Fralin? Lollars? Fender? Arggh!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by GAD, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a wonderful Am Dlx Strat, with the Sum Cobalt Noisless pickups. Sounds OK, but I lust for more. I never use the S1 switch, so I was thinking of swapping out the pickups because... well because I can.

    I've been reading this forum for months, reading over lots and lots of "what's the best SRV tone pickups" threads, and I've come to the conclusion that there is no one magic set. OK - I'm cool with that.

    So what set to I get that will have my money go to someone who deserves it - someone who makes killer product, has great customer service, and who might help me if I have wiring questions?

    Also, while I'm tearing apart my beautiful guitar, what else should I change in there? Pots? Wiring? I'm thinking of replacing all the plastic, because it's a sort of psuedo-aged greenish/off-white color that I really don't like.

    I'd love to build a completely new set so I can pull the old one off and keep it intact. That way should this model guitar become worth a million dollars in the future (like that ever happens to me), I'll have all the original parts wired up and ready to go.

    If I'm replacing it all, I'd like to get top-shelf parts. So - where do I go? Is there anyone out there that can sell me all these parts, that makes killer texas blues pickups, that deserves my hard-earned cash?

    Thanks,

    GAD
     
  2. hecticone

    hecticone Member

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    I have a set of lindy fralin blues specials with bass plate and blender pot in my strat. If you want a smoking blues sound these will get you there.The only better pickups are the Tom Andersons in my Anderson hollow classic strat. But those ones are stacked single coils and smoking hot.
     
  3. VintageToneGuy

    VintageToneGuy Member

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    I've owned several Strats over the years and they are, unquestionably, my favorite guitar of all in the world. In those Strat's I've had alot of different combinations of pups including:

    Fralin Vintage Hot's
    Fralin Blues Specials
    Lollar Tweeds
    Seymour Duncan Antiquities
    EMG DG 20 Active Pickups
    Fender Texas Specials
    Fender Vintage Noiseless
    Fender Hot Vintage Noiseless

    The 08 Strat that I currently have I went through 4 of the above sets of pickups and wound up going back to the stock \ factory pups. I don't know exactly why, but they sound darn good to my ears and the only pickups I've used that really made a big difference in the tone of the guitar are the EMG's. I have heard it said that EMG's make every Strat sound the same and that might be true.

    Give it alot of consideration before spending $200 - $300 or more!

    vtg
     
  4. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    Interesting!

    Do you have the same Cobalt Noiseless pickups with the S1? I think your's is the first post I've read that says they are better than the boutique stuff. I've read that people are happy with them, but not that they're better than others.

    Thanks for the post!

    GAD
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2008
  5. welcometoashley

    welcometoashley Member

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    :munch

    i've got an american deluxe tele and i simply cannot bond with the noiseless pickups. i like that they're quiet, but IMHO they lack just a bit of snap/twang that i've gotten with other tele pickups... am considering switching out at least the bridge pickup with either a lollar or a fralin...

    i know the OP is referring to a strat, but i'm dying to try a new pickup in place of the stock samarium cobalt ones in my tele...
     
  6. catalinbread

    catalinbread Member

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    Fralin Vintage Hot's with the baseplate bridge are enough to make me REALLY appreciate the Strat.
    :hide
     
  7. cbpickin

    cbpickin Tweed Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Unfortunately, the guitar itself play a role in what will work best in it. I had some Fralin Blues Specials in my G&L and they were ok, but not what I really wanted to hear. I played the same pickups in a Grosh and they produced one of the best strat tones I've ever gotten. I would vote for the Vintage Hots if I were limited to the Fralin line.
    One thing to be careful of is thinking that you need a hotter set for Texas Blues. Lower output strat pickups give you more clarity and balance than an overwound set. If you want mid and bass emphasis, the overwounds are great. I personally prefer the clarity of the lower output sets and then overdrive the amp with a pedal or crank it more.
    I've got all three sets of Lollars in different strats and I love them all. The Blondes are the ones that sound best in any guitar I've put them in though. I've never had them sound less than stellar. My favorite set, just for reference, is Blondes with a Tweed in the neck position. Perfect for my ears and set up.
    I'ver rec'd great, personalized service from both Lindy Fralin and Jason Lollar.
     
  8. BluesHarp

    BluesHarp Member

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    I agree with cb here. I tried alot of pups and the seymour duncan ones I have below in my sig are lower output... and I have them set fairly low. It is a balance thing to where you use the rest of your chain for drive and umph. When you EQ stuff out ( say your pups were grungy hot and lower bass heavy ), its hard to put the character and tone back in. Those Lollar blondes are some I really want to try and I think are more up my alley.

    Now if you wanted to go hot and bluesy... get some Kinman Blues. Those seem to me to be the best "texas" type pups Ive ever heard.

     
  9. jb1911

    jb1911 Member

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    I went through a few different sets of pickups on my '62 AVRI Strat before I went back to the original pickups. They pretty much all sounded the same to me and I came to the conclusion that this guitar sounds like this guitar no matter what pickup you put on it.
     
  10. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    WCR SR's are THE strat pickups...
     
  11. VintageToneGuy

    VintageToneGuy Member

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    I'm sorry, I didn't clarify what pickups were actually in my Strat. They are not the Cobalt with S1; they are just plain ole' stock pickups. I think I remember the output is between 5 - 6.5 with the bridge being the slightly hotter one. I believe the guitar also has the 'grease bucket' tone control for the bridge. I'm not exactly sure what that does.

    I was just saying that I really like the stock pup's; not necessarily saying that they were better than botique. Of all the boutique pup's I've tried I think the Fralin Vintage Hot's were my favorite.

    The basis for my comments on keeping stock is probably due to the fact that I've run up a large bill over the last 3 years with gear and I'm trying to just enjoy keeping things simple and stock and avoid the boutique stuff.

    With that in mind my current setup is:

    Stock American Strat >
    Keeley Compressor>
    Analogman TS808 True Vintage>
    Deluxe Reverb RI

    vtg
     
  12. auratnik

    auratnik Supporting Member

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    TOM ANDERSON pickups!
     
  13. stoob0t

    stoob0t Member

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    Van Zandt make some wonderful stratocaster pickups. The Vintage Plus, Blues & Rock are all great! I think for what you're looking for, the Blues set or the Rock set would suit you great. I've found the blues set to be a little more touch sensitive and responsive to the overall sweep of the volume control. With the rock set, most of the volume roll off sits around 10 - 7 on the control and then drops very rapidly after that.
     
  14. dspblues

    dspblues Silver Supporting Member

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    I play the SRV style stuff. I've had success with Fralins. A few of the sets are the custom set from Callaham. I also put the RS kit in all my guitars.

    Recently, I put a set of Lollar Blonde's in a guitar... sounds very good. Haven't gigged with it yet, but I'm sure it will work out fine.

    Hope that helps.
     
  15. Passenger84

    Passenger84 Member

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    I've got Lollar Blonde's right now.....and Fralin Blues Special's are coming in on Friday. I'll try and do some demos if possible. :) My playing sucks, but hopefully it'll give a quick reference idea.
     
  16. dspblues

    dspblues Silver Supporting Member

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  17. GregoryL

    GregoryL Supporting Member

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    I think the SCN's get a bit of a bad rap. I have a handful of other guitars with boutique pup's, but I actually quite like my Am Dlx strat with the SCN's.

    IMO, they're not 'bad', they're just a different flavour.

    The noiseless feature is great for recording too. These sit fine in a mix where I think a lot of the nuance of different pup's is tougher to distinguish anyways.

    That said, I think these are the best noiseless pup's Fender has offered yet - I never liked the lace sensors and definitely didn't like the vintage noiseless.
     
  18. stratoquack

    stratoquack Member

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    I'm in the exact same boat w/my American Deluxe. It's not that I hate the stock noiseless or anything. I'd just like to try something a little different.
    What about a set of John Suhr V60's?
    Bill
     
  19. hecticone

    hecticone Member

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    I could never get the touch sensitivity out of the lolars that I get from the Fralins. Oh well
     

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