Anyone have lots of experience with Suhr singlecoils? (specifically MLs and V60s)

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by Drew, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Ok, so I've got an ML Standard set in my Strat (maple neck and board, alder body), and these are hands down my favorite singlecoils I've ever played - a really classic Strat sound, but hotter without sounding hotter, and a nice glassy/burnished quality to the bridge position which is a position I don't usually like but absolutely owns on this set.

    While that Strat was in for a refret, I put together a rosewood/ash Strat to hold me over (my shop rules, but has a long waiting list) and after trying a bunch of Fender singlecoils in it I settled on the EJ set. They rule... But, now that I have my older Strat with MLs back, I'm realizing that the new Strat just doesn't sound as good as the old one, for reasons that have nothing to do with its unplugged sound. The maple/alder guitar is punchier and a little more upper-midrange-y, the ash is brighter and a little more scooped, but the difference in clarity and "liveliness" between the two is, for me, noticeable, and it's not something I really hear unplugged.

    I built the second Strat with the idea of, after I got the first back, using it as a "blues" guitar for clean and moderately driven stuff, and my original as more of a hard rock/shred guitar. So, while the obvious answer here is to just buy a second set of MLs, I kinda want to keep a little more differentiation between the two. I could go for the Classics, and in fact that was my original plan, but the more I think about it I don't know if a lower output ML is the answer here. So, I've been thinking about maybe the V60s. The V60LPs with the lower resonant peak doesn't necessarily sound like the answer - they'd be fine clean, but I don't know if I want a darker, fatter singlecoil here, as I kinda like a brighter guitar into a darker amp (Mark V set for a darker, smoother sound), but I'm thinking they're about the same output as the MLs and might be a fun alternative.

    Has anyone played the v60s, and if so what were your thoughts? Bonus points if you can contrast them to the ML Standards. Thanks!
     
  2. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    ...this sounds a bit like no. :lol:
     
  3. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    I don't have any first hand experience comparing them, but I recently did a lot of research listening to clips and comparisons others had done comparing the three sets in order to choose one to pair with a Thornbucker+ in a Jackson SL1. Based on that, I would say

    V60 - Sounds like a late 50's early 60's strat pickup;
    V60LP - Similar to the V60, but a bit warmer;
    ML - Sounds like a hot, but not too hot, overwound strat pickup.

    That's just listening to others' clips, though. I may describe them differently if had played them first hand.
     
  4. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I haven't found any really good clips yet - there's a Soundcloud, I think, series of clips out there, but the recording quality leaves a bit to be desired, and the YouTube stuff I've seen is mostly "Here's my awesome new Suhr with this pickup in the neck!" rather than a dedicated comparison.

    The broad contours of what you're saying sounds about right, and is kinda why I'm thinking V60 for my ash/rosewood "blues" Strat. I'll say this, though, for the ML Standards... They may be hot for Strat pickups, but they certainly don't SOUND like an overwound pickup.The guy who did the refret on my '97 American Standard wanted to know what they were because, in his words, "those things sound exactly like a classic Strat should." Since he was running them through a very clean amp I don't know if he realized how hot they actually were. They're fucking spectacular pickups. :yesway:
     
  5. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    Try some Kleins, I love the nocaster set in my Haar tele and I'm curious to know what their strat ones are like, lots of models though.
     
  6. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, good recordings of the Suhr single coils are hard to come by.

    You might want call or email Suhr for their recommendation; they were very helpful when I contacted them.
     
  7. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Eh, I think I'm just gonna roll the dice. The ML Standards are so good I can't see the V60s being BAD, exactly, and on paper an early 60s Strat pickup should be pretty much what I had in mind for my ash Strat, anyway.
     
  8. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, they are voiced well for what you'll be doing with that Start, so you will probably like them.
     
  9. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Well, I'll definitely let you know. :yesway:

    I'm going to start off by throwing the V60s in my alder Strat to do a direct A/B of the two, and then most likely take them back out and put the V60s in my ash strat. But, if I find that I absolutely love the V60s in alder, then it's conceivably that the punchier, middier MLs could work well in ash, at which point those are going in the ash guitar and I'll see how they work (as well as possibly briefly throw in the V60s, as well - it actually might be kind of cool to do a ML/V60 comparison of them both in both alder and ash guitars, and it's not THAT much more work, if I'm going to be spending the afternoon wiring and shooting video, anyway...)
     
  10. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    That would be interesting if the pickup heights are kept the same for both sets of pickups.
     
  11. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I won't guarantee they'll be the same to, like, the micron, but yeah, whenever I do a comparison I try to keep them at least uniform to the eye.

    It's not like the V60s are radically weaker, anyway, if judged by their resistance.
     
  12. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Installed these on Sunday morning - threw them in my maple/alder Strat first to do an A/B comparison vid with the ML Standards, and then did an A/B vid with the Fender Eric Johnsons in my rosewood/ash strat.

    They're REALLY nice pickups - maybe a little more "hollow" in the mids and more classic-sounding than the punchier ML Standards, and much more open in the high end than the darker, more rounded sounding Fenders. I have to mix down and edit the two videos together, and then do some listening - for now I'm happy with the pickups where they are, but I could certainly see the ML Standards working well in rosewood/ash, and the V60s DID sound awfully good in my alder Strat - probably a more "traditional" sound, whereas the MLs make fast picked runs sound like Yngwie, to me (just slower, lol).
     
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  13. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    Good to hear.
     

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