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Thread: Thoughts on Luke III HSS Pickups

  1. #1
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    Thoughts on Luke III HSS Pickups

    I have only tried the Luke III with double Humbuckers, never can seem to get along with single coils, unless it is the EMG's so what do the passive singles remind those who have them of and what can one expect

  2. #2
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    I'd say they are rather hot & bitey (in a good way) and full of glorious tone... but that's just me...

  3. #3
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    Bump. What sounds can you nail on the single coils? In what applications might they fall short?
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  4. #4
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    As an over of a Luke 2 with EMG's as well as two L3's, an HH and an SSH - will try to comment with the preface that YMMV.

    I find the the singles on the L3 to sound more traditional single coil than EMG's. But very quiet like the EMG's,

    One big advantage on the L3 SSH is the output balance between all three pickups can be adjusted by the internal trim pot so that all 5 positions are very close to equal.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks Mike good info we will see where this goes


    Quote Originally Posted by mikeller View Post
    As an over of a Luke 2 with EMG's as well as two L3's, an HH and an SSH - will try to comment with the preface that YMMV.

    I find the the singles on the L3 to sound more traditional single coil than EMG's. But very quiet like the EMG's,

    One big advantage on the L3 SSH is the output balance between all three pickups can be adjusted by the internal trim pot so that all 5 positions are very close to equal.

  6. #6
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    Another Bump. But then what styles do the single coils nail? And where might they fall short, at least in comparison to the HH version?
    2014 Silhouette, White hss BFR Roasted Maple Neck
    2014 Steve Morse All-Roasted Maple Neptune Blue PDN Neck on a Morse Y2D Purple Sunset Burst body (Thanks to Kestrou)
    2017 Luke III BFR Blueberry Burst
    Gold Roller PDN Rosewood Neck


  7. #7
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    I can't think of anything they would fall short on. They take high gain well and sound beautiful clean. They are very well balanced and have great clarity.
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    EBMM Majesty (Iced Crimson)
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  8. #8
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    Thanks Mike! I'm going to have two great neck humbucker guitars, if I ever go the LIII route, then I might go HSS
    2014 Silhouette, White hss BFR Roasted Maple Neck
    2014 Steve Morse All-Roasted Maple Neptune Blue PDN Neck on a Morse Y2D Purple Sunset Burst body (Thanks to Kestrou)
    2017 Luke III BFR Blueberry Burst
    Gold Roller PDN Rosewood Neck


  9. #9
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    Looks like I know what my next video is going to be! I'll be honest, I kind of regret getting the HSS over the HH, but I think that's just because I've been playing an Axis/EVH my whole life and I just like having that thicker pickup combo. I'm not really a single coil guy. I've never cared for strats that much, but I got the HSS LIII to force myself to get better at using single coils.

    After a bit of experimentation, I'd say it comes down to this. If you have your rig setup for HH, there's no way an HSS will sound as good. All of my settings work great with the Axis, so naturally it sounded really strange with the LIII HSS. Once I started messing around with the settings to accommodate single coil pickups, it started working a lot better. I'm not totally sold, but I'm getting there.

    The other thing to consider is that the Luke III has tons of output, so this will overload digital gear if you're not careful. I plugged it into my dad's 60's fender amps and the results were amazing. Especially with the dB boost. Plugging into my pod was a different story. Everything sounded really strange until I backed off a lot of the parameters. The transition bridge pickup sounds really different than anything I've ever owned before. I'm tempted to take it out and put something more familiar in, but I'm using this guitar as a learning experience and trying to move out of my comfort zone.

    I'll post something soon with sound samples.

    -Richie
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  10. #10
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    I'm actually looking forward to my Luke III with the HSS setup. I went this route because almost all of my other guitars are HH setup. I've been using the transition humbuckers on one of my other guitars since they were released. They really are a fantastic pickup! The single coil setup will give me a few more options that sound different from what I currently have.
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  11. #11
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    L III pickup output

    Quote Originally Posted by Richiesos View Post
    Looks like I know what my next video is going to be! I'll be honest, I kind of regret getting the HSS over the HH, but I think that's just because I've been playing an Axis/EVH my whole life and I just like having that thicker pickup combo. I'm not really a single coil guy. I've never cared for strats that much, but I got the HSS LIII to force myself to get better at using single coils.

    After a bit of experimentation, I'd say it comes down to this. If you have your rig setup for HH, there's no way an HSS will sound as good. All of my settings work great with the Axis, so naturally it sounded really strange with the LIII HSS. Once I started messing around with the settings to accommodate single coil pickups, it started working a lot better. I'm not totally sold, but I'm getting there.

    The other thing to consider is that the Luke III has tons of output, so this will overload digital gear if you're not careful. I plugged it into my dad's 60's fender amps and the results were amazing. Especially with the dB boost. Plugging into my pod was a different story. Everything sounded really strange until I backed off a lot of the parameters. The transition bridge pickup sounds really different than anything I've ever owned before. I'm tempted to take it out and put something more familiar in, but I'm using this guitar as a learning experience and trying to move out of my comfort zone.

    I'll post something soon with sound samples.

    -Richie
    Great info!
    I just bought a used LIII in extremely good condition. I love the HH configuration and the sound of the Transitions, but I am having some serious issues with levels of the different positions.
    Position 2 and 4 are VERY louder than position 1, 3 and 5.
    What could cause this and can it be changed?
    It means that it is virtually impossible to use for example the bridge position (5) and the next (4) in the same song.

    For information, I use a Line6 Helix and also had some difficulties getting that to sound good, but that's another story.

  12. #12
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    You need to adjust the trim pot in the control cavity. The Electronics in the Luke III are active, and have a compensating boost on positions 2 and 4 because they are split positions, so they do not have as much natural output. To get rid of the volume drop, there is a boost in those positions.

    It sounds like the previous owner bumped up the boost too much, so you just need to adjust it back down. There is also a control back there to adjust the boost on the push-push switch on the volume or tone switch.
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  13. #13
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    You can get a great vintage single coil tone just by rolling the volume pot down.

  14. #14
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    In my experience, singles on the L3 are fatter and punchier than regular singles, but you can still get decent vintage vibe tones. If you ask me they are best of both worlds, and they can take lots of gain with ease.

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