I own a Fender Mexican Standard HSS strat. I am a huge fan of metal; bands like Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Judas Priest and early Metallica. Unfortunately, this guitar does not play that great with metal. I heard that certain Seymour Duncans can get me the sound I want. Any recommendations? By the way, i care more about the Humbuckers, but you can also mention the single-coils.
get the EMG 81 for the bridge, then its either the S or SA's for the mid and neck pickups. sounds like they'd fit your music choices well. just im not sure what your take is on active pickups (meaning they run on batteries)
Maybe a SD JB with 2 Hot Rails.
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No offense, but Im against emg's (especially in a strat)... unless you have the time and money to fix them up with effects and what not all your going to get is the 1 Emg sound out of it.

edit: the hot rails are pretty nice.
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Quote by QuebecMetal
Maybe a SD JB with 2 Hot Rails.

Sounds perfect to me, i know Dave Murray uses Hot Rails, pretty sure all three, on his strats
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Quote by QuebecMetal
Maybe a SD JB with 2 Hot Rails.

I'd go with this option. JB + Hot Rails is a killer combination.
Wow! Its only been 10 minutes, and i already got replies! Thanks, guys!

Well, the battery thing can be bothersome. But i hear that Seymour duncans work well with Jacksons, strats, Charvel, Kramer, etc, ecspecially tremolo guitars. I would like EMG 81s, since a lot of professionals, like Kirk Hammett, use them. But I'm still skeptical. How about invaders or Dimebuckers?
Avoid Dimebuckers and Invaders, both are pretty terrible SD pickups. I second the idea of JB + 2 hot rails, maybe even have a JB, hot rail in the middle, and a Lil' 59 in the neck for even more versatility.
Really? Well, a lot of guys are going with those choices. But please explain how the other choices are bad, or not as good, so i can clarify my final decision.

It seems the EMG guys had given up.
Both are very trebley and at times extremely muddy too, for what they are you could just do a lot better (the JB is used a lot but that is because it's a pretty versatile pick-up). The EMGs aren't bad per say but they'll be very one-dimensional, at least with this set-up you get a bit more versatility out of your guitar.
would a JB cover heavy riffs? To me, it looks like it does clean solos, but what about riffs? By the way, was it made for metal, or all genres?

and would it actually work in my strat? I heard that even if they have the same input, they wont work like theyy're supposed to.In other words, has it ever been done before, or will i be the first to journey into this new sound?
Last edited by Dethonator at May 22, 2008,
The pick-up should work, their website would better explain all you'd need to know better than I can. And the JB wasn't exactly made for metal or a genre in particular (if I'm correct I believe it was made for Jeff Beck hence JB) but it can definitely handle heavy riffs, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth used a JB and Jazz set before he moved to his signature Seymour Duncan Livewire pick-ups (which are basically an active JB and Jazz set, so it's still got the JB tone).
Wicked, just the thread I was looking for!

Especially because I was considering an EMG replacement in my strat.

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Definitely a Duncan JB and two hot rails.

Avoid EMGs if at all possible - they have horrible tone and are the least versatile humbucker I have ever played through.

If you are going for an active pickup checkout a Duncan Blackout - a lot of famous musicians are switching from EMGs over to the Duncan Blackouts.
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The JB will definitely handle heavy riffs, and from what you described it doesn't sound like you want a really brutal tone anyways, except for Metallica. Willy Adler from Lamb of God uses a JB . It will give you more versatility too, than an invader or dimebucker. I've never played through a custom so I can't give any input on that. I vote hot rails for the single coil slots too.

To answer your battery question for active pups, they last quite a while as long as you remember to unplug it when not playing. I just now changed the 9V for my EMGs and I bought my Hellraiser in September. However, I wouldn't suggest actives for your situation, it'll cost a lot more too if you have to cut into the body to fit the battery.