Humbuckers have been paired with a 500k volume pot and a 500k tone pot, so using 250k pots would make them sound darker than you might want or expect. Some folks like to use a 500k volume pot with an HSS set up because you can use a 500k resistor to make that pot mimic a 250k pot when the single coils are in use.
All the same, are HSS Strats good?
Bottomline: if you need more “tone for the buck”, the HSS is a good instrument. It is definitely more strat (single coil) than a humbucker guitar, but it can be made to sound pretty close through amps and pedals.
Still and all, how can I make my Stratocaster sound better? Here are 25 ways to make your Fender Strat play and sound better than ever before....25 ways to upgrade your Fender Stratocaster
Tighten up your neck. ...
Block the tremolo. ...
And consider steel trem blocks. ...
Clean up your neck pocket. ...
Add a bridge pickup tone control. ...
Swap out your saddles.
Basically, what does HSS Stratocaster mean?
Can you mix 250k and 500k pots?
Mixing 500k and 250k ohm potentiometers can be helpful if you want to brighten your single coils or humbuckers but don't want to commit to higher values for both pots. Experimentation is critical because you may find that specific configuration slightly alters the behavior of the controls in small but essential ways.
The rule used to be “use 250k potentiometers with single-coils and 500k pots with humbuckers.” But let's play with that notion a bit. ... If your single-coil pickups seem dull and lackluster, try stepping up to 500k pots. (Or try “no load” pots, available from Fender and other manufacturers.
If a MIM strat's body and neck are constructed properly, then they are nothing less than a foundation for what is possible. The same applies to a MIA strat, but the cost of entry is so much lower with the MIM piece that it makes sense to spend less up front.
The HSS Stratocaster is very similar to the SSS version, with the exception of a Fender humbucker replacing the single-coil bridge pickup. ... This makes the HSS Strat better suited to metal and hard rock, but don't go thinking you'll get deep, dark extreme metal tones out of it.
Single-coil pickups tend to have brighter, crisper tone. Comparitively, humbuckers typically have what guitarists describe as a “thicker” sound; one that is perceived as rounder and warmer. ... Conversely, humbuckers tend to be more popular with jazz, heavy rock and metal players.
Duncan gave Jimi Hendrix a bag of early 1960s Strat pickups that he had rewound. Jimi's guitar tech, Roger Mayer, installed the custom-wound pickups in Jimi's famous white Stratocaster that very night. Jimi was so impressed with the pickups, he had Seymour carry the guitar up to the stage.
Is a Mexican Strat as good as an American one? Nope. It doesn't sound as good or play as well. However, for the price, it's an exceptional instrument, and much better than most other guitars in its price range.
Because single coils also sound great – and they sound different. Single coils tend to be brighter and crisper, with greater note definition between strings, while humbuckers are often louder, darker, and heavier. Most (but not all) Fender® guitars use single-coil pickups.
Kirk Hammett used an HSS Strat at a point, he even has an EMG signature HSS set. Andy Timmons uses HSS Strats. Those and the ones the others mentioned are a few. If you think people don't like the bridge humbucker tone on a Strat just look at EVH and many of the hair metal bands in the 80's.
When a control pot is added, part of that signal doesn't make it to the amp because some of the highs don't get past the pot. These highs go through the pot, and bleed off to ground. ... This is why 500K pots keep your sound brighter than 250K: their higher resistance won't allow as much of the signal to bleed off.
Pots for Humbuckers and Single Coils Humbucking pickups are typically paired with 500K pots and single coils are typically paired with 250K pots. Standard humbucking pickups tend to cancel out some of the higher overtones, so 500K pots are often used to prevent extra high end from bleeding off.
What is the difference between 250K & 500K pots? Either 250K or 500K pots can be used with any passive pickups however the pot values will affect tone slightly. The rule is: Using higher value pots (500K) will give the guitar a brighter sound and lower value pots (250K) will give the guitar a slightly warmer sound.