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Replacing The Stock Humbucker On My Fat Strat?

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  • Replacing The Stock Humbucker On My Fat Strat?

    Hello Y'all:

    I have a MIM Fat Strat, and I hate the humbucker that came with the guitar. What do I hate about it? It's a little too hot; it's way too bright; it has *no* bottom end, and it's too buzzy. My Strat has an alder body and a maple neck, and a vintage tremolo.

    I have spent a lot of time listening to different pickups, and I like the Custom Custom's mid and upper range; it's perfect. Down low, however, it seems a little compressed and a little lacking, and that's where my concern lies. That said, I like that the pickup is "clean;" I don't like the distortion coming out of many pickups, and I am afraid that a JB might be a little too bright in my Strat, and a little too crunchy (for *my* tastes).

    My ultimate pickup would be a standard Custom Custom, with the bottom end aggression of a '78.

    What sound am I looking for? I don't want something as heavy as Jake E. Lee; for my tastes something like Eddie Van Halen's tone up until '91 or so, and Neal Schon/Journey, would be perfect.

    The JB has the bottom end fullness that I am looking for, if a little too full, plus it's a little too crunchy (for *me*); it also doesn't sing like the Custom Custom. Likewise, the Pearly Gates pickup sounds nice and balanced down low and lower middle, but I love the middle and top end of the Custom Custom.

    What is my concern? I love the sound of vinyl versus the sound of CD's. CD's, to me, are a little too compressed, and I have a concern (although it may be unwarranted - I have only heard a Custom Custom on youtube), that a Custom Custom might be a little too compressed for my liking.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by newdorplane; 01-03-2020, 05:45 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Replacing The Stock Humbucker On My Fat Strat?

    What other pickups are in the guitar, and what kind of music do you want to play with it? If you are going to run the humbucker with 250k pots that is also a concern because not all humbuckers do well with 250k's. I think the JB and the CustomCustom do well with 250k pots. You seem to want a hotter humbucker, but most hotter humbuckers sound somewhat compressed. The Seth Lover or 59 bridge would work well if you wanted more vintage output.

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    • #3
      Re: Replacing The Stock Humbucker On My Fat Strat?

      I just put in a 59trembucker in my strat, and love it, prior to that i had a 59/custom hybrid which was really big and thick sounding.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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      • #4
        Re: Replacing The Stock Humbucker On My Fat Strat?

        I would suggest that you go with the Pearly gates based on what you said your tastes were like. or maybe a '59, actually. The custom custom is pretty hot, probably a little too hot for someone that prefers vinyl over a cd. that kind of headroom and dynamic sensitivity you're looking for is found in lower output pickups, 10k or lower IME. I think the Pearly is probably the closest to what you're looking for

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        • #5
          Re: Replacing The Stock Humbucker On My Fat Strat?

          Originally posted by Mr. B View Post
          What other pickups are in the guitar, and what kind of music do you want to play with it? If you are going to run the humbucker with 250k pots that is also a concern because not all humbuckers do well with 250k's. I think the JB and the CustomCustom do well with 250k pots. You seem to want a hotter humbucker, but most hotter humbuckers sound somewhat compressed. The Seth Lover or 59 bridge would work well if you wanted more vintage output.
          Appreciate the reply.

          The other two pickups are Fender Player series single pole units, and I am happy with them both. With the humbucker, I am looking for something that will sound good with Roth era Van Halen, Journey, Foreigner, etc...late 70's to mid 80's rock.

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          • #6
            Re: Replacing The Stock Humbucker On My Fat Strat?

            Originally posted by \m/(00)\m/ View Post
            I just put in a 59trembucker in my strat, and love it, prior to that i had a 59/custom hybrid which was really big and thick sounding.
            Originally posted by BeKindRewind View Post
            I would suggest that you go with the Pearly gates based on what you said your tastes were like. or maybe a '59, actually. The custom custom is pretty hot, probably a little too hot for someone that prefers vinyl over a cd. that kind of headroom and dynamic sensitivity you're looking for is found in lower output pickups, 10k or lower IME. I think the Pearly is probably the closest to what you're looking for
            Thank you both for your replies and suggestions, and I thank you for educating me, as I am new to all of this.

            Y'all aren't in my head (and ears ), so to be clear on what I am looking for, I am not looking for a vintage sound.

            Do you think the Pearly Gates or 59 would sound good on a song like Stone In Love? I realize that many factors play a role, in addition to the pickups that I use, but outside of Halen, songs like "Anyway" or "Stone In Love" epitomize the sound that I am looking for.

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            • #7
              Re: Replacing The Stock Humbucker On My Fat Strat?

              Not to drive y'all crazy: I youtubed the '59, and it's a beautiful sounding pickup, but I am looking for something not as "vintage" sounding, plus it sounds that I would be losing a little too much of the middle (for my tastes). As for the Pearly Gates p/u, I have heard some samples, yet the stuff that I heard had too many effects for me to give it a thumbs up/down.

              Let me ask...in addition to Journey, I love Eddie Van Halen's tone in the below songs:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA-DmFtryFY

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HHQ11HOZwM

              I also love his solo in a song like "The Cradle Will Rock;" his guitar sings throughout.

              ***

              Thanks in advance for your time and suggestions.
              Last edited by newdorplane; 01-03-2020, 07:25 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Replacing The Stock Humbucker On My Fat Strat?

                If you like the CC, but want it more vintage and touch-sensitive, the Alnico II Pro is a great choice in a Strat.
                Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                • #9
                  Re: Replacing The Stock Humbucker On My Fat Strat?

                  ***

                  Okay...Again, I thank everyone for walking me through this. It sounds like an either/or scenario, correct? The '59 sounds beautiful, but it isn't what I am looking for right now.

                  The Pearly Gates sounds full bodied, yet I am sacrificing the strong upper mids, and clear, crisp, singing highs (as I hear them). The Custom Custom has strong mids, and crisp clear highs, yet it lacks the PG's chutzpah down low.

                  So...from what I gather, I can have one or the other, but not both, correct?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Replacing The Stock Humbucker On My Fat Strat?

                    Originally posted by newdorplane View Post
                    ***

                    Okay...Again, I thank everyone for walking me through this. It sounds like an either/or scenario, correct? The '59 sounds beautiful, but it isn't what I am looking for right now.

                    The Pearly Gates sounds full bodied, yet I am sacrificing the strong upper mids, and clear, crisp, singing highs (as I hear them). The Custom Custom has strong mids, and crisp clear highs, yet it lacks the PG's chutzpah down low.

                    So...from what I gather, I can have one or the other, but not both, correct?
                    I kind of feel the CC might a little to smooth overall. What about the custom? It’s still a hot pickup, but feels different than the JB that you know you don’t like.

                    Not sure if i saw it mentioned, but what’s the rest of your rig looking like?




                    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                    • #11
                      Re: Replacing The Stock Humbucker On My Fat Strat?

                      Originally posted by Mincer View Post
                      If you like the CC, but want it more vintage and touch-sensitive, the Alnico II Pro is a great choice in a Strat.
                      I appreciate and thank you for the reply....as for sound/tone, I am looking at Rock from the late 70s-mid 80's: Halen, Def Leopard, Journey, etc. When I hear "vintage," I am thinking something like Zeppelin, Van Halen I or II...I am looking for a tone "later" than that - later Roth era, up until For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Replacing The Stock Humbucker On My Fat Strat?

                        Originally posted by \m/(00)\m/ View Post
                        I kind of feel the CC might a little to smooth overall. What about the custom? It’s still a hot pickup, but feels different than the JB that you know you don’t like.

                        Not sure if i saw it mentioned, but what’s the rest of your rig looking like?
                        Thank you for the reply, and you addressed my concern of the CC being too smooth. As for the Custom, is it raspy, distorted, etc., at all? Would it sound too bright? I have a MIM stock Strat, with two single pole pickups, and a Fender humbucker.

                        I am happy with the stock single pole Fender pickups.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Replacing The Stock Humbucker On My Fat Strat?

                          Originally posted by newdorplane View Post
                          Thank you for the reply, and you addressed my concern of the CC being too smooth. As for the Custom, is it raspy, distorted, etc., at all? Would it sound too bright? I have a MIM stock Strat, with two single pole pickups, and a Fender humbucker.

                          I am happy with the stock single pole Fender pickups.
                          What about your amp set up? There are a lot more moving parts in trying to sound like journey than replacing a humbucker on your strat. Regardless, just about any medium output pickup is gonna give your a considerable upgrade. Whether it be a PG, CC, Custom, etc...

                          Regarding the custom, it “CAN” be all those things that you mentioned, but the design is versatile enough to be used at least 5 pickups (including the hybrid)


                          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                          • #14
                            Re: Replacing The Stock Humbucker On My Fat Strat?

                            Originally posted by newdorplane View Post
                            I appreciate and thank you for the reply....as for sound/tone, I am looking at Rock from the late 70s-mid 80's: Halen, Def Leopard, Journey, etc. When I hear "vintage," I am thinking something like Zeppelin, Van Halen I or II...I am looking for a tone "later" than that - later Roth era, up until For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.
                            you can check out the Eclair, the 78 and the Frankenstein, too.
                            Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Replacing The Stock Humbucker On My Fat Strat?

                              Originally posted by \m/(00)\m/ View Post
                              What about your amp set up? There are a lot more moving parts in trying to sound like journey than replacing a humbucker on your strat. Regardless, just about any medium output pickup is gonna give your a considerable upgrade. Whether it be a PG, CC, Custom, etc...

                              Regarding the custom, it “CAN” be all those things that you mentioned, but the design is versatile enough to be used at least 5 pickups (including the hybrid)


                              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                              I think that you provided what might be my "best" compromise....thank you!

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrbQK82NqEo

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