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Experience converting modern American deluxe HSS strat to ?

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Hi Kids

A friend wanted me to sell a beautiful 2006 American deluxe HSS strat for him. Its like brand new ... I think he only played it once or twice and then switched over to classical guitar. I always hated the way  HSS looked so I wasn't even considering  buying it.  Until I brought it home to take pics and started playing it. Holy Moly!  It's beautiful, sounds great and plays even better. Top of the line for 2006. Those abalone dots are killing me   :)

Does anyone have any experience converting these things to look more like a SSS?  I already bought a SSS pickguard for it and might just use all the stock electronics with a JB jr humbucker in the bridge. 

Does this sound like a viable option ...  or  ??? 

Fender 4.jpg

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if you like how it sounds & plays. Don't mess with it.  if anything , give it a few months before ya change the configuration. 

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Posted (edited)

I have a friend who has put Duncan Lil ‘78s in the bridge position of several Strats.  It’s  become his go-to Strat setup and he loves it.

The Lil ‘78 is Duncan’s Strat-sized version of their custom shop ‘78, the Van Halen-esque pickup they aren’t allowed to call “EVH”.

Edited by Rich_S
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My Jeff Beck Strat has a JB jr. in the bridge and Cool Rails in neck and middle.  It has become my favorite guitar these days...

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You lost me when you said you want to replace the bridge humbucker with a SC sized bridge humbucker.  Sounds like a purely aesthetics decision, which is okay, but the full-sized HB always sounds better IMO. 

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Did the same thing a few years back, got a new Lonestar Strat (usa) from a dealer in Thetford in England,at the time standard usa strat new was £900,the deal I got for the lonestar was £350 and its has the larger Frets which I prefure,spent around £150 on Fender 57-62 Custom pick ups and CTS pots etc. I still have the orginal scratch plate with the PealyGates HB and the Texas Specials Singles ,might put the on a guitar one day.

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Posted (edited)

Is it a swimming pool route?  Should be a drop in the pickguard then... I think the SSS should drop in with a bridge bucker route too!!! I’d check to make sure all of the pot’s are 250k for the SSS configuration. I don’t know how they come from Fender but the humbucker may have a 500k

Edited by Dutchman
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2 hours ago, Studio Custom said:

You lost me when you said you want to replace the bridge humbucker with a SC sized bridge humbucker.  Sounds like a purely aesthetics decision, which is okay, but the full-sized HB always sounds better IMO. 

I heard the JB Jr was actually supposed to sound really good. So I ordered one of those. Also a nice mint green SSS pickguard off a standard. PLUS the Callaham Am Del upgrade with better block and vintage saddles ... 

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I have found that in most cases, I wish I had a full size humbucker in the bridge position of a strat.  If you like the sound, keep it the way it is.

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A 'Lil '59 in the bridge and two Strat single coils is my favorite setup in a Strat. Split the humbucker in the bridge/middle position so you still get the Strat in-between sound and full humbucker in the bridge only position. I also have the tone controls wired for the middle and bridge pickups instead of neck and middle.

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The noiseless single coils have changed my life and I suspect they could change yours

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13 hours ago, it's me HHB said:

The noiseless single coils have changed my life and I suspect they could change yours

Which ones are you using? The Paul Gilbert set are quite nice in my G&L legacy, which I need to unbury soon.  Also the ones in my Luke III are VERY nice, and I think also based on the Dimarzio AREA pickups.

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14 hours ago, it's me HHB said:

The noiseless single coils have changed my life and I suspect they could change yours

I put Duncan noiseless pup’s in my old strat in the 80’s. 18 volt system. I think it was his first noiseless strat pup’s. They sounded great and I didn’t have to awkwardly stand on stage trying to sing and keep the bar signs from buzzin thru my guitar. As you said “Life Changing” I know they quit making those particular pup’s years ago.    

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DiMarzio Area, virtual vintage or Fender noiseless work for me

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^^^^ Me, too. The only way to fly. 

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That's a nice Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat guitar that you have. Most folks who play Strats (myself included ) have moved toward adding a humbucker pickup on the bridge position of their Strat guitars. I've always found the single coil pickup in the bridge position of a Fender Strat leaving me wanting more output or fatness out of it. I have an '87 Fender Japan Strat with the stock OEM Kahler Spyder double locking tremolo bridge which works great, stays in tune well, and is what I wanted from a Strat of the '80s era. I hated the stock electronics and installed the EMG SA pickups with a master volume & tone control with an SPC module in place of the bottom tone control. The SPC module gave me the midrange fatness out of the guitar without having to cut it up for a humbucker pickup, leaving the guitar pickguard in its stock configuration. I also found it be quiet, noise free, and it doesn't have a thin tone. If you want to add an SSS pickguard to your guitar, this might be an option to consider. 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Guitar George

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The HSS look was really bothering me even though it sounded great.  My guitar tech thought the noiseless pickups sounded "modern and artificial" although they sounded just fine to me. Initially I ordered a Callaham upgrade kit (saddles, trem arm solid steel block etc) and used it with the existing HSS system. It sounded fantastic. One down one to go. I then went with JB JR and SSS pickguard and assembled it myself with the existing noiseless pickups. And it sounded horrible. I'm sure it was my fault as the wiring was very tricky and cumbersome. So, frustrated, I just ordered a loaded pickguard (Amazon $289) with Fralin vintage hots, blender pot and base plate. The loaded pickguard was pretty good, wiring super clean and well done. Only complaints are that the mint green is a darker shade than genuine Fender. It's $285 for the pickups alone so that's a  good deal.  Anyway, sounds great. Very low noise, I think the added ground wires with newer 2 point trem system helps in that. I even watched some youtube videos and set up the trem perfectly.  Yay me   :)

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Looks great!  What are you doing with the old trem?  I’m working on a project...

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37 minutes ago, Jack C said:

Looks great!  What are you doing with the old trem?  I’m working on a project...

you can have the block, arm and saddles if you like 

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On 8/16/2019 at 11:22 AM, Punkavenger said:

I already bought a SSS pickguard for it and might just use all the stock electronics with a JB jr humbucker in the bridge.

 

 

DiMarzio Super Distortion S.

Thank me later.

Relic 1.JPG

 

EDIT - nevermind, I see you've already modded it, that's what I get for not reading the whole thread.

 

Edited by Brooks

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