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SD Hot Stack Lead for Tele: 250K pots of 500K pots?

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  • SD Hot Stack Lead for Tele: 250K pots of 500K pots?

    I have the STK-T2b waiting to get installed into my Esquire-style guitar that is already set up with 250K volume and tone pots. Has anybody here tried 500Ks with this type of pickup at the Tele bridge position?

  • #2
    It was designed to be used with 250k, so it is a drop-in replacement. But it is a personal choice. Switch out the pots if you think it doesn't sound right to you.
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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    • #3
      FWIW I have two as neck and bridge pickups in a Mustang (yes, a Tele bridge pickup as a neck pickup) with a single 500k volume control, no tone control, and compared to a Tele I have which also has a Hot Stack Lead (just in the bridge) but with two 250k controls, the difference in sound is really very minimal. The single-500k pickups are a tiny bit louder with the smallest fraction more treble, but you only notice the difference if you use both guitars directly side-by-side. All the Hot Stack bar magnet pickups (Strat middle/neck, Strat bridge, Tele Lead) do fine with pretty much any value pots.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mincer View Post
        It was designed to be used with 250k, so it is a drop-in replacement. But it is a personal choice. Switch out the pots if you think it doesn't sound right to you.
        Very comforting to know, thanks.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ace Flibble View Post
          FWIW I have two as neck and bridge pickups in a Mustang (yes, a Tele bridge pickup as a neck pickup) with a single 500k volume control, no tone control, and compared to a Tele I have which also has a Hot Stack Lead (just in the bridge) but with two 250k controls, the difference in sound is really very minimal. The single-500k pickups are a tiny bit louder with the smallest fraction more treble, but you only notice the difference if you use both guitars directly side-by-side. All the Hot Stack bar magnet pickups (Strat middle/neck, Strat bridge, Tele Lead) do fine with pretty much any value pots.
          Thanks here, too. My Esquire-ish guitar is wired Eldred/Esquire style. Killing the tone circuit definitely produces "more".

          Not a whole lot of reviews and demos out there on these particular pickups.

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          • #6
            Well they never got used by many famous musicians, at least not in genres that the gear hounds really pay close attention to. Their main customers have been country session musicians (who nobody sees) and late-80s, early-90s heavy-chorus jangly pop (which doesn't sell premium equipment). Of course it doesn't help that they came out pre-internet, so a lot of the launch documentation on them is hard to track down, but they aren't quite old enough to be regarded as 'classic', either.

            I do think SD should put in a bit more effort to advertise them, but I say that about many pickups; nobody needs yet another advert for the JB, but the poor Hot Stack and Jazz Bridge sure could make a lot of people happy if only they knew about them...

            90s jangle has been slowly coming back over the last few years, though, so I wouldn't be surprised if the Hot Stack sees a small revival in the near future, especially the slightly warmer Tele version.

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            • #7
              Interesting observation there, Ace Flibble. I'm definitely not interested in permanently replacing the SD Antiquity II that is in the guitar right now. The A-II is a marvelous pickup, but my curiosity got the best of me... aka: G.A.S. I wanted to try a different flavor that includes noiseless technology with a little bit more output. The STK-T2b's A5 blade magnet made it even more interesting.

              I almost pulled the trigger on a Kinman, but couldn't get past the cost of a brand new one. That said, I'm a huge fanboy for the Kinman P90's, which I have 3 of them on a couple other guitars.

              Anyways, got the local guitar shop to bring in the STK-T2b for me to buy. It took about 3 weeks. We're only about 1 1/2 hours from Seymour Duncan in Santa Barbara. Who ever assembled this pickup probably had to dust off all the parts before putting one of these together, ha ha!

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              • #8
                I have a Tele Hot Stack & SM-1n Vintage Firebird in my Tele with 500K pots, 022uf cap, & 50s wiring.

                I'm not the biggest fan of late 80s / early 90s country, but it does a great early Zeppelin tone.

                Last edited by dystrust; 11-23-2020, 05:38 PM.
                Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dystrust View Post
                  I have a Tele Hot Stack & SM-1n Vintage Firebird in my Tele with 500K pots, 022uf cap, & 50s wiring.

                  I'm not the biggest fan of late 80s / early 90s country, but it does a great early Zeppelin tone.
                  Nice. I have that same guitar, same color. It's still stock, but I have the SM-1 and pickguard. I haven't decided on the bridge pup yet. So how does that Hot Stack sound? Is it still Tele-ish? Smoother, hotter?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ArtieToo View Post

                    Nice. I have that same guitar, same color. It's still stock, but I have the SM-1 and pickguard. I haven't decided on the bridge pup yet. So how does that Hot Stack sound? Is it still Tele-ish? Smoother, hotter?
                    The Tele's a partscaster with a MIM Standard body and Blacktop neck. In terms of tone the Hot Stack sounds like a hotter, fatter Tele that's maybe slightly less bright and twangy. Maybe the 500k pots help with that? In terms of output it's about on par with a PAF, so nowhere near Hot Rails territory. I really love the SM-1; with the tone full-up it's almost Strat-like, while it does a decent PAF impersonation when rolled off a bit.

                    Sent from my SM-G973U1 using Tapatalk

                    Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dystrust View Post
                      I really love the SM-1; with the tone full-up it's almost Strat-like, while it does a decent PAF impersonation when rolled off a bit.
                      Thanks dystrust. I did a customers Tele awhile back with an SM-1. I immediately fell in love with it and bought one. It's my favorite Tele neck pup.

                      I might check out the Hot Stack for the bridge.

                      Here's mine: (SM-1 not in yet.)

                      Click image for larger version  Name:	Blue__Tele.jpg Views:	0 Size:	25.3 KB ID:	6031689
                      Last edited by ArtieToo; 11-23-2020, 08:48 PM.

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