Fender Pickups: Fat 50's vs. '69s Please compare

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Derelict, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. Derelict

    Derelict Member

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    Could someone please compare these 2 pickups? I am looking for a nice stratty sound but with a bigger bass response. How does each sound clean? Overdriven?

    thanks,
    adam :cool:
     
  2. Rhomco

    Rhomco Silver Supporting Member

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    I have used both the fat 50's and the 69's. I found the 69's to be shrill and cheap sounding. The fat 50's are the most full sound I have found on a strat.
    Rob
     
  3. Derelict

    Derelict Member

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    how's the output on them and how do they respond to overdrive?

    thanks,
    adam
     
  4. corgiears

    corgiears Member

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    Hi guys - good to be here.

    I've played both of these sets extensively, and here's my assesment of them:

    Fat 50's are the higher output of the two sets, but not as high as Texas Specials. They have a nice warm, roundish tone with lots of mid-range. Neck can border on dark, but the bridge pickup is really nice - strong output with good bark and grind. The "in between" sounds (pos. 2 & 4) are good, but many other single coil sets out pace these in the "quack" dept. Nice warm cleans, and they work well with overdrive. To me, they do the SRV overdrive better than the Texas Specials, but that's my opinion, yours may vary.... ;)

    CS 69's are low output single coils. The clean sound is crystal clear with tons of chime and shimmer. Significantly less mids than the 50's, but stunning bass and great clear trebles. In between sounds are good - clearer than the 50's and a little more hollow, but with more of a volume drop from the 1,3,5 positions than other SC's I've played. Neck - think "Wind Cries Mary." Easily my favorite Fender neck pickup. Bridge can be brittle and spikey. I tend to keep the bridge pup pretty high with this set to boost output a bit and to take the edge off, but the bridge pup is the liability of this set. Pos. 2 & 4 will do Little Wing with ease and even venture into Sultans of Swing. Overdrive can be a challenge to get just right because the output is so low, but if you take the time to dial it in just right, you can get some great crunch.

    My preference is the 69 set, but bear in mind that I like single coils to be clean, clean and clean with lots of chime. I'm not a big fan of pronounced mids. The Fat 50's are good though. If I was looking for a "hot" single coil that maintained the character of a classic pickup but with better grind, I'd probably go that way......


    Hope that helps. :D
     
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  5. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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  6. Hipster Dofus

    Hipster Dofus Member

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    Are the Fat 50's like the Fralin Vintage Hots?
     
  7. corgiears

    corgiears Member

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    "Are the Fat 50's like the Fralin Vintage Hots?"

    To me, they are the same idea, but the Fralins seem to be "hot" but maintain better clarity - particularly on the neck pickup. The Vintage Hot set with the Steel Pole bridge pup is a really good hot strat setup.
     
  8. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

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    Excellent description by corgiears. I've owned both, and would like to add one thing. I'm a big fan of the '69s; to me, they are the only new pickups out of Fender that sound "old". I mean that in a good way.

    /rick
     
  9. corgiears

    corgiears Member

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    Good point - I love the 69's and they will never leave my strat, but I wanted to try to be objective....;)
     
  10. DrJamie

    DrJamie Silver Supporting Member

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    Fender's '58 reissues with fat 50's have been some of my favorite sounding guitars. The maple neck and Fat 50's is a great combo to my ear. I had 2, and sold them because of the small frets, and vintage radius. Haven't heard the 69's, but the description fits the real one I've played recently. I think the Fat 50's just haven't gotten their due, not being boutique gear.
     
  11. Laroosco!

    Laroosco! Member

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    The 69's sound great. I have them in the neck and middle of my 75 Strat.

    Beautiful cleans and they handle overdrive very nice as well
     
  12. Tonebender

    Tonebender Supporting Member

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    The 69's are great pickups. They have a good amount of Jimi in them.

    Low output is always the way to go if want your guitar to be versatile.
     
  13. alderbody

    alderbody Member

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  14. Hipster Dofus

    Hipster Dofus Member

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    Looks interesting.
     
  15. duckbunny

    duckbunny Member

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    I've had guitars with Fat 50's and '69s ( One guitar had both in them at one time or another) and I agree that they are different variations on a theme - corgiears is right on the money IMO. That said, I much prefer the CS 54 pickups. To me, they just sound like the pickups on a really good early 50's Strat - not overly hot, not overly hollow, great quack, just right...and not too expensive either! The sound , to me, is just *Strat*, y'know?


    -db
     
  16. mojoslide

    mojoslide Member

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    keithrick, let us know how it sounds when you're done. I am curious about the Fat 50s as I am pretty sure that is where I am going for my next set of pups. I am replacing my Lace Hot Gold sensors as they just sound too thin and brittle at band/gig volumes.

    alderboy - thanks for the link to those clips.
     
  17. DannyDay

    DannyDay Member

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    Lots of work! Lots of very good work, my man. Good job and thanks.

    DD.
     
  18. Hipster Dofus

    Hipster Dofus Member

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    Hijack mode.....
    Where do the 65' CS pups fall in all this?
     
  19. alderbody

    alderbody Member

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    hey DD,

    you should thank those guys, not me. I just posted the link... :)

    btw, it's indeed a very good work!

    :AOK
     
  20. elavd

    elavd Member

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    I know that this is an old post but I would like to ask something about that volume drop that you said. Is this normal?
    When I play in the 2 & 4 position, not only volume drops, but the sound is a bit "dull" ...
    Can I fix this "problem" by adjusting the height of the pickups?
     

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