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 Post subject: single coil limitations
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:58 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:14 pm
Posts: 53
I've had my 5:50 a couple of months now & struggling to get some good single coil crunch/burn sounds. Using the SCN pickups in my strat pro relic is a lot better than the relatively anemic American standard stock pickups. I've heard some very good demos on the web using what looks to be basic strats, but I've yet to nail any of those sounds. Perhaps they had some high end pickups.

My PRS sounds like a dream through this amp. It almost plays itself. I don't have any more humbucker guitars to try though the 5:50. Wondering if I should just buy a prewired humbucker pickguard for one of my strats with some coil splitting for clean sounds or buy a humbucker for the bridge.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:29 am 
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Mark I

Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:55 pm
Posts: 32
IMHO it's not the Express. I've never been able to get great tones out of a strat single coil bridge PU, regardless of the amp. I hear other guys do it, so obviously there's a way, but I got nothing.

My strat has a humbucker in the bridge and it works perfectly for me.

If you figure out what magic it is that people use to get their strat single coil bridge PUs to sound good, let me know!!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:51 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:14 pm
Posts: 53
Selsaral wrote:
IMHO it's not the Express. I've never been able to get great tones out of a strat single coil bridge PU, regardless of the amp.


There's a world of difference with the samrium cobalt noiseless in my custom shop & my stock American standards, for all 3 pickup positions. It's is too bad that a stock American strat at $1000 would immediately need a replacement in the bridge. I really question Fender's marketing making us spend $1500 to get a guitar with a decent tremelo & pickups.

The 5:50 clean sounds good with *anything*, even cheap single coils.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:48 am 
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Mark IV
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:47 pm
Posts: 815
Location: Australia
I have 3 Strats, one with stock USA pickups, one with Texas speacials and one with 57/62 vintage. For raunchy crunch tones, the Texas specials work best. The stock USA pickups sound a bit ordinary, but the 57/62 are quite week sounding and really don't sound good to me for crunch.

It would seem that higher output pickups work better for crunch tones. Try raising the pickups and see if that helps, the usual trade offs in other areas will pop up though.

_________________
Triple Crown 50 combo
Electra Dyne and Royal Atlantic heads
Express 5:25 1x12 combo
JCM800 2203
Deluxe reverb reissue
Traditional 2x12, 4x10 and 23" 1x12 cabs.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:53 am 
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Mark I

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:45 am
Posts: 41
never had a problem tbh - I can quite easily get overdriven crunch hendrix style out of my strat, and as for my tele (52ri) I can get amazing sounds (think zep zepellin heartbreaker..)... I am playing through a 2x12 extension though with g12h's


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:56 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:17 pm
Posts: 10
Yeah, there is no way its the amps issue. My highway 1 Tele totally rips. I dont play an express (I have an ED 1x12) but even in my previous amp experience (pre Mesa) Hot single coils are the way to get good crunch out of single coils.
My Highway 1 Tele works really well the ED, chugs nicely and rips up when i spank the crap out of it.
These pickups are "Hot Tele" pickups, not the same as the Tex Mex mentioned above.

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Mesa ED 1x12
Fender highway 1 Tele
Fender Tele Deluxe
HBE pedals
Ulbrick arena 50 head & cab


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:57 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:48 am
Posts: 120
Location: Montreal
Yes, hotter bridge single coil gives very good crunch here with the 5:25.
My Eric Johnson is having also the tone 2 wired to that bridge, and for my taste, it is only when I roll off that tone around 4 to 5 that the sound rock!

_________________
Express 5:25 - G10 Greenback + G12-H 70 an. ext. cab
Koch LB120-II Load box
Gibson H Roberts 1995
Strat E.J. 2006
Ibanez Roadstar II (Seymour pickups)
Radial PB1 Class-A Boost -EH MemMan - MXR SmartGate - Maestro Phaser - Lexicon MX200 - Ernie Ball VP jr


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:06 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:14 pm
Posts: 53
Played the 5:50 live with PRS CE22, which is a nice cross between a LP & a strat with an actual working tremelo, but it's hard to get anything like a strat tone with that 5 way rotary switch even though a couple of the positions are split coil. Those PRS HB sound good no matter what you do through the 5:50. I'm still struggling with the stock American strat with stock pickups. The SCN on the custom sound good on the bridge & ok on the bridge/middle with crunch & burn.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:43 pm 
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Mark II
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Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:19 pm
Posts: 102
Location: Tampa, FL. USA
I am really interested in this topic..... I owned a vintage strat and new tele which I liked both very much but when I purchased the 5:50, I couldn't get the Strat or tele dialed in the way I liked. They sounded good through my previous amps; Vox AC-30 and Marshall Artist 3203 when they were cranked. I purchased the 5:50 because I was really impressed with it along with the fact that it was made in America and I could switch it down to 5W class A. I had played through it many times at a friend's house using my old Washburn (with Humbuckers) and it was fabulous. When I tried it out at the local Mesa distributor, I played on a PRS with HB pickups. After I received the Head and cab, I ended up getting rid of my vintage strat for a Gibson SG and WOW I loved the tone pumping out of the 5:50 & cab.

I know there are great tones in the 5:50 with single coil pickups and there are many members of this board who would concur with that but I just didn't find them. But then it could be my ears. I like really thick tones and that is why I unloaded my Vox and Marshall (both EL tube based amps) for the 5:50 head (6L6 based) with a 4x12 cab projecting its sound. I also unloaded the Strat and tele.

Some of what we look for or listen for is purely subjective. I have three buddies who own higher level Mesa's than mine and they really like my setup. I have two buddies who own other brand amps and they think I was a complete fool to unload my previous amps and vintage Fender guitars so I can chase after the tone of a Mesa and a Gibson SG!

Again, just opinion. That same buddy of mine likes women who are; in my opinion, anorexic looking where I like women who are filled out and curvy. I'm writing this as an example of how personal preference comes into play when finding what makes you happy.

Sorry, very long post. beauty is in the eye of the beholder and tone is in the ear of the listener!

Good luck!

_________________
Amps:
Express 5:50 Long Head with Stiletto Traditional Slant 4x12 cab
Marshall VS30R
Line 6 Micro Spider (For when I'm traveling and don't want to get kicked out of hotels)
Guitars:
Gibson SG Standard
Peavey JF-1 EX
Washburn G-2v


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:05 pm 
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Single Recto
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:32 pm
Posts: 1275
The Strat's bridge pickup is notoriously weak. A lot of players won't use it with any amp! I grew up on Strats (I've had close to a dozen of them since buying my first in 1986) and don't have a problem with it. There are a few solutions- one is to use a hotter single coil pickup, another is to put a steel plate on the bottom of the pickup-this will focus the sound kind of like a Tele, you could also install a single coil size (or full size) humbucker in the bridge position (I think this is what the OP needs).

I love my Tele with my Express 5:50. I have a Fralin Blues Special bridge pickup in it which is fatter sounding than a stock Tele pickup but still has some twang. For years I considered putting a Tele bridge pickup in my Strat!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:44 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:14 pm
Posts: 53
Yes, I like my tele bridge ok through the 5:50 & the neck tele sounds really good clean. And I like my custom shop strat SCN. It's just the stock American pickups which are not getting it at all.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:22 pm 
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Mark III

Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:02 am
Posts: 488
Location: Oklahoma
Both my Strat's and my Tele sound very good in all positions. I thought my amp was really bright in the bridge positions when I bought the amp. I changed the speaker out for an Eminence Maveric and I'm perfectly happy with my amp, with all my guitars, in all pickup positions, in all four modes.
Maybe the sound your looking for is in a different speaker?

_________________
Jeff M.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:17 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:14 pm
Posts: 53
jmontgomery wrote:
Maybe the sound your looking for is in a different speaker?


No, celestion speaker sounds awesome with my PRS in burn & with stock American strat cleans. I have the same respective issues with my Fender Supersonic 60W which also has a celestion, so I don't think it's the amp or speaker. I'm going to look for a used Suhr with humbuckers.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:08 pm 
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Single Recto
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:32 pm
Posts: 1275
Last Sunday I picked up a used Jimmie Vaughan Strat. Tonight I spent a while with it through my Express 5:50. The guitar's bridge pickup sounds great with the amp's clean, blues and burn modes. Maybe it's the hotter (7.5k?) Tex-Mex pickup that does it, but I'm really loving this guitar. The neck is incredible, too!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:31 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:14 pm
Posts: 53
Don wrote:
Last Sunday I picked up a used Jimmie Vaughan Strat. Tonight I spent a while with it through my Express 5:50. The guitar's bridge pickup sounds great with the amp's clean, blues and burn modes. Maybe it's the hotter (7.5k?) Tex-Mex pickup that does it, but I'm really loving this guitar. The neck is incredible, too!


I think the Tex-Mex are hotter. I played with someone who had the tex-mex pickups & it was a hotter sound than my stock American.


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