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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / what are the pro's and con's of a high output strat pickup(bridge)


south carolinia

May 11th, 2017 01:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

so what are the advantages and disadvantages of a high output strat bridge pickup???? I'm looking to replace my strat (bridge) pickup and looking at a handwound pickup in the 12K range...thoughts???

Contributing Member


May 11th, 2017 02:08 PM   Edit   Profile  

Advantages, uh higher output. Good for solos and that bump into grindville. Rolled back and clean will get you into a territory Strats don't normally enter.

Disadvantages: Loss of the quack and traditional in between sound of bridge and middle pickup. Imbalance with the other pickups, volume-wise. And last but not least, it won't be no Les Paul.

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

May 11th, 2017 02:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

There are no set rules and everybody likes something different so what I have to say is just how I like my Strats set up electronically.

Having a hot bridge can compensate for the lack of string movement that the PU sees because it is so close to the bridge. The PU can be mounted lower in the pick guard and in theory cause less magnetic dampening due to string being further away from the PU's pole pieces.

Some players like a hot bridge for leads, a noticeable boost when this position is selected. Me not so much. I prefer my Strats to be more balanced and use the volume control for more oomph if needed. The hot bridge can work great for classic rock crunch on some stuff. Sometimes even without pedals depending on how sensitive the front end of your amp is.

My Strats are wired for a neck/bridge combo, kinda like a Tele in the middle position. I play melodic leads and surf with this setting. I find a real hot bridge PU upsets the balance of this tone with is becoming less deep and mellow turning more to the bright side.

I do have one Strat with hot PUs in all positions. I like that sometimes.

Just my thoughts.

Contributing Member

Paris, France

It's just a guitar, not rocket science.
May 12th, 2017 05:55 AM   Edit   Profile  

re: Quack; Personally my guitar is set up HSS with full bridge humbucker in parallel with the middle single coil. Less quack, though still plenty to my ears but just thicker/not as bright as the standard bridge single coil would give.

Volume balance between bridge pickup and the other pickups is definitely an issue. If 90% of my gigs weren't clean tones, I'd not care as much, but I need a more equal balance.

Contributing Member

I've got my own

double-cross to bear
May 12th, 2017 05:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

If you use your volume control on your guitar to control the amount of bite you get through the amp, a hi-power pickup is generally not the best choice. As you roll off, you lose a lot of the character in the tone, and there's usually a definite 'line' you cross where the tone falls off fast. A lower-powered pickup doesn't suffer from this; it's more gradual and controllable.

However, if you play full-on rock and blues that requires a steady, hard-driving sound, then a hi-power pickup may just be the ticket for you.


south carolinia

May 13th, 2017 02:07 PM   Edit   Profile  

Cool! thanks everybody!!! You've help me to decide against a hot pickup...thanks again!

Contributing Member

Broke Down

in the Brassicas
May 26th, 2017 04:58 AM   Edit   Profile  

If you just want 'a bit more' from your bridge pickup you could try a base plate. Fralin or Callaham, possibly others, it gives a fuller tone with more low mids. I have one on the bridge pickup of my CS54's and really like it. It won't get you into the same ballpark as a hotter pup but does give that bit more without sacrificing 'vintage' tone and quack.

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / what are the pro's and con's of a high output strat pickup(bridge)

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