An "ah-hah" moment (Strat S-S-S content)

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by doveman, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. doveman

    doveman Member

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    As I finished up my successful Lollar P-90 project, I made a clip involving all 5 of my guitars. I noticed that ... I didn't / couldn't use my G&L Legacy bridge. Like I usually do, I used the neck/mid notch and came up with something good. But it got me to thinking ... I never use my Strat-like guitars (Strat & G&L) bridge pickups and only rarely the bridge/mid notch. Maybe this P-90 like thing might be cool on a S-S-S guitar?

    Well ... I didn't go that way ... realized I already have a P-90 guitar now. But I got to considering this $75 experiment and ended up putting a 9.5k Fralin in the bridge with really nice results. That allows me to raise both the neck and bridge pups closer to the strings ... which has made both pups fuller. It has opened up this S-S-S guitar without losing anything I was already using. Now the G&L uses a master-treble-bass control configuration that I happen to really like ... and that helps a lot. I set the bass at 5 - roll up towards 10 to thicken up any of the below mentioned tones.

    Basically:
    • Bridge - Treble on 2-4 ... really great tone about 3/4 way to P-90s-ville and not very noisy
    • Bridge/Mid Notch - Treble 3-5 - Less quack but more overtones (more about this later)
    • Middle - Finally can use the middle - since it's closer to the strings - fuller than before
    • Neck/Mid Notch - Treble 4-10 - Same quack as before - but fuller - again closer to the strings
    • Neck - Treble 4-10 - Fuller - Closer to the strings

    Now the "ah-hah" parts:

    S-S-S were not always RWRP: I never knew that this came about in the 80s and that earlier Strats did not have the quack. I accidentally found (since Fralins and G&L have opposite RWRP settings) that there were some more overtones to my ear when mixing bridge/mid pickups that were not RWRP. A little interenet searching ... discovered that others had the same experience. It's not a bad sound even though there is more noise. I almost left the non-RWRP setting for my bridge/mid settings but I was curious and switched the neck and bridge pickups to try RWRP ... for me it worked better. But non-RWRP is a great option I had never considered.

    Tone Control is the Key: Now I am firmly in the camp that lives on the tone controls. I disagree with those that just dime the tone or take it off. An amp set with a lot of treble ... combined with the tone knob is pure heaven. But on my Strat and G&L, I really did not take advantage of this ... when I toned down the treble, the bridge just didn't have enough kick. But without rolling it off it was brittle and harsh ... so I didn't use them often. But taking my 7.1k bridge to 9.5k gave it just enough of a bump so this works. I can finally balance that bridge pickup - tone and volume. Now that PTB control setup on the G&L makes this even better ... just add back a little treble as you head toward the neck pickups ... start bass on 5 and add bass if you want to thicken a little ... it feels perfect.

    Quack: I like the current "quack" noiseless setup on Strat guitars BUT the option for the more overtones can be achieved by both non-RWRP configuration or one pickup being stronger than the other when RWRP. I get less quack with the 7.5k(b)/6.9k(m) RWRP than if they were more balanced AND more overtones (to my ear). These overtones are similar to the non-RWRP setup I mentioned earlier. Now if you want to "keep the quack" you can get a tapped bridge in the 7k range and tap the pickup when in the bridge/mid notch ... or even make it an option with push-pull. I for one, like the overtones/noiseless setup with the imbalanced 6.9k/9.5k RWRP setup.

    Now, you guys probably knew all of this but WOW for me. A $75 experiment that has transformed my G&L Legacy ... the other half of the guitar has opened up.

    Just felt like sharing this ...

    :)
     
  2. doveman

    doveman Member

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    No real interest? I still find it kinda fascinating. Here is a quote from the Bare Knuckles Pickups site ...

    http://www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/faq.html

    Stock vs RWRP middle single coils. A stock middle coil will have more mid range on the in between positions of the 5 way selector and not be hum canceling.You'll also notice marginally more volume across the whole set of 3 coils.Fender Strats originally came with 3 stock wound/polarity coils. RWRP middle coil will hum cancel in positions 2 and 4 of the 5 way selector, arguably more versatile than a stock middle coil and popularized by players like Mark Knopfler and Eric Johnson.

    Cool ... 8)
     

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