Strat style for a jazzier style.

xld

Junior Member
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86
Well…
After many years of planning, a few months of waiting, a couple weeks of work, three pickup positions, four or so different wiring configs, two pick guards and a celebratory glass my new strat style guitar is “almost” finished.
I can tell you, slight “fore and aft” pickup positions make a BIG difference as does a “tilted” pickup. Tone capacitor values make a difference.
-Pickups are a set of unused until now Carvin Holdsworth I purchased new many, many years ago.
-Neck is short scale. I love a strat style guitars, but have never found a home in a 25.5 inch scale guitar.
-The guitar has basically “one tone only” with slight variations due to pickup positions and a three way switch. This is exactly what was targeted. I only play clean and have no love for bridge pickups. Think hollowbody single pickup guitars.
-A custom set of black pickup rings will soon be printed and installed.
-A “series/parallel” switch will be added.
-My soldering skills are in need of development…more accurately, the words to describe them could also be used to describe the ability of a high quality solder sucker.
-I didn’t document too well.
Thanks to all for taking the time to share your experiences in guitar building. It helped so much and gave great courage to undertake the project.
I’m very, very happy with all the Warmoth products. Accuracy, fit and finish could not be better.
I’ll post pics shortly.
 

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Nice build. Do you have a second neck pickup placed in the middle position? Can you play Jazz tones on the middle pickup?
 
JohnnyH,
The “middle” pickup is the “bridge” pickup of the set. It’s slightly hotter than the neck, 7.1 on the neck and 8.3 on the middle. I moved the pickup three times. I heard that a bridge wound pickup would sound “boxy” if too close to the neck and it certainly did. The second move was the farthest from the neck (see the tortoise pick guard for positions) and that produced a pretty bad “nasal” tone and was getting brighter than I like, much more like a standard bridge pickup. I figure the nasal tone was a result of the strings vibrational “node” positions (?). It was bad! It’s current position is pretty good. Individual pole piece and overall height adjustments allowed me to dial in a pretty balanced tone.
I’m aiming for a few decibels more volume when switched to the bridge pickup. It’s looking like it’ll do that by keeping the pickup heights even.
Short answer, yes, both pickups can get pretty full tones, and there is a slight “honk/quack” with both pickups on and volume drops slightly, or feels like it does due to less overall brightness.
I may try to post a few tonal examples when I get it dialed in.
Thanks for asking! Fun stuff!!!
 
Great looking build, congrats!
Just funny that in your build there is no bridge pickup, and in mine there was nothing but the bridge pickup!
 
VanHeGan,
HAH!!! Funny how our ears prefer what they prefer!
Even though I like a lot of rock, fusion, blues rock and blues and I KNOW that much of that was played through a bridge pickup I’ve never found a use for one on my guitars.
I was, and still am, thinking of ordering a pick guard with just a neck pickup if this experiment doesn’t work out.
Thanks for checking it out!
 
VanHeGan,
HAH!!! Funny how our ears prefer what they prefer!
Even though I like a lot of rock, fusion, blues rock and blues and I KNOW that much of that was played through a bridge pickup I’ve never found a use for one on my guitars.
I was, and still am, thinking of ordering a pick guard with just a neck pickup if this experiment doesn’t work out.
Thanks for checking it out!
That’s awesome, @xld - my pleasure!
 
Well…
After many years of planning, a few months of waiting, a couple weeks of work, three pickup positions, four or so different wiring configs, two pick guards and a celebratory glass my new strat style guitar is “almost” finished.
I can tell you, slight “fore and aft” pickup positions make a BIG difference as does a “tilted” pickup. Tone capacitor values make a difference.
-Pickups are a set of unused until now Carvin Holdsworth I purchased new many, many years ago.
-Neck is short scale. I love a strat style guitars, but have never found a home in a 25.5 inch scale guitar.
-The guitar has basically “one tone only” with slight variations due to pickup positions and a three way switch. This is exactly what was targeted. I only play clean and have no love for bridge pickups. Think hollowbody single pickup guitars.
-A custom set of black pickup rings will soon be printed and installed.
-A “series/parallel” switch will be added.
-My soldering skills are in need of development…more accurately, the words to describe them could also be used to describe the ability of a high quality solder sucker.
-I didn’t document too well.
Thanks to all for taking the time to share your experiences in guitar building. It helped so much and gave great courage to undertake the project.
I’m very, very happy with all the Warmoth products. Accuracy, fit and finish could not be better.
I’ll post pics shortly.
I recall liking those pickups when I had them.
 
Spud, I'm liking them really well. There is so much tonal adjustment available you can adjust yourself to paralysis.
I stopped tweaking a couple of days ago so I think they are as close as I can get them to what I want to hear.
It isn't the final set...yet...
I can't figure out how to get a sound bite loaded to the forum. When I figure it out I'll post a few examples that I recorded just this morning.
 
I can't figure out how to get a sound bite loaded to the forum. When I figure it out I'll post a few examples that I recorded just this morning.

Use the insert media icon just to the left of the quotation symbol.
 
Howdy stratamania,
I poked around in that area a bit but am not "techy" enough to figure it out...hehhehheh...that comes with age and inexperience.
Is there a way to get an mp3 into the forum?
I have successfully loaded an mp3 to the "Media/Your media" area but see no way to connect it to this conversation.
Thanks Much!
 
@xld I do not believe that there is unless there is a link to it to use Insert Link. Insert Media you would have your media on an external site such as SoundCloud for example for audio.
 
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Well, I thought I’d try another set of pickups. I really like the Carvin Holdsworths…at times.
So I ordered a set of Dimarzio PAF 36th Anniversary. The bridge pickup came in pretty beat up. So I contacted Dimarzio and they made me a new one. Waited for two weeks, it’ll be in tomorrow.
I like the 103 in the neck, great tone and responds well to tone adjustment.
I’ll put a DPDT switch in again for series/parallel on the neck.
We’ll see….
Funny how by the time your “New” guitar is finished it doesn’t feel too new anymore.
 
Alrighty, I’m done…well almost!
I absolutely love the Dimarzio 36th neck pick up.
Rich, full and usable on a wide range of tone settings.
The bridge pickup of the set, although pretty “alright” it just doesn’t fit this guitar keeping in mind the original goal, “Strat style for a Jazzier Tone”.
I ordered a replacement pick guard with just one pickup in the neck position, 1 Volume and 1 Tone, the bridge pickup goes to the back of the bench or the chopping block.
And then I’ll be DONE!!!
 
What sort of tone are you looking for from a middle pickup?

Was the 36th PAF bridge to be too mid heavy in this application?
 
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I've often wondered about a bridge pickup that was a bit further up . Especially for a single pickup guitar, but even for a 2 humbucker guitar. Like maybe even a finger or two away from the bridge. Sort of an inverted Nightswan
 
Placing a humbucker in the middle position will exaggerate the mids which can be either good or bad. With a bridge pickup that is slightly thick and bassy, IMO the worst thing is to move it further away from the bridge as the low mids and bass will dominate. I used a Duncan SH-1b in the middle position, and it had a lot of bass and mids. It became thicker like it turned into a dimarzio Tone zone, but with stronger pick attack dynamics.
 
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What sort of tone are you looking for from a middle pickup?

Was the 36th PAF bridge to be too mid heavy in this application?
The original intent was to mimic a single pickup jazz guitar but add some SLIGHT tonal variation and a volume increase when switched away from the neck pickup. I want no doubt that this build is intended for jazz. I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I had no love AT ALL for bridge pickups.
Yes Johnny, the slight bump in the mid specs listed for the DP223 was overwhelming for my use.
Perhaps the position of the pickup is a major contributor. In experimenting. I had the pickup in three different positions and found the current position most promising.
Now keep in mind that the tone wasn’t bad, it just was not what I was looking for. If I would have veered slightly from the “original intent” of building a solid body aimed strictly at jazz it would have been fine, maybe even really nice!
As far as being DONE…hehhehheh…
I just returned the pickup in exchange for a second DP103. I am completely happy with that pickup in the neck position. It nailed the tone!
I’ll mount it in the middle of my current pick guard. If it doesn’t work there, I’ll know the problem is position related and I’ll go with the single pickup guard. At least I’ll have a second great sounding pickup for another project.
Thanks for chiming in.
All the comments keep me thinking and on course!
 
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