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Seymour Duncan Hotrails in Neck Position - any issues?

Discussion in 'DIY Strat Forum' started by Crazybayman, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Crazybayman

    Crazybayman Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    38
    26
    Nov 16, 2017
    Newfoundland
    In my latest conceived "upgrade", I'm thinking of putting a seymour duncan hotrails bridge pickup in the neck position on my MIM Strat.

    Would there be any issues from a wiring / pots point of view? If anyone here has done this, how does it sound?
     

  2. TangerineDog

    TangerineDog Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 5, 2015
    The EU
    Problems? Not quite. With the existing 250k pots, it might get a bit dark, so you might want to get a new 500k pot for the neck tone.

    Other than that, it will sound a little dull on a clean setting, but on crunch, the Hot Rails shine.
    The bridge version is a tad hotter than the neck one, but both would be hotter than the rest of the pickups in this guitar anyway, so the question of bridge or neck version doesn't really matter.
     
    Crazybayman likes this.

  3. Crazybayman

    Crazybayman Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    38
    26
    Nov 16, 2017
    Newfoundland
    Thanks for that. So despite it being a "bridge hotrails" in the neck position, there shouldn't be an issue?
     

  4. TangerineDog

    TangerineDog Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 5, 2015
    The EU
    Bridge pickups need to have a little more output 'cause the string vibrates a lot more the further away from nut or bridge you get. Wider vibration means louder sound.

    So the bridge pickups have just a hair more output - that provides an even volume balance across all positions when you use a set. That's all the difference when you talk about bridge or neck Strat pickups.
    It's different with Telecasters, just look at one and you'll see why ;)

    What might cause confusion when talking Strat pickups are RWRP middle pickups.
    They've got the polepieces flipped and the wire wound the other way round. That way, if any interference hits them, they produce the exact opposite of the signal the other pickups produce and these signals cancel each other out when the RWRP pickup is active along with a normal one.

    Since the strings vibrate differently above each pickup though, no part of your playing gets cancelled out by the RWRP.
    The parallel switching does that all own.

    But hotrails are noiseless anyway (each has one RWRP and one normal coil) and that's why there's no RWRP hotrails.
     
    Crazybayman likes this.

  5. MagnusR

    MagnusR Strat-O-Master

    833
    Feb 21, 2013
    Sweden
    I once had a full size HB in neck pos with stock 250k pot. It was very muddy with high gain settings. Changing to a 500k pot improved the situation a lot.
     
    Crazybayman likes this.

  6. Crazybayman

    Crazybayman Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    38
    26
    Nov 16, 2017
    Newfoundland
    I see, thanks. So will the neck pickup be significantly louder than the bridge?

    If so, is it possible to adjust by raising the height of the bridge pickup and lowering the neck pickup?
     

  7. Textele

    Textele Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Oct 10, 2009
    USA

  8. TangerineDog

    TangerineDog Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 5, 2015
    The EU
    Umm... no, not on a normal Strat.

    With the Rails however, your Strat would have double the output at the neck - which is almost 2 times as loud as the bridge.
    No chance to change that by changing the height.
     

  9. Seymour Duncan

    Seymour Duncan Senior Stratmaster

    A bridge Hot Rails in the neck will seriously overpower any other pickup in the guitar, and seriously compress your signal as it hits the input stage of the amp. You will have a ton of mids, too, and the idea of of it sounding like a Strat goes out the window.
     
    jaybones likes this.

  10. stratman in va

    stratman in va Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    48
    Jul 27, 2012
    Virginia
    You might wire it as two parallel coils, instead of a series humbucker. Should be less power than a humbucker Hot Rail.
     

  11. TangerineDog

    TangerineDog Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 5, 2015
    The EU
    That's a great idea!
    I'd do that with a switch to have all the options but that's just me - I don't like decisions.
    That's true - and raises one question: @Crazybayman why do you want the Hotrails?
    I mean, I've played them, they give you a sweet, fat blues tone in the neck with just a little gain on the amp, but what are you after?
     

  12. stratman in va

    stratman in va Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    48
    Jul 27, 2012
    Virginia

    I am thinking of putting together a Tele style guitar with one fullsize HB at the bridge, but wire it to a 4 way switch for the series/parallel and splitting in one neat switch. Hope no one minds me getting off the topic