My Warmoth - should I "stratify" my strat?


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See below my sweet Warmoth strat.  I love it, and I love the humbucker sound (for humbucker stuff).  However, I would like to get a strat sound as well.  The pickup is a GFS Fat PAF which I am very happy with.  My question is, should I get a new pickguard and add 2 single coils to get more of a strat sound for some stuff?  How much of a compromise is it?  Should I go with a full strat setup and move the bucker to another guitar at some point?  Basically, is the HSS vs SSS kind of half azzed?  Oh, and I do not want to split the bucker, by the way.

Thanks for the input!

- Mike

Hi there Mike,

Seriously, putting two S-es in your Strat will not harm your current tone in any way. I'm even a bit flabbergasted that anyone would come up with the idea of mounting a single humbucker in a guitar that could be so versatile ;) (I don't know the names of the band members but is there a Mike in Blink 182? :icon_tongue:) That's my point. Some point, anyway.

The first guitar I bought was a MIM Superstrat (Superstrat means S-S-H, just to make sure we're on the same page here  :) ) I smashed it during band practice and while playing some lousy gigs (Yeah I was wild back in '01) but it was one of the best guitars I've played, and during time, I've played quite a few.

Adding two S'-es will not alter the bridge humbucker tone, assuming you put in a proper 5 way switch and two tone pots. On a strat, traditionally the bridge pickup is only wired to the master volume pot; the two tone pots are only influencing your middle and neck sounds. Because of that, when you put the 5-way switch in position #1 you will get exactly the same sound you're getting now!

Of course, If you decide to put these 2 S-es in, you have a lot of options as to brands and models. I must say I am not at all to experienced with that, but I put in a set of Kinman's in my Telecaster the day before yesterday and they sure live up to what is being said on the Kinman website. My Telecaster now has absolutely no hum - as in: less hum than my humbucker-equipped Ibanez and other humbucking guitars i've played - and they have got fantastic tone! (These Kinman's ofcourse are just a suggestion so that you might check them out, I am in no way affiliated with Kinman :icon_tongue:

I hope to have been of some assistance.
You wanna Blow your mind and fall in Love with your guitar?????......Then take and Buy a 275 dollar set of Rio Grande's
The Big Bottom Quinto set of Muy Grande humbucker (bridge) Vintage Tall single (middle) and Tallboy humbucker (neck) would Blow you away, it would change your guitar playing and buying for the rest of your life, then you would know what good tone was, and be freaking at how good you can really sound, and your friends will be crapping their drawers at the Amazing sound coming outta your guitar, Straight Up!!!!!!!
Anyone else think those Rio Grande's are that great?  $275 seems like a lot for some pickups!  And are they F-spaced?
mate chuck that humbucker in another guitar and get yourself an S-S-S pickguard, get some nice single coils for the neck and middle position, but then for the bridge get a Seymore duncan single coil sized humbucker. like the SHR-1 hot rails (or any others to ur fancy). Then Just coil split it and then you've got the best of both worlds. My mates got the SHR-1 hot rails and it packs a puch.  :rock-on:
righto, u dont wanna split the bucker. i probably should b wearing my glasses. Disregard everything i said. My bad!
LOL JR, that was all just fine, Your target response was for Spaulding, but many more eyes see it and it's good info or opinion for everyone, Keep it comming
Josbourne said:
I'm even a bit flabbergasted that anyone would come up with the idea of mounting a single humbucker in a guitar that could be so versatile ;) (I don't know the names of the band members but is there a Mike in Blink 182? :icon_tongue:) That's my point. Some point, anyway.

Hej, ben je eventjes een zekere landgenoot vergeten?? :)

Nothing wrong with a straightforward one hum strat! but if you don't want to buildt a second strat (you must be the only one here that's not addicted yet  :laughing7:) then I would go for a HSS, or SSS with a hotrail (or similar) in the bridge..
there are a ton of options for this most of which would be awsome but i think these guys are right in my opinion about the seymour hot rail in the bridge ive got two warmoth strats with these in them theysound awsome
strat #1
hotrail ( bridge) REALLY HOT
cool rail (  middle)


Hi MIke,
Just a heads up...
Keep in mind that a 1 H / 2 Sc configuration brings up an impedance issue due to the pots used for the circuit. In general, most passive single coil pickups normally use 250K pots, while humbuckers use 500K. The higher the pot value, the less the resistance and the more output and the brighter the sound. So if you have a 500K volume pot in there right now and you use that in a standard strat wiring, your single coils will sound much brighter and with more output than a standard strat set-up with 3 single coils that uses a 250K pot. That could be a different "single coil strat" sound than what you are expecting...
On a more personal note, I've always thought that a fullsized humbucker in the neck position sounds too "woofy" to my ear, while a single coil up there sounds too cold and thin. For this reason on several guitars I've built, I went with a mini-humbucker (Seymour SM-3) and the combination of that and a fullsized humbucker in the bridge works great, no impedance issues either.

spauldingrules said:
So will the 250k tone pots affect the sound of the bridge HB? 

Yes exactly. As I said, passive single coil pu's normally use a 250K volume pot (and tone pots as well) so if you hook a 500K pot to a single coil pickup, the single coil will have more highend and more output. To my ears, single coil pickups are already too shrill in general, so adding more of that is just insult on top of injury. But you might like it, so you could just try it and see what your ears hear. Similarly, right now you have a humbucker in your guitar, so you might wonder what that would sound like with more treble and output - so what pot do you exchange the 500K for? Why a 1Meg of course!!! Big, big difference...tons of balls. If you and your buddy have the exact same guitar, your guitar will put his to shame with just this one mod.
Anyway, back on track here...
Just remember that Sc's = 250K and HB's = 500K. If you install a LOWER value pot, the pickup will sound darker and have less output, if you put in a higher value pot, the pickup will sound brighter and have more output. You could probably find a wiring schematic that addresses your needs somewhere on the the top of my head I'd say a circuit that uses the 500K pot, but with a 250Kohm resistor soldered across the singlecoil input lugs of the 5-way switch so that the singlecoils have a buffer from the vol pot.
Don't worry, it's all relative to taste, just experiment!!!!
Even Seymour himself doesn't say one way or another. Check out this diagram from his site...(It specifies "your choice" of 250K or 500K pot)
On the other hand there is something else you could try - just use a 250K vol pot. A lot of people like the Seymour Duncan JB, but what most of them do not know, is that this humbucking pickup was designed to be used with a 250K vol pot.  That's right, most people have never actually heard a JB because they think ALL humbuckers should be wired to a 500K, so... True, it sounds really good with a 500K pot, and I can see why so many people like that tone, but it is absolutely magical with a 250K, much warmer, and darker in a really cool way. Anyway, you could see if your Fat PAF sounds good like this.
Another option as a compromise would be to use a 300K pot (They don't make 375K's which would be half way between 250 and 500K) and see what the sounds like...
I done a few strats with SCs in neck/mid position and SD Lil' '59 or JBJr in bridge position and have tried wiring the setup up with 500K vol - 250K tones, and one with all three pots at 500K; not all that much difference really if you wind up keeping the pots cranked mostly up like I do; sticking with all 250K pots from here on out with S-S-H setups; seems like the neck/mid sound better and when on the bridge with normal wiring you're bypassing the tone pots anyway...