HH vs. HSS

#1
Hello. Yesterday I went to the main city of Macedonia and I tried a lot of guitars, from Fender Telecaster to Parker...
So, I fell in love with two beautiful Ibanez guitars.
The Ibanez SAS32EX - with two coil taps and HH pickup configurations... very sexy guitar in live!


and, The Ibanez SAS36FM with one coil tap and HSS pickup configuration... I haven't tried it before, but it looks amazing, and I can order it.


So, what pickup configuration is better, for a nice clean and distorted sound?! the HH, or the HSS!?
 

Issor

Well-Known Member
#2
I've always been partial to HH or just one bridge humbucker configurations. I've never gotten in to single coils personally. I think if you've got the coil tap that should be good enough regardless, and the first guitar is miles better looking than the second one.

Seriously, I've never seen that first Ibanez, that's just stunning. How did it play?
 
#3
It's down to personal taste and versatillity amigo :)

Both guitars have a mahogany body + maple neck.

Ibanez SAS32EX
IBZ True-Duo Bucker (H) in both Bridge and Neck.

Ibanez SAS36FM
IBZ AHS1 (S) Neck Pickup
IBZ AHS2 (S) Middle Pickup
IBZ True-Duo Bucker (H) Bridge Pickup


They also both have the True-Duo System to get a wide range of tones:





So, the bridge humbucker is going to sound almost exactly the same in both guitars - I haven't used the True-Duo Bucker but apparently it does quite hot distorted tones, and smooth clean tones as the SA's have a set neck with a Mahogany body.

The neck humbucker is going to provide a warmer, fatter tone and gives you a wonderful clean Jazz tone all the way up to the typical neck pickup solo sounds that a lot of players really enjoy. Given you can ALSO coil tap that Humbucker to get the strat neck tones (well, pretty close) then in sheer versatility the SA32EX gives the widest range of tones when you consider the neck and bridge pickups alone.

Looking at the switching options the big question is "do you use the middle pickup?"

If you do, get the 36. If you don't, get the 32 .
 
#4
Issor said:
I've always been partial to HH or just one bridge humbucker configurations. I've never gotten in to single coils personally. I think if you've got the coil tap that should be good enough regardless, and the first guitar is miles better looking than the second one.

Seriously, I've never seen that first Ibanez, that's just stunning. How did it play?
I also like H H configurations. As we've both said - with the coil taps the first guitar gives the widest range of tones without looking at the middle pickup. Ok, you can switch in the Middle+neck to get SIMILAR tones on the second guitar but it's not something I would use for sure :)
 

sted

Darth Sted
Staff member
#5
Neck humbuckers are a bit of a handful and can get unruly, my choice would be for bridge hum and then single coils, best of both worlds in my opinion (ML1 anyone?).
I know opinions are like arses (Everybody has one) but seriously, both these guitars are hideous to my eyes, the binding looks like it was inspired by christmas tree decorations.

Guess i just hate ibanez, wheres that hate thread......
 
#6
ShadyDave said:
It's down to personal taste and versatillity amigo :)

Both guitars have a mahogany body + maple neck.

Ibanez SAS32EX
IBZ True-Duo Bucker (H) in both Bridge and Neck.

Ibanez SAS36FM
IBZ AHS1 (S) Neck Pickup
IBZ AHS2 (S) Middle Pickup
IBZ True-Duo Bucker (H) Bridge Pickup


They also both have the True-Duo System to get a wide range of tones:





So, the bridge humbucker is going to sound almost exactly the same in both guitars - I haven't used the True-Duo Bucker but apparently it does quite hot distorted tones, and smooth clean tones as the SA's have a set neck with a Mahogany body.

The neck humbucker is going to provide a warmer, fatter tone and gives you a wonderful clean Jazz tone all the way up to the typical neck pickup solo sounds that a lot of players really enjoy. Given you can ALSO coil tap that Humbucker to get the strat neck tones (well, pretty close) then in sheer versatility the SA32EX gives the widest range of tones when you consider the neck and bridge pickups alone.

Looking at the switching options the big question is "do you use the middle pickup?"

If you do, get the 36. If you don't, get the 32 .
No, i think I don't use it, I always use the neck, bridge pickup, or some combination but never the middle one on my strat with 5 switch...
 

oilpit

Well-Known Member
#8
I think having 652340928304170 "tones" out of one guitar is one of the more overrated and lame things ever...
I also think that single coils not on Strats or Teles are really lame sounding

Go for the HH, with taps thats ALLLL the tone you need
 

Fuzzy Picklez

Rust is the perfect brake.
#9
oilpit said:
I think having 652340928304170 "tones" out of one guitar is one of the more overrated and lame things ever...
I also think that single coils not on Strats or Teles are really lame sounding

Go for the HH, with taps thats ALLLL the tone you need
Well I am going to have to disagree with you on some parts here.
I don't think either of these guitars or configurations are overkill in terms of versatility. There is really nothing wrong with wanting some flexibility in your tone. Most people like something with some options. It really could be a lot worse. Unfortunately not all of us are rich enough to have a lot of guitars. So if you are going to be buying one nice guitar, you want to be able to do everything you want.

And some people really enjoy having the option of a middle pickup on a guitar. I find you can get really interesting sounds from mixing the neck and middle pickups. The HH guitar won't be able to do that will it?
 

damir puh

Active Member
#10
You already have a strat, so the HH config (that you can coil tap) is better decision imo. However, I do prefer the looks of the 36, it's more classy I think. This is probably the chance to say I'm not a big fan of the S series, did you checked some RGs? :D
 

Ernesto

Does not have the same opinion!
#11
The biggest decision is the basic type of guitar, after that, you can play almost everything with almost any guitar.
All guitars that I bought or equipped for maximum versatility are not so versatile after all...
My utmost versatile guitar however is my US Std strat. It can really play everything and sound great. Second place is for my Blade and my Epi. If you're into heavier music styles and want versatility in a really high quality guitar, get a Blade. If you're not only into heavy music styles, get a strat.
 
#12
Yeah, I already have a strat, so I want to change a little. I said that I don't need the middle pickup, but now, I realized that my father always use the middle pickup... can I get a middle pickup sound on the SAS32 like a strat?
 

Ernesto

Does not have the same opinion!
#13
No you can't. If you put a strat pickup in the Ibanez, it will not sound like a strat.
The mddle pickup on a strat is mostly used for the inbetween sounds, position 2-4.
Robert Cray uses the middle pickup a lot, it has a very distinct sound.
If you have a strat, you don't need the middle pickup on the Ibanez.
Because you've already got a strat, maybe your next guitar should be something more like a les paul style guitar, then you have all rock sounds just about covered and you learn how to play short scale guitars too.
An Ibanez S series is not a Les Paul in terms of character, it is closer to an SG, but then an SG has much more tone.
If it's the superstrat sounds you're looking for, maybe you could just get yourself another pickguard with other pickups?
If you're going to get an Ibanez S series, test it before accepting the guitar, especially test the sustain (the S series tend to be self-dampening, especially on certain notes) and whether it has a balanced sound (a lot of S series guitars have a dip in the frequency range somewhere).
 
#14
Ernesto said:
No you can't. If you put a strat pickup in the Ibanez, it will not sound like a strat.
The mddle pickup on a strat is mostly used for the inbetween sounds, position 2-4.
Robert Cray uses the middle pickup a lot, it has a very distinct sound.
If you have a strat, you don't need the middle pickup on the Ibanez.
Because you've already got a strat, maybe your next guitar should be something more like a les paul style guitar, then you have all rock sounds just about covered and you learn how to play short scale guitars too.
An Ibanez S series is not a Les Paul in terms of character, it is closer to an SG, but then an SG has much more tone.
If it's the superstrat sounds you're looking for, maybe you could just get yourself another pickguard with other pickups?
If you're going to get an Ibanez S series, test it before accepting the guitar, especially test the sustain (the S series tend to be self-dampening, especially on certain notes) and whether it has a balanced sound (a lot of S series guitars have a dip in the frequency range somewhere).
Well, these aren't S guitars, they are SA, not that slim as the S ones. And they have neck thru for more sustain...
 

Ernesto

Does not have the same opinion!
#15
filip_dinev said:
Ernesto said:
No you can't. If you put a strat pickup in the Ibanez, it will not sound like a strat.
The mddle pickup on a strat is mostly used for the inbetween sounds, position 2-4.
Robert Cray uses the middle pickup a lot, it has a very distinct sound.
If you have a strat, you don't need the middle pickup on the Ibanez.
Because you've already got a strat, maybe your next guitar should be something more like a les paul style guitar, then you have all rock sounds just about covered and you learn how to play short scale guitars too.
An Ibanez S series is not a Les Paul in terms of character, it is closer to an SG, but then an SG has much more tone.
If it's the superstrat sounds you're looking for, maybe you could just get yourself another pickguard with other pickups?
If you're going to get an Ibanez S series, test it before accepting the guitar, especially test the sustain (the S series tend to be self-dampening, especially on certain notes) and whether it has a balanced sound (a lot of S series guitars have a dip in the frequency range somewhere).
Well, these aren't S guitars, they are SA, not that slim as the S ones. And they have neck thru for more sustain...
The SAS series have the glued-on SAS neck, which is a bit thicker than the wizzard neck, but the same 3-piece design, and the SAS guitars have about the same body thickness as the S, but without the arched bottom, therefore the sides are thicker than the S's, but the "toneblock" part is equally thin.. Neck-through guitars by Ibanez are rare, the RGT for instance has a neck through.
 

shreditpenfold

Well-Known Member
#16
i played the white one at my local store... tbh i personally think that it was the worst guitar i have ever played, even my friend(an ibanez lover) agreed. the neck was really sticky and the tone wasnt really very good. but it could just be the one we played :confused:
 

ThomasIV

sun's out, puns out
#20
filip_dinev said:
One more question, can you make a good distortion sound with the HSS pickup configuration? With the humbucker?
Uh, yeah. People have been sounding great distorted with just about every pickup combination ever made. Humbuckers, in addition to cancelling 60-cycle hum, are generally more powerful than single-coils, so they tend to do well for distortion. However, I tend to prefer a single-coil in the neck position for cranking it up - single-coils tend not to get as muddy. An overdriven neck single-coil lead tone is one of the sweetest sounds a guitar can make IMO. But then again, you've got a Strat for that. I think either will make a good guitar - the HH-style will be the most different from your Strat if that's what you're looking for. I think the HSS would absolutely be the way to go if it was your only guitar.
 
Top