Fender Samarium Cobalt Noiseless Strat Pickups

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Fishin'Musician, Jan 16, 2008.


  1. Fishin'Musician

    Fishin'Musician Silver Supporting Member

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    Fender Samarium Cobalt Noiseless Strat Pickups
    Just pulled the trigger on a Fender Custom Shop Strat Pro w/ Samarium Cobalt Noiseless Pickups. What can I expect from those pickups?
     
  2. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

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    I know someone who bought a used Strat with those in them, and loves them. He sold his Clapton Strat because his new used Strat is an all around better guitar I guess.

    I haven't heard them personally, but I've seen a few people rave about cobalt pickups. I imagine you'll like them a lot.
     
  3. Sikor

    Sikor Member

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    I wasn't impressed by them. They are really noiseless and sounds decent with gain, but their clean sound IMHO cannot stand against some good singles.
    But to be clear, I dont' mean that SCN are bad or something.
     
  4. stratasaurus

    stratasaurus Member

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    My experience with my SCN's is that they are darker and less detailed than standard strat pickups. They also have less quack in positions 2 and 4. They are good with gain if you are looking for a more modern sound.

    I have had mine for years and am ready to make a change. I will be looking at the Dirmarzio Area pickups to get closer to vinatge type sound while still maintaining the noiseless feature.
     
  5. luv2playm

    luv2playm Supporting Member

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    I like them. I have them in a 2001 American Standard Strat which previously had an old set of American Standard pickups from the 1980s. I have another American Standard Strat with Kinman Avn Blues pickups.

    The SCNs produce a fairly strong signal and don't seem to exert much magnetic pull on the strings. They are very sensitive to pickup height, and to me they sound best when they are fairly close to the strings.

    They have a nice, warm single coil sound with a fair amount of chime and quack. They also let the lower strings ring loud and clear like a piano. In short, they do a fairly good job of capturing the good aspects of traditional single coil pickups.

    They sound similar to the Kinman Avn Blues pickups, which are another nice noiseless set. The Kinmans sound just a little warmer and fuller. The SCNs sound just a little more traditional to my ears.

    Compared to the Fender pickups that came stock in American Standard Strats in the 1980s, the SCNs sound much better to me; i.e., more dynamic, clear, quacky, and chimey, and with a broader frequency range.

    I also think the SCNs sound at least as good as current standard pickups for American Standard Strats. The fact that they are noiseless is a big plus to me.
     
  6. rdnzl

    rdnzl Member

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    I believe they are made by Bill Lawrence. But I could be wrong...

    I have them on one of my Strats, and I like them.
     
  7. gang twanger

    gang twanger Member

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    I believe Bill Lawrence helped Fender design them, and Fender makes them, I think. I have an 88 Strat Plus w/ Lace Sensor p/u's and I have been growing tired of the Lace's these days. I used to think they did the "vintage" thing quite well, but lately when I play a new Strat (even a plain old American Standard w/ stock p/u's), I wonder why my p/u's don't sound as good. I don't know if there's anything wrong with the Lace's or the wiring, or if I've just plain grown tired of them over time, but I've really been thinking of replacing them with either new Fenders (for cost's sake) or after market. They just don't seem warm to me anymore.
     
  8. Martian

    Martian Member

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    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but to the best of my understanding, a "Samarium Cobalt" magnet is simply a ceramic magnet with a big name.
     
  9. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

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    My SMC's sounded great with gain, especially the bridge. Like everyone else said, the regular single coils kick their butt in the clean department.
     
  10. digthosetubes

    digthosetubes Senior Member

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  11. japhy

    japhy Member

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    I respectfully disagree . I love the SCN clean . I have owned many, many Strats , including 3 pre CBS Srats . And while the SCN pups sound a little different than vintage single coils , I personally love them . No butt kicking involved .

    I do agree that pos. 2 and 4 lack what you hear on vintage pickups , but thay have there own unique tone in those positions They are thicker rather than quacky . Open minds and ears can dig them . I enjoy them for what they are .

    The noiseless part is a blessing IMHO. Its funny , I have a couple of very old amps that I use once in a while , and when I warm them up , I always grab the American Deluxe Strat . Makes the old amps sound better to me.
     
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  12. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I like them. I was at a jam a couple of weeks ago and I let somebody else play my guitar with the SCs in it. The guy next to him had some kind of old Strat, not sure of the pickups. From out in the audience, the two guitars sounded very similar. At times, it was hard to tell who was playing what. They sound like good Strat pickups to me.
     
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  13. jamison162

    jamison162 Member

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    It's all relevant to the guitar they're in. Depends on the guitar....that goes for every pickup. Folks rave about the Suhr FL's. They're a great pickup, but too hot for me.

    Wait till you get the guitar in and play for your self and let us know what you think. Everyone's input is good, but based on their own axe.
     
  14. blackba

    blackba Supporting Member

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    I have them in a 2006 American strat. I wasn't sure what to expect from them, but I thought I could always put the stock pickups back in. Far far I have really liked the SCN pickups, they sound rich and full, they could be a little smoother for my tastes. Maybe its their slightly more modern sound, but I don't feel the need to make this guitar a fat strat, like I did to my 2 other strats to get some more versatility.
     
  15. treeofpain

    treeofpain Supporting Member

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    I like them fine, especially for more modern stuff. If you want that whispy airy 50's strat sound, they will not get you all the way there.
     
  16. Ocean

    Ocean Member

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    Didn't care much for the SCNs. I thought they lacked that front end attack that I like so much. They were better than Fender's other noiseless offerings but still not as articulate as regular single coils. I'll take the buzz over a squishy feel any day!

    My two cents...
     
  17. crosse79

    crosse79 Member

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    They were pretty nice sounding actually. However - they can't hold their on against a custom set from Lollars or Suhr.
     
  18. Blue4Now

    Blue4Now Gold Supporting Member

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    I have the scn's in the neck and middle of an HSS setup in an Am series strat with a full size tone zone in the bride. I think the pickups work really well together and sound great, but more toward modern than vintage.
     
  19. mojoslide

    mojoslide Member

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    I like the SCNs in my Strat. They are the best sounding noiseless Strat pickups I've tried to date. They retain a lot of quack and snap. They may not be 100% perfect, but they get you about 90-95% of the way there. In live situations, the noiseless factor outweighs that 5-10% loss IMO. I think the inbetween positions are good - especially for noiseless - but then again I've never been a huge fan of the inbetween positions. I usually hang around the neck pickup mostly on a Strat.
     

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