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Author Topic: 60s and indie for shortscale guitar  (Read 653 times)

nina

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60s and indie for shortscale guitar
« on: May 05, 2019, 03:55:02 PM »
Hey guys,

I'm looking for new pickups for my 90s Fender RI Duo Sonic and can't quite make up my mind. It's got 2 single coils. I'll rewire the guitar to neck, in series, bridge and probably add a push/pull for out of phase.

Music I like: 60s garage and surf, indie/alternative, old school punk and even older school ska.

I was hoping to get a Jaguar, but found it too heavy and uncomfortable for me to enjoy playing it due to being small and having joint problems. Hence the Duo Sonic (22.7 scale, 7.5 fretboard radius).

The very short scale makes the guitar sound very warm, which is very different to the crisp and bright 60s sound I'm after. It could also do with a but more oomph for indie (think Sonic Youth, Nirvana). Of course I know I won't get a humbucker sound, and I don't want that either.

I play purely at home through a Yamaha THR10. Have an overdrive and fuzz pedal that both work well. Have neighbours, thus play at somewhat lower volume.

Any suggestions? Go for Mothers Milk in bridge and something a bit more powerful for the neck? Or a completely different configuration? Wait for the Jaguar pickups announced under News (though I think the mount won't fit)? What options/materials/magnets would be most suitable apart from vintage pole stagger, which my guitar currently has?
« Last Edit: May 05, 2019, 06:49:53 PM by nina »

scarlet_shade

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Re: 60s and indie for shortscale guitar
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2019, 11:12:39 AM »
I would actually start by swapping out the pots for some higher value ones, this might give you the brighter sound you're after thogh it might not really be a sound that has much resemblence with the 60s. In regards to the fatter sounds you want to achieve it would probably be sufficient to use the series position you are planning on doing because you essentially get a humbucker there (Hope I understood that part right about you rewiring the middle position from parallel to series).
You should also be aware of the fact that mustang/duo sonic pickups are a bit different to your normal strat single coils. Sadly Bare Knuckle does not offer pickups for duo sonics/mustangs so you might have to check out other manufacturers if you really want that duo sonic sound. If you want to use Bare Knuckle pickups then I would choose some brighter ones and use the series middle position for the fatter sounds. Mother's Milk might indeed work here but you should wait for answers of our strat experts. I just wanted to point out the possibility that changing the pots might be sufficient for you and of course this would be less expensive than getting new pickups.  :grin:

gwEm

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Re: 60s and indie for shortscale guitar
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2019, 01:05:26 PM »
The '59 slab boards are good and bright, but without being ice picky.

I was pleasantly surprised by them, and think you will be too.

Default choice for surf is the Apache.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 01:07:09 PM by gwEm »
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Telerocker

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Re: 60s and indie for shortscale guitar
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2019, 05:17:59 PM »
Right gwEm! I just wonder why people DO NOT introduce themselves at a first post (not the TS this time).
« Last Edit: May 10, 2019, 10:48:36 PM by Telerocker »
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

nina

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Re: 60s and indie for shortscale guitar
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2019, 06:35:42 AM »
I would actually start by swapping out the pots for some higher value ones, this might give you the brighter sound you're after thogh it might not really be a sound that has much resemblence with the 60s. In regards to the fatter sounds you want to achieve it would probably be sufficient to use the series position you are planning on doing because you essentially get a humbucker there (Hope I understood that part right about you rewiring the middle position from parallel to series).
You should also be aware of the fact that mustang/duo sonic pickups are a bit different to your normal strat single coils. Sadly Bare Knuckle does not offer pickups for duo sonics/mustangs so you might have to check out other manufacturers if you really want that duo sonic sound. If you want to use Bare Knuckle pickups then I would choose some brighter ones and use the series middle position for the fatter sounds. Mother's Milk might indeed work here but you should wait for answers of our strat experts. I just wanted to point out the possibility that changing the pots might be sufficient for you and of course this would be less expensive than getting new pickups.  :grin:

Thanks for your answer. I'm not sure that changing pots will give me a desirable sound. The rewiring might indeed be the solution. I would like to get new pickups as the current ones are not very good, so I do need a solution there. I think they are cheap stock strat pickups with a not very defined sound. If anything I would call them muddy.

The annoyance with bareknuckle, and probably every other producer in Europe is that they don't have Mustang/Duo Sonic pickups. Even if their website has a Mustang/Duo Sonic section, examples are all Strats, and the text mentions strats rather than any of the other two. This is just annoying.

And let me be in a country where American pickups are super expensive, and ordering from abroad would add tons of cash on customs and other charges.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2019, 06:38:47 AM by nina »

Telerocker

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Re: 60s and indie for shortscale guitar
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2019, 10:54:58 PM »
I understand the issue Nina. It's a market thing. There is little demand for these pickups and Fender is already filling the gap. A BKP-range for the Duo Sonic will never sell in huge quantities, so they are more and probably too expensive for BKP to produce them.

Did you ask the BKP-team if standard strat single coils will fit in the Duo Sonic? If so, 59 Slabs (as gwEm suggests), Mother's Milk or 63 Veneer Boards will provide the chime you're looking for. They're more or less in the same ballpark with slightly different nuances.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2019, 12:19:48 AM by Telerocker »
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

gwEm

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Re: 60s and indie for shortscale guitar
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2019, 06:18:42 PM »
I don't know about one of those 1990s MIM duo-sonics, but strat coils fit right in to my vintage 60s duo-sonic and also my 201? Fender (fixed bridge) Mustang.
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Elliot

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Re: 60s and indie for shortscale guitar
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2019, 10:22:39 AM »
Hi Nina -
Original Mustang/Duo Sonic pickups were practically the same as Strat pickups. Over the years I have seen them and read a ton of internet discussions on them and the consensus is this: 1) they used exactly the same bobbin and alnico V magnets as Strat pickups 2) The number of turns of wire was slightly lower than standard Strat pickups of the era - so Duosonics and Mustangs have a 'k' output range of +/- 5.5k-5.8k 4) The wire material was the same as the Strat wire of the same era (e.g. formvar for 1950s Duosonics, plain enamel for Mustangs/Duosonic IIs). The differences 1) The magnets were flat and flush rather than staggered 2) They had a cover without holes in them 2) they were generally wound rwrp. 

So for a mid-60s Mustang/Duosonic II sound - Mother's Milks with flat profile magnets are perfect. For a 50s Duosonic tone the 59 slab board with flat profile are correct in output. Strat pickups will fit the guitar as they are the same size. 

I think I am correct that the 1990s Duosonics had holes in their pickup covers, so if you like that, you don't need to buy non-hole Mustang covers unless you like that look - but if you do they just fit over the pickup.

If you want more ooooomph you could use a more powerful pickup like an Irish Tour - I have some in my Strat and they work well for the surfy sound. One possible problem for 22" short scale machine is that higher output single coil pickups tend to increase the mid-range and that may not be what you want given the scale length.

BTW Jaguar pickups won't fit in your guitar without modification - they are not the same size.

Also BTW Ryan for 60 Cycle Hum has good discussion here -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOIwvU8XAtQ

 

 
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 09:58:32 PM by Elliot »
BKPS: Milks, P90s, Apaches, Mississippi Queens, Mules, PG Blues, BG FP 50s, e.60s strat custom set