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NGD: Blacktop HH Stratocaster

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by CalicoSkies, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Senior Stratmaster

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    I recently purchased a Blacktop HH Stratocaster online and went to pick it up at the store tonight, since it arrived today. I had been considering buying a HH Strat, and I got a pretty good deal on this one. I also like the black on black color scheme; I think this is a great looking guitar. Based on the serial number (starting with MX14), I think this is a 2014 model. I played it a bit tonight, and I'm not sure what I think quite yet. The humbuckers seem a little muddy but not terrible. I like the in-between sounds in positions 2 & 4 on the switch, where it does the combination coil taps (inner & outer coils together) - but let's face it, I bought this mainly for humbucker tone, and I'm not sure if I'd call the tone "great". I was playing it through a Fender Twin '65 Reissue amp; I'm not sure if it would sound better through a different amp. I could probably replace the pickups, but I'll have to think it over a bit since I already have a few other Strats.
     

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  2. Steve112

    Steve112 Senior Stratmaster

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    Nice axe, I've been tempted more than once by these gorgeous Strats. I think the HBs look deadly on these guitars. Perhaps your ears are used to singles and you just need some familiarization with their tone characteristics. In any event give it some more time before you write the HBs off, you may be surprised. :)
     
  3. DHart

    DHart Banned

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    Yes, give it some time. If you bond with it, you might try some different pups. David Allen told me that he was told that the magnets are reversed on each of those pups in the Blacktop and that if you put them in another guitar, with regular switching, they would be out of phase with each other. Keep that in mind if you ever shop for replacment pups. Apparently one of the replacement pups may need to be phase reversed, if you stick with the Blacktop wiring/switching. Something to look into, anyway.

    I'm planning to make my own HH loaded pickguard, to convert one of my Strats to HH for somewhat more of a Gibson tone.
     
  4. revtime

    revtime Strat-Talker

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    I have one of these in Sonic Blue with a dark rosewood board. 2011. Someone put Sperzel lockers on it. I got it used at GC for 250 bucks.
    Love the thing. Best MIM I have ever played.
    Humbuckers were made for powerchords. Play some Blink 182, Sum41, and Iron Maiden on it.
     
  5. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yeah!
    I love Blacktops, miss my Tele BT. Anyway really enjoy your new Strat BT, and a big HNGD to you. :)
     
  6. revmike

    revmike Strat-Talker

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    Congrats. I absolutely love my blacktop. I have one in Black on Black with a Floyd Rose. It is my #1 player these days. The only thing I've done to it is remove the amp knobs and replace them with normal Strat knobs. Have fun with it!
     
  7. bobruzzo

    bobruzzo Strat-Talk Member

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    Fender Black top Strat

    I also picked up a Blacktop last month in a trade. Guitar is VERY nice and I replaced the humbuckers. They were AWFUL. I don't understand why Fender can make such a nice guitar and put those crappy pickups in it. The split coil tones were nice but the regular humbucker positions were unusable, especially the neck...complete MUDDDD. NO character...dull sounding....lifeless. I put in a set of GFS Surf 90 P90's and the guitar sounds MUCH BETTER. The Surf 90's are very similar to a P90 but a little less pronounced mids. VERY smooth and beautiful tone and NO MUD! The guy at the shop even told me the stock humbuckers were junk. Do your self a favor and swap those humbuckers out. I removed volume pot and knob and moved it to the first tone knb position. And made the tone knob master tone. Volume knob gets in the way on strats when you palm mute. I have the hole covered for now till I get a plug.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. xland

    xland Senior Stratmaster

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    Congratulations!! Beautiful guitar!! I also like the black on black look. I have been contemplating a blacktop (strat or tele) but it probably won't happen for a while. HNGD!!
     
  9. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Senior Stratmaster

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    If I do end up replacing the humbuckers, I'd like to have ones that are compatible with the 5-way switching in this guitar.
     
  10. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I'm pretty sure the Blacktop strats have 250k pots, if you put 500k CTS or high quality pots in there, it would brighten it up.....also a lower tone cap value like .022 or .015 instead of .047 if that's what's in there now....

    EDIT - they may already be 500k pots and a .022 cap.....I can't find pics to know for sure, and I've never owned one....
     
  11. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Senior Stratmaster

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    I ended up buying a loaded pickguard with a pair of Seymour Duncan P-Rail pickups and swapped that into the guitar. I also had a set of Fender locking tuners put in (I prefer those over the standard tuners).

    I like the sound of these P-Rails. Also, this new pickguard allows using the individual coils, using the P-90s from both together, using the rails from both together, as well as using the P-Rails as in-series humbuckers or parallel humbuckers.
     

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  12. ChefBlue

    ChefBlue Senior Stratmaster

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    Calico....thinking of using "P-Rails" in a LPJ project I have in the planning stage.
    Do they work as advertised?
     
  13. Steve112

    Steve112 Senior Stratmaster

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    Wow, very nice Calico, love the look and I've liked black on black for years. Nice pups, in the right combination how is their P90 sound, attack and tone? How are the HB sounds and tones? A beautiful and convincing looking axe, HNGD for sure...:)
     
  14. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Senior Stratmaster

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    The P-Rails definitely sound clearer than the stock pickups that this guitar came with. To me they sound fairly close to what I heard in Youtube video reviews, so no bad surprises or anything. They sound humbuckery when in humbucker mode, loud and powerful. When using the P-90s or rails, they sound more like a single coil, although a bit different from a classic Fender tone. Fairly close though. I'm fairly happy with them. I'll have to play with them a bit more for sure. I've playedthem clean so far and have yet to try them with a dirty/overdriven sound. Funny thing is, so far I think they sound a little more defined through my solid-state Fender Reverb Sidekick amp than through my Fender Twin Reverb.. but maybe I'll have to play with the settings a bit.
     
  15. srvsayce78

    srvsayce78 Most Honored Senior Member

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    Sweet! Enjoy the NGD!
     
  16. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable Strat-O-Master

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    Anyone ever go with a 3 way switch on one of these?
     
  17. Astroman

    Astroman Strat-O-Master

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    I absolutely love these guitars. They handle distortion very very well and still produce smooth cleans. Great buy!
     
  18. Strat-Slinger

    Strat-Slinger Senior Stratmaster

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    Cool Blacktop. They're great guitars... the p-rails look cool :cool:
    I have the HSH config... Killer Tone w/ the stock pups :D
    A lot of folks seem not to like the stock pups... I think they're great... old school hot paf's.

    If you adjust them right... they're hard to beat. At least if you dig old school paf tone... which I do... but everyone's different.
    Enjoy rockin your new HH
     
  19. Bigjoedo

    Bigjoedo Strat-Talk Member

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    Beautiful Guitar, Happy NGD!!
     
  20. The Outlaw

    The Outlaw Strat-Talker

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    i must be in the minority on thos one. i loved the pickups in my blacktop floyd strat. they did require height adjustment and seemed more suited to someone who likes using the vol and tone on the guitar. with the vol and tone wide open they sucked clean but rolling them off a bit made them alot better. i need to get another one of these but skip the floyd
     
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