SSS Strat Pickup Combinations

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Offline gregr

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SSS Strat Pickup Combinations
« on: December 28, 2022, 04:13:09 PM »
Hey all…

What are you using in your SSS Stratocasters?

Rules:

-Single-spaced pickups only. They can be any kind of pickup so long as they are in the traditional single-coil form factor.

-They can be traditional or noiseless.

-At least one pickup must be a DiMarzio.

Too many to list? Please share your favorites.

Feel free to go into as much or as little detail as you like.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2022, 04:16:09 PM by gregr »
DiMarzios: Areas 54P/58/61/67/InjN, VVB, CruiserB, FT1&2, Chopper, Satch Track, BC1&2, AT-1, BNIB, PAF Pro, HFH, Air Norton, LiquiFire
Duncans: SSL-2, SSL-6T, Lil Demon, JBJrN, HRailN,
1B&N, 2B&N(APH-1B&N), 4, 5, 6N, 10 B&N, 11, 12, 14, Peg, home-rolled hybrids
Gibsons, Fenders, Lace Sensors & EMG

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: SSS Strat Pickup Combinations
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2022, 02:56:50 AM »
I use the following SSS combinations (going from bridge to neck, favorite models highlighted in bold):

Virtual Solo or Injector bridge
Area 58 or 61
Area 67 or Virtual Vintage 54 Pro, depending how bright the guitar is

Cheers Stephan
Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injectors, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, DP168, VPAF b, AT-1, Mo' Joe, FRED, Humbucker from Hell, Super 2

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Offline gregr

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Re: SSS Strat Pickup Combinations
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2022, 07:21:02 PM »
I need to experiment with the hotter stacked singles, specifically the Injector Bridge; maybe the Solo, but I feel more comfortable with humbuckers in the bridge position. I don’t see myself liking the HB2.

I really like the Virtual Vintage Blues with a pair of Area 67s. I also like the Injector Neck in the bridge with a 58 in the middle and either a 58 or 61 in the neck depending on my mood in between string changes.

The Area 58 is a solid middle pickup. It isn’t overly thin like a 67 but still has plenty of glass. It seems to hold up well against an Area 61 or 54 Pro in the neck. I think the Area 61 works well in the middle with hotter pickups, though vintage glassy quack starts to go away. The Area 61 with the Satch Track in the neck wired in parallel is a beautiful sound once you get the heights just right.

In general I don’t like putting a thin and weak pickup in the middle in order to load down a much hotter pickup (e.g., Injector set). I prefer the voicing of each location to be heard in positions 2&4. Besides, I find position 3 unusable when the middle position contains a thin pickup. With this in mind I’ll put a 58 in the middle with a 67 in the neck but not the other way around. If I want a hotter-than-vintage neck pickup I may opt for a somewhat weaker middle as a compromise, just not a 67.

I really like the 54P in the neck with hotter pickups in the bridge and a 58 in the middle. On my guitar with the 58/54P combination, the bass and mids of the 54P are shelved down to optimize quack. This is hard-wired in position 4 using a 5-way Super Switch. I like to use a volume control with a treble bleed with this pickup as well. I‘m using a Lil’ Screamin Demon in the bridge with this pair. It’s my favorite single sized humbucker so far. I love this combination.

Lastly, the Fast Track 1 sounds great in the bridge against a 54P in the neck. This is probably the best mate for the 54P that I’ve tried.

To recap (B/M/N):
VVB/67/67
InjN/58/58 (or 61)
Lil Demon (or FT1)/58/54P
Chopper/61/InjN (or Satch)
« Last Edit: January 02, 2023, 04:41:53 AM by gregr »
DiMarzios: Areas 54P/58/61/67/InjN, VVB, CruiserB, FT1&2, Chopper, Satch Track, BC1&2, AT-1, BNIB, PAF Pro, HFH, Air Norton, LiquiFire
Duncans: SSL-2, SSL-6T, Lil Demon, JBJrN, HRailN,
1B&N, 2B&N(APH-1B&N), 4, 5, 6N, 10 B&N, 11, 12, 14, Peg, home-rolled hybrids
Gibsons, Fenders, Lace Sensors & EMG

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: SSS Strat Pickup Combinations
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2023, 04:10:50 AM »
That is exactly why I prefer 67 neck and 58 middle and not the other way round. The 58 in the middle seems to work well with the 67 in the neck and with a hotter bridge pickup. It also works well with a VV 54 Pro in the neck.
Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injectors, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, DP168, VPAF b, AT-1, Mo' Joe, FRED, Humbucker from Hell, Super 2

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Offline azncaster

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Re: SSS Strat Pickup Combinations
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2023, 10:28:33 PM »
I have been using

Chopper - Bridge
Cruiser Bridge - Middle
Cruiser Neck - Neck

For awhile and I'm really liking it. I'm thinking of trying the fast track on the bridge but I'm not sure if it might be too overpowering

Sent from my SM-G781W using Tapatalk


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Offline gregr

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Re: SSS Strat Pickup Combinations
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2023, 08:36:12 PM »
Fast Track 2. Contrast isn’t a bad thing. It works great with a crunchy amp where you can clean up or go balls out, especially with an overdrive.

I just finished a build for a friend:

-61/58/58
-250k pots
-The middle tone control is assigned to the pair of Area 58s using a 22nF cap.
-The outside tone control is assigned to the Area 61 using a  1.8nF cap in series with a 5.1k resistor.

I’d likely take extra time to reverse the magnetic polarity of the middle 58 in order to split it and the 61 for position 2 if the guitar were mine.

I decided to have a little fun before that by going with an Injector Neck in the bridge with the Area 58 in the middle and an Area 61 in the neck. I then incrementally dropped the 61 down to the 58 before finally swapping the Injector out for the 61 as originally planned. I haven’t run these combinations all in the same guitar before so this was a somewhat different experience for me. All were good combinations, but I liked the hottest combo best. The InjN/58/58 was fine but I prefer the 61/58/58 because the quack is better in position 2 as well as the balance between the 58 in the neck and the 61 in the bridge. Likewise I prefer the 61 in the neck over the 58 in the neck against the Injector Neck in the bridge. I’ll take heat over the quack if I’m going to go in that direction.

The 1.8nF tone cap really transforms the 61. The low pass, aided by the Gibbs effect, focuses the upper mids to drive an edgy amp into crunch territory. The series resistor optimizes the range of the control. I’m not a fan of the cockled-wah sound that happens when the tone resistance goes to zero.

As I mentioned earlier between the two in the neck, I think I also prefer the fatter 54 Pro over the 61 in the bridge. Like the description, the 54 Pro compresses and gets fatter as you dig in rather than the more dynamic 61 which stays lean and still stings. For a more vintage output bridge pickup I prefer the DP402 Virtual Vintage Blues over both in the bridge, however.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2023, 06:15:27 PM by gregr »
DiMarzios: Areas 54P/58/61/67/InjN, VVB, CruiserB, FT1&2, Chopper, Satch Track, BC1&2, AT-1, BNIB, PAF Pro, HFH, Air Norton, LiquiFire
Duncans: SSL-2, SSL-6T, Lil Demon, JBJrN, HRailN,
1B&N, 2B&N(APH-1B&N), 4, 5, 6N, 10 B&N, 11, 12, 14, Peg, home-rolled hybrids
Gibsons, Fenders, Lace Sensors & EMG

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Offline azncaster

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Re: SSS Strat Pickup Combinations
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2023, 09:17:23 PM »
Thanks I'll look into FT2, I was also considering tone zone s but I'll stick with the chopper till then.

Has anyone tried splitting the rail pickups? I tried parallel wiring once for the cruisers but did not like it, I was wondering if the single coil mode will be better.



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Offline gregr

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Re: SSS Strat Pickup Combinations
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2023, 01:46:56 AM »
The Fast Track 1 is weaker than the Chopper so I don’t think it will be of any interest to you. That is why I specified the Fast Track 2 which was probably what you meant. Objectively speaking, the Pro Track would be a less extreme option if you want to go hotter than a Chopper. I’m not trying to make any recommendations one way or another.

I’ve used a 3-way to get split, series and parallel modes on the FT2 as well as on a few other dual rail designs. I’ve found that the weaker designs are too thin split and especially brittle-sounding when in parallel. As you go hotter splitting gives you more of a dominant midrange quality that is warm rather than sounding more like a single coil as one might hope. While brittleness in the parallel mode starts to subside with hotter winds, the tone still lacks focus and still doesn’t have much body. Doing this in the neck position can yield ok results because of the location, but I find this all fairly underwhelming.

The American Standard Strat I just did had a Seymour Duncan Duckbucker in the neck. It’s still a dual side-by-side coil design but there are only three pole pieces under the treble strings in one coil and three under the bass strings in the other and these coils are connected in parallel. I believe the pickup is intended to go in the middle position for 2&4 quack. It’s very weak so quack is largely achieved this by thinning out the bridge or neck pickups by loading them down. It does its job more or less; for better or for worse. It sounds pretty bad all by itself AFAIC. Why the former owner put one in the neck of this guitar and left the stock single coils in the bridge and middle is a mystery to me. The only point being is that it’s a perfect example of trying to achieve a single coil sound out of a parallel rail design. It’s one thing to be able to run a pickup in parallel as an alternative mode, but to run it in parallel as the sole mode of operation is not for me.

Another pickup to consider is the Super Distortion S which is said to work well in both split and parallel modes. I don’t have any personal experience with this one.

« Last Edit: January 07, 2023, 01:45:29 PM by gregr »
DiMarzios: Areas 54P/58/61/67/InjN, VVB, CruiserB, FT1&2, Chopper, Satch Track, BC1&2, AT-1, BNIB, PAF Pro, HFH, Air Norton, LiquiFire
Duncans: SSL-2, SSL-6T, Lil Demon, JBJrN, HRailN,
1B&N, 2B&N(APH-1B&N), 4, 5, 6N, 10 B&N, 11, 12, 14, Peg, home-rolled hybrids
Gibsons, Fenders, Lace Sensors & EMG

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Offline azncaster

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Re: SSS Strat Pickup Combinations
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2023, 09:34:23 PM »
I see, thank you for the insights

Sent from my SM-G781W using Tapatalk


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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: SSS Strat Pickup Combinations
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2023, 06:04:15 AM »
I just finished a build for a friend:

-61/58/58
-250k pots
-The middle tone control is assigned to the pair of Area 58s using a 22nF cap.
-The outside tone control is assigned to the Area 61 using a  1.8nF cap in series with a 5.1k resistor.

The 1.8nF tone cap really transforms the 61. The low pass, aided by the Gibbs effect, focuses the upper mids to drive an edgy amp into crunch territory. The series resistor optimizes the range of the control. I’m not a fan of the cockled-wah sound that happens when the tone resistance goes to zero.

I am also a fan of small tone caps and use anything from 820pf or 1000pf for a humbucker or 0.0015uf to 0.0022uf for single coils.

Cheers Stephan
Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injectors, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, DP168, VPAF b, AT-1, Mo' Joe, FRED, Humbucker from Hell, Super 2

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Offline gregr

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Re: SSS Strat Pickup Combinations
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2023, 12:59:19 PM »
I think the 61 definitely needs a small cap. I worked my way down from 3.9nF but didn’t go as low as 1.5nF. 1.8nF is good with edge of break-up, but is borderline nasal when playing clean, so I should try 1.5n. I never felt the need to do this with the VVB, but I should give it a shot. With my amp dialed for Area 67s in the neck and the middle the VVB in the bridge already sounds pretty thick, yet still delivers pretty good quack with the 67 in the middle.

So I ended up changing the 22nF middle tone control so that it’s a master control. I didn’t like the discrepancy in volume between position 1 (bridge only) and the rest of the positions it was rolled back.

The 250k bridge tone control was changed to a no-load in order to get some additional brightness out of position 2. It was too dark relative to that of position 4. I don’t think this adequately addresses the issue, however. I think the trouble is that the Q of position 4 is too high due to there being only the single master tone control. I know the master tone can just be rolled down farther, but I don’t like having to fiddle with it when switching to and from position 4. The actual problem I have with position 2 is that it has a minor deficiency in high frequency extension which is due to the 61’s hotter wind.

The best way I can think of to fix the issues I’m having with the 61/58/58 set is to use a 5WSS:

1: bridge w/outside tone control
2: bridge and middle, both split
3: middle
4: neck and middle w/240k resistor placed in parallel with the middle tone control
5: neck

The outside tone control would be only be selected in position 1 and would be 250k/1.8nF. The middle tone control would serve as a master and would be 250k/22nF. The volume control would be 250k. The middle Area 58 would be converted to RW/RP.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2023, 09:34:16 PM by gregr »
DiMarzios: Areas 54P/58/61/67/InjN, VVB, CruiserB, FT1&2, Chopper, Satch Track, BC1&2, AT-1, BNIB, PAF Pro, HFH, Air Norton, LiquiFire
Duncans: SSL-2, SSL-6T, Lil Demon, JBJrN, HRailN,
1B&N, 2B&N(APH-1B&N), 4, 5, 6N, 10 B&N, 11, 12, 14, Peg, home-rolled hybrids
Gibsons, Fenders, Lace Sensors & EMG

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Offline gregr

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Re: SSS Strat Pickup Combinations
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2023, 07:22:27 PM »
I am also a fan of small tone caps and use anything from 820pf or 1000pf for a humbucker or 0.0015uf to 0.0022uf for single coils.

Cheers Stephan
1.5nF sounds even better.
Thanks Stephan!
DiMarzios: Areas 54P/58/61/67/InjN, VVB, CruiserB, FT1&2, Chopper, Satch Track, BC1&2, AT-1, BNIB, PAF Pro, HFH, Air Norton, LiquiFire
Duncans: SSL-2, SSL-6T, Lil Demon, JBJrN, HRailN,
1B&N, 2B&N(APH-1B&N), 4, 5, 6N, 10 B&N, 11, 12, 14, Peg, home-rolled hybrids
Gibsons, Fenders, Lace Sensors & EMG

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: SSS Strat Pickup Combinations
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2023, 05:39:25 AM »
1.5nf = 0.0015uf = 1500pf.
Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injectors, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, DP168, VPAF b, AT-1, Mo' Joe, FRED, Humbucker from Hell, Super 2

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Offline RayBarbeeMusic

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Re: SSS Strat Pickup Combinations
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2023, 04:32:29 PM »
I take credit for the cap size, I was doing it before anyone else afaik. 

.0015uf cap bridge singles or FT1.  .001uf bridge humbucker (chopper for instance).  .0022uf neck/middle single, .0033uf or .0047uf in parallel positions.  I always use a super switch.  Regular 5 ways are so 1950s and pedantic...

One tone dedicated to bridge only, and it only operates in switch position 1.  2nd tone controls the other 4 positions, but may use different cap sizes in different positions, see above. 

500k (ones that measure 500k plus ONLY) in all positions except when doing the super duper series option wiring (I showed this to Stephan, but I'd appreciate it not being shared). 

ALWAYS a 3 way switch in position 4 that offers: Neck + middle parallel like standard strat, all 3 parallel, neck + bridge parallel. 

Various Options:
Basic:
Bridge:  Chopper bridge, FT-1 (with resistor to create 250k load for bridge only), or Injector Bridge.  Chopper sounds like a PAF in spite of what Dimarzio claims.  Injector sounds like a hot bridge single but when the .0015uf tone is rolled back, does the Ritchie Blackmore thing very well and can approximate a P90 or PAF.   FT-1 does much the same as the Injector Bridge, but IMO has a little more output, low end, and smooths out more as the tone is rolled back, plus it's really GD bright with 500k load which means in position 2 it quacks nicely with the middle.  Also why position 1 gets a 250k load if I'm using FT1. 

Middle:   '61 sometimes with Chopper, otherwise '67 or '58.  '67 always with the super duper series option due to darkness issues in series.  Sometimes a 1M resistor to ground creating a 333k load on middle position ONLY, depending on the guitar. 

Neck:  '67.  Period.  Nothing beats it for articulation.  Sounds awesome with the 12-54 strings I generally use on strats, even with 11-52 still very SRV ish. 

Super Duper switching gets Injector Bridge or FT-1 and two 67s always.  Offers the 5 way strat stuff noted above, plus 3 series options in position 1 that have a high pass filter to get rid of the bloated lows that result from spaced singles in series, and when in series see a 1M load and no tone to deal with the darkness issues of spaced singles in series.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2023, 04:34:51 PM by RayBarbeeMusic »

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Offline gregr

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Re: SSS Strat Pickup Combinations
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2023, 10:21:27 PM »
Wow, that is a lot to absorb.

I did an HSH build with a 5WSS a while back. The combo is a PAF Pro, FT1 and BNIB. I’m splitting coils and connecting them in series for the quack positions. Passive circuitry is used to shape the tone. I tried uploading a sample comparing position 2 of a Strat (Areas 58 and 61) to the equivalent tone on my HSH but the forum doesn’t allow mp4.

Today I revisited partially splitting and shaping both a Satch Track and a Chopper to combine with an Injector Neck in the middle position. The Chopper is doing pretty well but the Satch Track isn’t cutting it. It’s really warm and doesn’t have enough output to get a useable single coil voicing in the top end. This is exacerbated by shelving down the mids and bass in order to even out the rest of the tone.

I’m really trying to like this combination but I really need to take a step back and be honest with myself about it. I think the solution for single coil tone in the neck for positions 4 and 5 is to just use a Lace Sensor Silver and flank it with the Satch Track on the inside for the fatter humbucker tone. I think I mentioned that a couple years back but still haven’t pulled the trigger. My other issue is that I’m becoming disenchanted with the Chopper, unfortunately. To me it has an identity crisis. I know the common consensus here is that it sounds like a PAF. I don’t really agree; I think the description on the product page is more accurate.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2023, 02:53:23 AM by gregr »
DiMarzios: Areas 54P/58/61/67/InjN, VVB, CruiserB, FT1&2, Chopper, Satch Track, BC1&2, AT-1, BNIB, PAF Pro, HFH, Air Norton, LiquiFire
Duncans: SSL-2, SSL-6T, Lil Demon, JBJrN, HRailN,
1B&N, 2B&N(APH-1B&N), 4, 5, 6N, 10 B&N, 11, 12, 14, Peg, home-rolled hybrids
Gibsons, Fenders, Lace Sensors & EMG