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same old noiseless pup discussion but for me...

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by chrose1201, Nov 25, 2019.

  1. chrose1201

    chrose1201 Strat-Talk Member

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    Hello all. I was reading all the noiseless pup discussions and would like an opinion by asking you a slightly different angle.
    I am doing a relic build through MJT Aged Finishes with a Musikraft neck. I have played my 1998 American Deluxe for 20 years and so am completely used to the Vintage Noiseless Strat Pickups. Believe it or not it wasn't until Friday that I even learned what made them noiseless! So now I am wondering. I am relic'ng the guitar to be roughly 50 years old but not heavily used. So I am not trying to recreate an actual vintage strat. However in keeping with the theme somewhat of a relic I wondered about using Fender 65 vintage vs the vintage noiseless. I have opted against boutique pups so I am only looking at Fenders (regardless of how good the boutiques may be)
    My basic question is since I am only used to playing noiseless single coils is there a general consensus as to whether anyone thinks that switching to non noiseless is a good idea or might I be too jaded to go to straight vintage single coil. I am not that picky, and while I hate hum, I know that when I play I won't notice it.
    So this is less about which is better and more do you think the switch is a good idea for whatever reasons you may have.
    I appreciate your thoughts.
     
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  2. NeverPracticing

    NeverPracticing Strat-Talk Member

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    I have N3 pickups in my 2011 Deluxe, standard Am Std pickups in my 1989 and fat 50s in my 2008. They all sound great. I'm not the type of person to view one thing as "the best", so I enjoy the pros and cons of each. To me, the noiseless pickups have the clearest, highest-headroom sound, but there are drawbacks as I'm sure you know. The fat 50's are pretty bassy... they work really well with flat wounds because the drawbacks of each seem to cancel out. The 1989 pickups are the closest thing to vintage I have, so I can't comment on that aspect. In my opinion the differences are subtle and akin to slightly adjusting the "shape", "tone" and EQ controls on your amps. However, you can't add was isn't there, and each is missing something.

    The N3s lack the glassy high end but are the most "articulate"
    The custom 50s lack the thick mids... if you roll off the bass they are thin and dominated by the glassy sounds
    The standard pickups are balanced but have less clean headroom than the N3s
     
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  3. EC Strat-boy

    EC Strat-boy Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Going from the VNs to PV 65’s would be change for sure Since the VNs are your point of reference, the 65’s would be:

    more chimey / glassy on the top end
    Scooped
    Less output / gain
    Noisy

    i had a set of VNs for a couple of years and I liked their warm tone but found myself missing / wanting more chime and was adding treble to my amps and pedals. So I did some research and took the plunge and had the Seymour Duncan’s classic stacks 4 installed and am EXTREMELY glad i did. I cannot tell the difference bt them and a true single coil set.

    the 65’s would behave differently and you’d need to adjust to the tones and the EQ as well as any gain settings you like.

    myself personally I’d choose the 65’s between the two. If I was playing out with them and was getting hum that I couldn’t stand I’d do an illitch backplate.

    I’d choose the STK 4’s over the 65’s.
     
  4. The Strat Dude

    The Strat Dude Sticker bushes and Posy rules! Strat-Talk Supporter

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    welcome to ST. I have been through a pile of noiseless Strat pickups and now they are gone, whatever works for you. Some great players make noiseless pickups sound amazing, I don't care for them, maybe I'm not that good ;)
     
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  5. chrose1201

    chrose1201 Strat-Talk Member

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    I looked up the STK 4's that EC Strat-boy mentioned as I did not know what they were. Now I do. In one discussion I saw this which I thought interesting: "The new Classic Stack pickups are for guys who know vintage tone and want that tone but with noise free operation. But vintage Strat pickup tone is not for everyone. The real deal can be brighter, glassier, more revealing, lower in output and require a different touch and picking technique to coax a smooth fat tone out of than some players can handle or are comfortable with."

    That caused me to think a little more too. I am not a real technical person. Go and play kind. I also had never really given much thought to using different pups in different positions. So much to think about :) by the same token, maybe if I was a better player it would make more of a difference....
     
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  6. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Senior Stratmaster

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    It’s my understanding that the noiseless pickups require deeper routing in the cavities. Just make sure your new body will accept them before you order the body if you decide to go noiseless.
     
  7. EC Strat-boy

    EC Strat-boy Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    All of that has been my experience with the STK 4’s. They are MUCH brighter glassy and touch responsive than the VNs were. Without a doubt. They can go from soft to loud and overdriven with just pick attack changes. Which is what I love about them.
    You would need to modify your approach a bit.
     
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  8. chrose1201

    chrose1201 Strat-Talk Member

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    Very good point. I will check! Thanks.
     
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  9. Seymour Duncan

    Seymour Duncan Senior Stratmaster

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    The STK-S4 are my favorite Strat pickups. The depth of these pickups is .85".
     
  10. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    @Seymour Duncan, I know I’ve asked this before, but lost the thread...

    Which single-coil sized humbucker do you recommend in the bridge position with STK-S4s in the neck and middle?
     
  11. SurfsUp

    SurfsUp Senior Stratmaster

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    I have a 2015 American Deluxe V-neck, which came stock with N3 pickups. Even though they get bashed I like them. Out of curiosity alone, I made a pick guard up to swap out pickups without having to re solder everything every time. I jump from N3's, to Lace Sensor Hot Golds to what I have in there now, Fender's PV 65 set.

    The 65's are great pickups, can't really get more Strat like then having authentic Fender pickups, right? They are indeed noisy when A/B'ed to either the N3 (dead silent) and the Lace's (silent ~ but not 100% noise free) but I can live with it. As have countless others I suppose.

    The Lace are my fav of my 3 choices.
     
  12. chrose1201

    chrose1201 Strat-Talk Member

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    I had been set on using Fender pups, now though I am maybe leaning towards SD's? But this brings up something I frankly never thought about and that is the mixing of pups. I would be interested in @Seymour Duncan's thoughts on mixing up pups ie: bridge, middle, neck.
     
  13. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

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    The Fender '65s are arguably about as close as it gets to the traditional '60s Strat tone.

    However they are not an RPRW set.
    Coming from a full set of noiseless I would think that you might benefit from having 2 out of the 5 positions with some degree of noise rejection, which is what you get with an RPRW middle.
     
  14. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    For me it depends on the application.
    Live - noiseless pickups are a must.

    Studio - regular single coils sound better to me.

    Home use just having fun- either or.
     
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  15. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

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    I routinely mix pickups from different sets.
    You'll have to pay attention to magnetic polarities.
    The Duncans are the opposite polarity as many Fender pickups.
    You can create your own RPRW set by choosing north-south-north or south-north-south.
     
  16. Seymour Duncan

    Seymour Duncan Senior Stratmaster

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    Sure, you can mix anything you want. Most SDs are out of phase with Fender pickups, so you have to reverse the hot and ground on one or the other, but that's it.
     
  17. Seymour Duncan

    Seymour Duncan Senior Stratmaster

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    Depends on the sound you want...ie, where you are currently and where you want to go. The Little 59 is a good choice, though.
     
  18. mshivy

    mshivy Most Honored Senior Member

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    ^^ This +1,000

    To the OP; cheap pickups wil sound better through a great Amp than “boutique” pickups though a mediocre amp

    Buy a set of Fender 57/62’s or the Duncan SSL1 set and save your money for other gear.

    Yeah, you’re not that good- you’re freakin badass on that Strat
    Good noiseless pickups work well enough in a band situation. Otherwise single coil all the way
     
  19. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yeh that's what I thought when I replaced my '89 Strat Plus (with noise reduced Lace Sensors), for a 2008 Am Std. I loved how the Am Std played and loved the clean sound of the pups too, but any gain and the hum drove me crazy. Result, I eventually replaced the stock pups for a set of Lace Sensor Golds. In recent years I've gone to DiMarzio Areas with a DiMarzio Rail pup at the bridge. These are fantastic sounding pups in their own right, and are hum free no matter how much gain you throw at them. They sound great clean too. You can try, but I'll be surprised if you can go back to single coils after using noiseless pups for all those years.
     
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  20. chrose1201

    chrose1201 Strat-Talk Member

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    Actually I have a friend with several Strats with non noiseless pups. I am going to borrow one or two and A/B with my amp and my noiseless so I can see for myself what I think sounds better. Then I'll be in a better state to make a choice.
     
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