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HSS pickups for Sterling Cutlass

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  • HSS pickups for Sterling Cutlass

    Hi folks. Just bought and am loving a Sterling by Music Man Cutlass CT50 HSS. Poplar body, roasted maple neck and fingerboard, vintage tremolo, 22 frets, Fender scale. I'm primarily a bedroom player plugging into a Boss Katana 50 with minimal pedals (an MXR noise gate and a BD-2 Blues Driver).

    The stock pickups are decent enough, but I know myself: a guitar isn't truly mine until I've changed the pickups. This guitar will be used primarily to play rock, hard rock, blues, and pop, so I don't need it to chugga-chugga.

    What are your recommended HSS pickups? In particular, I'd welcome your guidance on the single coils. My other guitars are all HH, and this is really the first time I'm thinking about aftermarket single-coil pickups in a serious way. Should I go vintage output? Moderate output? Any and all suggestions welcome.

  • #2
    A 59/Custom Hybrid will do everything you want. Balance that with 2 Classic Stack Plus pickups for noise-free single coil tones that balance well with the bridge pickup.
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mincer View Post
      A 59/Custom Hybrid will do everything you want. Balance that with 2 Classic Stack Plus pickups for noise-free single coil tones that balance well with the bridge pickup.
      I've been dying to try out the 59/Custom Hybrid for a while, so I like this recommendation!

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      • #4
        I'm with Mincer on the Classic Stack Plus in the neck and middle. If you don't like the 59/Custom Hybrid, a Whole Lotta Humbucker, Pearly Gates, 59 Model, or Screamin' Demon would do well in the bridge.

        The nice thing about all of these is that they work well with 250K pots.

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        • #5
          Cutlass, 59/C, and a BD-2 sound like a recipe for an absurd amount of treble.

          I'd say Vintage Hot Stack neck, Classic Stack Plus middle, and (if you can afford Custom Shop pricing, or willing to buy used) a Brobucker.
          If I only had a dollar for every song I've sung
          every time I had to play while people sat there drunk,

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Chistopher View Post
            Cutlass, 59/C, and a BD-2 sound like a recipe for an absurd amount of treble.

            I'd say Vintage Hot Stack neck, Classic Stack Plus middle, and (if you can afford Custom Shop pricing, or willing to buy used) a Brobucker.
            Interesting. I wouldn't necessarily plan to be using the BD-2 all or even most of the time, but I see your point about treble. I don't want to spend on Custom Shop, though.

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            • #7
              I just installed a whole lotta humbucker bridge in my Epi LP. It's a good, stout, PAF-type option. I like it a lot. Your volume knob cleans the WLH up very fast too
              Epiphone Les Paul Tbte Plus (SD custom shop humbucker & SH2b neck)

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              • #8
                I have a Sterling Cutlass CT30, the stealth black one. I put the Retrospec Antiquity Texas hots in the neck and middle. The bridge is currently a Custom Custom and I am very happy with that combination.

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                • #9
                  Ordered a Screamin' Demon bridge. Going to wait on getting the Classic Stack single coils for financial reasons. Thank you all for your advice!

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                  • #10
                    Questions for you single-coil experts. What tonal differences separate Classic Stack from Vintage Stack pickups? I definitely want to have a noiseless pup in the middle position, but wouldn't mind a true single coil on the neck. Is that feasible, given that the Screamin Demon will be the bridge?

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                    • #11
                      If I remember the key difference is the Vintage Hot has been wound to more turns than the Classic Stack, but I could be mistaken.
                      If I only had a dollar for every song I've sung
                      every time I had to play while people sat there drunk,

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                      • #12
                        thats correct if thats what hes asking about, the vintage hot stack plus is darker and has a bit more output than the cs+ bridge. there is a vintage tele stack but thats a different beast

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                        • #13
                          The Vintage Hot has more mids, while the Classic sounds closer to a real single coil. A true single coil in the neck is great, but it will hum.
                          Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                          • #14
                            This is useful. Thank you all. I think I'll probably go with the Classic in the neck.

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                            • #15
                              Yeah, I think that might be a better choice if you are combining with other hum-cancelling pickups and using some gain.
                              Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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