Author Topic: Output and EQ-wise, which noiseless single is closest to a Fast Track 1?  (Read 1389 times)

Offline gregr

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I love the Fast Track 1s that I own.  I was wondering which Lace Sensor has similar output but still belongs in the Strat camp rather than taking on P90 characteristics.

I'd like to put one in the neck position with a Chopper in the bridge.  The goal is to have the neck position not be completely swamped by the Chopper on the clean channel.  I'd also like to be able to use it with medium gain to the point where it crunches nicely without the Chopper sounding saturated.

It seems to me that the Lace Silver might get it done.  Fatter and a tad bit warmer is just fine, in fact it's probably necessary in order to get a Strat tone using gain and EQ settings skewed to favor the Chopper.

I know the Fast Track 1 can do it, but I'm interested in a single bobbin rather than the texture resulting from phase cancellations that result from the use of two side-by-side coils.  Specifically, this pickup will go in the traditional neck position and will be flanked by a Satch Track placed closer to the bridge.  For this reason I want a pickup without a flange, that has  low magnetic pull and will not be influenced by the magnetic field of the Satch Track.  For these reasons a Lace Sensor will be a no-brainer.

Middle spot will be populated with an Area 61 or a matching Sensor.

I'm aware of the fact that DiMarzios can be custom ordered without flanges, but this isn't a road I want to go down at present.

Think of it as a Lace Dually meets a DiMarzio Multibucker.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 09:20:44 am by gregr »

Offline buddroyce

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Re: Which Lace Sensor is closest to a Fast Track 1?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 11:50:35 pm »
The Lace Sensor Silver might get you in the ballpark but it won't be that close.
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Offline gregr

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Re: Which Lace Sensor is closest to a Fast Track 1?
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2020, 02:28:54 am »
Thanks for that.

Lace Sensors also have nearly zero dynamic range which I would find intolerable if I'm being honest with myself.  I really like the tone of the gold as well as the 6k hot golds, don't get me wrong.

Would a VV HB2 be a better choice?

Position 4 quack would then be a concern.  Combining the HB2 and the A61 has consistently sounded pretty lackluster based on the few demos I've heard and this really doesn't (shouldn't?) come as a surprise.

Assuming the HB2 gets noticeably brighter without the dummy coil, would quack be improved combining it with an A67? (also split, if only to get hum cancellation since the A67 is RW/RP)

To account for the level difference a treble shelf will be applied to the HB2 before combining it with the middle pickup.  I've used this method successfully on both an A61 and a VV54P when combining either with an A58, FWIW.

I'm -->||<-- close to pulling the trigger on a flangeless HB2. I just don't want to blindly and impulsively drop $100 for a solution that turns out being a disappointment. Running the Satch Track either split or in parallel just isn't cutting it.

Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Which Lace Sensor is closest to a Fast Track 1?
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2020, 04:02:48 am »
Would a VV HB2 be a better choice?

Position 4 quack would then be a concern.  Combining the HB2 and the A61 has consistently sounded pretty lackluster based on the few demos I've heard and this really doesn't (shouldn't?) come as a surprise.

That also depends on the pot values. I have a strat with the HB2 in the neck and the Injector neck in the middle with 500k pots and position 4 quacks just fine. With 250k, HB2 neck and A61 middle could be lackluster but with 500k it should be bright enough - the A61 in the middle could be very bright indeed. A67 would even be brighter. If you go with 250k pots, A67 neck/A61 middle could work well.

Cheers Stephan
Area 67, Area 58, VV Pro 54, Injector neck, HB2, Cruisers, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T set, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, SD, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, VHPAF, AT-1, Super Distortion S; Norton

Offline gregr

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Output and EQ-wise, which noiseless single is closest to a Fast Track 1?
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2020, 09:16:52 am »
I agree that the A61 can be quite bright, even in the neck with 250k pots. However upping the pot values increase the Q, giving you more of a treble spike rather than increase the extension of high frequencies. The latter will happen when you remove the series inductance of the dummy coil.  Iíve used an Injector Neck in the bridge with a Lace Gold in the middle; 250k volume and single 250k tone.  The combo sounds nice but the quack is lackluster, in my opinion. Iíve heard the HB2 in the bridge with A61s in the middle and neck, 250k volume, 1M tones for the neck and bridge. The middle was wide open. Quack was again lackluster, but this is also subjective of course.

I donít expect to be getting the kind of quack you get with a pair of A67s, and thatís OK considering the bigger picture.  That said, I use only ~1n in the tone and a 330p treble bypass on the volume, so I still want some air/shimmer/high end sparkle with which to work.

Regardless, this doesnít really address the heart of my question.  To restate, Iím looking for a single coil in the neck which will be flanked by a Satch Track.  I was originally interested in feedback regarding a Lace Sensor Silver. Iím now considering an HB2. I donít want a large boost in volume when switching from the single coil to a Chopper in the bridge when playing clean. I also donít want to have to add gobs gain to the point where the Satch Track or Chopper become overly saturated in order to get the HB2 to sing.  I donít want to have to hit 100db SPL to get the HB2 to sing either.

For further context my rhythm is mid-gain Marshall (think AC/DC) and I normally roll back the volume for cleans  The amp is pushed with a TS (level set high, gain set low) for leads and Iíll sometimes stack a second overdrive for additional saturation. I also love full warm jazzy cleans, which I get using a dedicated clean channel. I play shreddy hard rock and also dig Hendrix/Trower/Uli/Blackmore for Strat tones but the Fender/TS SRV stuff, as much as I love what he does, isnít my thing.

PS: I changed the topic title since it specifically mentioned a Lace Sensor which Iíve moved away from.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 03:44:13 am by gregr »

Offline gregr

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Re: Output and EQ-wise, which noiseless single is closest to a Fast Track 1?
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2020, 12:25:13 pm »
So will an HB2 in the neck have enough balls to go beyond edge and into full-on crunch without using so much gain that The Chopper in the bridge isnít saturating?

Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Output and EQ-wise, which noiseless single is closest to a Fast Track 1?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2020, 03:57:19 am »
The HB2 in the neck should have no problem in keeping up with the Chopper in the bridge - not even the A67 in the neck had a problem at that in one of my strats.

Cheers Stephan
Area 67, Area 58, VV Pro 54, Injector neck, HB2, Cruisers, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T set, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, SD, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, VHPAF, AT-1, Super Distortion S; Norton

Offline gregr

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Re: Output and EQ-wise, which noiseless single is closest to a Fast Track 1?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2020, 12:25:14 pm »
Iím feeling pretty hopeful with the HB2. My Area 67 definitely didnít work me, or the 54P for that matter.

Anybody else?

Again, I'm looking for a stacked single with the output and EQ like a Fast Track 1.  I'd like it to be able to sound like a good single coil when my Marshall is dialed for the Satch Track.  I'd like it to sound as if the amp were tweaked to get a nice smooth and full sound out of something like a Fat 50s with some shimmer, within reason.

I'm also looking at the Injector Neck for fear that the HB2 would have too much of an SRV vibe.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 02:22:32 pm by gregr »

Offline RayBarbeeMusic

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Re: Output and EQ-wise, which noiseless single is closest to a Fast Track 1?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2020, 07:45:47 pm »
Remember that the string vibrates A LOT less in the bridge position than in the neck position, so your bridge pup has to be a lot hotter than the neck if you want similar clean volume. 

My personal experience on multiple guitars is that a bridge chopper about matches an Area 58 or 67 in neck pos. 

A ft1 is louder than bridge chopper unless the ft1 is backed off and chopper is close to the strings......

An injector neck will be close but a bit brighter and more articulate than an ft1.  Injector bridge, a tad darker than ft1 in neck and probably to hot for chopper bridge. 

I just a minute ago put a BKP Mule in the bridge with injector necks mid and neck, and I had to raise the mule to just about kiss the strings for volume balance.

Offline gregr

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Re: Output and EQ-wise, which noiseless single is closest to a Fast Track 1?
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2020, 12:30:47 am »
Thanks.

The bridge/neck combo Iíve been using most recently is the Liíl Screaminí Demon with a 54P. Tonally they work very well. In terms of relative output between the two, the 54P is weaker than the Demon but itís working out well. Before the Demon there was an FT1 in the bridge. The relative output of the FT1/54P combo was very nice. Switching to the Demon definitely changed the guitar to the point that I wasnít sure I was going to keep it that way. But for the guitar with the Chopper I want the same relationship that I had with the FT1/54P combo.  Combine that with the fact that the Demon is weaker and less full in the mids I obviously want something hotter and fatter than the 54P.

Remember, Iím pairing the Chopper with a Satch Track and the balance is just right for what I want with this guitar. That I want a single to switch hit for the Satch Track seems to also drive the point home.

So in terms of relative output and tone, a 54P combined with an FT1 is like what combined with a Chopper?

I didnít mention that thereís a control to shelve down the bass of the Satch Track. I could also have a control to shelve down the bass and mids of whichever single I choose, but I doubt Iíll need to.  As far as bridge vs neck and playing clean, I listen to the mids. I expect the bridge to be lean.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2020, 01:10:45 am by gregr »

Offline HarlowTheFish

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Re: Output and EQ-wise, which noiseless single is closest to a Fast Track 1?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2020, 01:01:14 am »
Maybe something like the Heavy Blues 2, Virtual Solo, or Injector?

Those are all pretty hot, warm, and midrangey for single-coils, but still very much in the single-coil wheelhouse tone-wise.

Offline gregr

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Re: Output and EQ-wise, which noiseless single is closest to a Fast Track 1?
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2020, 01:50:49 am »
Yeah, that's my thinking.  The Virtual Solo is going to be too hot for what I want for sure.  Besides, the Satch Track is already playing that role.

More mids is welcome but I still want at least some chime.

In terms of bass/mid ratio, I prefer the Area 67 over the 58 in the neck.  I also prefer the 54P over the Area 61 in the neck because the 54P fills out more of the midrange despite having a bigger bottom end.  Shelving down the bass and mids works really well with the 54P because it has more spectrum to work with and it still has plenty of chime.

Hopefully this will translate in order to help choose between the HB2, Injector Neck or something else.

I was looking at the HB2 because the numbers suggest there is more midrange.  I don't have any personal experience with the HB2, but the HB2 seems a bit rough with a somewhat scooped character based on what I've heard whereas the Injector has more going on in the upper mids which extends nicely into the high end without any jagged edges.

Is it fair to say that the Area 58 to the Area 67 is like the Heavy Blues 2 to the Injector Neck?

If this is the case then the Injector Neck might be my best bet.  I'm beginning to wonder if single notes will sing using less gain with the Injector than with the HB2 due to the character of the Injectorís midrange.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2020, 11:18:51 am by gregr »

Offline HarlowTheFish

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Re: Output and EQ-wise, which noiseless single is closest to a Fast Track 1?
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2020, 01:24:33 pm »
Check out any of Paul Gilbert's more recent stuff (except maybe the latest latest album), the Injectors are all over that.

Offline gregr

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Re: Output and EQ-wise, which noiseless single is closest to a Fast Track 1?
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2020, 02:15:15 pm »
Big fan of Fuzz Universe. Still listen to it after all these years.

There are a couple of things worth mentioning. His Fireman is a set neck with a 24.75Ē scale.  The pickups sit at a reverse slant (tighter lows and fatter highs). Without going down the tone wood rabbit hole, his guitar is quite different from a Stratocaster.

Anyway Iíve scoured through online demos of an Injector in the neck of a Strat and most are of pretty poor quality. Itís already very difficult to get a faithful representation from good demos as it is.  That out of the way, the Injector Neck in the neck of a Strat seems to sound very Stratty to me still. I put one in the bridge of a friendís Strat hoping it would sound like an FS-1 based on the numbers which are identical. It sounded nothing like an FS-1, IMO. It has its own unique sound which I recall being smooth and polite. That was the sum total of my initial impression. Heís happy. I barely played it myself.

One video I always like checking out is this one by Jamie Humphries:
https://youtu.be/qifgdTZ61Uw

I first heard it a few years back when I was considering putting a Satch Track in the bridge. It seems germane to this situation since the Satch Track, which is weaker than a Chopper has no trouble keeping up with the Injector. That said, there arenít any clean samples and I donít use a Klon-style OD either.

Iím sure many of you guys have used both the Injector and HB2 in the neck. How would you characterize the difference?  Is it comparable to the difference between an Area 67 and an Area 58?
« Last Edit: January 19, 2020, 05:56:04 pm by gregr »

Offline RayBarbeeMusic

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Re: Output and EQ-wise, which noiseless single is closest to a Fast Track 1?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2020, 06:27:38 pm »
"So in terms of relative output and tone, a 54P combined with an FT1 is like what combined with a Chopper?"

As I noted, Injector Neck.  I have a couple guitars set up with 500k pots and chopper bridge, injector neck mid/neck.   Works fine, adjust heights for perfect matching.  You don't have to kiss the strings to get good tone, in fact, with a lot of pickups, I find they sound better backed off the strings.  A lot of bridge PAFs are that way, I'd put the Chopper in that category as well.

The bonus is that Injector necks with 500k pots are bright and spanky like a lighter wind with 250k pots, but have significantly more output so they can keep up well with a hot paf type bridge.