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Discussion Starter #1
I am tossing about the idea of possibly installing humbuckers in all 3 positions of a Stratocaster.
I'm not talking about silent singles or noiseless.
I mean real humbuckers where the coils are side by each rather than stacked.
They would be the smaller sized ones, of course, designed to fit in a single coil slot.
In this daydream of mine I retain very simple wiring.
Standard 5-way switch.
No push/pull, just regular pots, appropriate for buckers, probably 500s.
No extra switches.
The point I'm making here is all of that ordinary wiring means no coil tapping.

Now here comes the question part:
Will there still be "quack" in positions 2 & 4 without coil tapping?
Any quack at all?
Reduced quack?
Zero quack?
Enquiring minds want to know.

I have been trying to think if I have ever come across a Strat so equipped and I believe the answer is no.
My Partsocaster is HSH and it has a lovely quack but it also has a very complicated wiring scheme that includes coil tapping and strange controls that can baffle ordinary people if they play it for the first time.
I want something simple that anyone can just pick and play and everything they do with the controls results in exactly what they were expecting.
I looked on YouTube but there is very little on there about HHH Strats and nothing I could see that answered this particular quacky question.
 

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I don’t think there will be quack. I think you will get some ‘jangle for lack of a better word. Like the in between on a Les Paul. Check out some reviews that have that configuration.
 

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Are you looking for a strat that still sounds like an SSS strat but without the hum? Or are you looking for trad humbucker type tones in a strat body?

If the former, I would suggest that Zexcoil may have pickups that do what you want? If the latter, yea, I think you can kiss the quack goodbye.

My first electric was a Unicord strat, like this:



But I didn't know quack from a hole in the ground, so I don't know if it got that sound or not. I do recall the pickups were kinda in the way until I got used to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm not looking for traditional Strat tone without hum.
If I was I would just reinstall the set of DiMarzio Area pups I have around here somewhere in one of my spare parts boxes.
Those pups work remarkable well at eliminating hum while retaining more single coil tone than any other silent singles I ever tried, which have been numerous I might add.
No, I want humbucker tone but I would like to retain some quack in positions 2 & 4.
If necessary I would be willing to consider making it HSH but I really don't wish to complicate the controls.
 
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Here's mine.
SD Hot Rails. P/P for coil split.

P1070662.JPG


I acquired this with the coil split, but have been thinking of re-wiring it for series/parallel or straight up
like what you're looking to do and eliminate the p/p pot. It's been awhile since I've played it so I can't say
if there's a quack on 2 & 4 or not. I think you'll have to split the coils for those positions to get that.
I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will come along to answer your question.
 

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1) Ask Jimmy Herring how he likes Strats with HBs.

2) You can get a variation of quack under certain circumstances. I did this with the Vantage I restored last year, by enabling the Jerry Donahue / Bill; Lawrence half-out-of-phase option. The Jerry Donahue Tele includes a setting that gets a strikingly good emulation of Strat position #2 (N+M), using the neck and bridge pickups. It does this by putting the neck and bridge out of phase, and sticking a capacitor in series with the neck to remove much of the bass. On my Vantage, I wired up a Peavey T-60 style Tone control, that pans between a single coil (for the brightest sound), through both coils, to both coils with treble cut. Because I had to get into the pickup to do that, I made it be the one with the phase-flip switch. Because the Tone control pans from one to 2 coils, being able to flip the phase meant that I could have the lo-cut neck combined with one or the other coil from the bridge pickup. Lots flexibility.

I'm not saying it sounds exactly like a Strat, but it sure as hell don't sound like any dual-HB guitar I've ever played.


 

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Discussion Starter #9
try to get an "F-spaced" (Fender spaced) aka "Trembucker" (spaced for guitar with a Fender tremolo) pickup so that your pole pieces will line up under your strings properly.
I would be using humbuckers that are the size of single coils in all 3 locations so they would already come with poles spaced accordingly as that is what they are designed for. Also, I'm strongly considering getting "rail" style pups so it won't matter anyway.

I am now considering the idea of making it HSH because I want to wire it so the middle switch position is neck/bridge rather than middle only. Since the middle will never be used alone it doesn't need to be a true humbucker. I may just put a stacked single (noiseless) there and I feel relatively certain that would give me at least some quack in positions 2 & 4 even without coil tapping.
 

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I read the part that said "coils are side by each rather than stacked" and then promptly missed this:

They would be the smaller sized ones, of course, designed to fit in a single coil slot.
So yes, disregard everything I said. I thought 3 large humbuckers jammed into a Strat would be kind of funny looking. :rolleyes:
 

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I have been looking at things like this, especially after seeing a guy playing in Halifax who had a fantastic tone. I want to try a SC sized humbucker in bridge and neck, but a single coil to pair them with in the middle. Would this do the job, and retain that elusive quack?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I want to try a SC sized humbucker in bridge and neck, but a single coil to pair them with in the middle. Would this do the job, and retain that elusive quack?
I believe there would still be some quack in positions 2 & 4 but obviously not the same as with two single coils.
That is the route I am now considering but only I only consider it because I would be keen to remove the middle only position in favour of a neck/bridge position. If I were the kind of player who regularly used the middle pup alone I would likely want a bucker in that position, at least for the purpose of this experimental configuration. If I proceed, I would likely run a silent single in the middle because I think that a real single coil there would not have the usual built in hum cancelling properties in positions 2 & 4 because there would only be one single coil in that mix.
 

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When Robbie Robertson was asked about the Strat he had where the middle pickup was moved back, to snuggle against the bridge pickup, he said that he didn't like the way it interfered with his playing. I would imagine that having wall-to-wall HBs from fingerboard to bridge could bugger up one's picking as well, if not moreso. So, not just a matter of looks.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
When I was a child of maybe 6 or 7 and was looking at electric guitars for the first time and learning that those things were called pickups because they picked up the sound of the strings ... I thought they were cool and if some were cool then more of them was cooler.
The 6 year old me would have loved Nigel's guitar.
PLUS !!! It's got a RoadRunner on it. What kid wouldn't love that?
LOL

Seriously though, I bet I know why he spec'd out a build like that.
With all those pups turned on the signal would be super hot and it would make an amp that only went up to 10 sound like it was on 11.
And .... on an amp that went up to 11 it would sound like it was .... wait for it ..... on 12!!
 

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Ever tried a Nighthawk?

Humbucker/hot single/Mini humbucker. Bridge and neck coil split. 25.5 scale length. All the quack you can shake a stick at.

I had an Epiphone. Just about the best playing guitar I’ve ever had. Kinda glad I sold it to a buddy so I still get visits.
 
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