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American Standard w/Fat 50s - which bridge hb?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Syd Vega, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Syd Vega

    Syd Vega Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    43
    20
    Mar 4, 2017
    Germany
    Hi there,

    I own two AM Standard strats (2014/2016) now, both stock with the, in my opinion, great Fat50s pickups.
    Now, since these guitars are pretty much identical, I'm thinking about changing the bridge pickup on one of them.
    Did some recordings the last couple of days and realised, that my 60s Baja Tele was much better for the rockier parts, the Strat shined on other stuff. It was great recording with all Fenders this time around (Gibson guy until the last couple of years)!
    Anyway, I'm thinking about putting something other than the Fat 50 in the bridge position for one of the strats.
    I'd like something in the ballpark of the 60s Baja Tele soundwise, so no super hot metal pickup or something like that and no ice picky, thin tele pickups either. Just something that goes along great with the 50s in the middle and neck position for harder, overdriven rock stuff (Orange amp, Tubescreamer as lead boost).

    Anyone?
    Thanks in advance for any input!
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017

  2. TheDuck

    TheDuck Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    For overdriven Rock, its hard to beat a DiMarzio Super Distortion, or its four conductor coil splitting cousin, the Dual Sound. A DiMarzio PAF is a great choice as well.

    If you want to really push your Strat into a new tone zone, drop the EMG DG-20 set up into it. It will give you everything from Country to Blues to Rock with amazing sustain and clarity.
     

  3. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Strat-O-Master

    639
    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    '
    If you're up to experimenting why not try a really fat single coil (like a Texas Special) first?

    I agree that the Fat 50's are great, but (much like yours I assume) the one in my Strat's bridge position isn't quite hot enough to effectively push my amp into the "delicious overdrive zone" as much as I'd like it to sometimes.

    On the other hand, the stock single coil bridge pickup in my 2003 Fender AVRI 52 Tele seems to be a lot bolder and sounds totally awesome going through my custom (all Fender parts) AA764 Blackface style tube amp when cranked to the max (with just a touch of Tube Screamer style overdrive).

    But you're right in not wanting something that doesn't match well with the other pickups you got, which may be problematic when attempting to place a humbucker in that spot.

    As for me, since I only have the one Strat (2012 Am Std), I need the bridge/middle setting more (which has a great quack) so replacing the bridge pickup on mine is simply out of the question.

    But, since you have two of the same, then why not?

    Good Luck!

    '
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017

  4. Blackie1956

    Blackie1956 Strat-Talk Member

    15
    Sep 20, 2014
    Oregon
    I have two strats also. I also had the same idea, tho I ended up not acting on it. What I felt I lacked, a boost pedal and the tone knob accomplished. But...if you still want to act, consider the Fralin Blues Special in the bridge, or perhaps a SD Lil' 59.
     

  5. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Strat-O-Master

    639
    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    '
    I also got a great sound after running my Strat (bridge pu) into an Xotic EP Booster then into my Mesa Boogie TA-15 amp.

    More like a fantastic blues tone rather than a rich heavy crunch, but I do agree that it can be done...

    '
     

  6. johnnymg

    johnnymg Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 5, 2015
    Central Coast Ca
    Have you checked out the SD SSL-5? I'm thinking of trying that pup(s) in one of my Fat 50'd guitars.

    FWIW, I think the Fat 50's aren't that "fat". To me, they sound a bit thin/clear and very punchy. Not particularly "vintage" sounding to my ears. I have 2 Am Standards one with stock Fat 50's and one with 'adjusted' poles. The 'adjusted' pole guitar sounds better than the stock but it's still a bit too clear to me. JMO.
     
    didger likes this.

  7. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Strat-O-Master

    639
    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    '
    What do you mean by "adjusted poles"?

    The Fat 50's on mine have "staggered poles" as opposed to "flat poles".. is that what you mean?

    IMG_3124.PNG

    Also, the use of the word "Fat" can be a relative description...

    Compared to some Strat pickups, I think of my Fat 50's as having a somewhat "smoother bright" or "slightly more full" sound rather than an obvious massive injection of "fat" - resulting in rounder highs and a harmonic richness.

    It also depends quite a bit on what amp you're using as well, imo...

    '
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017

  8. jball85

    jball85 Strat-Talker

    340
    Mar 16, 2014
    East Texas
    Pearly Gates
     
    Adam Moss and tealsixtysix like this.

  9. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Strat-O-Master

    639
    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    '
    The PG might be a good matchup.

    Not too "over the top" as far as dirt goes, although it is a little brighter than some humbuckers (relatively speaking) which may or may not be good or bad thing - depending what setup you're using - but I'd think that would make it easier to dial in along with the inherently brighter single coils (since changes to amp controls might equally affect the overall tone of all the pickups).

    Of couike anything else, there's really no way to know for sure until you try it!

    '
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
    tealsixtysix likes this.

  10. didger

    didger Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 5, 2014
    Salt Lake City
    I thought of the SSL-5 right away, too. I've got one guitar with the "Black Strat" setup, Fat50s-CS69-SSL-5 and it's great. The SSL-5 gives you a stronger, meatier rock tone in the bridge while still being a Stratty single coil and keeping in balance with the other pickups.

    Beyond that, any of the single coil-sized humbuckers would be an option to beef up without going all the way to a humbucker.

    Or you could go totally nuts with a P90. :p
     
    johnnymg likes this.

  11. johnnymg

    johnnymg Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 5, 2015
    Central Coast Ca
    I lowered the G, D, and B poles to make them (per your images) more symmetrical. The pups have a more balanced tone/volume across the 6 strings now. Still have a "clear/punchy" tone though which is fine for some things.
     

  12. Ebidis

    Ebidis Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    50
    Nov 14, 2013
    Alabama
    I think the Fat '50s are pretty fat in the lower mids in comparison to some other "vintage" style Strat pickups, but they do still maintain clarity on the top end, and that is what I like about them.
     
    AxemanVR likes this.

  13. Adam Moss

    Adam Moss Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    51
    525
    Feb 10, 2016
    Manchester, UK
    I've got a Pearly Gates HB in the bridge position of my American Special Strat alongside two Texas Specials in the neck and middle positions. Works really well in that combination. The TS are fierce though so not sure exactly how it would match up with the Fat 50s.
     

  14. Syd Vega

    Syd Vega Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    43
    20
    Mar 4, 2017
    Germany
    Two more question:
    I looked up the SSL-5, theres two versions of it, one beiing reverse wound. With the Fat50s, the middle pickup is also rw so right now positions 2 and 4 are noiseless. Does the rw SSL-5 work with that or do I need the normal one?
    Which one should I get?
    And what about the twang banger, is that good for overdriven rock?

    Thanks a lot guys!
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017