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The HS-3™ has been the weapon of choice for Strat®-powered classical metal since the early 1980s. Far from being a high-output monster, the HS-3™ is actually a smooth and relatively quiet pickup that produces a sweet overdrive tone without jagged edges. These qualities combine perfectly with a heavily distorted amp, because the sound won’t get muddy or messy. The HS-3™ is also versatile — it’s a noise-free pickup in a live situation or in the studio.
The HS-3™ works very well with high-gain amps, but the classic setup is with an overdrive pedal and a Marshall® amp. The pedal boosts sustain and distortion, and the sound cleans up dramatically when the pedal is switched off. Works well in all 3 positions on a Strat® for a slightly warmer-than-usual Strat® sound. Also works well as a bridge pickup with HS-4™ (neck) and HS-2™ (middle). Combines in middle and neck positions with bridge humbuckers like PAF Pro®, PAF®, Air Classic™, and Norton®.