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How to really sound like true single coil

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by yejunjung, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. yejunjung

    yejunjung TDPRI Member

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    the very beginning of this video



    and about 6:04 of this srv video.

    Both have really strong "I'm single coil" sound.

    For some reason, with my single coils, I cannot achieve this crankiness(?).

    have an amp with master volume, so I cranked the camp volume and adjusted master to become not too loud.

    Have a ts mini and mxr vintage overdrive. People say I need some sort of Klon pedal to achieve those tones but I'm still not sure.

    Tried lowering the pickup heights too, doesn't seem like it's working.

    And obviously guitar volume knob is at 10 and tone around 7~8

    my single-coils are un-known Chinese ceramic pick ups. These may be garbage but I was able to play that cranked single coil tone with these a while ago and I have no Idea what I did.

    Is there anything I can try, (I know string gauge, picking style..etc matters but still...)

    Is there a specific type of amp, pedal, pickups, etc...?
     
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  2. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Afflicted

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    a strat and a tubescreamer. jack the tone/treble on the tube screamer all the way up and then compensate on the amp side. i don't think a tele gets the same vibe, just close but not quite.

    ...also, missing all the awesome restaurants and markets in fort lee right now, hahah.
     
  3. beanluc

    beanluc Tele-Holic

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    Do you have a Strat and do you play it in positions 2 and 4?

    What you're hearing is The Strat Sound®. It doesn't actually have that much at all to do with "single coil", other than that Strat pickups do tend to have a certain voice. But the MAIN thing you're hearing is the in-between switch positions 2 or 4 on their Strats.

    It's not easy to achieve without a Strat, because it's related to the specific distances between the middle pickup and the other two. The "half out of phase" mod fakes it to an unconvincing extent.
     
  4. Tele295

    Tele295 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Do I hear a little wah around 6:04?
     
  5. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    2, 4 or 5 (neck), TS or ZenDrive, ... and a Dumble Overdrive Special. :p
     
  6. DeepDangler

    DeepDangler Tele-Meister

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    If you're not getting a similar sound with your strat in any of the pickup positions, you may want to try different pickups. You'll never sound just like John Mayer but you could probably get close. In addition, the dumble amp has a distinctive sound. The cheapest way there is a Zendrive or a Mosferatu. The LovePedal versions are pretty good.
     
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  7. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    At the locations in the videos that you point out, look at the neck/fret positions they are playing at and notice both are using the neck pickup. That tone, I refer to it as the "hollow" or "vowel" tone, is best found using the Strat neck pickup, tone control wide open, in the 9th to 14th fret positions. You can get it clean, or dirty if using pedals.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
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  8. yejunjung

    yejunjung TDPRI Member

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    for real! Bit scared to go to indoor dining these days but there are lots of places to eat.
     
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  9. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

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    I never got a real single coil sound until I started playing through tube amps, that's the long and short of it if you ask me. What kind of amp are you playing through?

    You don't need a klon at all, a TS9 pairs very well with Fender amps since that's what they're designed for. I recommend that you use it as a boost, not an overdrive. Crank the output and keep the gain on the low side, adjust the tone to taste. Back in the day my guitar instructor told me that SRV lowers the bass side of his pickups compared to what would be considered common, so maybe try that to get keep the sparkle without flubbing out when you dig in. I've always had my strat setup that way and it sounds good to me (although I really only play my teles anymore).

    I don't care for JM at all so I didn't watch that video, but I do know that true SRV tone requires a cranked Fender amp, no master volume (or turn yours up so the power amp start cooking), the preamp volume needs to be pretty high, and yes it will be loud. SRV uses the neck pickup A LOT, combo positions are quacky but the neck pickup is the essential strat sound if you ask me. Make sure your neighbors have your number so they can call you before the cops ;)
     
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  10. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    At the point in the videos that the OP references, both are playing exclusively on the NECK pickup, not the 2 or 4 positions.
     
  11. highwayjones

    highwayjones TDPRI Member

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    My first Strat (MIM) didnt ever sound like a true Strat (to me) until I got Alnico pickups.
     
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  12. yejunjung

    yejunjung TDPRI Member

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    I just got a ALNICO 5 pickups from amazon, they are like 15 bucks for three of them, brutally cheap. Hopefully they at least work lol.

    I saw some videos of Darell Brown's guitar and they seem like they are the same kind of pickups as what I purchased (At least visually and resistance wise)

    Peopple say what I bought is very "hot" pickup and has a high output. Sounds like a good feature to me, hopefully it works, and even if not, 15 bucks won't haunt me in my dreams.
     
  13. driver8

    driver8 Tele-Holic

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    I don't think SRV had a Klon :lol:

    Pretty sure that clip at 6:05 is the neck p/u, that's what gives it that thick bloopy s/c sound. You can even see his hand reach down to flick it up to 5 right before that. I think the JM clip is pos. 5 too, even though it looks like 4 in the beginning. At 2:10 though you can see he switches from what looks like 4 to actual 4.
     
  14. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    As stated by a few people already... both examples you provide are "NECK PICKUP"...
    John Mayer is there are the beginning, SRV kicks into that pickup right where you say you love the tone. IMO - there is no secret to it... it's the neck pickup tone you are after.

    Hint of dirt/drive, but not dirty. A Tube screamer with the gain down and volume up nails it, but it wouldn't be the only one. The real key is not to add too much overdrive...
     
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  15. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    There are so many classic, recognizable single coil sounds that it's hard to keep up with them.
    And that 's how I like it.

    Here's a short list of artists who have offered the most memorable of them, for me anyway.

    Steve Miller
    GE Smith
    Buddy Holly
    Steve Cropper
    Mark Knopfler
    Andy Summers
    John Mayer
    Nile Rodgers
    Ed King

    It's too easy to reflect on all the top names more so than the sublime single-coil sounds, so I'll leave out Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, and Bruce Springsteen.

    Those cats are rock and roll hall of famers, and living legends.
    But their guitar styles/sounds contribute to the songs more so than stand out for a specific tone.
    In my opinion.

    I'm gonna shut up now.

    :(
     
  16. overlook1977

    overlook1977 Tele-Meister

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    Yikes. I would definitely get some proper pickups first and then look at what amp you’re using. Good quality pickups and an amp with great cleans like a Fender blackface will be a solid foundation. Then you have about a billion stompboxes options to take it from there.
     
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  17. Frontier9

    Frontier9 Friend of Leo's

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    Note where both SRV and Mayer are hitting the strings - pretty much right over the neck pickup. That might have something to do with the overall sound that you are looking for.
     
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