Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Stratocaster with Thick Single Coil sound?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by RoCkstAr256, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. RoCkstAr256

    RoCkstAr256 Tele-Holic

    Jan 3, 2017
    I known theres is a topic about Strat single coil here, but honestly my topic is different. I have seen people not using strat bridge pickups so often as neck or middle. Always found Strat Single coild to be weak comapred to Telecaster Bridge.

    I known there is a solution to change pickups to for e.g. :

    But why can't we get stronger bridge pickups on stratocaster? I known standard mexican single coils were quite strong in strats. New player series are rather weaker. I have played my friends American Strat and it felt like it has only 50% of bridge pickup power to my Mexican Standard Tele. With my Mim Standard and Player i can play modern high gain bands like S.O.A.D , Deftones, Tool . With strat? Grunge is at its best.

    I dont really like idea of mini humbuckers. They kills the sound. Wonder what other pickups can be used in strat bridge? What kind of thick and high outpit pickups we have for stratocasters apart from Quarter Pound?

    I would get stratocaster if single could were more pwoerfull. I really dig single coil sound, wouldnt like fat strat
  2. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 11, 2006
    Near Athens GA USA
    Mainly because the market, and especially the Strat market, has rejected ceramic pickups as being cheap and unworthy and must be replaced as soon as possible by good Alnico pickups. That means that you only find them on the cheapest of Strat-oids, further reinforcing that impression.
    bsman, 3-Chord-Genius and Backbeat8 like this.
  3. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Friend of Leo's

    Dec 18, 2016
    Camden Point, MO
    I have a feeling that you could contact Mr. DiStefano at Cavalier and tell him what you want.

    That’s what I did and he gave me what I asked for !
    lineboat and awasson like this.
  4. whoanelly15

    whoanelly15 Tele-Meister

    Aug 30, 2017
    Insightful. Seems silly, doesn't it?

    Do tell.
  5. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 8, 2014
    I have a 1969 Strat I bought in 1976. I was playing in a rock and roll band, and experienced exactly what the OP describes. I was playing in a band with another guitar player that used a Les Paul. I replaced the bridge pickup with a DiMarzio SDS-1, a hot ceramic pickup. I didn't know dick about ceramic/alnico at the time, all I knew was now I could get a thick, rock and roll tone when I couldn't before. That pickup is still in the guitar and I'll never change it.

    Another choice is the DiMarzio Chopper T. I have a cheap Tele knockoff with a CT and it sounds great too. Ritchie Kotzen uses that pickup in his namesake Tele.
    kookaburra and 3-Chord-Genius like this.
  6. JL_LI

    JL_LI Tele-Afflicted

    May 20, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    I can only reply with what has worked for me. The modern Strat is design unique with its 5-way switch. The tone in positions 2 and 4 has been described as quack or humbucker like. It has less treble than the pickups played singly. I have a Mesa Boogie amp with Clean and Blues channels. I use both of those channels for clean tones. My Strat is brighter than any of my other guitars. I can use very similar Clean channel settings for my Telecaster, SG, Annie, and my Strat in positions 2 and 4. I switch to the Blues channel for pure neck, middle, or bridge Strat pickup sounds. My settings on the Blues channel have less treble than the Clean channel. I've also raised the mids and bass. My Stratocaster bridge pickup does not have the same sound as my Tele Bridge pickup, but what's the point of having four guitars that sound pretty much the same? With optimized amp settings, I don't have ice pick from my Strat in positions 1, 3, and 5. My Strat is wired for seven sounds. I play all three pickups combined through the clean channel and get a beautiful dark tone from it. I play the bridge and neck through either the Clean or Blues channels and it's like being able to select a series or parallel sound at the same volume. Mesa Boogie makes switching between channels easy. Doing this on a DDRI is impossible but you may be able to get close with an equalization pedal. I generally eschew pedals, but it's impossible for anyone to have all possible combinations of guitars and amps on a stage with them. I've really come to appreciate my gear, right down to the nuance and even nuisance. We tend to complain a lot about the nuisance part on this forum but it's not usually too difficult to get past it and find in it something that makes a guitar a joy to play.
    RoscoeElegante and whoanelly15 like this.
  7. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Friend of Leo's

    Dec 18, 2016
    Camden Point, MO

    I explained what I wanted for my neck pickup, which was a Firebird pickup, and that I wanted the other two pickups to balance well.

    I have a Firebird neck, a Tele neck in the middle and a Tele rear. Worked out great !
    BuckSatan likes this.
  8. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    metale likes this.
  9. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    Actually the Tex Mex bridge pickup is very strong. (7.8 ohms?) But the real solution to the problem is installing the Clapton Mid boost. I have it in all 3 strats now. I use just a touch at maybe 1-2 for any pickup a lot. Or for boosting and making the bridge pickup full and smooth on leads it's great at 3-5. For slide work 5+ is great. It's like adding another available control dimension to the guitar.
  10. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

    Jun 19, 2009
    Nashville TN
    The thickness comes from how you use your amp and/or pedals. The cool thing about strats and teles is that you can pile on the volume and gain and when you back it off, you've got the glassy clean sounds Fenders are famous for. Strats have been around for 60+ years. Study up on some of your favorite players and consider the whole rig. Replacement pickups and trick wiring schemes can help but a lot of great music has been made with stock, off-the-rack guitars into a really good amp.
  11. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    I never considered ceramic mag pickups as "Fat". Alnico mag pickups sound fat to me.

    True that you can tweak the amp controls or use a pedal, but those Fender Fat 50's pickups with A5 mags sound pretty fat to me. Member Deneb makes some great Strat pups with Neodymium magnets that get that glassy tone and the fat tone too. I was impressed with the demo vids and looking forum to trying my set on my Strat partscaster when I get the time to install.

    Other than the amp/pedal tweaks, you can swap that ceramic bar mag for a Alnico bar or experiment with some Neodymium magnets. You could try a bottom plate or try some wiring tricks. Just wiring the bridge pickup to a tone knob helps tame the treble.

    Then you could just put a Tele bridge pickup in the pickguard or even a P90. The SD Quarter Pounders are good, someone makes a Strat sized P90 toned pup.

    Lots of ways to get there, try the cheaper route first and go up from there til your happy. Wiring mods, magnet swaps and plates are cheaper than buying more pickups.
  12. Ebidis

    Ebidis Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 27, 2016
    I guess it depends on your definition of fat. You (the OP) seem to be describing hot, which does not necessarily equate to fat.

    I think I can get a pretty fat tone from the Fat '50s that are in my Strat, but as others have said, I think it has a lot to do with the amp, and/or pedals.
  13. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    You can definitely have a pickup in the bridge that is too thin for good classic rock tones. I went through that when I got a set of fender CS ‘69s. I absolutely love the neck and middle ‘69 pickups in my strat, and they are still in. But the bridge was very thin sounding... and it’s tough to work with that when you want a thicker fuller classic rock tone that overdrives well.
    So I got a Duncan Antiquity Surf bridge... just the right amount of mids to thicken things up, but still maintains a nice cutting strat tone. Perfect for what I wanted.
    It sounds like what you are wanting is just a hotter pickup wind that brings in more mids.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
    3-Chord-Genius and awasson like this.
  14. Ebidis

    Ebidis Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 27, 2016
    Wiring a tone knob to the bridge pickup helps a lot too.
    Zeonoid, mexicanyella, metale and 2 others like this.
  15. RoyBGood

    RoyBGood Poster Extraordinaire

  16. Mr_Martin

    Mr_Martin Tele-Holic

    Sep 21, 2009
    Cologne, Germany
    Nothing wrong about a (weak) vintage Strat bridge pickup if you set your amp right:

  17. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 14, 2012
    London, UK
    Yep, ditch the volume knob, and rewire with a master tone and master volume. Hey presto.
    bgmacaw likes this.
  18. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    Roadhouse Deluxe or anything with a mid boost type circuit.
  19. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 4, 2009
    Depends on the sound you're looking for. If I want that Buddy Holly or Hank Marvin sound, then only a vintage low output strat bridge pickup will work for me, the way I hear things.

    For harder rock, yeah, I put in beefier pickups and there are a zillion you can choose from. I like the Rio Grande Stelly, thats got some balls to it. I also will cut a small bit of wood in the body, under the pickguard, next to the bridge, and put a strong telecaster pickup in it. That works great too.
  20. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    ^ THIS.

    I've been though lots of stratocaster pickups, and the boldest, most aggressive ones with the most attitude seem to be the stock ceramics that came with the MIM strats.
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