SDS-1 review

SDS-1 review

Postby James-T » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:19 am

I'm really digging the SDS-1 in my strat. I've got it in the middle with an Area 58 in the neck and a Lil 57 (basically a PAF) in the bridge. Its just a great tone. Less high end than the Area 58 and way less than the Lil 57 but I've got a treble cut off so I can just roll the treble full with the SDS on and bypass the treble pot all together. My tech suggested giving it its own volume pot, so the third pot is a second dedicated volume pot for the middle PU, but as a surprise to me its pretty well balanced with the other two PU's. Sounds a bit like an early version of the Wolf.

I've put a 10dp clean boost at the front of my chain to mimic a stratoblaster. Seems to do the rick nicely.

Anyone else using an SDS-1 in the middle position? Curious to what folks have experimented with on their Stratocasters? Creative experiments.
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Re: SDS-1 review

Postby jenkins » Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:32 pm

I have an SDS-1 in the middle position on my lesbo a double Cut, and I couldn't possibly be happier with it. I had the LP rewired Jerry style with a 5-way selector.
The sds-1 nails Garcia's 77-78 tone, particularly wolf 2.0 which had SDS-1's in it most of the time. I went w the SDS-1 due to lack of room to route a space for a super 2 so my tech suggested the SDS-1 & i love this pup.

Next guitar I get is going to be based off the wiring of wolf 2.0 with 3 SDS-1's & a blaster.

Right now i have a ugb installed in my axe and i run it into a CAE line driver/booster set at like 7-10 db boost depending on how hard I want to push my preamp. great setup but I want the blaster in my guitar with a knob to adjust my gain.

SDS-1's are awesome pups imho.
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Re: SDS-1 review

Postby Searing75 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:44 pm

Sorry. Have to say it...............D. Allen voodoo 69's!!! You will be shocked at how much better they sound than the dimarzios.
All's well that sounds well.
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Re: SDS-1 review

Postby James-T » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:21 pm

Damn, I submit to peer pressure way to easily. I've got a Dan Smith strat, great pick-ups but I just cant help think those D Allens would be just a little be sweeter!

I also have this PRS project guitar, a Torero a got in a trade. I've swapped out the pups, and the floyd rose (with a Schaller vintage trem) and it just kills with a Super 2 and Dual Sound, but same problem as your lesbo, too tight for a middle super 2 and I'm think an SDS-1 would just kill in that guitar!

Too many projects not eough $.

Keep the thoughts coming.....

Peace, :smile:

James
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Re: SDS-1 review

Postby Jon S. » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:31 am

James-T wrote:Damn, I submit to peer pressure way to easily. I've got a Dan Smith strat, great pick-ups but I just cant help think those D Allens would be just a little be sweeter! ...

Peace, :smile:

James

I have this joke I've been working on for my in-progress musician stand-up routine. It goes like this ...

What's the difference between a Deadhead audience and a Deadhead guitar player?

The Deadhead audience says, "You sound just like Jerry!" The Deadhead guitar player says, "You sound nothing like Jerry."

:lol:
Last edited by Jon S. on Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: SDS-1 review

Postby Marlow » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:33 am

Any chance of posting a little clip? Doesn't have to be fancy.
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Re: SDS-1 review

Postby TI4-1009 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:31 am

Interesting. I think we discussed this a lot in that thread about splitting a Super 2 into a single coil. If you look at the Dimarzio tone guides for each pickup, the Super 2 is skewed toward treble 8/6/4, and the SDS is skewed more toward the bass 5.5/6/7. Both are ceramic magnet, and both are Dimarzio, but they shouldn't sound the same.
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Re: SDS-1 review

Postby Marlow » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:04 pm

TI4-1009 wrote:Interesting. I think we discussed this a lot in that thread about splitting a Super 2 into a single coil. If you look at the Dimarzio tone guides for each pickup, the Super 2 is skewed toward treble 8/6/4, and the SDS is skewed more toward the bass 5.5/6/7. Both are ceramic magnet, and both are Dimarzio, but they shouldn't sound the same.

This was my experience, but it was with a really old sds-1, maybe a '78. But total mud in the neck position. I'm hoping it was a dud, or maybe the design has changed.
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Re: SDS-1 review

Postby James-T » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:34 pm

Total mud in the neck position
- interesting. Its definitely a "mids-centric" PU. Nothing like the super 2. It just gets you a different sound, which is perhaps why the 78 Wolf sounds nothing like the 80's Tiger. I wonder why Jerry liked it in the neck? I'm not sure I'd like it there.

If you think about it conceptually, the big break through with Dimarzio in the beginning was the Super Distortion, which is mid centric and the SDS-1 I believe is meant to be a super distortion type strat replacement pick-up. The Super Distortion and the Dual Sound are the same pick-up, but unlike the Super Distortion, the Dual Sound can be split.

What I like about it in my strat is I just turn the treble to 10 and by-pass the pot altogether. I get lots of high end, not piercing like the Super 2 or even the Area 58 it replaced, but with a twin with the bright switch on and treble cranked and bass down low it gets you a cool jerry tone. I actually get more high end out of the Area 58 in the neck than the SDS-1 in the middle, but the SDS-1 is smoother, and less "stratocaster" like than the SDS-1, and the SDS-1 transforms the Strat into more of a wolf type guitar. It makes for some great versatility.

I talked with one of the senior guys at Dimarzio about the SDS-1 when researching the Wolf 77/78 PU configuration. He swore that a 78 SDS-1 would sound identical to an off the shelf SDS-1 today because ceramic magnets hold their charge so well. He said the only difference is that the SDS-1 is better made today compared to yesteryear. I'm not going to call BS on the guy, he said he'd been with Dimarzio since pretty much the beginning, but I also wonder if some were duds and others more lively. Who knows?

Peace,

James :smile:
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Re: SDS-1 review

Postby Jon S. » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:24 pm

James-T wrote:What I like about it in my strat is I just turn the treble to 10 and by-pass the pot altogether.

That's accurate only with a no-load pot. If you already have one, skip the rest of this post! If not, here's a video on converting yours to one:



Or you could buy one and replace your current pot with it:

http://www.guitarelectronics.com/product/CPFNL11/Fender-No-Load-Guitar-Tone-Pot-Split-Shaft.html
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Re: SDS-1 review

Postby Marlow » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:42 pm

I'll have to throw it into a mid position and see what happens. I'm not even sure what I have is an SDS-1. It has the massive black bar on the bottom, and the guy I bought it from, the original owner, said it was an SDS, but there's no marks on it of any kind, and slotted slugs rather than hex. But it sure doesn't sound Jerry-esque to my ears.

Edit: the pickup is definitely a SDS-1. I misremembered that it does in fact have hex screws, plus the white tape and white blob on the magnet. It measures 8.88K, as opposed to 9.39K on my new SDS-1. Maybe that accounts for the mud in the neck position.
Last edited by Marlow on Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SDS-1 review

Postby waldo041 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:11 pm

Just a note, wolf, tiger, rosebud and the cripes all had a similar pickup placement and spacing. Wolf's neck pickup was just a little closer to the middle then the rest and would account for less mud then someone who is using a stock strat spacing. Even with the same pickup, having the antinodes & nodes incorrect will render different results. As a guitarist you should hear those differences, deadhead or not.

~waldo
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Re: SDS-1 review

Postby Marlow » Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:25 pm

waldo041 wrote:Just a note, wolf, tiger, rosebud and the cripes all had a similar pickup placement and spacing. Wolf's neck pickup was just a little closer to the middle then the rest and would account for less mud then someone who is using a stock strat spacing. Even with the same pickup, having the antinodes & nodes incorrect will render different results. As a guitarist you should hear those differences, deadhead or not.

~waldo


Any idea how much closer?
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Re: SDS-1 review

Postby waldo041 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:09 pm

The difference between a stock strat neck pickup and a Jerry neck pickup is close to but under 1.5" ballpark. Jerry's guitars are 25.5" scale length like a strat and have 24 fret pushing all the pickups towards the bridge. Jerry's middle humbucker split to the coil neck side is about equal to a strats middle pickup position. Wolf's neck is roughly in the bottom coils spot if a humbucker were in the neck whereas in contrast, Tigers was in the middle of where a humbucker would be.

HTH.

~waldo
Last edited by waldo041 on Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SDS-1 review

Postby James-T » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:39 pm

So as requested, here's a "good enough" demo. I actually did two, but aborted the first, which I may post as well (more free form).

Basic twin reverb, simulated on my Fractal FX. I also recorded my strat on my Blues Deluxe/ JBL D120F combo amp, but the tone from the Fractal was just a bit better sounding.

Just for the record, I'm not trying to emulate any particular Jerry Tone. I do hear to my ears a bit of E72 tone with the Area 58, a bit of Wolf early 78 tone with the SDS and a bit of early 71 tone with the Lil' 59. I'd be interested to "hear" what other people hear in the tone.

Mike's got some interesting comments above. I'm not sure my ear would be good enough to pick up the tonal differences in a slightly different SDS-1 position, but I can only assume Fender has that middle location well dialled in. I did read on the Jerry website that the Wolf was a 25.5" neck scale, something that I've heard different on this forum but Mike backs that up in his comments above. I'm gonna make a guess that Erwin planted the middle single coil pick-up in the same location as Fender did. Just a guess.

Peace,

James :smile:

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