Strat bridge pick up

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by vishnu, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. vishnu

    vishnu Tele-Meister

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    Hi guys :)

    I have never owned a Strat but expect to remedy that sometime soon

    I have read loads of stuff about how folks don't really care for the Strat bridge PUP

    Do modern Strats now have the tone pot wired for the bridge PUP?

    Do you care for the bridge PUP, have you done the tone mod and did that make things any better?

    thanks guys....tryin' to get myself a Strat education before I finally buy one, I would most likely go down the road of a CS slab board 59 - 62
     
  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have had young players ask me how I get THEIR Strat to sound good in all positions....while I am playing it. I tell them that I set the guitar controls to max and then set the amp to sound good on the bridge. Ime, this approach will yield a Strat that sounds good in all positions with appropriate response from all selections. Many of them are accustomed to setting the amp up to yield what I consider to be an approximation of the bridge pickup while they are in the neck position. When they go to the bridge, it is too bright to use....for obvious reasons, ime.
    The tone control can be added to the bridge pickup. It is simply a matter of one small connecting wire between two posts on the selector switch.
     
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  3. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    More than a few people here don't care much for a Strat bridge pup, just like many don't care for the Tele neck pup. It's obviously subjective, but my advice is to not expect anything on a Strat to be like the "same" position on a Tele (or any other guitar). Obviously there will be some overlap between a Strat bridge pup and a Tele bridge pup, but they're still two different things.

    There are at least a few Strat models where the lower tone control works on the bridge pup, or both the bridge and middle, but regardless of what model you get, performing the appropriate mod for what you want will be easy enough, so I'd suggest you not let the tone control issue sway you.

    For my part, I love my Strat bridge pup for certain things, same with my Tele bridge pup. But there are few instances where I would consider them interchangeable.
     
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  4. IronSchef

    IronSchef Tele-Holic

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    I really like the "blend" mod for Strats - it allows you to get neck/bridge combo while giving you master vol and master tone controls as well
     
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  5. RoCkstAr256

    RoCkstAr256 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have never owned a strat but played a few and all i can tell is that bridge pickups feels quite week compared to other bridges. I totally would switch bridge to Seymour Duncan quarter pound to get some fatter rythm tone
     
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  6. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    People usually don't like the Strat bridge pup because it's wimpy when compared to a tele bridge pup. Hence the widespread "fat strat" mod. I like it for what it is, personally, and it contributes to pos 2 quack, so I'd never swap it out.

    The tone mod in itself is mini and can be done by anyone: little parch of wire and two solder points. Many strats come like this already, but to me that's not even a factor.

    Hope this helps!
     
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  7. vishnu

    vishnu Tele-Meister

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    I understand the mod is simple enough but what are the pros and cons of the mod? ( I have heard the guitar loses a little bawls)

    Also is the "blend" mod doable without the need of a separate switch?
     
  8. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    The bridge Strat pup has always been too bright and too thin to me. With some work on settings, wiring and the right amp, those things can be dealt with in most cases.
    Tele bridge and P90 pups just sound better to me. I'm going to try a set of pups soon from Vladimir(Deneb) and hope they sound as good as they did in his video. Body wood is different, so I'm sure they won't sound exactly the same.
     
  9. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Wasn’t a big Strat fan until I picked up a Roadhouse Deluxe. It’s got a preamp that fattens it right up, but can be turned off when I want the standard Strat sounds. It has a universal tone control, which I find more useful.
     
  10. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Again, there are differences from model to model, but on some (like my 2005 American Deluxe) the lower tone control affects both the middle and bridge, and it has a detent on "10" where the tone control is effectively removed from the circuit.
     
  11. Stratohacker

    Stratohacker Tele-Afflicted

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    I wasn't a big fan of the strat bridge pu, I always found it too harsh/thin/ice picky. Wally's suggestions are good to help you adjust your tone. I also switched out the bridge pickup for an overwound model - I am a David Gilmour fan.
     
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  12. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    I would say: if there's any difference it is not noticeable. And as others said, a "no load" tone pot would take care of that simply enough.

    BTW, the other side to "wimpy pickup" is that it can be bolstered with a simple boost/OD pedal and will likely sound good through that. I mean: I don't like ANY pickup of the Strat squeaky clean, but with a bit (or a lot) of dirt it really comes alive, even the bridge PUP.
     
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  13. rich815

    rich815 Friend of Leo's

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    Each winder has a strat bridge pickup they sell that solves all the problems people have with bridge pickups. Just like they do a tele neck pup for “those who don’t usually like the tele neck”...

    Thing is it’s all subjective and matters more who’s playing, attack, style, your guitar’s tone and volume knob settings and the amp settings, let alone any pedals you might use....oh and what YOU’RE after in tone.

    My problem is the more experienced and better guitar player I become the more I “discover” what I want in my pickups. It’s fun to change around and play around with different pickups (let alone amps) but IMHO best not to stress out too much trying to seek out the perfect holy grail and just choose what you think you’d like based on respected opinions from those you’ve heard play or here (or both!) and then be ready later, as your playing and knowledge change, to evolve...

    I buy used pickups that I try and love so much I wonder why in the hell did that guy want to sell me this?? It’s wonderful. Conversely I sell off pickups I find not so special and later see a YouTube video of someone really making it sound great and I consider buying it and trying again! :confused:
     
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  14. vishnu

    vishnu Tele-Meister

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    Radio

    That's interesting......with a healthy dose of OD/drive it becomes less of a problem?
     
  15. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    My suggestion would be, if you're going to have and use multiple guitars of different models, let each one be what it is, and use them in whatever role(s) you think suit it best. Maybe do whatever mod to allow you to use a tone control on the bridge pup for a little more versatility.

    If, instead, you plan for a Strat to be your only guitar, or your far and away main squeeze, you may want to look into other options/mods.

    Of course, the bottom line is do what you want. But the above is how I'd go about thinking of it. A have both a Strat and a Tele, so I don't worry about making one anything like the other.
     
  16. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    My preferred solution is to wire it up with master volume and tone and replace the 2nd tone pot with a 2 way mini switch that engages the bridge independently of the main 5 way. This allows me get the bridge/neck combo and all 3 pickups.

    I also agree with the idea that you have to adjust your amp and effects to get a good Strat bridge tone. Pickup heights are in play too. Clean boost pedals, EQ pedals and boost/overdrive will help.
     
  17. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    The blender mod uses one tone control for master tone and the other for the blender, allowing you to combine the neck and bridge pickups as well as neck, middle, and bridge. It works like a volume control for the neck pickup that bypasses the switch so you can either add a little or a lot. Some players use a switch instead, which frees up the second tone pot, but the neck p/up will be full volume when engaged.

    If you're worried about losing bawls, use no-load tone pots. They're out of the circuit when not in use.

    Also, remember that a "real" 59-62 had a 3-way switch which still works best for a lot of players.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  18. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Ok... I’ll put in my observations. I came from a dual humbucker ES335 and Les Paul type of guitar background before being seduced by the Telecaster and eventually the Strat so although the crispness of the single coils caught me, I struggled/struggle with too thin a sound sometimes. These days all I play are my Strat.

    I did the mod to put the tone control on the bridge pickup and no tone on the middle. Middle runs wide open and shares the tone control of the neck or bridge in positions 2 & 4. It doesn’t loose anything because all of the grunt is in the amp but it does allow you to darken up the bridge if it’s too bright.

    I have used the Dan Armstrong blender mod where you have a single tone and one of the tone controls becomes a blend to put the bridge + middle or neck + middle into humbucking series. It is ok but rather than that I would put a pull pot, toggle switch or push button to just switch the bridge + middle to series humbucker.

    Aside from that, I’d choose a set of pickups you like or if you really don’t like the bridge tone, you could always swap in an overwound bridge pickup.
     
  19. vishnu

    vishnu Tele-Meister

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    Thanks guys........lots of good advice there :)
     
  20. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Tele-Holic

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    RE tone control on bridge pickup. I've tried 3 ways

    1) jumper between middle & bridge so both are on bottom pot
    2) neck on 1st tone pot, bridge on second pot, middle pickup wide open
    3) jumper between neck and middle so both are on 1st pot, bridge alone on second pot

    any of these options are very simple to do, the biggest pain is removing the pickguard to do any work.

    Anyway, to me, only options 2 or 3 are workable. I tried #1 for a while and it's very common mod. I disliked it and will never do it again. I'd roll the tone down when in position 1 and then have to roll it back up when in position 2 or 3. I almost never roll off the tone on neck or middle pickups. I think having a single coil bridge pickup on it's own tone pot is the way to go.

    Option 2 is pretty good, the middle pickup winds up having a clearer sound than the other two because it's wide open

    Option 3 isn't bad, middle and neck are both very slightly less snappy because they are on the tone pot. I have this on my vintage white Tex Mex now.

    My next mod to it will be adding a base plate to the bridge pickup and doing the 50's wiring to it. I tried base plat once before on another guitar but had no effect (I think I had too big of space between plate and pickup) I've never tried 50's wiring before, I'm doing it instead of adding a treble bleed (which I like having) and I've read 50's wiring opens up the overall tone a bit. We'll see.

    Now, you can throw everything out I just wrote if you put a humbucker in the bridge position. In that case, leave tone pots wired to neck and middle and run the humbucker w/out a tone pot. Wide open. Sounds great.

    IMO having two strats, HSS and SSS, is the way to go.

     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
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