So who actually loves the Strat bridge pickup sound?

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by sonny wolf, May 27, 2020.

Do you use the traditional bridge pickup on a Strat?

  1. Yes I love it

    115 vote(s)
    65.0%
  2. No I avoid it completely

    19 vote(s)
    10.7%
  3. Yes but very little because I dislike it

    43 vote(s)
    24.3%
  1. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Senior Stratmaster

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    It is a common opinion that the traditional Strat bridge pickup is too weak and thin and bright.I agree that it not suited to every style of music especially when using high amounts of distortion and other pickup types are better suited for the job.The bridge pickup on a Telecaster is ballsier and thicker and I enjoy playing my Teles as well as my Les Pauls and SGs.But Strats are my main guitar and I use the bridge pickup quite a bit(positions 1 and 5 get the most use and I'll use the 2,3,4 sounds depending on when the song calls for it).The Strat was designed in the 1950s and EQ'd with the tweed amps of the day which were generally focused on the warm and midrangy tones they produced.The tones from those amps ranged from clean to medium overdrive when cranked.That type of overdriven sound is what I basically use and I think it sounds great with a Strat bridge pickup giving a nice raunchy Bluesy Rock n Roll tone.Jimi Hendrix used the bridge a lot with his fuzz tones and Stevie Ray Vaughan used it a lot too in solos navigating through the other pickups to create different EQ dynamics and they had some of the most loved Strat tones ever.I agree that the Strat bridge pickup falls short when plugged into a high gain amp with a wide range modern EQ...the shrillness and thinness can be very unmusical in that context.But when used in how it was traditionally conceived I think it is an amazing tone especially if you have it wired to the tone control to knock off a bit of treble when needed.Here is a video of Keith Richards playing his Strat on the bridge pickup with an old school overdriven tone that is perfect for that type of music and similar to the tone I aim for with my music.I also attached a poll to see what your preferences are.


     
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  2. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    man , I'm undecided on the poll.

    It has its place. For Tele twang for instance. Who needs a Tele? Oops, did I say that out loud?
     
  3. Antstrat

    Antstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    It has its place and there are those who know how to use it with great sound. I’m just not one of them.
     
  4. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The bridge or bridge and middle is pretty much all I use. Bridge by itself mostly.
     
  5. David Garner

    David Garner Senior Stratmaster

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    So weird to see Clapton with a RW fretboard.
     
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  6. DeMelo

    DeMelo Senior Stratmaster

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    There is nothing magical about humbuckers.

    Strat bridge pickups are good as long as people finally understand that that a SSS guitar does NOT work the same way as a HH one. Strats and Les Pauls are apples and oranges.

    The bridge pickup on a typical strat is just fine as long as you know what to do with it, by right settings and gear to go with it, just as the guys back in the late 60s did.

    My own experience and practice: the single coil strat bridge pickup is a great rock n roll tool if you can drive your amp and use your pedals wisely, like Hendrix did. The neck pickup on a stat is the most damned immaculate thing God ever did for soloing, so a strat is indeed great, IMHO the middle pickup and the other positions are mostly cosmetic and jazz oriented.

    Moving on: I owned Gibsons and other humbucker laden guitars, and even though I play mostly classic rock with a hard approach, I've always found these to be too throaty and gross. Never needed that. A matter of taste, of course. I can use an SSS strat for whatever I want (not exteme metal maybe, but I don't do metal anyway) because I like that guitar and take the time to work on it,
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
  7. David Garner

    David Garner Senior Stratmaster

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    I answered that I love it. I mentioned in another thread why and I won’t repeat it. But set right, balanced with the other two, no tone control, it is a really cool tool to have in the toolbox.
     
  8. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

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    I can’t live without the special bridge pickup attack
     
  9. dcos

    dcos Strat-Talk Member

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    Pretty shrill and irritating to me, but appropriate for some songs. I wired mine to a tone pot which makes it much more usable IMO.
     
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  10. DeMelo

    DeMelo Senior Stratmaster

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    It's a matter of learning how to use it.

    No offense in this reply. Just pointing out that it isn't "shrill", it is what it is, you set your rig accorgindgly
     
  11. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I think you know more than your letting on.
     
  12. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

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    I use all 5 positions, but mostly #2 for it's subtle balance. The bridge in both my strats is pretty raw. good with a sunface and AC Booster/ Klone.

    Experiment. I have to admit it was more difficult with the texas specials than the vintage bridge.
     
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  13. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Intruder alert! Intruder alert! Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I never got much of a good bridge pickup sound until my first Am Std with Fat 50s. I never liked the bridge on the many MIMs I've owned. I had two Squiers with pretty much unuseable bridge pickups. Of course, I used the bridge pickups in combo with the middle. Most of the time I'd be using the neck pickup or position 4, though.

    I have some outstanding bridge sounds on my Custom Shop Strats.

    Take that as elitist if you must, that has been my experience.
     
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  14. guitarface

    guitarface Most Honored Senior Member

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    I use it plenty.

    I saw Matt Schofield live and sat way up close. Not entirely, but most of the time he seemed to play all non-solo parts on the neck pickup and all solos on the bridge. Straight forward and awesome sounding.
     
  15. Gridlock

    Gridlock Strat-Talker

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    I only use the neck pickup on my two Strats.
     
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  16. Antstrat

    Antstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    [​IMG]
     
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  17. scooteraz

    scooteraz Strat-O-Master

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    I like all of the positions and pickups. To be fair I don’t use the bridge alone as much as some other positions , but when I want that bridge only sound, I want that bridge only sound.
     
  18. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Strat-Talker

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    Have a twang banger in there - love it!
     
  19. Deathray

    Deathray Senior Stratmaster

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    I hardly ever used it, when I had the stock pickups in my player Strat. I thought it sounded a bit thin. But, since I put the Fat 50s pickups in, I love it!
     
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  20. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Senior Stratmaster

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    [QUOTE="sonny wolf, post: 3946371, member: 5188"

    [/QUOTE]

    I don't have an informed opinion...everything has its place though. It's all how you use it as the others say.
    Surprised to see this jam. I just last night saw a portion of it in a documentary about Clapton..A Life in 12 Bars. If you look closely you can tell this was the period where he was deep in the bottle. He even stated he didn't listen to many albums because he could hear how drunk he was. Even drunk he plays better than most.....
     
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