May 24th, 2012, 01:17 PM
hi all. i'm seeking some advice. i've never owned a strat, but lately i keep realizing that i need some quack. i keep finding myself wishing i could get that sultans of swing, centerfield, free ride, sweet home alabama intro, lay down sally, etc quack tone thing.
i was thinking of starting cheap. just putting together a s-type guitar from inexpensive parts. i've already got a mighty mite strat neck leftover from another project, so i figure i'll get a mighty mite body. for pickups, i was thinking i'd go with the GFS 1963 Strat Vintage Wound Professional Pickup Set (normal wound, not rw/rp, to maximize quack). But I'm not sure what to do about a bridge. I guess the choice is between a GFS Import Spaced bridge and a GFS USA Spaced bridge. i've read that if you get the USA spaced one there's very little wiggle room, and you can end up with a high e string that wants to fall off the side of the fingerboard. the mighty mite is a pretty skinny neck. what to do? err on the safe side and go with the import spacing?
if an experienced strat player or two would weigh in and help save me from any potential pitfalls i'd appreciate it. thanks!
May 24th, 2012, 01:53 PM
For maximum quack just be sure the center pickup should be the opposite polarity from the other 2. Just my.02
May 24th, 2012, 02:03 PM
hmm. thanks for the 2 cents. now i'm starting to get a little confused. about those gfs pickups, the website says:
"Chose either a normal wound mid pickup or an RW/RP mid for hum canceling in positions 2 and 4. If you're a true vintage tone freak you'll go for standard wound to maintain maximum 'quack'...but for the gigging musician that hum canceling is awfully handy and you don't lose too much."
RodeoTex, it seems like your advice and the blurb from the GFS site contradict each other.
Am I misunderstanding something? thanks again.
May 24th, 2012, 02:23 PM
wow, i just came across don mare's thread on maximizing quack.
good to know before i put this thing together.
i do still wonder which bridge string spacging would be best to use with a mighty mite strat neck and body. anybody know? thanks!
May 24th, 2012, 03:26 PM
Some give better quack than others...You need a normal single bridge and middle..
RW RWP mid single coil is ok...just no buckers in pos bridg or mid.
May 24th, 2012, 03:57 PM
Don Mare is on target. I like to use tone control, so I would amend #4 to include a no-load pot. Pickup height can be very sensitive depending on the pups you got.
Personally, when I build a Strat, I like the vintage spacing. If you have trouble with your E strings not lining up, you can always drill the body holes slightly larger and adjust the neck slightly to one side.
May 24th, 2012, 03:59 PM
That set might be too hot for optimal quack. I know DC resistance is not the whole story but 6.1, 6.5, 7k seems too much to me.
This sentence on some GFS ad copy (not these pups) makes me wary of their pickups:
"Like all GFS pickups these have noticeably more bottom end than the big name brands. Our signature sound is crisp, clear and REALLY warm."
Basically anytime they capitalize all the letters in a word I get anxiety :lol:.
I get great quack from custom shop pickups -- '54 bridge, fat 50's mid, '69 neck. I got them all used for roughly $30 a piece.. that is only a ~$25 increase on the GFS set you mentioned. YMMV, but my mind rested easier knowing I had a good trio of acclaimed "Fender" pickups. GFS just makes me nervous, though I buy from there frequently; ymmv.
I believe RW/RP has little to do with quack and it's all about the pickups spacing apart from each other and location along the length of the strings. You can search a lot of threads here about the subject.
May 24th, 2012, 04:22 PM
On the bridge spacing thing, If you've ever played a strat in a music store or one belonging to a friend, remember this- just about all non MIA strats use the import spacing. The spacing of the strings at the nut will also factor into how close to the edges of the fretboard your e-strings will be.
May 24th, 2012, 05:09 PM
wow, thanks for all the thoughts.
if i'm reading this right, it appears that mighty mite strat trem bridges have the import string spacing of 10.5mm:
so i'm going to guess that's what I should use with a mighty mite neck then.
waparker4, thanks for the advice about pickup output & quack, and for the custom shop pickups recommendations. i'm a little daunted by the work involved in tracking down used ones, though maybe i will. I did find a loaded pickguard off a 90s USA am std for sale for $125, though. That seems like about as EASY an option as I'll come across. Am I right to think that would give me the quack i seek, so long as I closely follow Don Mare's instructions?
May 24th, 2012, 05:38 PM
The CS choices should each give you quack, being low output wound and well made.
I went a weird way about it looking for used ones and shopped based on which I preferred for each position. Luckily for me they ended up matching very well.
My strat has CS 69 in the neck - very hendrixy there
fat 50s mid -- i was most worried about this one because I wasn't keen on the neck or bridge pup sounds as much as the other models, but they really match well with the others.. with the 69 they do a thicker wooly sound but with the cs 54 bridge its full on quack. Only one that's RW/RP. Now that I have it and it's not a YT video, I think a whole set would be kickin'. The mid is rel. high at 6.5k.. so I lowered it.
CS 54 bridge- i had it set up too low for the longest time.. jacked it up two days ago and I'm impressed. Right now they are riding on the line, where any closer & I would get overwhelming treble, but where they are i'm just getting pure bite. It almost sounds like a tele bridge. (No tone control == stock wiring)
Check out these vids if you haven't seen them, there's one for neck, mid, and bridge, comparing 57/62, cs50, cs54, cs69, and a duncan.. But bear in mind it is just a YT vid.
If I were starting another, I would also look at Wilde keystones or the 57/62 set for starters... though my 'research' at the time of finding my pups was pretty limited to Fender (I have to limit my options or my brain will go insane, so I like to start with Fender). The keystones in particular are a ridiculously good value it seems, haven't tried them.
Don Mare's instructions look good, I don't have any experience with his 245k pot cutoff though. The treble bypass suggestion is a good one. I pretty much only dial back my tone (.022 cap) when playing with OD/dist.
May 24th, 2012, 05:55 PM
oh yeah. i totally forgot about the keystones. i've read great things about those. $84 for all 3 sounds like a deal.