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Thread: Silo Special conundrum

  1. #1

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    Silo Special conundrum

    I have a 2006 Limited Edition Silhouette Special that I'm struggling with.
    I was almost set on selling it, but it plays so well, and feels so comfy that I keep second guessing myself.
    The reason I keep thinking about selling it is the sound. It just sounds slightly too focused...too modern if that makes any sense.
    I want to get an older vintage vibe that approximates a strat without necessarily sounding exactly like one.

    If I were to swap out the singles do you think I could get the sound and feel I'm after with this lovely guitar?

    If so, any recommendations on which pickups would work well?

    Should I also change the humbucker, or the switching system?

    Basically if I can make the guitar sound like I want with a little work and love, then I'll do it.

    Thanks for your help.

    Including some pics, just because.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Silo Special conundrum-20210129_141826-jpg   Silo Special conundrum-20210129_141810-jpg   Silo Special conundrum-20210129_141752-jpg  

  2. #2

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    Im in the same boat. I wanted something a little hotter to match the Axis/HHAL output and put a Duncan 78 in the bridge and a little 59 in the neck. It is now a little too hot for what I was looking. I think my next step is to go with some Suhr ML Singles and a Thornbucker plus in the bridge. Word of advice, buy a new pick guard and build the new pickups into it as a separate guard to keep the original wiring intact. I have a feeling after trying several different combos in my Silo I will go back to the stock HSS config.
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  3. #3

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    Good call on the separate pickguard.

  4. #4

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    This has come up multiple times over the years and the consensus is that a Silo is not a Strat so don't expect it to sound like one. I have never agreed with that, but I admit that I never quite got the sound I hoped for from a Silo for the longest time... until I had a total "well, duh" moment....

    If you've ever heard Andy Timmons' "Resolution" tone, and tried to achieve it with the same pickups he uses, you will fall short. Ask me how I know I use digital gear but found a local shop that had a Mesa Lonestar and played with it until I got a very convincing tone. However, every other guitar I played through that amp with those settings sounded like garbage. It's just one of those magic combinations that work for one guitar and not others.

    The point is that while you can change pickups to compensate for some things, you may have to dig deeper into the rest of the signal chain to get optimal results and the settings that work for your other guitars may not work for the Silo. Start with a clean slate and adjust the rest of your gear to get you close to your target tones. Then you'll know what to look for if you want new pickups (brighter, fatter, etc.) or you may find that you like it better than you thought. In my case, I put the stock pickups back in and just created a new set of amp/effect models specific to the Silo and was happy. The "recommend me pickups" is a deep rabbit hole, man.

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  5. #5

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    Great insight - I've noticed that as well. I can dial in a tone using one guitar in my rig, but as soon as I swap instruments, bam, the mojo goes away.

    What's nice about using a digital effects board is that you can setup patches or even banks that are optimized for each instrument, without having to tweak a bunch of dials each time.
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  6. #6

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    If you want to keep a hum bucker in the bridge, a Lollar Imperial lo-wind could be a good one to pair up with a couple of Lollar vintage blond singles
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  7. #7

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    The stock Silhouette single coils are very similar to the old DiMarzio Blue Velvet, which are modelled after late 50's and early 60's strat pickups, 5.9 kΩ, AlNiCo 5 magnets. I wanted something a little brighter and I went with the DiMarzio Area noiseless single coils and I am very happy. They are not as bright as the AlNiCos in my MIJ strat (but they are too bright to my ears anyway).

    My suggestion is to go right to the source. Get a set of Fender single coils and put them in a Silo Special SSS pickguard. If that doesn't make you happy nothing will.
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  8. #8

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    Faced the same dilemma here, too. I play a lot of the 50s and 60s and wanted something with more spank.

    I agree with the Doctor. The DiMarzio Area pickups sound vintage-like. I use an Area 61 bridge with 275k pots and a 0.022 capacitor (I just have a bridge pickup in this baby). My other favourite set is Fender’s 57/62 from the ‘57 reissues.
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  9. #9

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    Thanks guys.
    Much to consider.

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