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Re: Pickup Poll (The winners are...!)

OK initial results are in.

New pickups are all Seymour Duncans. Installed in my heavily modded 1970's Frankencaster.

Classic Stack / Bridge
This thing is the surprise star of the show. It's a noiseless, high output take on a single-coil pickup config. Weirdly bright for a bridge position pup, and super deep and glassy. It's everything I had hoped the earlier set would be (Fender Customs and Seymour SSL, all true single coils), and more. Cannot believe I'm getting so much musicality from this pickup. Really reset my expectations around what a pickup can be.

Li'l 59 / Mid
I am not familiar with the whole PAF-style pickup thing, so i am still adjusting to this one. Not sure what it wants to be. It's not bad, and it is quiet. Main upside at the moment is that when using this and the Hot Rails (see next paragraph) together, they produce an incredibly authentic, heavily "quacky" strat sound (think "Have a Cigar" only more so) that is just marvelous. On its own, it seems a Zelig-esque thing. Jury is still out but I have no immediate disqualifications :) If it fails to grow on me, I may look into a second Classic Stack here at some point.

Hot Rails / Neck
This does exactly what I wanted to do: hastily retreat from my failed single-coil experiment, into the safety of a more familiar humbucker/blade territory, but doing so in the physical space of a single coil. It's a perfectly fine humbucker. Sounds like a humbucker ought to. But compared to the Classic Stack, the sound is a tad compressed, not nearly the depth there. But maybe that's just what we get with humbuckers. I may look at the Hot Stack for this position: a hot single coil setup but in a fat blade config... might get me what I have always expected from a single coil but with the sustain and tail of the humbuckers. Again, perfectly fine pup - but the Classic Stack set the bar a bit higher, so i may keep chasing.... :)

I'm accustomed to thinking of my bridge pickup as the parent, and the others as children; different slices of the same instrument. But moving between the Hot Rails and the Classic Stack, it's truly like moving between two separate guitars. In a good way. Super fun :)

Incidentally too, I had the Roland GK pickup assembly removed... the VG99 never succeeded in grabbing my heart, and I think created some unpleasant distance between me and my instrument. Any VG-99ers out there think I made a bad call?


Phil :)

On Aug 13, 2011, at 1:31 PM, Per Boysen wrote:

On Sat, Aug 13, 2011 at 10:04 PM, Phil Clevenger
<phil.clevenger@gmail.com> wrote:
Looks like I'm gonna try another flight from the Seymour Duncan menu: a Hot
Rails humbucker in the bridge position, a Little '59 in the mid, and a
noiseless single-coil at the neck.

Interesting! Please post your impressions and maybe recordings when
you get it up'n running :-) Over here I have a Little '59 in the
bridge position on my fretless Telecaster. A recording posted at

Good luck with the tone hunting!