So what does position 2 with a bridge humbucker sound like?

bgmacaw

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It depends on how you wire things up.

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GuitarRod

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Before i moved the middle pickup to the neck position becoming my gateway to a Tele, my MIM '95 Fender Stratocaster Special had a dark humbucker that had no sparkly highs not even split which the single coils never lacked at all on 3, 4 or 5 but when combined with the humbucking outer coil, i got such an 'unstatty' tone on 2 that turned me on for over 22yrs before realizing Tele tone and it took playing a Classic 50s Telecaster to literally think back in hindsight of my refigured Strat. The more time I spent playing that Telecaster, the more amazed I was during that 50-minute experience at Guitar Center where it was unfortunately sold the next day. I now have three Teles and have since upgraded my Strat with stacked humbuckers wired in series brightened with a 1-Meg volume pot and still rock that Telefied homage in addition to having three amazing Teles (the middle was Esquired w/a previously built DIY kit).
 

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gb Custom Shop

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I built an HSS Strat for a buddy of mine, and we tinkered with the electronics a bit to suit his preferences. The single coils were Texas specials, and the HB was a SD JB. Originally it was wired to automatically split the HB when in position 2. While this did make for a quackier Strat tone, it also sounded thin, and the output was lower than every other position. I'm sure different pickup pairings would have varying results of course.

Now the guitar is wired as stock, so position 2 is full HB and middle. It sounds like a full HB with a hint of quack. The HB definitely overpowers, but its also different enough from the HB alone.
If you ask him, he'll say he likes the sound. It's kinda cool and unique. If you ask me, I'd be impartial, but can say it sounds decent enough.

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Blues Twanger

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You rarely hear people saying "It's not a Tele!" when there are humbuckers, P90s, Filtertrons, CCs etc. The gatekeeping amongst strat guys is a lot stronger it seems.
 

jvin248

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.

I listened to all the advice when getting my first Strat, and it was 'Be Versatile! Get HSS!' so I did and hated that guitar. I modded it a hundred ways, the humbuckers never worked well with the single coils, swapped pickups, wiring, everything. It was even redundant with HH guitars I had at the time. I chucked the guitar in the closet of broken gear.

Eventually I stumbled across the Armstrong Blender mod (SSS stock Strat wired so the second tone pot blends to series HSH, no new parts if starting with SSS). So I converted that HSS to SSS and installed the ABM. All the classic SSS tones made the guitar useful and fun to play, I was not missing anything, there was no 250k/500k pot fight between pickups... It worked and had great tone, all the great tones. Plus I had a very useful 'versatile!' option in the ABM that I could cover LP PAFs and Hot Super Strat.

So my vote: Keep your SSS and just wire in the Armstrong Blender if you think you need 'moar' or 'versatile!' -- because that is why you are curious.

Or lift off your current loaded pickguard and replace with a second HSS loaded pickguard. That way going back stock is easy-peasy. If you reuse parts and mod other parts on your HSS experiment you'll have a tough time getting back to the original tones you probably like right now (pots n caps have wide tolerance ranges that impact the tone. Swap and lose a few of those parts and you'll 'never get back' to your beginning tones).

.
 

Blues Twanger

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TDPRI Johns don't like anything made past 1973 or so.
Sure but they'll swap pickups or even add them where they weren't before in ways that make strat 'purists' grab pitchforks.

Both are great platforms and are the two most modded guitars in history so why people insist the only good strat is a SSS strat is a mystery.
 

schmee

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One more thing. i dont get how they do the volume pot on one. im assuming they just use 500k. Thats whats in mine now.
The whole thing with pot values and humbuckers is a compromise. HB's tend to be bright on the top end and the 500k may make it brighter, but the issue is that HB's can get muddy on the lower end frequencies... so the 500K is often used. In the Bridge position, mud is not so much an issue on the lows, so the 250k works fine.
 

schmee

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I've had a Strat with HB in the bridge, and position 2 and 4 worked fine. A little different than all single coils but it still quacks. As mentioned above it's a lot about how hot the pickups are compared with each other.
 

Twin52

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Not a strat guy here, but in a guitar with both a single coil pickup and a humbucker, you can use a 500k volume pot and run a 500k resistor from the hot lead of the single coil to ground. That makes the pickup "see" a 250k resistance. There's bound to be some clever way to do the same thing with a strat.
I think Tom Anderson does this with their Strat style guitars with Humbucker bridge.
 




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