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Curator: Carvin Museum of NY

Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 1118
Location: NY

PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:28 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

Thats an old pic of my 2000 American Fat Strat, but it basically looks the same so ... I reused it.

So, I finally got around to trying a Duncan Custom 5 Trembucker in this guitar. A bit of history -

It came with a Pearly (Girly Wink ) Gates bucker. It didnt take me long to find that too bright and weak for my tastes. (The Texas not-so-Specials singles are a little wimpy too - more than I was expecting - for an American Strat, not bottom of the line either). Also, this guitar is not the greatest player I own. When I got it, I think I went with color and options over trying everything they had and choosing the best playing Strat. (Not recommended.) Also, I noticed this time this uses 2 x 250K ohm tone pots, but the 1 for the HB has a large capacitor (I think) on it. I dont know if that means anything (I think it read .022 - so it might just be the right value for the HB). I dont know if their was anything attached that made it behave like a 500K ohm pot??

I swapped the PG with a Custom Trembucker (w/ceramic mag). This was hotter, but *something* about it didnt click with me. ... More of a "clank" really. But it had the heat I wanted so I stuck with it for quite a while.

Then I read about the SD Custom5 - an alnico 5 variant of their "Custom" line. Like I said I had the Custom (ceramic), and also use the Custom Custom (alnico II) in 2 guitars. None of these are what I'd call weak HBs at all.

The CC emphasizes the higher tone end, and high mids, and is "creamy". But it doesnt always suit me - I have it (keep it) for a difference.

I didnt know exactly what I didnt like about the Custom I had like I said, but it had a quite full range tone, but almost too much treble. My ears may have been influenced by the tone chart I saw, which was an emphasis in all 3 areas - low, mid, and hi. Maybe too much going on, but it was somehow still missing *something*.

On to the C5 - (finally)
Again, I may be influenced by the tone chart - since I studied all that at the SD site. It uses an alnico V magnet. Its output is somewhat like a Carvin M22T (1 of my favs). Not too high, but just right IMO. Slightly less than the Custom, but still good 'nuff for me.
I wasnt sure how this would compare to Carvin p/ups I was familiar with - if it'd be more like the M22T or C22B. To me it has the same or a hair less output than the M22T. It has a slightly mellower treble then the M22T with a bit more bass. But it has a slight classic "scoop" (the chart shows it does cut the mids) like the C22B. The M22T has more of a high mid range to it, comparitively, that sounds balanced overall.

Also, when I was comparing p/ups (I couldnt really compare the Custom and C5 via A/B, since they were in the same guitar - had to use hearing "memory"), I used this Strat and my ash Bolt. Many differences between them, so hard to say how direct of a compare it truly was. They play different, different elec components, maybe different numbers on the dials etc. I had each dialed in to where I like them - lets put it that way.

I have the super switch on my Strat wired
Neck+Mid (hum cancel)
Mid + inner HB coil (hum cancel)
Mid + full HB

Anyway, bottom line - only on day 2 of this change, but I'm liking the results so far. The between settings have a nice quack to them (always really did, maybe a chimier sound tho). I may put an SD '59 neck (4-lead), C5 pair in my PRS I recently got at some point. The Dragon IIs (bridge, anyway) arent 100% suiting me on that.
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