Newbie to DiMarzio Pickups: What do you recommend for SSS Strat?

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Offline mofurious

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Hi all, a DiMarzio newbie here! There are so many good choices to choose from. I am having a little choice paralysis here. Here's a quick background:

I have an American Ultra SSS Strat with the Ultra Noiseless Vintage pickups. I think the clean tone is okay but the dirty tone is lacking. It's lacking the roar I seek. The pickups have vintage/medium outputs, with 7~8 kOhms DC resistance. I want a beefier single coil sound to mimic the 80s metal. I have Duncan JB for humbuckers on my other guitar. I want a fat single coil sound. Well in general I just think I am not 100% satisfied with the stock pickups.

https://shop.fender.com/en-US/parts/pickups-preamps/ultra-noiseless-vintage-stratocaster-pickups/0992290000.html

I learned that a lot of 80s metal guitarists used FS-1. I like the tone but I wonder if there's anything better since FS-1 has been around 30+ years.
I still want to keep my SSS for clean tone, something that is warm and suitable for rhythmic playing on neck/middle pickups. The bridge will be for lead playing, with high gain. What SSS combo do you recommend?

You input is much appreciated!

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Offline buddroyce

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Re: Newbie to DiMarzio Pickups: What do you recommend for SSS Strat?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2021, 11:05:35 PM »
Hello and welcome to the forum!

If you're looking for a fat sounding single coil, I'd give the Chopper, Fast Track 2 or Injector a shot.
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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Newbie to DiMarzio Pickups: What do you recommend for SSS Strat?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2021, 11:17:57 AM »
Going by the soundchart, the Injector neck is closest to the FS-1. Actually, Rory Gallagher used a FS-1 in his main stratocaster.

A good starting point for a fat stratocaster would be Virtual Vintage 54 Pro for the neck, Area 58 or 61 for the middle, and Injector neck, Virtual Vintage Heavy Blues 2, Injector bridge or Virtual Solo for the bridge, depending on how bright the guitar is. With any of those I would use 250k pots.

If you want something fatter still, then I agree with Budd that the Chopper would do that.

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, VHPAF, AT-1, Norton

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Offline mofurious

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Re: Newbie to DiMarzio Pickups: What do you recommend for SSS Strat?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2021, 03:00:51 AM »
Thank you very much for narrowing down my choices. It seems like this is a great deal, https://www.dimarzio.com/pickups/pre-wired/injector-strat-replacement-pickguard

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Newbie to DiMarzio Pickups: What do you recommend for SSS Strat?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2021, 03:46:17 AM »
I would be fine with the bridge and middle pickups of that set but I would go lighter on 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, VHPAF, AT-1, Norton

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Offline buddroyce

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Re: Newbie to DiMarzio Pickups: What do you recommend for SSS Strat?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2021, 11:40:05 AM »
Thank you very much for narrowing down my choices. It seems like this is a great deal, https://www.dimarzio.com/pickups/pre-wired/injector-strat-replacement-pickguard

DiMarzio actually sent me one of those to review some years ago. It's a really great bundle and saves a lot of work!
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Offline mofurious

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Re: Newbie to DiMarzio Pickups: What do you recommend for SSS Strat?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2021, 06:53:23 PM »
I would be fine with the bridge and middle pickups of that set but I would go lighter on the neck.

What do you recommend for the neck pickup position? I tend to go clean/low gain on neck. I don't want it to be too bright, just fat and warm that blends into the background and thickens the mix.

I could buy the pre-wired configuration and then swap the neck pickup

Thanks

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Newbie to DiMarzio Pickups: What do you recommend for SSS Strat?
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2021, 03:41:04 AM »
Virtual Vintage 54 Pro would be my first choice as I know it works well with 250k pots, and the other pickups in the set do as well in the positions they are in. Injector neck may be a bit dark in the neck spot with a 250k volume pot but if you are going for really fat it could be OK.

What you also can do if you buy the set and are happy with bridge and middle but find the neck is too dark you could use a higher value pot and bring down the load with a resistor for the middle and bridge positions. Or - as you wrote - swap the Injector neck for the VV54 Pro.

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, VHPAF, AT-1, Norton

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Offline greenlion

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Re: Newbie to DiMarzio Pickups: What do you recommend for SSS Strat?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2021, 03:16:09 PM »
I like the VV54Pro, Area 61, and Cruiser Bridge as middle pickups combined with humbuckers in the bridge and neck. I find the other Area pickups and Cruiser neck too weak to match well.

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Offline RayBarbeeMusic

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Re: Newbie to DiMarzio Pickups: What do you recommend for SSS Strat?
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2021, 11:13:12 PM »
My current choice is (if you want standard strat sounds) Injector Bridge, '58 or '61 middle, '67 neck.  That can vary some by guitar if the guitar is very bright or very dark naturally.  I also generally use a .0015uf cap on the bridge tone, second tone controls all other positions and is .0022uf.  In bridge position I use a switching system that can put the bridge in series with either middle, neck, or middle/neck in parallel, while also disabling the bridge tone control and rolling off what would normally be overwhelming low end when doing that; and it doesn't affect the other 4 positions.  4th position has a 3 way switch that does middle plus bridge, middle plus neck, or all 3 on.

I also really like that combo subbing a Fast Track 1 in the bridge for a P90 (albeit much improved P90) sounding bridge, or Chopper in the bridge if I want a PAF type bridge tone.   If I'm doing either of those, I don't install the series switching part, not really necessary.