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View Full Version : Callaham / Fralin pickups?


jzucker
03-07-2007, 05:23 PM
I have a suhr strat with a callaham bridge and callaham / fralin pickups. The pickups have a nice, groovy vintage tone to them. Is there anything to the cryogenic treatment or is that just voodoo? I'm considering have a BPSSC installed in the guitar which would necessitate changing the middle pickup and I'm not sure whether to stick with the callaham's or switch to the Suhr V60LP pickups.

Thoughts?

stucker
03-07-2007, 05:42 PM
I'm a big fan of Fralin pickups. I have blues specials in a Grosh S, Vintage Ts in a Grosh VT and Vintage Hots in another Grosh S.

When I first got my VT it had Dimarzios and I was really anxious to install Fralins which can often be difficult to get quickly. Callaham was the only place with them in stock and they had been through the Cryogenic process.

When I recieved them I found that Callaham had re-attached the bridge pickup base plate incorrectly during their process so the pickup was useless. I called Fralin and he said the Cryogenic process voids their warranty.

Callaham told me how to re-attach the base plate but I convinced them for a refund instead but they stuck me with the shipping costs. Eventually, my dealer received new Fralins direct and they sounded super after I installed them.

I know Callaham makes great instruments but I thought you should know about my experience.

Scott

jzucker
03-07-2007, 06:14 PM
Thanks for the info Scott. Do you think the cryo process is just voodoo? Was their any diff in tone when you got the non cryo version? I can't for the life of me see what advantage the process would have . The pickups do sound great but if I can get the comparable fralin pickup for less, that would suit me. Maybe I can find someone who wants a RWRP middle pickup...

Mullet Kingdom
03-07-2007, 06:23 PM
Thanks for the info Scott. Do you think the cryo process is just voodoo? Was their any diff in tone when you got the non cryo version? I can't for the life of me see what advantage the process would have . The pickups do sound great but if I can get the comparable fralin pickup for less, that would suit me. Maybe I can find someone who wants a RWRP middle pickup...

Last I checked Callaham's treated pickups cost the same as buying them directly from Fralin; $220 per set.

The Everlove
03-21-2007, 12:15 PM
interesting... bump.

mtlin
03-21-2007, 02:22 PM
I don't think anyone really knows. Super low temperatures will induce physical changes. Whether or not those changes are audible and whether or not they are for the better would is something that we can't know without double blind tests. Probably, no one will even be able to give you anecdotal evidence. I mean, if someone has a set of Fralins in their guitar and is unhappy with the sound, what are the odds that they would replace them with cryogeniclly treated Fralins? But if you do the switch, let us know!

wolf5150
03-21-2007, 02:26 PM
Hi
Fit the suhr silent system, it is incredible.

I just had it installed in my Suhr, which is my 1st real strat,

How anyone played with the noise is beyond me.

The system DOES NOT change the tone.

jzucker
03-21-2007, 02:44 PM
Hi
Fit the suhr silent system, it is incredible.

I just had it installed in my Suhr, which is my 1st real strat,

How anyone played with the noise is beyond me.

The system DOES NOT change the tone.

You're missing the point. I already know the silent system is great. The issue is that I have to swap out the middle pickup yada-yada...

wolf5150
03-21-2007, 02:46 PM
I had to do the same thing, but it was worth it.

It is now my only live guitar instead of my spare

jimfog
03-21-2007, 03:14 PM
Jack,

I've had the Fralin underwound VH's, extensively........one set from Callaham (which I have now), one straight from Lindy.

Tough to compare, as I don't have them at the same time, or even in the same strat, to A/B.......but my 1st impression was that the Callahams are a wee bit less strident on the top end, and maybe a tad fuller in the mids. Not so much as overwinding would do......just a very subtle change.

Personally, Callaham version or no, I think Fralin's underwound Vintage Hots are far and away the best thing out there for strats. As much as I like Suhr's products, I thought his strat pickups were like throwing a damp towel over my guitar........just too dull.....ESPECIALLY the LP's.

Of course, Henderson sounds awesome with them....so, what do I know?

- Jim

The Everlove
03-21-2007, 06:03 PM
I'm assuming the underwind really brings out the "bell like" tones that strats are known for?

So, if the callaham's are already underwound, and then the cryo process INCREASES the output, what are the final readings?

EelEye
03-21-2007, 06:12 PM
Jack,

I've had the Fralin underwound VH's, extensively........one set from Callaham (which I have now), one straight from Lindy.

Tough to compare, as I don't have them at the same time, or even in the same strat, to A/B.......but my 1st impression was that the Callahams are a wee bit less strident on the top end, and maybe a tad fuller in the mids. Not so much as overwinding would do......just a very subtle change.

Personally, Callaham version or no, I think Fralin's underwound Vintage Hots are far and away the best thing out there for strats. As much as I like Suhr's products, I thought his strat pickups were like throwing a damp towel over my guitar........just too dull.....ESPECIALLY the LP's.

Of course, Henderson sounds awesome with them....so, what do I know?

- Jim


TOTALLY agree with this comment on the Suhr V60s. Extremely dark pickups with heavy mids. Wayyy too much output to get that great glassy strat sound. Fralins are the thing.

jzucker
03-21-2007, 06:43 PM
So if I save a few bucks and get the fralin vintage hot middle pickup (non RWRP) it'll be an ok match with the other 2 pickups? (Planning to have SSC installed)

Jack,

I've had the Fralin underwound VH's, extensively........one set from Callaham (which I have now), one straight from Lindy.

Tough to compare, as I don't have them at the same time, or even in the same strat, to A/B.......but my 1st impression was that the Callahams are a wee bit less strident on the top end, and maybe a tad fuller in the mids. Not so much as overwinding would do......just a very subtle change.

Personally, Callaham version or no, I think Fralin's underwound Vintage Hots are far and away the best thing out there for strats. As much as I like Suhr's products, I thought his strat pickups were like throwing a damp towel over my guitar........just too dull.....ESPECIALLY the LP's.

Of course, Henderson sounds awesome with them....so, what do I know?

- Jim

Mullet Kingdom
03-21-2007, 07:04 PM
So if I save a few bucks and get the fralin vintage hot middle pickup (non RWRP) it'll be an ok match with the other 2 pickups? (Planning to have SSC installed)

You might also consider having Lindy do a rewind on the pickup in question. Just a thought.

jimfog
03-21-2007, 08:44 PM
You might also consider having Lindy do a rewind on the pickup in question. Just a thought.

That's what I would do........pretty inexpensive, I believe.

Otherwise, I would call Fralin and see what middle pickup they recommend for the Callaham set..........probably just a non-RWRP low wound VH.....

- Jim

jimfog
03-21-2007, 08:46 PM
I'm assuming the underwind really brings out the "bell like" tones that strats are known for?


yes.....exactly....Vintage Hots already have this quality...the underwind only helps.

So, if the callaham's are already underwound, and then the cryo process INCREASES the output, what are the final readings?

The output doesn't increase.......where did you get that?

- Jim

jzucker
03-21-2007, 08:48 PM
how are they "hot" if they're underwound?

jimfog
03-21-2007, 08:56 PM
how are they "hot" if they're underwound?

Just a name, don't let it fool you......compared to most strat pickups out there, Lindy's are pretty low wound.......one's Callaham gets are just stock Vintage Hots (6k, 6k and 6.8K bridge), underwound 3-5%, which he cryos and puts a base plate on the bridge pup.

I guess "Vintage Hots" because occasionally, some vintage strat pickups were WAAY low (5K or so).....and too weak. These are "vintage" wound, but on the "hot" side of vintage.

Whatever.....simply stunning pickups.......and proof to me that real strat sound comes from lower winds.........

- Jim

jzucker
03-21-2007, 09:11 PM
Thanks for the info Jim. These are the first fralin pickups that have actually blown me away. Just gorgeous vintage tones. My only complaint is that the bridge could use a bit more omph.

jimfog
03-21-2007, 09:32 PM
Thanks for the info Jim. These are the first fralin pickups that have actually blown me away. Just gorgeous vintage tones. My only complaint is that the bridge could use a bit more omph.

I sometimes feel that way about the bridge......mostly I dig it it, as is, so long as I have it wired to it's own tone control.

I thought if I got the Suhr BPSSC thing, I would maybe buy a Fralin SP43 bridge, and just move the current bridge pup to the middle position.......something to consider, too.

-Jim

lv
03-21-2007, 09:43 PM
I have a suhr strat with a callaham bridge and callaham / fralin pickups. The pickups have a nice, groovy vintage tone to them. Is there anything to the cryogenic treatment or is that just voodoo? I'm considering have a BPSSC installed in the guitar which would necessitate changing the middle pickup and I'm not sure whether to stick with the callaham's or switch to the Suhr V60LP pickups.

Thoughts?

Hey Jack,

The V60LP's will sound very different than the Fralins...thicker, smoother, nowhere near as much brightness. The regular non LP V60 would be closer to the Fralin (glassier, less midrange). I have not tried John's V54's, but they may be ever closer.

lv
03-21-2007, 09:48 PM
As much as I like Suhr's products, I thought his strat pickups were like throwing a damp towel over my guitar........just too dull.....ESPECIALLY the LP's.

Jim, I hear the same thing in the V60LP's (had 2 guitars with them).

Have you tried Lollar Tweeds? I wonder how they would compare with the Fralin underwound Vintage Hots. I've used the regular vintage hots a lot and like them.

jimfog
03-21-2007, 10:02 PM
Hey Jack,

The V60LP's will sound very different than the Fralins...thicker, smoother, nowhere near as much brightness. The regular non LP V60 would be closer to the Fralin (glassier, less midrange). I have not tried John's V54's, but they may be ever closer.

To be 100% honest, I haven't tried the V54's, either.......was just very unhappy with both flavors of V60, so not inspired to try others.

Have you tried Lollar Tweeds? I wonder how they would compare with the Fralin underwound Vintage Hots. I've used the regular vintage hots a lot and like them.

I thought the Tweeds were a bit TOO weak, bright and thin......a bit banjo-y in my axe, while the Lollar Blackface set was too hot...the Blondes might be perfect for me.............but I'm done looking right now.

(famous last words)

-Jim

Droopy
06-06-2008, 06:34 AM
I can't seem to find the underwound fralin pups anywhere. Help?

JohnnyMac1
06-06-2008, 07:11 AM
I can't seem to find the underwound fralin pups anywhere. Help?


Just order them from Fralin if You have too

Droopy
06-07-2008, 12:28 AM
Just order them from Fralin if You have too

How long does it take to get them?

Can you recommend any other underwound single coils?

FuzzOff
06-07-2008, 07:22 AM
Fralins rock and Lindy is a class act. I have both a cryogenic BS and a 2 other plain ol' blues specials. I hear no difference at all.

If you buy those cryogenis, next thing you will telling yourself you need one of these:

http://i21.tinypic.com/2ed10yr.jpg

Clumsy Fingers
06-07-2008, 09:48 AM
To be 100% honest, I haven't tried the V54's, either.......was just very u..the Blondes might be perfect for me...
(famous last words)

-Jim


+1 in regards to the Lollar Blondes. While not perfect (what is, or even could be perfect, after all?), they're a damn fine pick up that have effectively ended my search. I much prefer them to Fralins, et al.

JimmyR
06-07-2008, 11:04 AM
Well I can't speak for the Callaham Fralins, but I like his Strat bridges! I have a partsocaster with a Callaham bridge and Fralin Vintage Hots in it and it sounds just how I think a Strat should. Great "cluck" tones, woody neck and the bridge pickup is not too weak, not too hot - just right for me. I love the baseplate. Best Strat pickups I have heard. The VH bridge is perfect for me as it still sounds like an old Strat but isn't underpowered at all. I think he nailed it with this pickup.

What with my Strat being an ash bodied guitar, this Strat is a Tele player's perfect Strat.