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Pick-ups For A Strat Project, Bad Choices?


Alac Luin
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I'm assembling my first guitar, after wanting to such a thing for over 20 years.

I've been away from guitars for the majority of the time, only coming back to guitars because of my kids (bless their hearts)

So, I'm not well versed on what is what.

This strat is going to be presented to my boys' mother as a gift (she got the guitar bug to), but she is determined that she wants it all "Fender" parts. Needless to say, this isn't a surprise gift.

Now to the meat of the matter, Rosewood Fretboard, maple neck, alder body, S/S/H configuration.

Looking for nice range of tone, but ultra heavy metal sound isn't needed.

I'm looking at going with the Seymour Duncan SHPGP-1B Pearly Gates Plus in the bridge and Fender SCN noiseless neck and mid.

I know the sound of a pick up is a subjective matter, but is there anything glaringly wrong with these choices?

Oh, I'll also be looking for advice on how to wire these things up, I'll most likely do two DPDT switches (At least I'm aloud to use non fender pots :D )

Any advice is appreciated.

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I can't comment on the Fender SCN pickups, except to say that some people like them and some people don't like them. Apparently they sound fairly different from a normal single coil.

I have a Fender Texas Special Strat, which has two Texas Special single coils (little hotter than normal single coils) and a PG+ in the bridge. I think the PG+ is a very good pickup. The only problem is that with a humbucker and two single coils, there is a big volume jump from the single coils to the humbucker. I have worked around this to some degree by moving the sc's closer to the strings and the HB pretty far away from them. The PG+ is sort of a hot PAF kind of pickup. It sounds nice.

What are you planning on using the two DPDT switches for?

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I can't comment on the Fender SCN pickups, except to say that some people like them and some people don't like them. Apparently they sound fairly different from a normal single coil.

I have a Fender Texas Special Strat, which has two Texas Special single coils (little hotter than normal single coils) and a PG+ in the bridge. I think the PG+ is a very good pickup. The only problem is that with a humbucker and two single coils, there is a big volume jump from the single coils to the humbucker. I have worked around this to some degree by moving the sc's closer to the strings and the HB pretty far away from them. The PG+ is sort of a hot PAF kind of pickup. It sounds nice.

I've noticed that volume jump on my Ibenez, although I haven't been able to put words to it until now.

Thanks for the tip on adjusting PU hight I'll keep that in mind, in case I need it.

After reading a review of the PG+, the benefactor of this guitar was sold, I'm glad to hear others like it :D

What are you planning on using the two DPDT switches for?

Right now, I'm not sure. I'm trying to find different options that are available.

I've looked at fender's S-1 switching, but I don't need that many options.

I'm looking at putting an out-phase/in-phase on there with the singles (I think I can do that with DPDTs).

I'm still reading wire diagrams, which is actually what brought me to this site almost a month ago, I've been amazed at some of the wiring diagrams I've seen here.

On that note, whoever owns that square guitar with the hundred or so switches, your a sick man :D .

No hurry here yet, I've still got a few months before I'm ready to assemble.

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If you haven't been there, you might check out www.guitarnuts.com. It has quite a few wiring diagrams for Stratocaster style guitars. You'll need to click "wiring," then "modifications."

You can indeed do out of phase/in phase with the single coils and a DPDT. If it were me trying to do it, I would just have one DPDT swap either the neck pickup (if you only want out of phase with neck+middle) or the middle pickup (if you want out of phase with both combo positions) from hooked up the right way to hooked up backwards. You would do this by hooking up the hot and ground leads up one way to one throw of the switch and the opposite way to the other throw of the switch, then taking the wires from the poles and using them as the hot and ground leads that go to the volume controls.

You might consider using a push-pull pot for this application, which is a DPDT switch attached to a potentiometer. You could replace the volume pot with this, and have in-phase with the knob pushed in and out-of-phase with the knob pulled out.

Please note that if you do this with NON-noisefree pickups, the combination positions when out of phase will no longer be hum-cancelling.

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I was planning on using push-pull pots. It's just what exactly I'm gonna do with them is the issue :D

I'm looking over some of the mods at guitar nuts right now.

I like the detail of shielding in the quieting the beast section, I know It's most likely over kill (if using the SCN/humbucker combo) but I plan on shielding.

Your instructions on how to reverse the mid is what I was thinking, but I'm more accustomed to reading automotive wiring schematics, but this sounds simple enough :D

The "Neck on" looks like another simple yet useful option.

Thanks again.

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  • 1 month later...

Finally received all the parts and finished the assembly, I've got to say I like it at least through the amps that I have (only small practice amps at this time).

So I'm happy with my choice of pick-ups.

I went with the wiring from an American Fat strat special from fender's site.

Well, this was it for my first full assembly.

Now off to my next project, I've got 3 more in the works :D, this if fun stuff it really can be addictive :D

Edited by Alac Luin
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