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Replacing Standard Strat pickups with noiseless ones

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by Numbercruncher, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. Numbercruncher

    Numbercruncher Strat-Talker

    Age:
    48
    202
    Nov 28, 2017
    Spokane, WA
    I recently purchased two new Straticastor guitars, a standard model with the HSS configuration and the deluxe model in the SSS configuration. I understand the SSS pickups are the noiseless ones and the HSS Deluxe model has the traditional ones. I have learned on this board that the Deluxe Strat will exhibit a 60z hum with the pickup lever in the middle(3) or forward (5) position and I have confirmed this. But it is only loud enough to be noticeable with the amplifier up so loud that I can't play it for practice purposes. When I turn my amp down to practice level the hum is so quiet I can't hear it or I play right over it.

    1) Is changing the pickups easy enough to do?

    2) Will there be any improvement in sound other than the 60z noise going away?

    Part of me says I have so far to get to get where I want to be I should just play and not worry about pulling a new guitar apart. I'll probably never notice the noise and if in six months it bothers me I can change then or trade the guitar in on the HSS Deluxe model. I'd probably just do that right now if they offered the killer Aged Cherry Color.

    Thanks.

    NC
     

  2. heltershelton

    heltershelton ASKED TO LEAVE THE STAGE Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    one thing that is VERY good to learn no matter what type of pickups you have is to learn to turn your guitar volume all the way down when your not playing.
     

  3. CGHguitars

    CGHguitars Strat-Talker

    471
    Sep 8, 2015
    Eden Prairie
    Now THAT's advice you can actually use!! :)
     
    Numbercruncher and heltershelton like this.

  4. Tcon

    Tcon Strat-Talker

    Age:
    59
    162
    Mar 11, 2016
    KCMO
    noise gate that wont rob your tone. or switch to the 2nd or 4th position when not playing or turn the volume down. High gain levels will make it worse! I have shielded all my guitars and they are quiet as a church mouse
     
    Numbercruncher likes this.

  5. Artunes

    Artunes Strat-Talker

    Age:
    61
    138
    Mar 16, 2017
    Oshkosh B'Gosh
    If you are only planning to play at home, and the noise isn't bad, don't worry about it. If you're gigging in places where the wiring is sketchy or there are lots of fluorescent lights, then you may need to switch to noiseless pickups, which is exactly what I had to do.
     

  6. Numbercruncher

    Numbercruncher Strat-Talker

    Age:
    48
    202
    Nov 28, 2017
    Spokane, WA
    So did shielding your guitar eliminate the need to replace the pickups with noiseless ones? Not sure if you have noiseless from the get go and did the shielding just in case. I shielding more or less of a chore than replacing pickups?

    Thanks folks.

    NC

     

  7. The Strat Dude

    The Strat Dude Duderino Strat-Talk Supporter

    Shielding is a bit of a chore but will eliminate RF interference, 60 cycle hum will still happen especially when exposed to bad wireing, computers dimmers. neon etc, etc......
    I also think that learning to play with regular strat pickups is a good thing.
     
    Numbercruncher likes this.

  8. Numbercruncher

    Numbercruncher Strat-Talker

    Age:
    48
    202
    Nov 28, 2017
    Spokane, WA
    Will do but not sure what it will accomplish if guitar is unplugged and inside a gig bag????

    NC
     

  9. heltershelton

    heltershelton ASKED TO LEAVE THE STAGE Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    index.jpg
     

  10. dbbluesproject

    dbbluesproject Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 3, 2015
    Maine
    First off what end result are you shooting for?
    Are you going to be gigging or recording in critical situations where you know for sure hum/noise will be an issue?
    Do you like the sound of the pickups you have already and have you given yourself time to get used to them?
    Hum is not loud enough to be an issue most of the time.....only occasionaly do I encounter a situation where it is a performance killing issue...
    Usually in clubs with old/bad wiring....flourescent lights etc....
    That having been said it’s fun to swap pickups, learn how to do it, experience what is out there...and you can get alot of great direction here as to the best way to go about it.....but use your ears as well, Fender imho has great quality control and even the pickups in their cheapest guitars are decent....I’m not sure exactly which models are in the strats you have but someone here will know.....as far as fender is concerned “stock” does not automatically equal “bad”....
    You also have other options.....electro harmonix for instance make a noise gate and a hum debugger in pedal form....
    A noise gate will automatically mute the signal when you are not playing.....they are a very handy tool when playing live...
     

  11. Tcon

    Tcon Strat-Talker

    Age:
    59
    162
    Mar 11, 2016
    KCMO
    It will quiet the 60 cycle hum a lot unless you have a gain pedal or amp gain cranked but it wont be near as bad and very tolerable. I do have fender gold lace sensors and a demarzio heavy blues II in 1 strat and it is totally quiet. you could also do a dummy coil mod which will eliminate all the 60 cycle crap from getting in.If you have a strat you just kinda live with whatever happens. Tex mex pickups and shielding has made my mim standard a lot more manageable in the noise department. You tube will be the way to go if you want to try any of this.
     

  12. The Strat Dude

    The Strat Dude Duderino Strat-Talk Supporter

    Are we saying the same thing? The RF interference is what causes the most of the 60 cycle hum, shielding will help but will not eliminate it. Even humbucker guitars can suffer from RF interference, Shielding any guitar will help this. I have shielded both Single coil and humbucker guitars and recommend it highly. Good luck.
     

  13. Seymour Duncan

    Seymour Duncan Senior Stratmaster

    I like noiseless pickups, either at home or on a gig. Hum drives me crazy, and I am not trying to nail a traditional Strat tone, anyway. Noiseless pickups usually come with some EQ difference between them and stock pickups. To me, your story doesn't make a convincing case for noiseless pickups, as you don't really notice it. I'd say, play the guitar and be happy. If you notice the noise more over time, and you want a sound that is different (brighter/darker/change in output), then consider a pickup swap.