Help finding the right pick ups


Hello Everyone,

I am hoping you can help me decide on the right pick ups to upgrade my Fender 50s tribute strat. I love the guitar itself and the way it plays so not looking to change the guitar itself but the tone I am seeking is one similar to John Frusciante.

I feel the stock pickups do a reasonable job but I was wondering if there are better options out there. I had heard the Seymour Duncan ssl-1 set is what frusciante used in the 90s. So I would quite like to demo these. Do you guys know of any guitars that come with these as stock so I could play them at the guitar store?

Also do you have any other suggestions regarding pickups? Is there any of the fender custom shop pickups for instance that could help deliver the Frusciante tone?

Thanks for the advice


Supporting Member
Buying aftermarket pickups is pretty much a crapshoot. I'm not aware of any setting where you can demo pickups like this.

The SD set you mention has a good rep so you should be fine. John's tone is as much his playing style and signal chain as anything. I imagine decent stock Fender pickups will get you there.

Do you have the rest of his gear or reasonable substitutes?


I love the pickups on my Jackson RR1. The Bridge JB4 pickup handles anything heavy with ease while the Jazz SH2N delivers the warmest blues you ever heard. It's a really well designed set giving you awesome versatility. They were stock on the guitar and I've never considered changing them because they are perfect. I swapped the stainless steel sustain block with a Tungsten Sustain Block, It's a real Original Floyd Rose Replacement Part. (FROTuB32. For 32mm size block.) This combo gives more bite and the kind of feedback you want.
  • Bridge Pickup - Seymour Duncan JB TB4 Humbucking Pickup
  • Neck Pickup - Seymour Duncan Jazz SH2N Humbucking Pickup RR1_White with Pinstripes.jpg
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