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SSL-1's for Hardtail?

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by drysideshooter, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. drysideshooter

    drysideshooter Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    55
    47
    Feb 25, 2018
    eastern WA
    I'm waiting for a Warmoth alder strat body and maple neck and fretboard to arrive so I start a hardtail build. I'm going with a Hipshot hardtail bridge with the vintage .446 string spacing.

    I am really looking for a traditional sounding Strat with some scooped mids, and able to get some quack. I'm thinking of going with all Seymour Duncan SSL-1's, with a RWRP in the middle position. 250k pots and a quality 5 way to keep things quality but a bit old school. Tusq nut and Hipshot locking staggered tuners.

    Any thoughts on pickups would be genuinely appreciated. As far as aesthetics I ended up getting a decent looking piece of Alder with somewhat interesting grain. I may change my mind when I see it in person, but right now I'm thinking probably several coats of Tru Oil with no stain or tint, black pickguard, knobs, pickups, chrome bridge, jack plate and tuners.
     

  2. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Strat-O-Master

    537
    May 29, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    An alder body hardtail is likely to have a fuller tone than most Tremolo strats.
    Duncan vintage coils are probably a good choice.
    Although due to the hardtail it may be a warmer, more jazzy / bluesy tone than you would get with an equivalent body using a Tremolo bridge.

    Also consider the flat pole SSL-2 pickups instead of SSL-1 so you won't get so much boosted output on the G-string.
     
    Tone Deaf and drysideshooter like this.

  3. Seymour Duncan

    Seymour Duncan Senior Stratmaster

    Yeah, I dig SSL-2s (flat poles) if you have a more modern radius and a plain G string. Another scooped set I love is the Antiquity II Surfers, which really get that scooped early 60s sound. I do tend to go for flat poles if they are available for a particular model, however.
     

  4. drysideshooter

    drysideshooter Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    55
    47
    Feb 25, 2018
    eastern WA
    Thanks for the thoughts Teleplayer and Seymour Duncan. I'm mostly a blues and classic rock player, so bends are part of my style. Because of that I tend to stay with plain G strings.

    The SSL-2 Vintage Flat Strat set looks like it might be ideal? The middle is RWRP for noise cancelling in 2&4 positions.
     
    Seymour Duncan likes this.

  5. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Strat-O-Master

    537
    May 29, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    If you really want a bright tone with scooped mids, maybe a 70's style pickup could be what you want. I don't know which ones though.
     
    rich815 likes this.

  6. LtKojak

    LtKojak Strat-Talker

    151
    Jun 29, 2013
    Italy
    If we're talking about a John Mayer/BigDipper p'ups type of tone, then a well setup SSL-2 (the flat-poled one) set will give you what you're asking for and then some. This set will work particulary well with a fingerboard radius of 12" or flatter.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018

  7. drysideshooter

    drysideshooter Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    55
    47
    Feb 25, 2018
    eastern WA
    I'm thinking the SSl-2 set may be the way to go. I wonder about a SSL-5 in the bridge position to have one higher output pup for a bit more versatility? The fretboard is a 10-16" Warmoth compound. I have no problem soldering and was planning to solder the setup myself, but finding the best prices I can on the pups, CTS 250k pots, 5 way switch, etc., getting a loaded pickguard from 920d is less expensive than buying the parts and doing it myself. Does anyone have experience with their stuff? They are using the same components I would.
     

  8. Seymour Duncan

    Seymour Duncan Senior Stratmaster

    You may want to look at the SSL-6 instead, since it also has flat poles.
     

  9. drysideshooter

    drysideshooter Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    55
    47
    Feb 25, 2018
    eastern WA
    I am really wondering about the flat poles, though I totally understand the reason for them. I know you risk breaking a wire, but if a g string is a little too pronounced isn't it possible to push the pole down a bit? Every time I run the pickup selector on the Seymour Duncan website for the styles of music I play, and the things I'm looking for, it keeps coming up with SSL-1's as one of the most popular choices, along with a SSL-5 at the bridge.

    On edit: Doing some more reading, I would hate to take a chance on breaking a wire or damaged the pup by pushing down a pole. The SSL-2's with and SSL-6 at the bridge seem ideal. I'm just really surprised, based on what I've read, and the advice here, that they don't come up when I enter the info in the Seymour Duncan pickup selector.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018

  10. Seymour Duncan

    Seymour Duncan Senior Stratmaster

    I don't know about other brands, but don't push the poles on one of our pickups, ever.
     

  11. drysideshooter

    drysideshooter Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    55
    47
    Feb 25, 2018
    eastern WA
    Seymour Duncan, with all of the guitar specs entered along with the musical style and everything, why do you think the selector on the website doesn't suggest the SSL-2's in any of the sets? The more I have read, the more it sounds as though they may be great.
     

  12. LtKojak

    LtKojak Strat-Talker

    151
    Jun 29, 2013
    Italy
    Because the selector sucks donkey balls, to put it mildly. ;)
     
    drysideshooter likes this.

  13. drysideshooter

    drysideshooter Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    55
    47
    Feb 25, 2018
    eastern WA
    How do you really feel LtKojak? LOL.

    Another set of pickups I am considering is the Fender Custom Shop Texas Specials.
     

  14. Seymour Duncan

    Seymour Duncan Senior Stratmaster

    I just went to the website on to the Stratocaster pickup list, selected 'True Single Coil' on the left side, and they are near the bottom of the list.
     

  15. drysideshooter

    drysideshooter Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    55
    47
    Feb 25, 2018
    eastern WA
    What I was using was the pickup selector where you select the type of guitar (3 Strat), music (blues), what you're looking for (versatility, but the list doesn't change too much based on that selection), fretboard (maple), and body (alder).

    ON EDIT: The one thing the selector doesn't take into account is the fretboard radius. I went with a 10"-16" compound radius fretboard. I can see where flat poles might make much more sense with that flat of a fretboard.

    2nd Edit: Also, I am a bit concerned about string spacing for the bridge pickup. I am going with vintage fender hardtail string spacing, which is 2.230". Nut is 1 11/16".
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018

  16. Seymour Duncan

    Seymour Duncan Senior Stratmaster

    Oh, I see... the pickup selector. Honestly, I could never get that to work. I search through the pickups manually.
    As far as the string spacing, any single coil would work. I would only worry if you are putting in a humbucker, since there are 2 spacings: humbucker and Trembucker. The single coils will work with any spacing, though.