Best Kinman Stratocaster Pickups

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by clothwiring, Jun 12, 2006.

What are the best Kinman pickups?

  1. Traditional Mk-II

  2. Blues

  3. Woodstock Reg

  4. Woodstock Plus

  5. Hank Marvins FV-HMS

  6. Other

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    I've owned the MK-II no solder harness and I've owned both sets of Telecaster pickups that Kinman makes. In people's opinions, what are the best sounding Kinman stratocaster pickups being made today...and outside of the K7 switching opitions, what did you feel made the pickups better?
     
  2. DrSax

    DrSax Member

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    I'm interested in hearing opinions on this as well, as I'm still coming to terms with my new Woodstocks. Two weeks in, I'm not as impressed as I'd thought I'd be, but it's still too early to tell. One good thing I can say (great actually) is the bridge pickup blended in with the neck pup sounds terrific. But I live on the neck pickup, mainly, and these just seem to have alot of power, alot of midrange beef, but not much character. I'm still trying to find the sweet spot I guess.
     
  3. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    I've only tried the Blues set, so I'm not qualified to vote. I do really enjoy the AVn '62 in the neck and middle positions, but just recently swapped out the SCn in the bridge, 'cause I found a new (non-Kinman) pickup I like better there.

    Overall, I could use a bit more clarity from the AVn '62s that remain, but they're fat and musical, and, well, very good.

    - T
     
  4. xroads

    xroads Member

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    Timbre Wolf,
    I had the same minor complaints as you - I wanted more clarity from the Blues set. In particular, the in between positions lacked the 'quack sound'.
    Two things solved the issues:
    - adjusting the PU height and picking at the right position
    - an RC booster that adds some highs
    I never was happier with the SC sound I get now....
     
  5. leftyaxeslinger

    leftyaxeslinger Supporting Member

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    I have a blues set I really like. I could use a bit more clarity perhaps, but I have another strat that really barks, so the one with the Kinmans is my mellow strat.

    As far as the pu height - raising it gets more volume but not as much clarity, right?
     
  6. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    What value caps that you guys are running with the pickups? Chris Kinman stated at one point that using a cap other than the .022 he installs on the nosolder harness isn't the best idea.
     
  7. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    I've tweaked and experimented to extremes, and finally dialed into my comfort zone. The lack of quack doesn't bother me, because I seldom use those combos (but I do love the bridge + neck combo, in parallel). I'll bet the RC Boost sounds great with these.

    Lefty - I've found that adjusting the pickup height changes the volume and the tone: closer=brighter. I've not heard a significant change in clarity with height adjustment, though.

    - T
     
  8. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    I'll have to double-check on this. But I believe I'm using the 0.022.

    - T
     
  9. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    Any more thoughts or responses?
     
  10. that_brianm_guy

    that_brianm_guy Gold Supporting Member

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    I've got the Blues in a 57 RI, and absolutely love 'em - everything I want in a single coil, nothing I don't... that piercing top end is gone, and so is the noise.

    That's one thing to keep in mind, we're all "wine tasting" tone in this discussion, and these are noiseless pickups.

    just gotta love it.

    as for the actual tones, I think the descriptions on his website nail the blues pickups:

    "[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]less aggressive, rounder *Strat sound with softer attack in clean mode and breaks into crunch easily. Lots of Alnico detail but less bright tone, medium strong output. Also great for smooth overdrive sounds with 'clarity and TONE'"

    "
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]great for crunchy blues solos, full on distortion or clean soft, delicate passages in jazz since the attack and trebles have slightly less prominence than my Traditional or Woodstock sets. The Blues set has thicker tone so when overdriven gives creamy distortion without mud. Positions 2 and 4 sounds are acceptable in comparison to stock single coils."

    In other words, the quack ain't great, but it's not like I switch to that position and think "yuck"; however, if quack is your thing, this isn't your pickup.

    "Under heavy attack this set break into crunch easily
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]" - I'll agree with that - into a cranked brown or tweed Deluxe, you get itno early ZZ Top territory.

    /brian
    [/FONT]
     
  11. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    I had the woodstocks, and blues.
    I thought they were really cool, but had a noticeable mid push to my ears... not a "vintage" strat tone at all. I also missed the combo quack

    HJ
     
  12. woude

    woude Member

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    My main guitar has the traditional mk11 in the neck and woodstock in the middle. Both pickups sound HUGE compared to a lot of other pickups I've heard. Big low end, fat mids, round highs.

    I really like them, but they don't have the skinnyness of real single coils. I want to stress this point as some people ask about this a lot. They sound sort of similar, but kinmans sound a lot bigger, like a humbucker, but with the single coil character. I think they have the same dynamic range as normal single coils. If it's less, I don't notice it. Normal single coils give the impression that some sliders on a virtual graphic EQ are all the way down, after you've played kinmans. The kinmans just sound fuller and *perfect*. I think they are actually on par with normal single coils, they both have their strong points, but kinmans don't sound exactly like the pickups our guitarhero's use, so if you want that, buy normal singles.

    I play with a drummer and a bassplayer and we play all kinds of stuff. These pickups give me a big sound that fills the room. They're elegant enough for clean rhythm, and absolutely mindblowing for leads and distorted rhythm. I have a Seymour Duncan alnico 2 pro humbucker in the bridge and it almost feels thin and tiny compared to these kinmans.

    The traditionals sound deep, gentile and sweet. Polite almost. They sound extremely close to a lot of vintage alnico V pickups I heard. Only bigger. The woodstocks are not deep, but close to the surface. Notes jump out of your amp. Not a forgiving pickup, but really satisfying when you hit the right note at the right moment. Hendrix licks sound amazing with this pickup. Overdrive and distortion fatten up this pickup, humbucker style. I've never heard a bigger strat pickup. It's not about how 'hot' it's wound, it's about how all frequencies seem to be filled. Beautiful!
     
  13. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    Thanks woude. Sounds like I'd like the woodstocks. The problem is now that I have a 1966 Stratocaster, trying to get something close is killing me...and I'd like to have one strat that's got noiseless for "those" gigs where I need it.
     
  14. gtrnstuff

    gtrnstuff Member

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    I'm a big Kinman fan, but I know what you mean. I am therefore really pleased with the Suhr BPSSC on a parts strat with real single coils, for those times when I want the skinny, biting real thing. Very quiet. Pleasantly surprised.
     
  15. david henman

    david henman Member

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    ...i'm not qualified to vote, since the only kinmans i've heard are the traditional mk IIs on my strat plus. those pickups are utterly astounding, and absolutely the best i've heard or tried, so far.

    that said:

    1. they still don't match the single coil mojo i get from the stock pickups on my g&l legacy, which is getting the suhr backplate treatment next week.

    2. before ordering the kinmans, check out the new area 58 and 61 pickups from dimarzio. from what i've heard, kinman may have to re-think his design.

    -dh
     
  16. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    I was literally just checking out the Dimarzio 58s and 61s! :)
     
  17. evan_pollan

    evan_pollan Member

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    I have the exact same setup. Those stock Legacy single coils are excellent pickups. I do love the Traditional MkIIs, though. I gave up the true single coil "mojo" for a truly playable instrument. The noiseless Kinmans allow me to treat my Legacy as my primary instrument. I am curious how well the Suhr backplate would work, though...
     
  18. david henman

    david henman Member

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    ...i'll be posting a full report.

    i have little doubt that the system works as described, given the extremely positive feedback from other single coil aficianados.

    the problem is the cost. the system itself is expensive, but then you have to add the cost of:

    1. shielding the pickup cavity

    2. replacing the RWRP middle pickup with a non-RWRP pickup

    3. paying a tech for the work.

    ...for most folks, the backplate system will, i think, turn out to be completely cost-prohibitive. i think that is unfortunate.

    -dh
     
  19. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    I'm going to give the Dimarzio 58s and 61 a shot and see what I come up with. It'll be awhile before I report back since I have some other changes taking place with the guitar I'll be putting these pickups in. I've never been a fan of Dimarzio's...but it's mostly because of old reputation...so being the objective man that I am, I'm going to give them a shot. Problem is all my Strats sound great now. I just need 1 noiseless Stratocaster for those bad places that give me headaches hum wise.
     
  20. Liquid Sunshine

    Liquid Sunshine Member

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    What did you guys settle for height adjustments on the BLUES SET...I went with 8/64 - bass side 6/64 treble side with the last fret pressed like Fender pickups.
     

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