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

    116 vote(s)
    64.8%
  2. No I avoid it completely

    20 vote(s)
    11.2%
  3. Yes but very little because I dislike it

    43 vote(s)
    24.0%
  1. Hanson

    Hanson Strat-O-Master

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    I also once had a SD Antiquity Texas Hot in the bridge position that I liked a lot. I didn’t check polarity on it when I ordered it, so I lost the RW cancellation in position 2. I ended up selling it.
     
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  2. ChrisD

    ChrisD Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    If I'm using the bridge pickup I tend to pick the strings between the middle and neck pickup. Seems to tame the high end enough that I don't often go for the tone control. When I started out I was on the bridge 100% of the time, more like 20% now.
     
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  3. rrben29

    rrben29 Senior Stratmaster

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    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.....[/QUOTE]

    I believe Clapton was sobered by this point as the documentary came out in 87 and He started treatment in 82
     
  4. rrben29

    rrben29 Senior Stratmaster

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    I love the bridge sound tbh... clean it's great for sparkle if you roll back the tone. OD it screams if you approach it right. But then my rig is always centered primarily around strat style guitars first.
     
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  5. davidKOS

    davidKOS not posting these days

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    I can't say I agree.

    I've had guitars with humbuckers, P90's, Tele and Strat bridge pickups.

    All sound good to me.

    In this context, I have always really liked the sound of a SSS Strat bridge pickup. Not quite like a Tele, not like a P90, but it sounds great to me.

    I've never been fond of a humbucker in a Strat. It may have to do with my age, I grew up when the only humbuckers Fender made were the ones on certain Teles and the original Starcaster. Back then if you wanted a humbucker you played a Gibson.

    The pickup I like and use least is the middle one.
     
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  6. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music.

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    Im pretty much thinking about a rail or full humbucker for bridge position.

    Tone control on bridge just makes it sound weaker.
     
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  7. tanta07

    tanta07 Strat-O-Master

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    You bring up an important distinction: amp settings. If your amp is set low and clean, the bridge pickup sounds thin and awful. If your amp is set loud and breaking up, the bridge pickup roars into snarling, nasty life.
     
  8. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    I like the bridge for a lot of rhythm stuff, particularly if I'm playing with a band. It really gets through the mix with clarity and doesn't get the mudddddd you can get with the bridge pickup... but I also know how to use my amp so that doesn't happen on other positions either...
     
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  9. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Most Honored Senior Member

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    Something I used to do was if I wanted to sit back in the mix more, I'd switch to my neck pickup. The bridge pickup would put me more out front.
     
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  10. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    Bingo.
     
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  11. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

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    I've found that, to compensate for the weaker signal created when the tone pot is connected to the bridge pickup, starting off with a hotter pickup (like a Texas Special) will help. It will sound like a normal vintage output pickup without the tone control, to my ears.
     
  12. brians

    brians Senior Stratmaster

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    Agreed, it's all about the amp. Dirty metal sound with some drive , sustain and reverb, nothing sings like that. I use it all the time for my rock stuff.
    I'm not into metal as a genre btw.
    And I don't like the bridge mod.
    Use the amp.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  13. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Most Honored Senior Member

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    I believe Clapton was sobered by this point as the documentary came out in 87 and He started treatment in 82[/QUOTE]


    The documentary, which I highly recommend btw...excellent, implied otherwise, but neither here nor there really.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  14. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

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    I agree in part. I think the problem with the Texas Special bridge is that, because it has a low resonant peak and a high Q factor, it sounds rather annoying with stock wiring, but if you put a tone control on it, the Q factor cuts in half and so it sounds less annoying even though it has the same resonant peak as before. The drop in output from 250k to 125k load is only about 1dB. That's why guitars usually have audio taper pots, because until you get closer to the bottom, around 30k across the volume pot, you don't perceive much of a volume drop off. 500k and 1 meg pots don't do much to win back output, they just increase the Q factor, which is why 1 meg pots in particular are not very popular. If the low pass characteristic of pickups is an unwanted side effect, the fact that it also resonates is doubly unwanted.
     
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  15. JohnnyL

    JohnnyL Strat-O-Master

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    Blackmore and Gilmour use it. I use it.

    It's not that different from a Tele bridge pickup - less low mids but not that much brighter. I switch to the neck pickup when I need to spend too much time higher than the 12th fret, but I would also do it with humbucker eqipped guitars
     
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  16. rrben29

    rrben29 Senior Stratmaster

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    The documentary, which I highly recommend btw...excellent, implied otherwise, but neither here not there really.[/QUOTE]

    Completely LOVED that documentary, as well as hail hail rock n roll! Must watch stuff imo ... I love Clapton as he is basically the reason I picked up the guitar. Sad really to hear that after his alcohol addiction he went back on dope for a bit... Glad he eventually cleaned up.

    Speaking of clapton in regards to the OP I love using the bridge position on his sig strat... that coupled with the midboost just results in a singing tone. But that wouldn't be a traditional strat bridge pickup would it...?

    The bridge pup is really another beast you have to learn to use... as well as my favorite, the middle pickup.
     
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  17. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

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    That's an interesting technical insight, thanks. Indeed, I found the TS pickups to have an annoying characteristic, a tonal quality that causes ear fatigue due to a pronounced specific midrange frequency boost. I like the tone of vintage voiced Strat pickups, but I wanted a slightly hotter bridge pickup - which is a common thing. So I have Duncan SSL1s in middle and neck, and the Texas Special in bridge position. I stumbled across this "trick" purely by accident. I connected the tone pot to bridge pickup to have a little more flexibility, and found that it now sounded very much like a normal single coil without the tone, only slightly beefier. Meanwhile I got rid of that infamous Texas Special harshness.
     
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  18. KoreGeneral

    KoreGeneral Strat-Talker

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    Hey, if you dont like playing the bridge with your stratocaster, you are playing the wrong stratocaster.... Trust me.
     
  19. tinkertoy

    tinkertoy Strat-O-Master

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    I love it.

    I love bridge/neck too.

    But then, I have a clapton circuit in my strat.

    So much winning with this setup.
     
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  20. RaySachs

    RaySachs Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    I like it and find uses for it, but I wouldn't say I LOVE it. I pretty much never play it by itself clean, but with some dirt, hell yeah, it can scream. But without it, you don't get the #2 and I play that a lot clean and gained up. So I consider it indispensable but I can't say I love it. For a single pickup sound, I'll definitely take a tele bridge or a P90 in the bridge over a strat bridge pickup. But it's not that big a deal to me, so I don't have a tele (when a bridge pickup is a guitar's strong point, I'm not gonna have one). I'm getting close on another P90 axe though. Seems I can't live without one of those even though I don't play 'em a lot when I have 'em.

    -Ray