Re: Quick review of Fralin Steel-Poled 42 pickups for Strat/ACME Tone Shaper
- From: "RichL" <rpleavitt@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2010 06:24:09 -0400
"Tony Done" <tonydone@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message news:GsYqn.15177$pv.3699@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
"RichL" <rpleavitt@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message news:Td-dnVLj8ZEnfzbWnZ2dnUVZ_vKdnZ2d@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxI mentioned a while back that I was getting these. They arrived in the mail yesterday, and I installed them in my Highway One Strat today.
What they are: The Fralin Steel-Poled 42s are Strat-style pickups with adjustable pole pieces. 42 refers to the gauge of wire used in the pickups (they also make 43s which are higher resistance). Because of the pole pieces, they're supposed to have a P90-like character (the 43s much more so than the 42s).
The ACME tone shaper is a pre-made assembly of circuit boards and a whole bunch of dip switches, mounted on a Strat pickguard and made to hold Strat-style pickups. I had ACME mount the Fralin pickups in the tone shaper assembly. All I had to do was snip the ground and jack wires from the existing pickguard assembly and slip the wires into spring-loaded clips on the tone shaper, mount the new pickup onto the guitar, and put the strings back on. It took about 25 minutes all told.
I set the switches to (a) select a 0.033 uf tone cap; (b) engage the volume kit (treble bleed cap + resistor), (c) select an option that allows me to use the second tone control (the one nearest the jack) as a "blend" control. With this, I can blend the neck pickup in with bridge or middle or both, or blend the bridge pickup with neck or middle or both.
What I recorded: Before I swapped the pickups, I recorded a set of brief clips, starting with the bridge pickup and working my way up the 5-position pickup switch. Then after I installed the new assembly, I recorded another set of clips (similar to the first set). Finally, I recorded some stuff using the blend, first gradually blending bridge pickup into neck pickup, arriving at something that sounds like a Tele on the middle position; then I blended the neck pickup into bridge + middle, winding up at the end with all three pickups engaged.
So here we go. Starting with the bridge position, first the old pickup, then the new. Then bridge + middle, first old, then new. Repeat all the way up to neck pickup by itself, first old, then new. Finally the two blending clips described above.
I'm a big fan of that bridge pickup, but yeah, it's not very "Stratty". The middle by itself and the middle + neck sound "Stratty" to me but with a little more beef to them. Neck alone is less "Stratty". Overall, I like very much! Next time I re-string, I'll swap that blend option for another option which allows neck + middle or bridge + middle in series (in addition to the usual parallel).
Note: I did *not* adjust pickup heights or fiddle with the individual pole pieces yet. This is right out of the box.
Tony D. may be interested in this.
Sure am, and like the difference I hear. It sounds like a strat/P90/strat difference as far as I can tell; the Lollar Chicago has a similar property but has the disadvantage of not being a standard size. But the clean sounds would interest me more?
OK, I'll try to record some strictly clean stuff tonight. Obviously, I won't be able to do the before/after comparison.
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