Shawbucker vs Atomic humbucker

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by jaimac, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. jaimac

    jaimac Strat-Talk Member

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    Has anyone tried both the HSS models of strat? Which humbucker sounds better?
     
  2. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Stratster

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    totally different animal....I believe the Shawbucker uses traditional alnico magnets, not sure which type....

    The Atomic humbucker is over 20k in output, really hot with ceramic magnets - it has an in-your-face sound that isn't vintage sounding at all to me....
     
  3. Greenlion

    Greenlion New Member!

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    Just wanted to correct that last entry for future reference. The Fender Atomic Humbucker is NOT over 20k, and it does NOT have a ceramic magnet. They read around 16k (Just like a Duncan JB) and they use alnico 5 magnets.

    I can't even think of a pickup that read over 20k. I don't even know if it is possible.

    If you don't know what you are talking about, you shouldn't give advice.
     
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  4. Strat-Slinger

    Strat-Slinger Senior Stratmaster

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    To me, both the Shawbucker & Atomic sound somewhat "thin"... not a full sounding, old school voiced "PAF" type of bucker but, I'm partial to that type of tone for a bucker.
    If I'm going full size bucker... I want a nice "Fat" bucker tone.
    If I want a thinner (more single coil-ish) bucker (which is what I hear with the Shawbucker & Atomic) I'll go noiseless stacked single coil sized bucker... like an N3, N4 or maybe Vintage Noisless or DiMarzio "Area" etc...

    As to "Which one sounds better" that's completey subjective to the individual. Best to go out there and test drive guitars that have those pups in them to see what sounds best to you. One or the other may be just what you're lookng for but, you'll never know unless you hear/experience them both for yourself.
     
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  5. jpjr50

    jpjr50 Strat-O-Master

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    Have you looked into the Suhr Doug Aldrich Humbucker? It's 17.9k unit. This is what I'm going with.

    I just bought the Obsidian Solderless wiring harness which will go on first. Then I'll order the Suhr pickups.
     
  6. Phrasemaker

    Phrasemaker Strat-Talker

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    Atomic Humbucker, Love it.

     
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  7. banjogit

    banjogit New Member!

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    Did you try the Suhr Aldrich in a HSS Fender Strat? Is it something you would recommend?
    I also want to replace the Atomic Humbucker in my Fender American Deluxe Strat equipped with N3 Single Coils.
     
  8. jpjr50

    jpjr50 Strat-O-Master

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    I wound up going with the Suhr Thornbucker Plus Humbucker in the bridge instead of the Suhr Doug Aldrich. The Aldrich is quite hot, where as the Thornbucker Plus is around 8.8K.

    You can hear it on my Youtube Channel if you'd like (link in sig.).

    The single coils I went with Suhr V60LP's which are quite great.

    Also I upgraded the wiring harness to the Obsidian solderless with CTS pots, upgraded capacitors and wiring.
     
  9. StratorTrle

    StratorTrle Strat-Talk Member

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    The Seymour Duncan Malmsteen pickups are around 20k. Maybe even a few . hotter. So there's that.
     
  10. Skinny Nitro

    Skinny Nitro Senior Stratmaster

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    The Enforcer version of the Fender DH-1 is somewhere around 24kOhm.
     
  11. Fender Phil

    Fender Phil Strat-Talker

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    I have a 2011 American Deluxe HSS. It has always been an absolutely charming guitar to play. I loved all the features of this guitar, since I got it 8 or 9 years ago.

    My only issue over the years was dialing in the Atomic Humbucker to sound its best, and give me a proper, representation of quack tone when used with the middle pickup. Many dislike the N3’s pickups. Once I found the correct height, they gave me all the sounds I was after, including a convincing vintage, except quack with the humbucker blended in. image.jpg

    The Atomic pickup can sound good on its own, and it is a powerful, beastly pickup.
    I recently had the opportunity to buy a used Shawbucker from an American Pro Stratocaster HSS. I was hoping that it would rectify and correct what my ears felt was wrong with my 2011 Deluxe.

    I installed it using the wires that were used for the Pro. The tone was a nasally Peter Green, and not what I was after. I went back in and used the other two wires that were heat shrunk together and likely soldered. I put the original two wires together, soldered and heat shrunk covered. To my surprise, the guitar sounds awesome now.
    I have 10 Stratocaster guitars that I like for one reason or another, but my 2011, now with the Shawbucker, makes it my absolute favourite to play. The Shawbucker works exactly as described and blends with the middle pickup, for a nice useable quack, and improved the other sounds when the S1 switch is engaged, or the blower switch is used. It makes my 2011 Deluxe a guitar that can pretty much do it all, in a confident, comfortable way. I like how single coil bridge pickups can sound, but prefer the Shawbucker, particularly when used for overdriven tone.

    I don’t have to look any further, I found what I like, all in one Stratocaster.