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Oil City Stonetone Strat Pickups,need more Treble.

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KevSKevS Frets: 197
edited May 12 in Making & Modding
Do I change the pots,or change the capacitor..
These are nice enough sounding but lack Spank and Sizzle..
I hate got a set of Fender pickups that single notes are bold,,
there is more to the note than just a percussive strike and the initial note..
You almost don't need overdrive to bring out the single notes;;
Plus they have Spank and Sizzle..
Texas Specials don't have much of that sound and the magnets have very 2 high poles to the stagger,,
so you have to keep them really low..
I love that backbeat rhythm spank you can get off some Strats..

I was thinking of this guitar being an HSS originally..
Unfortunately I fecked my Pearly gates trying to change magnets..Doh..
I am thinking I could maybe make the lack of sparkle with the Stone Tone pickups an advantage to me..
Would 500k pots and a 0.22 cap end up with the single coils being unusably bright..
I am thinking that these are the normal value for humbuckers..
So I could get off with a master tone and master volume 500 K pots and 0.22 HSS Strat.. ..
The original volume control gets in my way on a Strat.. 
So it has to be 2 control...
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Comments

  • OilCityPickupsOilCityPickups Frets: 5818
    tFB Trader
    You could indeed fit 500k pots to get more treble, but remember StoneTones are higher output Strat Pickups so designed to be more compressed than low wind ones (neck is 7.2k and bridge nearly 10k) horses for courses. We supply the StoneTone as a matter of course in HSS sets with hotter than PAF bridge pickups. 
    If you want a more percussive strike you need lower wound pickups - in fact in the extreme you need slightly underwound. Of course the issue with this is there is less natural compression. 

    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Formerly TheGuitarWeasel ... Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 10306
    My experience of OCP replacement pickups for Stratocaster has been restricted to Stonetone, Route 66 and Diamond Geezer. These sound different to each other. My approach is to match the characteristics of the respective pickups to suitable host guitars.
    Be seeing you.
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  • Dave_McDave_Mc Frets: 1391
    Yeah the pots (will make a difference) and cap (will make a very subtle difference if you keep the tone knob up full, more of a difference if you lower it) are worth a try. You could also try a no-load tone pot to get a bit more treble too.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 6678
    Does the guitar have a treble bleed? I know it’s intended to avoid loss of treble as you roll off the volume, but it can also make a guitar sound brighter
    Known here as Old Misery Guts or the Big Bad Classified's Sheriff. Also guitarist with  https://www.undercoversband.com/.
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  • KevSKevS Frets: 197
    You could indeed fit 500k pots to get more treble, but remember StoneTones are higher output Strat Pickups so designed to be more compressed than low wind ones (neck is 7.2k and bridge nearly 10k) horses for courses. We supply the StoneTone as a matter of course in HSS sets with hotter than PAF bridge pickups. 
    If you want a more percussive strike you need lower wound pickups - in fact in the extreme you need slightly underwound. Of course the issue with this is there is less natural compression. 



    I have a cunning plan my Lord....

    500 K pots Stone Tones in Neck and Middle..
    F spaced Suhr SSH plus I happen to have in the Bridge..

    It is very hot 17..K,,but is you can have a JB and a Jazz in the same guitar,,I would think this Trio would be doable..
    i think Humbuckers can sound really good quite far from the strings..
    To me a JB sounds very right like this,,too close and it's orrible.....

    Not sure what value Cap to go for though .047 or .022..

    I don't have a treble bleed,,I think I could manage to solder up the concoction above though..
    On a good day anyway..
    if that works OK and doesn't need a treble bleed,,fair enough..
    I have one that you can switch into circuit on my HH Strat..
    one Push Pull is a double Coil Split,,The other a Treble bleed...
    I would prefer just to stick to a 5 way switch..
    I'm a little bothered about the in between Bridge and middle position sound though..
    I do have one of those billion way Fender mega switches but they are complicated and intricate..
    Too much for a soldering moron of my level...
    is it possible to get only one coil in the in between position with a normal 5 way and no push pull pot.. ?

    I will be doing this with master volume and master tone,,just 2 pots..

    Roland said:
    Does the guitar have a treble bleed? I know it’s intended to avoid loss of treble as you roll off the volume, but it can also make a guitar sound brighter
    Sorry the Treble bleed I talk about above..
    I find one very useful with powerful pickups

    Funkfingers said:
    My experience of OCP replacement pickups for Stratocaster has been restricted to Stonetone, Route 66 and Diamond Geezer. These sound different to each other. My approach is to match the characteristics of the respective pickups to suitable host guitars.

    Unfortunately,,I can't afford to do this as I would have to buy 3 sets of Pickups.. :)
    I do tend to do that process of elimination with what I do have though...
    I do find different guitars of the same type even if the same model from the same year can still sound different..
    Maybe weight more than wood species...
    Who knows and I don't want to start and argument where people start insulting each other over Wood..
    Similar guitars do end up sounding different though..
    I think the 2 point Fender USA Standard Trem with block saddles sounded quite a bit darker than 
    the 6 saddle bridge with bent steel saddles..
    It could have been something else I was missing though..
    I think the old 80s and 90s USA Standard Strats were quite Dark compared to most other Strats..

    .Dave_Mc said:
    Yeah the pots (will make a difference) and cap (will make a very subtle difference if you keep the tone knob up full, more of a difference if you lower it) are worth a try. You could also try a no-load tone pot to get a bit more treble too.
    A no load tone pot once I have tried other things first if necessary....
    I'm sure my Strat Delta Tone System had that, originally,,but it was on the volume pot and ended up being annoying..
    It would be much better placed on a tone pot though...
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  • Dave_McDave_Mc Frets: 1391
    KevS said:
    (a) Not sure what value Cap to go for though .047 or .022..

    (b) A no load tone pot once I have tried other things first if necessary....
    I'm sure my Strat Delta Tone System had that, originally,,but it was on the volume pot and ended up being annoying..
    It would be much better placed on a tone pot though...
    (a) I'd probably go 0.022, since you want more brightness out of the single coils, and it's more "right" for the humbucker, too. 

    (b) I don't think a no-load works on the volume pot.

    And yeah you're correct, you might as well try the other stuff first, just in case it does enough. It's more bother to add a no-load, since you need to either modify the existing pot or buy a new no-load one.
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  • KevSKevS Frets: 197
    OK so say 3 to 3.5 more treble on the dial,,for my favourite Strat pickups it is at 4 on the treble control..
    It is above 7 on the control on the Stonetones

    I kind of done a shootout....
    My Favourite Strat Pickups ever,sorry aftermarket builders..

    These came with a 2007 American Series Strat..

    I got the Multimeter out..
    I then found a Fender Dealer Accessories Catalogue..The specs match up..

    These are staggered pole pickups,,but the stagger is milder than the Texas Special Pickups..

    Alnico 5 magnets ,,polysol magnet wire.. plastic bobbings..

    These Measure. Neck 5.8 K    2.4 Henries

                                Middle 5.8 K.    2.4 Henries

                                Bridge 7.2 K.     3.9 Henries

    You can hear a more vocal quality in the mids,,I know that sounds like a subjectivism..
    Playing a Peter Green / BB King Blues Style sounds more vocal..
    That pleading quality just comes though miles more,,no idea why..
    Also the response to my picking strength seems to be in synch with these pickups..
    I feel a real connection..
    They have that backbeat spank,almost bounce thing,,
    They sound really open..
    I've sound some single coils can sound plunky..they almost have tis hitting a tubberware tub thing going on..
    These pickups are just open..

    Where the mids are just bring out and strengthen single note playing,,the actual note itself is bigger and bolder..
    The same thing happens when they are overdriven..

    Anyway I have Fender Texas Specials in the Neck and Middle and a Seymour SSL 5 in the Bridge of another Strat..
    My Green American Special Strat..
    The American Series Pickups actually are a little louder,,maybe the different magnet stagger..
    For tone and just cohesiveness of the information coming through,,
    for me they kill the Texas Specials..
    The Texas Specials don't have that vocal thing,,the notes don't stand out..
    They are good,,they are very usable,,but there is no vocal magic...

    The treble adjusted Stone tones sound like a smoother sounding Texas Special to me..
    They have a little bit plunk on the lower strings..
    this isn't too close magnets by the way,,they are quite a bit away from the strings..
    How pickups usually end up with me..
    They sound really good,,they don't have the Vocal magic thing though....

    What the Fender American Series is made of is mostly modern stuff too..
    No bespoke vintage parts..

    I love them in my White Strat an American Performer series..

    Now the Stone tones may be very useful for using a Humbucker in the bridge..

    I'm not sure if a 17 K Humbucker is just too hot though...

    Running with 500k pots it may be a good match or a disaster..
    I don't know enough to be able to predict that..

    I know I take down my Seymour JB pretty low..

    Dave_Mc said:
    KevS said:
    (a) Not sure what value Cap to go for though .047 or .022..

    (b) A no load tone pot once I have tried other things first if necessary....
    I'm sure my Strat Delta Tone System had that, originally,,but it was on the volume pot and ended up being annoying..
    It would be much better placed on a tone pot though...
    (a) I'd probably go 0.022, since you want more brightness out of the single coils, and it's more "right" for the humbucker, too. 

    (b) I don't think a no-load works on the volume pot.

    And yeah you're correct, you might as well try the other stuff first, just in case it does enough. It's more bother to add a no-load, since you need to either modify the existing pot or buy a new no-load one.

    On the Tone vs Volume pot,,it was a little while ago now and I would bet that you are right..  :)
    I just preferred it just clicked out,,so it was annoying to use for me..

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  • Dave_McDave_Mc Frets: 1391
    edited May 13
    @KevS Yeah those resistances for the neck and middle at least are bang in vintage territory, actually probably on the low end of vintage. And you can usually get away with a bit more in the bridge position, so that would explain why you like it too.

    The Stone Tones might well be good with a hotter humbucker- I have an Oil City HSS set with an Eruption in the bridge (so not as hot as your 17k, from memory it was more like 9.5k, though I'm guessing your 17k pickup would have to use much thinner wire, so it's not going to be as much hotter as those numbers suggest) and Triple Blues in the neck and middle (from memory again, around 6.2k) and that set works pretty well. Extrapolating up to your numbers, I would guess yours might work well, too.

    If you're willing to solder, I would say it's worth a try (500k pots, I mean). I can't predict either, but in the guitars where I've had hotter Strat pickups, 500k (or 250k no load tone) helped, at least a little. Whether it will help enough is another thing.

    And yeah the Fender-branded no-loads have a click there. I would guess it's so people trying them in the shop actually notice. The CTS-branded ones don't have as obvious a click (I haven't tried the Bourns ones), that being said I can still notice it a little and it still seems to be enough of a click that I can't really do the "adjust with the pinky" quick adjustments you can do with a regular pot...
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 10306
    edited May 16
    KevS said:
    Now, the Stone tones may be very useful for using a Humbucker in the bridge..

    I'm not sure if a 17 K Humbucker is just too hot though.
    I found that two (special order c. 8k) Stonetones balanced nicely with a Scrapyard Dog Plus. IIRC, these were wired through 250k master volume and master tone pots.

    RESULT - An all-rounder Rawk geetar. I didn't mind that it did not sound exactly like a Fender because it was an Ibanez!


    IMO, all this talk about how much mid range pickups put out is meaningless without some mention of the amplification through which they are being played.

    I am of the opinion that OCP Stonetone pickups are aimed at guitarists using Fender valve amplifiers with Jensen or Eminence loudspeakers. The extra "push" is calculated to send such amps into mild Keef/Ronnie crunch. (I am happy to have this hypothesis corrected.)
    Be seeing you.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 10306
    This morning, I have been mostly soldering together a wiring harness for my elderly Heartfield Talon 3. (Visualise, if you will, a 22-fret Ibanez RG knock off.)

    My middle pickup is an overwound RPRW Stonetone (c. 8k) with equal length rod magnets.

    Through the guitar's A500 pots, with 009-042 strings, the middle pickup yields a sound that would not disgrace a baritone guitar or Fender Bass VI.

    In conclusion, more Country swamp than Nile Rodgers chime. Goes nicely with split humbuckers too. 
    Be seeing you.
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  • MentalSharpsMentalSharps Frets: 118
    My experience of OCP replacement pickups for Stratocaster has been restricted to Stonetone, Route 66 and Diamond Geezer. These sound different to each other. My approach is to match the characteristics of the respective pickups to suitable host guitars.
    Could you describe the differences of these 3 sets in the same guitar? I am thinking of installing a set of Route 66's in a Strat, deciding whether to go SSS or HSS with the guard (guitar routed for both).

    Would Route 66's count as "classic strat" sound? I'm trying to work out what they should sound like but not too sure.

    My probably incorrect impression of strat pickups based purely on reading/YT is the following:
    pre-CBS / 62 type pickups are either more scooped and/or smoother (like John Mayer type of tone?), 50's are warm and rounded, and late 60's pickups have a bit more bite (Hendrix?)
    And that's before getting to the overwound territory, rory gallagher/SRV etc, or fatter/smoother top like Clapton type of tone.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 10306
    … OCP … Stonetone, Route 66 and Diamond Geezer.
    Could you describe the differences of these 3 sets in the same guitar?
    Only partially. The aforementioned OCP products constitute only two sets. The Route 66 trio is one set. The two Stonetones and Diamond Geezer are the other set. (The DG is a souped up variation of the ST intended for bridge position.)

    Would Route 66's count as "classic strat" sound? I'm trying to work out what they should sound like but not too sure. 
    Yes but, maybe, with the bridge position unit having slightly increased output for a better overall output balance.

    In the same guitar, the ST/ST/DG trio are louder, "darker" and better suited to somebody playing through overdriven amplification most of the time. 

    A treble bypass network across the volume pot would help to get clean sounds when rolling back the volume control.

    The only negative comment I have about my R66 set is because, on a guitar with a 7.25" fingerboard radius, its equal length rod magnets cause a slight volume drop on the D and G strings. The same pickups were fine on an old Ibanez with a 12" radius.

    deciding whether to go SSS or HSS with the guard (guitar routed for both).
    IMHO, the compromise would be Route 66 N, Route 66 M RWRP, The Creature humbucker. A250k pots. Auto coil split for centre + bridge stud coil. Push-pull pot for selectable coil split of the humbucker.

    Be seeing you.
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  • MentalSharpsMentalSharps Frets: 118

    The only negative comment I have about my R66 set is because, on a guitar with a 7.25" fingerboard radius, its equal length rod magnets cause a slight volume drop on the D and G strings. The same pickups were fine on an old Ibanez with a 12" radius.

    Would I have issues with 9.5" radius? I think the Route 66's I have, are vintage stagger https://imgur.com/a/DOtyug9 - 
    Also I was thinking of using these strings, which seem to have a wound G, would there be any implications with the stagger? https://newtonestrings.com/shop/lucidity-electric-6-string/


    deciding whether to go SSS or HSS with the guard (guitar routed for both).
    IMHO, the compromise would be Route 66 N, Route 66 M RWRP, The Creature humbucker. A250k pots. Auto coil split for centre + bridge stud coil. Push-pull pot for selectable coil split of the humbucker.

    Thanks for the info on the Route 66's, sounds like they're the right thing I'm after. The creature HB does sound very interesting. The options I have available for HSS would be Monty's PAF, BKP Abraxas or Crawler. Judging what OilCityPickups said at the top of the thread I assume the Monty's PAF would probably be the better option. I'll need to find out if my middle pickup is RWRP I guess.


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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 10306
    The BKP humbuckers you mention need to be four conductor + shield output cable. This enables automated coil split when the bridge and centre pickups are combined.

    The Monty's PAF model humbucker should balance for output without coil split. The only possible complication would be if it has single conductor + braided shield output cable. You could have phase reversal issues with the single coils. Also, you cannot choose which coil remains operational when split.
    Be seeing you.
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  • MentalSharpsMentalSharps Frets: 118
    The Abraxas and Monty's are both 4 conductor so that's good, not sure about the Crawler. The wiring I would be swapping the pickups into does auto-split the bridge in position 2. If I have an issue with phase, can I flip the hot and ground to reverse the HB?
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  • Dave_McDave_Mc Frets: 1391
    Also I was thinking of using these strings, which seem to have a wound G, would there be any implications with the stagger? https://newtonestrings.com/shop/lucidity-electric-6-string/
    I don't think the Lucidities have a wound G.

    They're killer strings, though. :) 
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  • robertyroberty Frets: 3733
    The SSH+ is an absolute beast. Got one in my Revstar and it slams
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