Bridge Pickup change on my strat.

Discussion in 'Guitar Gear Talk Forum' started by mymusicmyguitar, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    Well hav finally decided to get the bridge pickup changed on the strat.

    1: Want to add variety to my playing style. Enough of playing soft..Want to get into sum heavy playin as well
    2: Bridge pickup is a single coil which is really noisy.
    3: When distortion is ON i cant keep the switch on 5th position(bridge single coil)..It gets too noisy
    4: I get excellent pinch harmonics on 5th position but again .... with lot of noise(hum). So i end up playing on 4th position which kills the harmonics drastically

    Option:(Passive Pickups only) as per my choice....
    DiMarzio DP160 Norton Bridge Guitar Pickup (Alnico 5)
    Dimarzio Breed series (Alnico 5)
    Dimarzio Evolution 2 series(Ceramic Magnets)..not sure if i want this trebbly p'up

    Desired output:
    1: Need excellent harmonics
    2: Less noisy
    3: Should maintain the warmth for CLEAN TONES as well

    1: What would happen to the 5 way switch..How shud that behave? 4th position can still be used right with 1p'up from the bridge and middl p'up???
    2: Do i need to change volume pots or any other circuitry incase if i am getting high output pickups?
    3: Will a humbucker fit in a single coil slot?
  2. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone New Member

    You get single coil sized humbuckers.

    You can also look into noiseless single coils.
  3. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    Yeah checked but the output of norton or breed Humbucker is more than the single coil sized HB. And the price is the same. Yeah will hav to make a cavity to fit in HB..But thats ok i guess..

    The store guy suggested SUHR pickups over the Dimarzio.. Said these pickups are meant for strats and give excellent harmonics..Well one of my fav guitarist Guthrie Govan uses those on his Suhr guitars..They really do sound great..

    But the SUHR pickups starting range is from 7500/- onwards :(..Really dont want to invest soo much right now..
  4. wylder

    wylder New Member

    Just a word of caution... You don't need super high output pickups to sound "Metal"... Especially in a SSH arrangement, if your humbucker has way more output than the singles, a few of the following issues can occur:
    1. Output difference: The higher output pickup will (obviously) be louder than the singles. So to tame the diff, you will have to keep the hot pickup away from the string (deeper into the body). This might reduce its ability to pick up overtones and pinch harmonics.
    2. String Pull: High output pickups have stronger magnets. strong magnets offer resistance to the vibration of the string and hence the string vibration will decay quicker. This does not affect the strong pickup much because it can pick up much smaller vibrations and hence there will be very less diff in sustain that you notice. However, when you play on the weaker pickups, you may notice a loss in sustain.
    3. Noise: Again obviously, the more powerful the pickup, the better is its ability to pick up noise from other interfering electronics like CRTs and certain types of lighting.

    Extra high output is useful for people who depend on amp alone for gain and the gain of the amp is not sufficient. You can always use an overdrive/boost pedal to get the same effect. If you are using a pedal for distortion, just turn up the gain a bit more.
  5. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    The 4th position on my strat actually kills the harmonics..It does sound but not loud enough as on 5th position and no matter how much gain u pump doesnt make any difference. That was the main reason i thought of adding a Humbucker on the bridge(I actually played through a Gibson Les paul and a Digitech Distortion pedal in the store and was completely blown with the harmonics :p and it had Humbuckers)..

    Now the Humbuckers that i have selected are the ones with Medium output..If you check the Dimarzio Evo series the output is way higher as compared to Breed and Norton series....

    What you said is completely right but that confuses me all the more coz arent Humbuckers suppose to be quieter than the Single coils inspite of higher output? Coz my Ibanez sabre pickups are damn powerful but not soo noisy
  6. wylder

    wylder New Member

    Yes, humbuckers are quieter than single coils as they take out the 60 cycle hum from power supplies. Also, medium output humbuckers are quieter than super hot ones as I mentioned earlier. There are other things that affect noise levels too like grounding your guitar's electronics and shielding it using copper tape etc.

    I was talking in particular about guys opting for pickups like X2Ns for metal. Those are too hot and can give you problems. Medium output should be fine for the bridge to go with single coils. Just make sure you listen to clips of how they sound in a guitar similar to yours.
    Maybe check out the Tone Zone too? It is supposed to have a similar EQ to Breed with a heavy bottom and non jangly top. Seymour Duncan Custom might be cool too..
  7. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    Yup i did check the pickups with Ceramic magnets which were high gain high output EVO and the blackout series but they are well suited for metal. The ones i shortlisted are with Alnico 5 magnet..I guess i am good to go with Dimarzios Breed or may be Norton

    I read on the other sites as well about using copper foil for shielding...Does that mean that just gluing the copper foil to the back side of trem below the springs and below the pick guard(Which i suppose wud already be shielded) wud reduce the hum?
    Is there any wiring or soldering involved ?? I think this will be my first priority..If it reduces the hum then i might comfortably use the 5th position and save up on my money for a few days :p
  8. wylder

    wylder New Member

    No soldering required... If I remember correctly somewhere in my 11th grade Physics there was something about net electromagnet field being zero inside a closed conductor(Faraday Cage). This is what you should be trying to achieve.

    Here's a link for conductive tape that is used professionally:
    STEWMAC.COM : Conductive Copper Tape

    But I guess aluminium foil could be used to wrap your pickups and the control cavity. Be careful not to short out anything though...
  9. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    Great will try and get a coper foil if possible. If not then will try with an aluminium foil.

    Will open up the pick guard and the back panel to see what all can be covered with the foil...

    I hope fevicol or any other adhesive would be safe enuf and will hold the foil on wood, plastic and metal...
  10. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    Just checked a video on youtube where the guy actually shielded the pickup cavity but then he used a wire which he soldered on the cavity foil and the other end to the base of the knobs..

    similarly he did that to the pickup and t he pick guard..he soldered a wire to both the ends...

    Why did he do that? Any specific reason? That soldering looked simple...i can do it too..but why to do it??
  11. rickkkyrich

    rickkkyrich Guest

    we people spend so much time on useless crap when we can actually spend that time playing...
  12. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    Lol..thats true...but when u r at work and no guitar around this is what you can think of :p other than playing ...... Infact people are smart coz they r making good use of their time learning some stuff that they dont know that too NOT at the cost of time utilised for playing guitar..... :)
  13. wylder

    wylder New Member

    I think soldering on the caps is done for grounding... I guess thats the way you ground the bridge too right?

    Dude, are you using the guitar in studio? If so, get better pickups rather than going through all this pain or else switch to actives if you are so touchy about noise. If you are playing live and that too metal, anything other than grounding noise should not be too noticable. If none of the above is an option, get a noise gate.

    Make sure your guitar's grounding is proper. There shouldn't be any noticeable noise when you touch/don't touch the metal parts of the guitar.

    Also, use gain in moderation so that what you play stays clear and not like a swarm of bees. Too much gain can make usually unnoticeable noise sound very ugly. Check out how Paul Gilbert uses just about enough gain. Though it doesn't sound anywhere as complex as Petrucci/Satriani etc, his tone is damn clear and the accents on the notes are so pronounced. Such a different tone, awesome for live playing.
  14. wylder

    wylder New Member

    Hehe... IGT makes the boring days at work almost bearable...
  15. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    I have always played soft rock and never felt the need to pump in that extra gain to make the system noisy untill few days back when i really got sum inspiration from a fellow guitarist for playin some really buzzy..heavy..distorted.. high gain stuff..

    I am really not used to soo much Hum hence finding ways to reduce it to a point where it is bearable..

    Changing pickups is definitely related to some fat chuggy sound as well and also for getting some really good and loud harmonics else i am also better off with single coils for a few days BUT with reduced hum..

    Will definitely try the shielding stuff....
  16. rickkkyrich

    rickkkyrich Guest

    I dont understand one thing.. why do you wanna play heavy stuff on ur strat when you can use your Ibanez ?..
    Do not look for an all in one guitar as you'll be disappointed in the end...
  17. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    Yeah thats true. But really i am too lazy to play one song on fender and the other on ibanez and when i go for jamming i dont wanna carry 2 guitars along with me....And i dont like the nazal harsh tone on ibanez..No doubt the pickups are super hot but definitely i dont find my tone with those pickups. i love my strat more than that..If i wud have loved the tone i wudnt have thought of buying Dmarzios..Wud have used those Ibanez pickups :p

    I am looking for a tone somewhere in between Fender and Ibanez.

    Moreover fenders are really the most versatile guitars..and probably the pickup change wud get some more variation in the tones towards heavier side that i am looking for ....

    Ohh yes the Ibanez is for Sale as i dont want to attach new set of strings on it and then not play regularly and leave those strings to rust
  18. rickkkyrich

    rickkkyrich Guest

    You are doin something terribly wrong then.. what pups are there in your ibby?
  19. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    Ibanez Pickups:

    QM1 Neck - Ceramic, medium output
    QM2 Bridge - Ceramic, higher output
    QMS1 Middle - Alnico 5

    The ones that i have shortlisted for the bridge has Alnico 5 magnet..Dimarzio Norton and Breed series..
  20. wylder

    wylder New Member

    If you don't like nasal honk, you might not like most of the DiMarzios. Basically, that's one of the distinguishing features of DiMarzios. Listen to Satriani's "Raspberry Jam Delta V". The neck tones have a mid spike, like a wah stopped half-way. Satriani's neck pickup has a exaggerated mid spike but most DiMarzios have some (lesser) degree of this to allow the tones to cut through in Metal mixes.

    You could try out something like Duncan Custom Custom for a low mid emphasis and bluesy tones. Check out reviews for any of the other Alnico loaded SDs. I guess it should do fine in an Alder strat. Keep in mind that low mid can make blues tones warm but if you are going to play hi-gain Rock or Metal, it can get muddy and the notes (especially on the lower strings) will not be very clear...

Share This Page