" compared to HSS, or that you should get one just because you think an expensive guitar should be able to cover everything.

I'll put it this way. If you were looking for a shiny new Lamborghini, would you feel like you should get one with mudflaps and a trailer hitch, in case you wanted to take it camping? Do you think that a 4-door Lamborghini minivan with a big trunk and a snack tray is better equipped to cover all aspects of driving? I mean, in some ways it would be, but if you want a minivan, get a minivan, and if you want a Lamborghini get one of those. They're all valid modes of transportation, but an HSS isn't a better guitar just because it has a humbucker. It doesn't make sense to say that a Lamborghini should be good for racing and for hauling lumber just because it's expensive. I don't mean to disparage the HSS option, but it sounds like you're choosing it for the wrong reason. Play a few and see which setup works best for you, don't worry about what's "more versatile" or whatever on paper. That doesn't make any difference to an individual player. If you don't like the humbucker and you miss the bridge single, that's not more versatile at all, it's just a crappy fit for your needs.

Suhr resale is pretty easy to see, jump on Reverb or the Gear Page and check out prices. As with any new guitar you're going to lose a fair chunk re-selling used, so you may want to consider buying a used one in the first place. There's plenty to choose from and you'll lose little or nothing in resale.

The V70s are not noiseless pickups. They are quiet for single coils but the SSC is what makes the guitar silent. This year's Classic Pro lineup has the SSCII system standard.
#5
^^^ This!

The Suhr is a great guitar but so is a Corona Standard Strat, Corona Deluxe Strat (noisless), and many other guitars. My suggestion is choose a guitar that suits your style right now instead of shopping for a "twelve-way Swiss Army Knife". A lot of players fall into this trap but the truth is, no guitar does everything brilliantly and every one is a compromise in one way or another. Instead of dropping big $$$ on one axe, I suggest a quality single coil guitar and a HB guitar will be much more versatile and satisfying long term. STD USA Strat/Tele and a PRS would be on my short list.

YMMV
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Jul 30, 2016,
#6
The difference between a new and a used Suhr could get you a totally good humbucker guitar. You could get a used Classic Pro and an EC1000 if they were both used.
#7
Thanks for the replies. I guess it boils down to knowing what i want out of a guitar and how much use i'll get out of a specific pickup configuration before i step in straight away and purchase it. I feel like i'm a bit laid-back in getting a fender because i wan't to try something new. The thing is i won't be able to try out the Suhr before i buy it as there is none stocked around my area.

Also: the only thing about a full single coil setup SSS that i'll miss is the quack on the position 4 where the middle and bridge is engaged. Will i still be able to get a semi-decent ''quack'' with a split middle and humbucker?
Last edited by mitchell9d at Jul 30, 2016,
#8
I agree with colin except I love superstrats (though I think if push comes to shove I prefer HSH to HSS, or even just HH). He's definitely right in that you need to try them, that "versatility" is a bit of a vague term and there are different types of versatility. And he also makes a very good point in that often if something tries to be too many things, that you end up with something which is middling at everything rather than something which excels at everything. And I also agree that deciding based on a spec on paper rarely ends well.

However, I'm not sure about his logic about getting a "humbucker guitar"- what is a "humbucker guitar" exactly? The first les pauls had P90s. In that respect you could argue that whacking a humbucker into a strat is little different from whacking one into a les paul- both are design changes (which a lot of players like) which differ from the original layout of the guitar. Plus I'd argue that what's important is how the thing sounds, rather than sticking religiously to tradition. (I realise I'm being a little facetious here, but I still think that underneath that I'm making a valid point. )

It's also worth pointing out that while superstrats are often used as "jack of all trades" guitars by session or cover band players to get more versatility, that's not always the case. There are plenty of types of music where a superstrat is actually the main type of guitar used (for example, 80s rock and metal, shreddy instrumental stuff, even a lot of modern metal) and the people who use superstrats for those types of music probably aren't using them to hedge their bets in case they suddenly need to play a Buddy Holly number in the middle of their Ratt tribute act, they're using them because they suit that style of music better. I have more than one guitar, including what Colin would likely call "humbucker guitars", and I still use my superstrats probably the most of all of my guitars. Granted, that's because they suit what I play. But they do suit it better (in my opinion at least), they certainly don't feel like I'm "settling" with a jack-of-all-trades, it's more like I'm making a conscious decision to use what I like more. They play, feel and sound a bit different from, say, a Gibson with humbuckers- if you prefer Gibsons for those tones you'll not see the point in an HSS strat but if you prefer Fenders you may find they make perfect sense.

(Also what colin called a negative, the disparity in outputs between the different pickup types, can actually be a bonus for some players if they like that- again it just depends on what you prefer and how you play.)

As you (mitchell9d) noted above in your post, it also depends a fair bit on what pickup positions you use most when you use a strat- if you're one of those strat players who only uses the neck pickup, then you can get the HSS version almost as a shot to nothing because it's not going to affect the main strat tones you usually go for anyway. And yeah you can get a semi-decent quack in position 4 if you have auto-split on the humbucker (as colin said), but most people would still say a "real" single coil in the bridge position will give you a better quack.

So yeah, you need to decide:

a) What type of versatility do you want? Some players prefer having the mix of pickup types (HSS or HSH) while others feel that having the same pickup types makes the guitar work better as a "whole" and would prefer to do other things to get that extra versatility (e.g. a boost pedal for heavier stuff).

b) Which pickups do you tend to use most when you use a strat? If you never use the bridge or bridge + middle settings, then it's probably not worth worrying overly about. In fact, most strats are HSS-routed anyway so the decision is reversible whichever option you go for.

Of course, the problem arises if (like me) you prefer a humbucker in the bridge of a strat but also like the bridge + middle tone.

c) Do you want an HSS strat because you like it better than a Gibson-style humbucker guitar? Or because you find it more versatile? Or because you've heard it's more versatile? Or because you know it suits your style(s) of music and playing the best? Or some other reason (or a mix of those reasons)?

Pretty much it's back to what Colin originally said- some players like HSS strats and some don't and you kind of need to figure that out. Granted, as I said, don't worry too much because you can normally convert one to the other without too much bother.
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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 Jul 30, 2016,
#9
I think as long as i get a semi-decent quack on the middle and bridge position with a hum-bucker, i'll be set. I just want something that can give me excellent clean tones that work with a mix of things like The Smiths etc, and newer indie sounds. But i also want a bigger crunch when needed without sacrificing the nice clean sounds? That is my worry. Its sort of, do i need the humbucker really? Guess i'll have a think more. In terms of a humbucker guitar, i own an Epiphone that has Alnico ii pickups in it that i installed that absolutely does the job for what i want (Hard-rock), But i want to know if the SSS configuaration in the bridge can give me a heavy crunch. I suppose the thing that annoys me a lot about single coils is that i can't go super crunchy if i need to because the noise is just unbareable, but maybe the pickups suhr have there will be able to take that because of the noise cancelling system. Cheers.
#10
Quote by Dave_Mc
However, I'm not sure about his logic about getting a "humbucker guitar"- what is a "humbucker guitar" exactly?

It's a guitar with humbuckers! I don't mean any particular sort of guitar at all, just that HSS setups don't work for me, and I find that if I've got a humbucker in the bridge, I want one somewhere else too. It's not the mix of single and humbucker, really, it's specifically the HSS strat setup that I don't like very much. HSH, SH, I like just fine. I often see HSS often written about as if it were SSS but better/more versatile, and that's not the entire story. It seemed like TS had heard similar things, so I wanted to give a different point of view.

The main point was, a lot of advice seems to be just to get the HSS strat because it's got a humbucker which makes it more flexible, and I fell into the same conventional rut for a long time and it didn't work out for me. As you say, it's just important to figure it out for yourself and not assume that one is exactly as advertised.
#11
Quote by Roc8995
It's a guitar with humbuckers! I don't mean any particular sort of guitar at all, just that HSS setups don't work for me, and I find that if I've got a humbucker in the bridge, I want one somewhere else too. It's not the mix of single and humbucker, really, it's specifically the HSS strat setup that I don't like very much. HSH, SH, I like just fine. I often see HSS often written about as if it were SSS but better/more versatile, and that's not the entire story. It seemed like TS had heard similar things, so I wanted to give a different point of view.

The main point was, a lot of advice seems to be just to get the HSS strat because it's got a humbucker which makes it more flexible, and I fell into the same conventional rut for a long time and it didn't work out for me. As you say, it's just important to figure it out for yourself and not assume that one is exactly as advertised.


Ah right yeah I see what you mean- I do like HSS, and I can see why people might say it's sort of like a strat with more versatility... but I also kind of agree with you in that if I have a bridge humbucker there's a fair chance I'd rather have another humbucker in the neck position.

Funnily enough (just from reading people's opinions on forums I mean) most people seem to prefer HSS to HSH, and if you ask me HSH is sort of unfairly ignored IMO.
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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?
#12
Quote by mitchell9d
I think as long as i get a semi-decent quack on the middle and bridge position with a hum-bucker, i'll be set. I just want something that can give me excellent clean tones that work with a mix of things like The Smiths etc, and newer indie sounds. But i also want a bigger crunch when needed without sacrificing the nice clean sounds? That is my worry. Its sort of, do i need the humbucker really? Guess i'll have a think more. In terms of a humbucker guitar, i own an Epiphone that has Alnico ii pickups in it that i installed that absolutely does the job for what i want (Hard-rock), But i want to know if the SSS configuaration in the bridge can give me a heavy crunch. I suppose the thing that annoys me a lot about single coils is that i can't go super crunchy if i need to because the noise is just unbareable, but maybe the pickups suhr have there will be able to take that because of the noise cancelling system. Cheers.


I'm a strat player and fan but agree with the others that sometimes you need a guitar with humbuckers which is why I have both. as for a strat getting a heavy crunch well that depends on what your idea of a heavy crunch is. single coil strat pickups will never give you the same sound as a humbucker they just aren't designed that way. you can get different pickups that will help in that dept (and still be single coil). if you need bottom heavy crunch then humbuckers are the way to go.

you may want to consider modding your MIM with different pickups, give Lace Sensor a look as they make almost noiseless pickups in a wide variety for strats that are pretty versatile. this would free up a bunch of money for a different guitar to give you more tonal options. personally I think this is a better route to go rather than going for a jack of all trades (master of none) guitar. if you are heading in a more indie direction perhaps an Epi ES-335 style guitar would be a good choice.
#13
monwobobbo I did think of putting new pickups in my mexican but i feel like, i want a guitar that will last me more. I know a guitar lasts as much as you treat it but if i can invest in a properly well-made quality control guitar then i feel that it might be a better option. The humbucker thing may not be an issue now as i've seen a few videos where a suhr sss is able to withstand the hard-rock sound.



Check out that video

and this is extreme

Last edited by mitchell9d at Jul 31, 2016,
#14
monwobobbo I did think of putting new pickups in my mexican but i feel like, i want a guitar that will last me more. I know a guitar lasts as much as you treat it but if i can invest in a properly well-made quality control guitar then i feel that it might be a better option. The humbucker thing may not be an issue now as i've seen a few videos where a suhr sss is able to withstand the hard-rock sound.



well of course that is up to you. just for the record my MIM is 21 years old and works just fine, it's also my number 1 over my 1989 Fender Strat Plus Deluxe which was the top of the line back then. the MIM for whatever reason just feels better to me. now yes it's been modded but that doesn't change the feel of the guitar. MIMs are solidly made guitars that just need a little help to be really fantastic guitars. I've been playing for over 35 years now and understand the desire for an expensive nice guitar. thing is that I found out after many years of thinking that way that a nice guitar is a nice guitar regardless of price. make sure you shop with your hands and your ears.

to be fair Suhr makes some mighty fine guitars however I did play a couple of their Strat style guitars and found them no better than a US standard in terms of feel and overall sound. their super strats are really nice and they make some pretty guitars. pretty doesn't matter to the ears though.
Last edited by monwobobbo at Jul 31, 2016,
#15
See you should go play it.

I'll tell you this. I went 3 years ago to buy the fender select strat HSS, and walked out with an FSR standard strat sss.

I'd say go to a shop and play before buying.
song stuck in my head today


#16
Yeah, my epiphone sounds fantastic, its not so much i want an ''expensive guitar'' because its an expensive guitar. Its just i have some money to spend, and i'd like to treat myself i guess and find a gem to have. I won't be able to try the Suhr because there are none in my area unfortunately, so still unsure yet. But when i hear things like this it sways me more.

#17
mitchell9d

dude just cuz you have cash burning a hole doesn't mean you have to spend it all. I highly recommend trying as many guitars as you can in person though similar gear as your own. vids often sound great but when you get the actual thing in your hands it doesn't sound the same which leads to disappointment. personally I won't buy a guitar that I haven't tried, I have to "know" it's worth getting for "me". yeah I know return policies etc but that just wastes time and again can lead to disappointment. I also strongly urge folks to keep an open mind and try as many different guitars as they can even if they are models they never thought they'd be interested in. my humbucker #1 is a BC Rich Eagle. never played one before this or even gave that model a second thought. after less than 5 minutes of playing it I knew I had to have it.

again your cash and decision and no one knows better than you what will work and what you want out of a guitar.
#18
Quote by monwobobbo
vids often sound great but when you get the actual thing in your hands it doesn't sound the same which leads to disappointment.


yeah that's what i was going to say
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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
I say before you order go play some at a local shop for fun. Go in with no expectations and if it takes you no where whatever. At least you did some due diligence.

I thought I'd like the Ibanez Jem a lot more than I did and the Fender jaguar. I ended up liking a Godin and the Mustang.

when I went to buy an acoustic I thought Fender again but liked Washburn and seagull a lot more.
song stuck in my head today


#20
Suhr makes top grade guitars, so there will be no issues from a quality standpoint. On the subject of HSS v SSS - if you play any heavier styles than he HSS is the better fit. I have an HSS silhouette special and it is amazing. I also own an American Standard SSS and i basically stopped playing it altogether.

The neck pickup is where single coils excel, not the bridge. That being said, you do get better consistency when switching ftom neck to bridge on a SSS.
#21
I don't really need to give my opinion on this subject because Suhr's are well documented as one of the absolute best guitars on the planet. As far as going from an MIM Strat to a Suhr, its like going from a 1996 Toyota Camry base model, to having a brand new Lexus RC F Sport. They're not even in the same planet.
Gear:
1987 Charvel Model II
2010 Carvin ST300C
1990 Charvette 100
1991 Ibanez RG560M
2006 Fender Mexi Strat
Jackson/Charvel Star W/ Custom Graphics.
Ovation CP 247 Acoustic
Line 6 POD HD Pro X
Pro Tools 9

Tutorial: Studio Quality Programmed Drum Sounds
#22
I found the best compromise between a Strat bridge pickup and a bridge bucker was to get a single-coil sized humbucker. Doing this in conjunction with wiring my guitar to have the tone knob apply to the bridge position allowed for me to get a good amount of twang out of that position and also be able to get some fat crunch. Of course, I compromised a bit on both sounds, but I liked the results and found I had a slightly more versatile axe than if I had gone HSS or SSS.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#23
So if you buy the SSS model and find that you really want an HSS, can you just swap the pickups and pick guard like you do on a Fender?

Or what about dropping a HSS pick guard into your MIM Strat and see if that's what you want before spending the $ on the Suhr when you aren't "sure".

Or for that matter just buy a used MIM HSS and play it for a while and then sell it for the same price when you're finished with the test drive?
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#24
Yes, lots of interchangeable options there. Only caveat would be cost/resale on modding the Suhr, if it comes to that.
The most efficient test I think (Assuming just playing a few at a store doesn't help you decide) is to get an SSS strat and then just drop in a single-sized humbucker like the JB Junior or Little 59. No pickguard replacement or routing considerations, and just as easy to reverse.
I agree about trying it out with a MIM first, since you've already got it. If you do the work yourself you can get a used JB Junior for $60 and figure out if it works for you. That's nothing compared to the cost of the Suhr,
#25
^ yeah that's a good point about the resale with the suhr- don't do any irreversible mods to anything expensive!
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 metalmingee
So if you buy the SSS model and find that you really want an HSS, can you just swap the pickups and pick guard like you do on a Fender?

Or what about dropping a HSS pick guard into your MIM Strat and see if that's what you want before spending the $ on the Suhr when you aren't "sure".

Or for that matter just buy a used MIM HSS and play it for a while and then sell it for the same price when you're finished with the test drive?


Depends on body routing. I don't know Suhr that well but fender is all over the place. My strat I need compact humbuckers cause my actual body is routed for SSS.

But I had a black top and they were swimming pool route. Swimming pool being a big rectangle cut out.
song stuck in my head today


Last edited by lbc_sublime at Aug 2, 2016,