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Thread: 5 pickup strat

  1. #1
    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    5 pickup strat

    I am planning on putting a pickguard like this on one of my strats, in the new year. So I am collecting parts now.

    Before I mangle up one of my pickguards by trying to drill and dremel this myself, can anyone recommend somewhere/someone where I can get one made?
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    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    Cool idea...

    Try WD Music- he's done custom pickguards for me. Warmouth might also do them.

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    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Cool--how would you do the pickup switching?
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  4. #4
    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by die Bullen View Post
    Cool idea...

    Try WD Music- he's done custom pickguards for me. Warmouth might also do them.
    Thanks dB. I Googled custom pickguards and came up with several companies offering the service, including the two you mention here.
    Basically I was hoping for endorsements from happy customers who I trust - the Axetalk guys. So thank you, again - WD and Warmouth will be the first companies I ask about this.
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

  5. #5
    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zontar View Post
    Cool--how would you do the pickup switching?
    What I usually do with my strats is series wiring, using either push/pull pots, or by replacing a tone with a rotary switch. I try to avoid adding extra switches - I want it to look like a regular strat.
    Of course, THIS one will look very irregular! But other than the extra pickups, I am hoping to be able to keep to the look of the standard 5-way and three pots of one sort or another. And I may be putting a Mega-Switch in there too achieve my goal.


    I have not sat down and attempted to draw up my wiring yet. But what I want is to be able to switch in and out of these options:

    1 - 5-way behaves like on a regular strat. The extra pickups are not used. Positions 2 and 4 give the Knopfler sounds, which is also hum-cancelling if the proper pickups are used for each position. (Reverse-wound and opposite polarity for middle.)

    2 - Positions 1 and 5 give the the bridge or neck pickup in series with the extra pickup next to it.
    With my other strats, my series wiring puts the middle pickup in series with the bridge and neck pickup, respectively. I lose a lot of highs this way, possibly because the pickups are not close to each other. (Or maybe it's a strat pickup thing. ) I am hoping that by having the pickups a bit closer together, it will be a bit more like a humbucker.

    3 - 5-way selects 5 different pickups.

    4 - Engage neck pickup, so when bridge is selected (in option 1 or 3), I get the Gilmour sound.

    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

  6. #6
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Sounds cool.
    My favourite sound on a Strat when playing one is position 2
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  7. #7
    Axe-honerated spellcaster's Avatar
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    There's lots of people around that do pickguards but I'm not sure who to suggest. I've dealt with Terrapin and had mixed feelings with the result. I hear good things about Pickguardian. I haven't tried to mock one up, but it seems likely to me that the placement of those extra two pickups is going to need to be very precise with clearance limited on the bottom side.

    I wonder about pickup polarity. If you're going to do the extra pickups in series with the neck and the bridge, would it make sense that you use a standard Strat set without the middle being RWRP, and doing the extra intermediates in RWRP instead?

    I'm also curious about having the pickups so close, and what it'll do to the magnetic fields. I'm kinda hoping Mike will offer an opinion on that.
    "I know just enough to be dangerous....."

  8. #8
    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spellcaster View Post
    There's lots of people around that do pickguards but I'm not sure who to suggest. I've dealt with Terrapin and had mixed feelings with the result. I hear good things about Pickguardian. I haven't tried to mock one up, but it seems likely to me that the placement of those extra two pickups is going to need to be very precise with clearance limited on the bottom side.
    Yeah, and I expect to have to use a body with a swimming pool routed.

    Quote Originally Posted by spellcaster View Post
    I wonder about pickup polarity. If you're going to do the extra pickups in series with the neck and the bridge, would it make sense that you use a standard Strat set without the middle being RWRP, and doing the extra intermediates in RWRP instead?
    Yes, I thought about that. It would be nice to be able to have the Knopfler sound with any pair of neighbour pickups. But I would more likely want the normal strat Knopfler sounds (neck and middle, bridge and middle), than have pickups 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 4-5.
    So I will (at least at first) be using three middle pickups that are wound the same, and magnetically the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by spellcaster View Post
    I'm also curious about having the pickups so close, and what it'll do to the magnetic fields.
    Interesting point. I have also been thinking of putting two singles next to each other, like a humbucker. I have not seen pickups that would physically fit that close together, but I have been thinking of this for a few years. I am never happy with the sound of a humbucker split. I's not a strat pickup, and we all know that. So at least once, I would like to try two singles as close together as possible. I think there are a couple pickups on the market that are this - two strat singles in a humbucker form, although I cannot remember the names.


    Quote Originally Posted by spellcaster View Post
    I'm kinda hoping Mike will offer an opinion on that.
    I look forward to Mike's input on all of this.
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    WD did a custom pickup for me and I have no complaints. You send him a template of exactly what you want and he will cut it to spec. In your case it would be easier as you really just need a stock strat with 5 PU's. My Guild X-500's pickguard was made by him because I had P90's dropped in instead of the humbuckers that came with it.

    Warmouth is probably just as good but I never bought from them.

  10. #10
    Axe-honerated spellcaster's Avatar
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    DB's got a good point. The difficulty I had was that the outside shape was out of whack. If you send a tracing of your guard, you should be able to side-step that landmine.

    Just for fun, I had a look at a five-pickup Strat online. My concerns about it being tight between the pickups on the underside was unfounded. It's close, but nothing touches. You can see a brief view of the underside of the loaded pickguard at 11:35 of this video.

    "I know just enough to be dangerous....."

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