Can I improve my 80's mij strat's pickups?

spjoker

Member
Messages
174
I have an 80's Japannese strat that is Alder body..vintage specs body weight. Thick body with a hard shell candy red finish. Rosewood neck. I'm trying to get that clean spank and quack like Cray, Hendrix, Gilmore sound.
I like the stock pups, but they seem a little muddy and hot. I tried Fralin's Vh, Vh, Sp43...maybe clearer, but dull and lifeless with no spank. What should I consider?
 
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2,602
Well I dont think of VH Fralins as Dull and Lifeless. If there was no improvement with the swap, I think I'd look elsewhere. Perhaps the controls and wiring. Is the tone control wired to the bridge pickup? What are in it for pots? What else are you playing through, effects, and amp?
 

jamison162

Member
Messages
7,749
Yep in the subject guitar, they're the stock flat poles. Weak wind reading at only 4.38k but have ceramic bar magnets on the bottom plate over the alnico poles. Haven't checked the pot values yet, all other wiring, caps, etc. seam fine.

Only route I would think about going at this point would be Lollar Blondes with the A2's and a Special in the bridge. Or possibly Don Mare's, Fralin Real 54's.
 

spjoker

Member
Messages
174
Lollar tweeds-4.8k-5.35k
Lollar blondes-5.66-6k
Fender orginal 57'/62-5.6k set
Texas specials Bridge-7.6k /middle-6.5k/ Neck-6.2k
Would low output be the way to go...since the guitar projects or high output?
 

fender23

Member
Messages
391
Tried Kinmans? I put "Blues" in mine, real happy with their performance. You can hear sample clips at their website.
 

Stevo57

Member
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3,571
I have an 85 MIJ 57 reissue style. It's got the mojo. I have some real low output Bill Lawrence regulars in it. They were less than $100 for the whole set.
I think they fit this strat very well. The low output really lets you wind up the amp a little more.
 

spjoker

Member
Messages
174
Yea....the guitar is real hot,by that I mean that the guitar projects alot of volume even with low output pups and has alot of mid push. I'm considering the area 58's and 61 in the bridge. I like the stock pups but they are muddy especially when fretting chords (neck,and middle positions)
I must say I like the Fralin's in other guitars, but in this guitar it didn't work well. I think it would be fair to say that me and my friends were taken by surprise that the fralins didn't take this guitar to the next level.
I believe pickups have to compliment the guitar..so just because a pickup gets great reviews doesn't mean it will fit your guitars tonal characteristics.
So what pups do you use in your Made in Japan guitars talking (80's)?
 

spjoker

Member
Messages
174
So what about the japannesse pickups with flat poles? I'm surprised they are not vintage staggered to fit the radius of the vintage neck.
 




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