Middle Strat Pickup Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by JohnnyCrash, Aug 3, 2021.

  1. JohnnyCrash

    JohnnyCrash Doctor of Teleocity

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    So I’ve got this partscaster (it started as a Tagima TW-61) up and running…

    I’m very happy with the bridge pickup (Seymour Duncan P-Rail with Triple Shot pickup ring/switches — P-90, or a rail single coil, or both as a humbucker — with parallel and in-series switching) and neck pickup (Tonerider Vintage AlNiCo II P-90)…

    What I’m not thrilled with is the Seymour Duncan Duckbucker in the middle. It’s supposed to be run in parallel mode for max brightness and quack, but it does not play well with a lot of pickups — even when I pull the Tone knob to switch it into series mode.

    I’m very interested in hearing what Strat middles you guys like and why.



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    PS
    I’ll be painting the headstock black next week. The Black Tusq permanently lubed string trees work well, but they’re butt ugly… I’ll also be replacing the nut with a Black Tusq.
     
  2. JohnnyCrash

    JohnnyCrash Doctor of Teleocity

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    Also…

    I’m not usually a DiMarzio user, but I’m tempted to throw a FS-1 in the middle position. It sounded great in a Strat I sold (in the bridge position) and the Tele version (Pre B-1 model) sounds great too.

    I also have a few AlNiCo Squier Strat pickups in my junk drawer :)
     
  3. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Hmm - I usually match it pretty closely to what I have in the neck position of a Strat. Not very helpful in your case, I’m afraid :(
     
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  4. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    The pickup I would try with the others that you have would be a Alnico Lipstick Tube to add some jangly treble.
     
  5. Drew617

    Drew617 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    SDS-1! Old and common and unsexy, but I love em. In the middle position especially, and cleanish especially.

    Poor match with other Strat singles but should mix with P90s pretty nicely.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2021
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  6. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Friend of Leo's

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    Me again, building that other 3 pickup Jazzmaster!

    The string trees are nice, don't fret it!

    But, for future reference, the Gotoh vintage locking tuners are staggered and may completely obviate the need for string trees.

    As for the middle pickup, we bought a GFS Alnico 5 Strat lipstick middle that is RWRP with the JM neck pickup, and the bridge pickup humbucker first goes through a 4 way switch so by itself can be parallel, series, or either coil to be RWRP with ether neck OR middle.

    I'm hoping that the GFS lipstick has a little grit to it. I have a 1960s Silvertone and if it sounds close to its pickups, I'm going to be very pleased.
     
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  7. Drew617

    Drew617 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Gorgeous build, by the way.
     
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  8. Chipss36

    Chipss36 Tele-Holic

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    The problem you have here is not just what strat middle pickup is good.

    You need a pickup that will play nice with what you have on neck and bridge, that is going to be a challenge.

    that’s one heck of a pickup mashup going on…good luck.
     
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  9. JohnnyCrash

    JohnnyCrash Doctor of Teleocity

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    I already have a jangly lipstick in one of my guitars, and while I really like it, I’m looking for a good Strat “quacker” for this Jazzmaster/Jaguar.



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  10. JohnnyCrash

    JohnnyCrash Doctor of Teleocity

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    I was looking at one of those too, especially its P-90 vibe.

    I reluctantly decided against it for this particular build, but I put it on a mental list for a future project!
     
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  11. JohnnyCrash

    JohnnyCrash Doctor of Teleocity

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    I tried GFS lipsticks, Dream 90s, Strat types, Tele types, humbuckers, and minihumbuckers over the years.

    I will never buy a GFS pickup ever again. They just don’t sound and feel “right,” at least to me. I have only found one or two that didn’t sound flat and lifeless.
     
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  12. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Perhaps a Duncan rail type, like on a Brent Mason Tele?
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2021
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  13. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Friend of Leo's

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    Middle pickup on a Strat? Just a second, I need to look at mine.……………

    Gosh, you’re right!! Never noticed it before.
     
  14. TwoBear

    TwoBear Tele-Afflicted

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    Is there a way to clip out the tone section for the middle pick up? I did it on my three pick up Strat and I really like it. It comes alive with a blast, (Chrome top three wire telecaster some old ‘name brand’ that escapes me in the rhythm position, & split-able phase-able SD Lil’59 rear) and treble rolls, along with volume drop/backed off. I imagine you’re running 500 K or greater, judging by your other pick ups?
     
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  15. Flaneur

    Flaneur Poster Extraordinaire

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    I suppose everything I do involves 'maximum brightness', as I play early Country in one band and early electric Blues, in the other.
    Not really a Strat player but I like the middle pickup of a '57/'62 set, in a guitar I have. I use it on it's own and I hate quack, so can't help you with that.....

    There's an O.C. Duff Strat pickup, in a Brent Mason tribute Tele I acquired. That one is sweet and clean sounding, through my Bassman heads.

    The only other squeaky clean Strat pickup I have is a vintage wound Duncan. I'm not sure which model-or which position it's supposed to be fitted into. Frankly, I think it sounds good anywhere: I tried it in all three positions, in my test bed Strat and it sounded good in all of them. Would be the basis of a good Strat-Esquire- smack dab in the middle, of an otherwise empty pickguard. :cool:

    Love your Tagima, by the way. Great thought process and execution.

    -will there be sound clips? :)
     
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  16. JohnnyCrash

    JohnnyCrash Doctor of Teleocity

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    To be honest, I loathe Strats. I don’t really like the quack either…

    But I was trying to build a Swiss Army Knife that could cover as much tonal territory as possible.

    I sometimes like the sound of the Duckbucker on its own, so I imagine a good Strat style pickup would sound even better.

    I’m tempted to pop in one of the Squier single coils I got laying around and convert the pull switch/pot into a series/parallel switch for 2 and 4 positions (it currently puts the DB’s two coils in series/parallel with each other). That’d give me even more options.
     
  17. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    It's hard to go wrong with either the Original 57/62 or the Custom Shop Texas Special from Fender.

    Or you might look into a Charlie Christian type if you aren't worried about the budget.
     
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  18. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Friend of Leo's

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    Lace Sensor HG1500? It's supposed to be a hotter, mid quacky, low noise strat sound.

    I'm not a strat fan, so I'd put a tele bridge pickup in between the Duncans. Or a jag pickup.

    But I get and respect the toolbox guitar idea. That's why I run a P-rails in my mustang. If you can balance a middy strat middle pickup with the 9kish resistance of the blade on the p-rails, you can probably sound decently stratty when running both.
     
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  19. Blackmore Fan

    Blackmore Fan Tele-Afflicted

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    How about a Seymour Duncan SSL-1 (its really quiet) or a Fender 57/62?
     
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  20. JohnnyCrash

    JohnnyCrash Doctor of Teleocity

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    I like Charlie Christian pickups. I’m not sure I have room in the middle for a pickup of that size (and I’d have to further route the body). In any case, I’ve already got a CC in a guitar and I’m looking for a middle-only jangler that also can do that Strat quack thing in positions 2 and 4.


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