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Humbucker Recommendations?

I have a Fender Blacktop Stratocaster that I picked up as a project guitar. I'm done with the hardware and I should have the neck finished soon.

It has dual humbuckers instead of the typical single coils. I'm thinking about swapping out the pickups for Joe Bardens but I'm not set on that decision.

The Blacktop Strat has a 5-way switch that splits coils in the 2 and 4 positions and I'd like to keep that versatility.

For rock and roll, what would you choose?
If hope can grow from dirt like me, it can be done. - EV


  • mccreadyisgodmccreadyisgod Bumfuq, MTPosts: 6,395
    I always liked the basic utility of the Seymour Duncan JB/59 combo. It's just plain classic rock tone:

    I personally had a really nice combo once: a Seymour Duncan 59-bridge, open zebra coils, paired with a Gibson Classic 57 with nickel cover in the neck. I feel like I could nail almost any humbucker tone out there with that combo. The middle position was especially tasty. Nailed the Jimmy Page thing, looks and sound.

    Since you are interested in the coil tap feature, I'd like to suggest an out-of-the-box option: Seymour Duncan P-Rails. It pairs a P-90 style pickup with a blade single coil, to make a really cool humbucker. You can tap the P-90, or tap the rail, or use it as a humbucker. It's the one thing I'm currently GASing for most. I keep wanting to get a sled and load those things up:

    Lollar Imperials would get my "money is no object" vote:

    Or maybe Bare Knuckle, I've always wanted a set of those:
    ...and if you don't like it, you can suck on an egg.
  • dudemandudeman Posts: 2,460
    Thanks man.

    I'm liking the idea of the P-Rails. The JBs and '59s are pretty common even though they are great pickups. I'm looking for something unique that you don't hear every day. P-Rails might be just the ticket.

    The Joe Bardens are the best sounding pickups I've used. The response to various techniques is unreal. However, they are quite expensive and a set of two is as much as I paid for the guitar.

    I have some research and testing to do now.

    If hope can grow from dirt like me, it can be done. - EV
  • BHealyBHealy Flagstaff, ArizonaPosts: 466
    edited August 2016
    P-rails are great!! I just put together a custom tele with one in the neck. It sounds great, and is really versatile. I used the p-rail with Seymour Duncan's "triple shot" mounts for switching between the options.
    Post edited by BHealy on
  • dudemandudeman Posts: 2,460
    Do you find that there is a big difference in output between the single coil and the P90 portion of the P-Rails?
    If hope can grow from dirt like me, it can be done. - EV
  • BHealyBHealy Flagstaff, ArizonaPosts: 466
    edited September 2016
    Yes, I think there is. Its definitely noticeable through my tube amp. Both sound great. There is greater output from the humbucker vs the P90 too. I really love that pickup. I'm not good at describing sounds in words, but to me, it has a rich, warm sound. Actually there are some sound samples and a chart showing the output on this site:
    Post edited by BHealy on
  • dudemandudeman Posts: 2,460
    Well, I'm still waffling with choices here. I've watched a ton of videos, listened to a ton of sound samples and read even more reviews. 

    So far, P-Rails and Barden HB Two-Tones are the contenders. I've also toyed with the idea of buying a few sets of pickups and mounting them in pick guards just to be able to test various combinations in my guitar without it being as big of a hassle.

    Along those lines, does anyone have experience with any prewired pick guards from EMG, Seymour Duncan, Carvin or Mojotone? Going this route, I'm entertaining the idea of single coil options too.

    If hope can grow from dirt like me, it can be done. - EV
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