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HSS pickup set: balanced output or imbalanced?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by DeepDangler, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. DeepDangler

    DeepDangler Tele-Meister

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    125766FF-C2A3-4E78-9CAB-E65BAF7C1479.jpeg I need to order a whole new set of pickups for my HSS guitar. It’s dark for a bolt on style guitar. I removed the factory pickups long ago and lost then sadly and am over the single humbucker style.

    I’ve been going back and forth about what kind of pickups to get. Should I get a lower output hunbucker so the output level is uniform across the pickups or embrace the lack of balance and get a high output bridge and regular singles? I considered high output singles but I want a guitar that’s less noisy this time around.

    I’m leaning towards a super distortion style pickup and the bridge and dark singles but I’m open to any suggestions.
     
  2. Novatuc

    Novatuc Tele-Meister

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    It depends on what you want from the guitar. I'm not a fan of the HSS layout because you lose somewhere. Like you said, you need a low powered HB or high powered singles to match things up. A friend had the same dilemma in his HSS so we changed the switch to a 4-way.

    4. Neck
    3. Neck and middle
    2. Middle
    1. Bridge

    For him, it became a more useful guitar. It's more or less the same as a 5-way but in his mind this was better.
     
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  3. Blues Twanger

    Blues Twanger Tele-Afflicted

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    You could always fit rails style pickups in the single slots. They can vary tonally from nearly single coil to overwound humbucker depending on what you choose.
     
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  4. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    That guitar is cool! has a g&l vibe about it
     
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  5. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I love HSS strats for the versatility. I have DiMarzios in my main strat and used the output levels they list as a guide when I bought them. This humbucker is not as loud as some, and I chose hotter singles. The humbucker is still louder, but mainly used for leads by itself or sometimes for crunchy rhythm tones split. Position 2 is not quite right, will experiment on that soon. (Pro 54, Area 61, AT-1; and for classic rock and blues)
     
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  6. DeepDangler

    DeepDangler Tele-Meister

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    I could use a P90 that’s humbucker sized in the bridge which would keep some of the balance. Otherwise I was also thinking about a high output humbucker and using coil splitting.
     
  7. JKjr

    JKjr Tele-Holic

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    Amazing. I haven't visited for awhile, and when I do I get to give the same answer for two questions. What'r the odds?
    I just posted on the Strat forum, "How do you wire your HSS?" thread. I'm too old to link it, sorry.

    Here's the deal. If you use this wiring you can use any bucker you want without worrying about matching output. You match it with the blend pot. Your high output tone is hum cancelling, so no noise. And I haven't heard one yet that didn't sound better turned down then by splitting the coils. Plus you can keep (and even vary) the quack in#2.
     

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