Humbucker in Bridge Position?

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by Flapjack, Sep 11, 2021.

  1. Tone Quest

    Tone Quest Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    67
    Messages:
    1,991
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Location:
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    I have a SD L'ill 59 in the bridge of my Strat. I like it a lot. My avatar is the one it is in. No need to change anything.
     
  2. Flapjack

    Flapjack Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    137
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    Really appreciate all the input. I continue contemplating what to do. Part of the reason for this is that I really like the sounds I am getting with my current, stock bridge pickup. Still itching to try a HB though...
     
  3. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    3,774
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Location:
    NY
    Some full-sized humbuckers are bright enough to do well with a 250K volume pot. The Duncan JB is like this. And the Pearly Gates Plus, which has a stronger magnet than a regular Pearly.

    Many of the Strat-sized rails are designed for 250K also, as a simple drop-in replacement.

    The TB-16 would probably do better with 500K though; it has rich mids - perfect for a Strat.
    And it splits quite well because of the one Custom coil.

    +1 on wiring for autosplit in position 2. Easy to do and it doesn't require a special switch.
    Having autosplit wouldn't interfere with wiring a push-pull also, to split the bridge when desired.
     
    Hal Nico likes this.
  4. AJS000

    AJS000 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    35
    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2021
    Location:
    Australia
    You could... Instead of humbucker. Get Noiseless pickups and mid boost.

    Will mean getting a luthier or someone good with a router though. But I've got 2 Strats done this way and it's so versatile as a live instrument.

    Basically the same as the Clapton strats. Can get a really fat bridge or neck or any pickup sound just by turning up the boost.
     
    Andrew Wasson likes this.
  5. AJS000

    AJS000 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    35
    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2021
    Location:
    Australia
    Still also looks like a standard Strat
     
  6. Chont

    Chont Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,858
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Location:
    In a van down by the river
    I got the HSS American Performer recently and love it. I figured if I didn't like it I could swap it out for my Duncan SSL5 but no... the humbucker stays.

    I agree with the Single coil HB ideas people have posted. Would make a rewire easier and retains the traditional look more than the full size HB.
     
  7. Slacker G

    Slacker G Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    80
    Messages:
    738
    Joined:
    May 16, 2021
    Location:
    Iowa
    I love them in the bridge position but not in the neck position. I have Single sized rail pickups in the bridge position on two other Strats. I'm using Carvin AP11's in the neck positions & Middle on two. I have a AP11 neck and a Fender Strat middle on the other.


    Bridge Full Sized Bridge Rail Strat Single coil Size Bridge Full Sized
    Strats 1 .JPG

    Full Sized HB Bridge Pos Rail mini HB Bridge Pos Full Sized Hb Bridge Pos,
    Strats 2.JPG
     
    Andrew Wasson and Bcorig like this.
  8. ThebiggestJerk

    ThebiggestJerk Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    120
    Messages:
    1,548
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2018
    Location:
    Home
    Have you had the pickguard off? I had no room for full sized bucker and had to route it.
     
  9. Flapjack

    Flapjack Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    137
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    Thanks for the posts/suggestions. At some point curiosity will probably get the best of me and I'll give something a try. I have had the pickguard off and it is routed for a humbucker.
     
  10. MGW-AB

    MGW-AB Strat-Talker

    Age:
    61
    Messages:
    442
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2020
    Location:
    Wild Rose Country
    There is something about the humbuckers vs single coils issue that the vast majority of people seem to overlook. Or maybe they just never considered it before. Almost everyone assumes the reason humbuckers sound "thicker" is because of higher output but that is only part of the equation. You can get single coils that are super hot and yet they don't sound like humbuckers. You can also get humbuckers with quite low output and yet they don't sound like single coils so it is clearly NOT just about output. Something else is going on and it never seems to get any mention on guitar forums so far as I can see. A pickup senses string vibration at the pole piece(s). A single coil senses the string at one location along the length of the string. A standard humbucker senses the string at two locations along the length of the string. This is why silent singles, noiseless or stacked pickups, however you want to call them use a single line of pole pieces, because they are trying to emulate the sound of a single coil but without hum. In order for the pickup to approximate the sound of a single coil it needs to sense the string in one location. Traditional humbuckers sense the string at two locations. This does more than simply boost the output. It combines two distinct sets of fundamental and harmonic tones into one signal. That's what makes it sound phat. The higher output also contributes but it is a separate thing. This is also one of the reasons that single sized humbuckers don't quite sound like their full sized versions. The two locations are much closer together so they fall somewhere in between the single line and the wider spaced double line of poles. There are often other factors at play as well (like the angle for one) but the spacing is definitely a big factor.





    [​IMG]
     
  11. vid1900

    vid1900 Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,162
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Location:
    Yemen
    If you install a Fender Super Switch, you can even make a pair of humbuckers quack, if you are handy with pickups and wiring
     
  12. EC Strat

    EC Strat Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    51
    Messages:
    3,682
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2018
    Location:
    Louisville Kentucky
  13. MGW-AB

    MGW-AB Strat-Talker

    Age:
    61
    Messages:
    442
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2020
    Location:
    Wild Rose Country
    I assume you're talking about coil splitting when you mention super-switch. I'm here to guarantee that coil splitting is not required to get quack. My number 1 Strat is HSH with no coil splitting and I get quack. It may not be Robert Cray quack but it's quack. I did use a super-switch but not for coil splitting. I used it to achieve a middle position that runs the neck and bridge together. The two tone pots are assigned to the neck and bridge.
     
  14. Bcorig

    Bcorig Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    71
    Messages:
    1,580
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    Location:
    Chino Hills CA
    When I didn’t know what air was doing 25 years ago I put in a SD ‘59 in my American Standard
    I like the sounds I get with it through a TS9. I can get a nice tenor chunk on the low strings by backing off the tone knob to 6.
    I still have the original in the case, though. The 59 is nice because it fit in the original pickguard
     
    Andrew Wasson likes this.
  15. Flapjack

    Flapjack Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    137
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    Is this a Little '59 you are referring to?
     
  16. Bcorig

    Bcorig Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    71
    Messages:
    1,580
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    Location:
    Chino Hills CA
    Yes. Sorry. I thought it would make it sound like a LP, that’s how dumb I was.
    I ended up buying a LP and then coming back to the Strat after actually playing and learning about it.
     
    Flapjack likes this.
  17. Bcorig

    Bcorig Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    71
    Messages:
    1,580
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    Location:
    Chino Hills CA
    That wood!
     
  18. Susi77

    Susi77 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    44
    Messages:
    21
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2021
    Location:
    Italy
    I have a Pearly Gates in my Strat and I really love it. It has personality and it blends perfectly with the two single coils, even in terms of volume. Maybe this doesn't interest you, but it has a great sound also splitted.
     
    Andrew Wasson and Flapjack like this.
  19. Flapjack

    Flapjack Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    137
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    I (finally) have an update. Since I could not decide what to do, I just bought another Stratocaster, same model I already had, only with a humbucker in the bridge position. This way I can play both and see which I like better. I only have about 30 minutes on the new one (HSS) and like it a lot.

    I had no issue at all with getting the single coils and humbucker at the same volume level, which was something I was concerned about based on what I read here and elsewhere. Even with the single coils set almost flush with the pickguard, I can have the humbucker raised a good bit off the pickguard and get the same volume. Still need to play with pickup heights...
     
    Andrew Wasson and The_Whale like this.
  20. The_Whale

    The_Whale Strat-Talker

    Age:
    52
    Messages:
    441
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2020
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Take your time...
     
    Flapjack likes this.