I love 3 single coil strats, but like many, I’ve never really loved the sound I get from my bridge pickup. I’ve been able to get by alright with a dedicated tone knob wired to it (I often set it to 7 or 8). Even still, I fine myself longing for a better sound that’s less harsh and brittle. Last year I had an idea to address this and ultimately abandoned that after posting a thread on the gear page. I got a number of thoughtful responses, and my take away was that increasing the pickup output the closer to the bridge is pretty important. The reasons for doing this make sense as the strings vibrate under the bridge pickup. I believe this was one of the main reasons why Gibson added volume pots per pickup. Many of the tried and true combinations follow this rule (think Duncan JB & 59) and also many models will tweak the output and offer a neck and bridge version. Anyway, I let conventional wisdom stop me from trying out my favorite single coil pickup in the bridge position.Continue reading “Pickups & Conventional Wisdom”
The following combination of strat mods is simple to install and greatly increases the tonal palette of the instrument IMO. This requires giving up the traditional 3rd position (middle pickup), but that’s a small price to pay.
- Tone knob assignment – Connect the first tone knob to the neck & middle pickups and dedicate the second one to the bridge pickup.
- Super switch – Replace the standard 5-way with a super switch or 2-pole 5-way w/ the following wiring: N, N+M, N+B, M+B, B This preserves all the “good” strat sounds and adds the “tele” middle sound.
- Strangle Switch (aka high-pass filter) – Basically just a .003 capacitor on a push pull potentiometer. This will cut out low-end frequencies and make the guitar sound so funky.
- Treble Bleed circut – Add a 560pf cap & 300k resistor to the volume pot to preserve tone while using the volume knob.
I’ve had my Tom Anderson Hollow Drop Top Classic for about eleven years now. It’s by far the best guitar I’ve ever owned. Over the past three years, I’ve found myself playing this guitar less and less as my tastes continue to evolve. In fact, my strat has been my main guitar for the past year and a half. Back when I purchased the Anderson I really gravitated to higher output pickups. Not so much any more. When I started playing teles back in 2004ish I realized that lower output pickups had a much sweeter & brighter sound. Conversely, hotter ones can sound harsh and darker. I’m not saying that all high output pickups are dark & harsh, but they certainly *can* be as is the case w/ the pickups in my Anderson. Continue reading “I ♥ Dimarzio Pickups”
Thanks to Amazon and Fedex my pickups arrived on time today. I decided on the Area 61 for the bridge and the Area 58 for the neck and middle slots. These are fully hum-canceling and have the standard six poles on top.
Looking at the bottom of the pickup reveals nine magnets in the pickup. I assume the extra three magnets are reverse wound to cancel the hum, but that’s only a speculation.
Continue reading “Dimarzio Area 58s & 61”