1963 Stratocaster - Which Replacement Pickups?

Discussion in '"Vintage" Instruments' started by fender753, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. Shelby 412

    Shelby 412 Member

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    That guitar is worth having Seymour Duncan custom wind something super top secret and somewhat expensive. Yeah I'm kinda jelly. :)
     
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  2. amstrtatnut

    amstrtatnut Member

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    I think Id be happy with the Duncans.
     
  3. treestumpexhaustpipe

    treestumpexhaustpipe Member

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    larsjm wrote
    " There is no answer to this question. Everybody likes different sounds. There is no magic in any particular boutique builder or custom shop creation. One person will love that sound, and somebody else will think it sounds terrible. The better option is to spend time actually playing. When you're a good player, you can make any pickup sound good. "


    I cannot agree more, totally correct.
    Although I must say, the problems that were solved for me especially with neck pickups and Jazz guitar pickups were phenomenal and the difference was stark and very noticeable.

    To your point quoted, true......I for example quite dislike SSL-1s while lots of people swear by them, I have about 5 of them ranging from the first ones made. Dont like them at all and they bring nothing unique for me. For Gilmour I use a 70s FS-1, which is what he used on The Wall recordings anyway. As I can remember he switched to SSL-1 during the tours. FS-1, one of my all time favorite bridge pickups. For that, it cant be beat as far as I am concerned and it is way different sounding than an ssl-1 or an authentic strat pickup.

    If you really want something authentic, save up and buy originals from the time period, as the advice were given in this thread. It is a good investment anyway. But there is no guarantee it will sound better than pickups from a good current manufacturer. depends wildly on whether you are a player, collector, vintage afficiando etc.

    I am a player, and for me it has to feel and sound right. The last 10% of the sound is where it all happens, and for me there is a huge difference especially when the ear of the manufacturer is involved if you have a custom pickup made. Point in case, I have a few collectors guitars. 100% original. Problem is, I never play them as they dont sound the way I want. I always drift towards my beater vintage strats than to the all original vintage ones. Collecting is not for me and I will sell them eventually and buy 3 more beaters in their place. I am a player that love vintage guitars, but if a part doesnt work, it gets changed. We are all different and all have valid takes on this. This is just my take. I mention it, as my advice is useless if you do not intend to play the instrument intensively and my advice need be ignored if you have different justifications to a vintage instrument than my take. In the end, all pickups sounds the same if you are tonedeaf or cant really play.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
  4. bluejaybill

    bluejaybill Supporting Member

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    You mean someone like Leo Fender?

    Just because someone can play doesn't meant they can wind pickups, and vice versa.

    Having said that, this pickup sounds fine!
     
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  5. treestumpexhaustpipe

    treestumpexhaustpipe Member

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    Leo basically entirely relied on musicians senses to design his instruments and even trademark names. He was no fool, and cleverly used others to stand in for his deficiencies if he encountered them. Since he was the first with that particular design , whatever he did became the reference whether good or bad. Very difficult to bring the original inventor in as an example wrt this argument.

    If you want to spend money on a person to design you a car when you know the designer never could manage to even drive a car that is your choice, but it makes no sense to me to put down a cent on that venture.

    However,
    If the person happens to be the first person to design a car, I am all ears and I will buy into that as you cannot expect him to drive something that isnt invented yet. That was Leos position. The telecaster and stratocaster clearly qualifies as something completely different from what came before them.

    I think you must agree it is two way different scenarios. Invention should not be confused with Copying an existing design.

    Current Strat pickup manufacturers are trying to recreate an invention at its different stages, and for that you need to be able to "Drive the car" else it is just a copy, that may or may not be any good. An inventor of new technology do not necessarily need to be able to "Drive the car". He or she invents.

    That is my opinion, and at least the argument carries merit, but you are all entitled to your own opinions. No sweat.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  6. bluejaybill

    bluejaybill Supporting Member

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    I have heard some fine pickup winders who couldn't play very well, I'm sure that for them, and even for some who do play well, it is analogous to what Leo did, which was listen closely to those who did play the instruments well, and adapt accordingly. And of course that was something Leo did exceptionally well. Just reacting to what to me was a blanket statement, and off course you are entitled to your opinion.
     
  7. Stratoman1985

    Stratoman1985 Member

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    I have a 1991 USA strat that has been with me for years. When I was younger I experimented with like a dozen different pickup sets including kinman, duncan, dimarzio, bill Lawrence, etc. My best luck and now permanent set was the Lindy fralin vintage spec strat ones. They have a glorious grand piano thing going on. Very rich and clear and articulate. No ice pick. If i had a 60s strat and had to have replacement pickups, that's what I'd do. This is coming from a strat guy of many years and a tone snob cork sniffer.
     
  8. homerayvaughan

    homerayvaughan Supporting Member

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    Depending on your budget, I'd look into an original set. I just got a refin '61 and the pickups are "it" for me. I've not played anything better. Get a good set for now as mentioned previously, but I'd source an original set at some point. I am a strong believer that the tone from an old strat anyway is a combination of the old wood, pickups and hardware. And the feel of the neck can't be beat.
     
  9. fender753

    fender753 Member

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    Thank you all for the replies and advice. I reached out the JM Rolph as many suggested and he is going to try to work some magic and wind up a set of '63 replica pickups. He has a bit of a wait list so I'll update when they arrive and I get them setup! Maybe someday I will find an original set for a price I can afford but I am hopeful that these will do the trick for a bit.
     
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  10. bluejaybill

    bluejaybill Supporting Member

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    I've never had the opportunity to try his pickups but I had a great (lengthy!) chat with him one day, he certainly knows his stuff!
     
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  11. Anje

    Anje Supporting Member

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    Jim Rolph does fantastic work and knows those old guitars into details, I'm sure he'll make you great pickups and I would go to him without hesitation for an old strat.
     
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  12. John Hurtt

    John Hurtt Silver Supporting Member

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    Since you had originally said the pickups you currently have in the guitar are great...I'll be curious to see how they compare to the expensive Rolph's you have put on order.
     

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