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Thread: SA vs SF/SC

  1. #1
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    SA vs SF/SC

    I had SA's a few years back but don't remember them. What are they like vs a SF/SC?
    Current TAGs
    Bobcat w/ HC1/HC3

    Former TAGs,
    Short Drop Top Mongrel w/ H3, SC1, SC1
    Cobra (RW Neck and board) H1- / H2+
    HDTC w/ H02, SA1, SA1 and maple board
    HTC w/ HC-1 / TM2 and maple board
    Classic w/ H3, M1, M1
    Cobra (Trem) w/ PH1- / H2
    Crowdster

  2. #2
    tom is offline Supreme Commander of the Anderson Empire
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    split they are brighter, in series they are darker.

  3. #3
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    I haven't used the SAs, but I had a set of SDs which have similar characteristics to the SAs. The SDs sounded fantastic when split - nice bright spanky single coil tone. But, the hum-cancelling series mode sounded dead by comparison. Split they were so good that I hardly ever used the series mode. Unfortunately, when there were major noise problems and I had to go to series mode, the SDs not only dropped in level, but also lost their top end chime. And since I'm primarily a clean player, I really missed the chime.

    The SFs in the same guitar are a significant improvement IMO. The series mode sounds excellent, and still has the 'single coil' chime. The split mode isn't quite as chimey as the SD was, but it sounds great in the 2/4 mid/neck and mid/bridge positions. The SFs are all around a better pickup for people that like a classic single coil tone. Both the series and split modes sound great, and they quack in both modes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    674
    That is kind of how I remember them. I would never want to split a stacked single coil. If I wanted to deal with noise there are some traditional single coils pups out there that I love. Thx
    Current TAGs
    Bobcat w/ HC1/HC3

    Former TAGs,
    Short Drop Top Mongrel w/ H3, SC1, SC1
    Cobra (RW Neck and board) H1- / H2+
    HDTC w/ H02, SA1, SA1 and maple board
    HTC w/ HC-1 / TM2 and maple board
    Classic w/ H3, M1, M1
    Cobra (Trem) w/ PH1- / H2
    Crowdster

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    119
    Guys I have a related question:

    1.SAs are basically inherited SDs right? If not exactly, whats not the same?

    2.Do the TD vs TF pickups differ in the same way as SDs vs SFs?

    I have SD1-/SD1R- as neck/middle of my DTC, which combined with floyd and all-maple neck+cap should be on the bright side. But I love the split sound and always use them that way.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2006
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    Sydney, Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salmon View Post
    Guys I have a related question:

    1.SAs are basically inherited SDs right? If not exactly, whats not the same?

    2.Do the TD vs TF pickups differ in the same way as SDs vs SFs?

    I have SD1-/SD1R- as neck/middle of my DTC, which combined with floyd and all-maple neck+cap should be on the bright side. But I love the split sound and always use them that way.
    The SAs were supposed to have a tiny little bit more mids, while the SDs were a little more 'glassy'. But, they were extremely close depending on the guitar itself (ie. woods, scale, etc).

    My DT has a maple on basswood body, Floyd bridge, switcheroo and came with SD1R/SD1/H3. The SD1s sounded great split, but not so great in hum-cancelling mode. Not too bright, just perfect for that guitar - but I really needed hum-cancelling. So I replaced the SDs with SFs and am really happy with the series hum-cancelling tone of the SFs. If I didn't need hum-cancelling I wouldn't have changed anything as the SDs sounded great split.

    I'm not sure about the TDs as I've never played a T shaped Anderson. But, I suspect the goal of the *F series was to create a set of pickups with a more traditional 'fifties' feel to the tone, and were designed to have a more vintage tone as compared to TAG's more modern sounding SA/SD/TD/H/HN series pickups.

  7. #7
    tom is offline Supreme Commander of the Anderson Empire
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    ok, here's a brief history on the stacked hb evolution.

    SK's were first, and it was the era of "it must be humcancelling, and we're going to over process our signal like crazy". so they ran series or parallel usually.

    then some people came to their senses and said "hey, true single coils sound pretty great". so we made SD's thinking that they would get used split a lot. humcancelling was still available for the over processed crowd.

    then the pendulum swung a bit to the must be quiet side and a fuller huncancelling version along with a little fuller split was called for, so SA's were created. but they were a byproduct of T sized research. while we were making SD's, we worked on making TK's fatter sounding and splitable. we liked the sound of the TD so much that we used the layering we developed for the TD in the S size, and the SA series was born.

    as switcheroo wiring became less dominant in our guitars, we looked towards a bit simpler wiring scheme, still full of usable options, and with as much humcancelling as possible. we had recently switched wire types in the VA series and others so we tried it along with a radically different layering to make the SF and TF series, not intending to split them, but going for the best possible humcancelling sound.

    covers became more of a fashion statement, so SC's were born. we had to mildly reconfigure the upper bobbin size to fit in a cover, so construction was altered slightly, also to account for the extra distance the coil would actually be from the string.

  8. #8
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    Awesome post!

    Quote Originally Posted by tom View Post
    SF's were first ...
    I assume you meant something else when you typed this? SK?

    Also, for completeness, how do the SLs fit into the history?

  9. #9
    tom is offline Supreme Commander of the Anderson Empire
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    good catch, yes, SK was first, i corrected it.

    forgot about SL's, they were second and short lived.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipedwho View Post
    ...I really needed hum-cancelling. So I replaced the SDs with SFs and am really happy with the series hum-cancelling tone of the SFs. If I didn't need hum-cancelling I wouldn't have changed anything as the SDs sounded great split.
    Thanks for enlightening, I can kinda see how each series fits into the spectrum now.

    Quote Originally Posted by pipedwho View Post
    I'm not sure about the TDs as I've never played a T shaped Anderson. But, I suspect the goal of the *F series was to create a set of pickups with a more traditional 'fifties' feel to the tone, and were designed to have a more vintage tone as compared to TAG's more modern sounding SA/SD/TD/H/HN series pickups.
    I feel like traditional Tele pickups have a signature sort of wailing quality to the sound, which so far (in the T pickup line)I've only found the TDs able to reproduce, which is strange. Those are really great sounding pups.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom View Post
    ok, here's a brief history on the stacked hb evolution.
    Wow thanks guys. The mindset behind each of these era pups were really helpful insight, realized new things about what I like in different pickups too. Learning so much.

  12. #12
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    Thank you Tom. That was awesome!

  13. #13
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    My first Anderson was a Drop Top with SDs it was amazing in the neck! it could also make the quack strat sound. it was realy a nice percusive modern sounding guitar. I wanted a bit mor vintage tone and ordered a DT with SF s it was fuller sounding, and maby Adler instead og Basswood had a bit influense too! but more bass and more middle with the SF`s more vintage sounding and fatter beefier tone! i like them them alot!
    Playing Tom Anderson Drop Top, and a Hollow Short T Classic

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