Best sounding strat pickups 2020?

pipedwho

Member
Messages
1,681
Have you tried any of the others? I have the VH in n/m and an sv5 in bridge. I really like them but they don't do that biting blues clank thing
I had a set with the legacy SV5, SV2, JuicyBucker. I also tried the SV5+ instead of the SV5. The SV5 (and the +) were really hot, and were fine for rocking out, but as you say, are a bit hot for the blues clank. The JuicyBucker was sublime for rock, and the SV2 actually worked so well in the middle position, that I hardly used the neck pickup. I either ran middle only (for neck type tones) or Juicy for lead. This is not to say that the SV5 is a bad sound, just not the sound I usually use. I did lend the guitar to friend and he loved that SV5 - he now has the SV5/SV2/SV5+ in his guitar and it works so much better for him than my underwounds.

The Z-series Underwound set is much more vintage sounding by comparison. After comparing in the same guitar, it is obvious that Scott from Zexcoil really likes that hotter tone, and the legacy SV5 is considerably hotter than the newer Z-series vintage sets. The Underwound set is my sound. But, damn, that JuicyBucker is sublime for rock or bridge rhythm.
 

Paul Conway

Member
Messages
6,167
I had a set with the legacy SV5, SV2, JuicyBucker. I also tried the SV5+ instead of the SV5. The SV5 (and the +) were really hot, and were fine for rocking out, but as you say, are a bit hot for the blues clank. The JuicyBucker was sublime for rock, and the SV2 actually worked so well in the middle position, that I hardly used the neck pickup. I either ran middle only (for neck type tones) or Juicy for lead. This is not to say that the SV5 is a bad sound, just not the sound I usually use. I did lend the guitar to friend and he loved that SV5 - he now has the SV5/SV2/SV5+ in his guitar and it works so much better for him than my underwounds.

The Z-series Underwound set is much more vintage sounding by comparison. After comparing in the same guitar, it is obvious that Scott from Zexcoil really likes that hotter tone, and the legacy SV5 is considerably hotter than the newer Z-series vintage sets. The Underwound set is my sound. But, damn, that JuicyBucker is sublime for rock or bridge rhythm.
Yeah, I'm pondering on putting a V or VU in the neck.
 

SleepingSG

Senior Member
Messages
437
Fender Vintage Noiseless. Muh sustaine muh sparkle.

more like muh snake oil. Need good wiring and good magnets and then the differences in single coils start to become less and less relevant.

vintage noiseless have been selling for 2 decades for a reason. No noise, and they sound like they should.

even with EJ he’s basing his single coil voicing on when they break up with his amp settings. Aka, they’re as hot as they can be without showing up and dirtying up his twins at the settings he has his twins.

if you’re not at the point where you have set in stone amp settings because you’re a Grammy winning player perhaps pickups don’t need to be changed.
 

Paul Conway

Member
Messages
6,167
It's worth noting that the Z-Series ZV5 and ZVU5 are much lower output than the legacy SV and SVU. I prefer the lower output of the Z-series ZVU5 for true vintage output.
Funnily, in order to balance with the output of the Z-series vh's, I had to raise the bridge sv5 almost as high as it could go. And interestingly, the output level from that strat is noticeably lower than that from my telecaster with v-mods (unpleasant as those are).
 

pipedwho

Member
Messages
1,681
Funnily, in order to balance with the output of the Z-series vh's, I had to raise the bridge sv5 almost as high as it could go. And interestingly, the output level from that strat is noticeably lower than that from my telecaster with v-mods (unpleasant as those are).
Strange. The JuicyBucker in the bridge wasn't that much hotter than the SV5 in the neck. However, the ZV5U is much lower output than the SV5 in the same guitar, and the ZV5 in the bridge matches it well with normal height adjustment. The ZVH5 might be much hotter - I haven't used that one. Also I had some early SV5s that might have been hotter than the latest incarnation of the Legacy pickups. But, didn't seem out of place in the output department.

I actually felt the SV5 worked better in the bridge for my style than in the neck or middle. But, the Juicy was so good in the bridge, that I keep it there as my goto single sized bridge pickup. The ZV5U/ZV5U/ZV5 is an excellent vintage style Strat, and the output level (and tone) of that pickup is on par with my other all single coil 'vintage' strat. The SV5/SV5/Juicy was a monster by comparison.
 

Simon

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,668
I have not bought any pickups in 2020 yet but in 2019 I bought some handmade strat pickups on eBay from a maker in Croatia who goes by the name of Q Pickups or q_pickups. He had a wide variety of classic Fender type pickups that he was making and would do custom orders as well. The ones I got sound absolutely fantastic. I just looked him up on eBay though and it looks like his shop is inactive and it says the seller is away. Hopefully he will open again because his pickups are great, and inexpensive!

I see his pups on Ebay and Reverb. I have a set of his strat pups in a Zion.
I was told they are a Gilmour set? They are super stratty sounding! Really nice Pups even if they weren't super inexpensive.
 

Voodoo Soul Blues

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,258
They’re new, so the honeymoon period is still robust!
I always thought the original fender vintage noiseless were great pickups.....I have a couple sets of them.
I was listening to an old recording I did with them the other day and they sound fantastic, very stratty....everyone thinks newer is better so when newer models came out the original kind of went to the back of the line.....in reality I think they got it right the first time..........just like they did in the ‘50’s.
 

David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,405
I just got these delivered today, so for now I'm going with them even though I haven't yet heard them in my guitar. Will update.

tgqwlzl1tig2jqyj6uhq.jpg

Well I promised an update and forgot. They're incredible. Absolutely amazing pickups. Hendrix tones with just a soldering iron.

My main concern in buying them was that the guy in the video uses 12 gauge strings and tunes down a whole step. I thought maybe mine with 10-46 (now 9-42) and tuned to standard E would sound off. It doesn't. If anything, they seem to prefer the lighter strings. I went from 10-46 to 9-42 after I got them and I prefer the tone with 9s.
 

Jarick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,769
Currently using Suhr ML Standard. To me they seem like good, balanced Strat pickups there are a tiny bit hotter than average.

I also really like Tonerider for value.

Previously tried:
K-Line custom wound
Tonerider Alnico 2 Blues
Suhr V63
Suhr V60LP
Mojotone Quiet Coil
eBay handwound pickup sets
Porter 60's/S90/Broadcaster
Fender 57/62
Dimarzio Area/Chopper
Fender Hot Noiseless
Wilde L200/L298
Rose Mariposa
Fender Tex Mex
 
Messages
194
I got don mare super sports
Klein 63s
Rocketfire total 60s
Raw vintage rv-50s

Since this post i got kloppman 60s *not the 62s*, mark foley pre cbs 60s, onamac windery 64s, jm rolph 63s, slider 59s, amber 61 specials, mccon-a-wah bell tone pickups. Im trying wait for some kingtone bluebird j1 pickups but ive been on the waiting list for months and am getting impatient lol. Im looking at them ron Ellis

Id like to try kloppman 62s slider 59 and maybe the onamac windery pickups.
 




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